Seth's latest post articulates two of the major issues facing social media:
1) Traditional companies and (the marketing tactics they employ) are selfish and lazy. They're not looking at transforming their company to fit the new world order, but instead just trying to manipulate the "hot" tactics of the day.
2) By diving in to the social medial world, brands are creating more clutter, making it the medium less and less useful, valuable and, yes, even fun.
Does that mean social media is a waste of time and resources for your brand? No.
But it does mean that's time to look beyond Web 2.0 to Business 2.0 (or perhaps its Business 7.4 by now). It is time to start re-building your product and your processes from the ground up to add a real, tangible value in the ways your customers want to consume it. And just as importantly, it is time to stop cramming your old approaches into the new marketing environment we've found ourselves in.
If you don't, you're just adding to the mess.
The good news is that underdog brands have a very distinctive advantage. You can afford to take risks. To adapt quickly. To make substantive changes without 4-day committee meetings.
In the coming weeks, we'll take a look at some SPECIFIC actions underdog brands can take.
It's official: the excitement of Web 2.0 has finally reached "non-techy" marketers and business owners. Everyone (myself included) is all a'flitter about Twitter. And Facebook. And blogs. And just about every other social media tool.
The opportunity to share information, build relationships and start conversations with customers and prospects has never been easier or cheaper. Yahooo! Yippeeee! Now what?!
Now what?! Now what?!! Now what?!!!
That’s right, many of us there is still have no idea what to do next now. We’re paralyzed by the newness of it all.
Well, I’m here to tell you this: none of it is all that new. And I want you to spread the word. To your boss. To your clients. To your marketing manager. It is just conversation.
You’ve been starting conversations with your clients for years now. Through holiday cards and corporate newsletters and sales calls and promotions and web sites. You’ve been attempting to pique interest and elicit reaction. You’ve been trying to move prospects along in the sales process and retain customers by sharing useful information.
That’s all social media is. A new way to do all the same stuff that you’ve always been doing.
Sure, it is different. It is intrinsically two-way. It is fundamentally more informal. And it has a low tolerance for bullshit. But it’s still basically the same.
Yes, I know you don’t have a line item for any of it in your budget. But because it is basically the same, you can just re-direct some of your “customer newsletter” or “ad development budget.” Trust me, nobody will care (they probably won’t even notice). Because -- again -- the new stuff you’ll be doing is essentially the same stuff you’ve always been doing. And it most certainly shares the same objectives.
Still not sure what do to now?
Do something. Anything. I suggest starting a Twitter account (because it is so easy and doesn’t cost anything). Your boss will think you’re a hero. Your clients will think you’re “cutting edge” and the CFO will think you’re fiscally responsible.
You have nothing to lose.
And if anyone does question your judgment or motives, just tell them you’re doing the same stuff you’ve always done.
Much of traditional sales training is based on the idea that getting
someone to buy something is just a matter of overcoming all of their
objections. They don't think its the right size? Tell them it can be
altered. They were looking for automatic volume control? Point out the
ease-of-use of the remote.
For (almost) every objection, so the
argument goes, there is something that can overcome it. Companies spend
thousands of man-hours and millions of dollars to predict objections
and develop scripts to overcome them.
Underdog companies should put very little effort into this.
Simply put: if you are spending a bunch of time overcoming objections,
you need to change something about your product, your process or your