Guest post by Dan Zarrella, author of Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness
The key to applying science to marketing is being prescriptive. Calculating and analyzing data that is interesting is fun, but information becomes useful when it tells you how to achieve a specific goal. Throughout my career, one of the goals I’ve focused on is the engineering contagious ideas. I’ve worked for years, using science and data to understand how to craft content that spreads like wildfire.
Welcome to another New Year! While everyone else is busy thinking about or already breaking their New Year resolutions, it’s time for us to take a moment to rethink what it is we can really do better now and over the next 12 months.
I’m sure you heard it everywhere last year. Experts found the highest blog mountains and social network skyscrapers to Tweet in concert, “You need a Facebook brand page! Why are you not on Twitter yet? Have you checked-in on Foursquare? Hurry up and get set up on Google+. If you don’t get on social media, you’re going to go out of business!”
During Blogworld Expo in Los Angeles, I was given the opportunity to interview Jim Farley, Ford’s Group Vice President, Global Marketing, Sales and Service live on stage. The discussion was focused on a powerful theme, putting your brand in the hands of customers. Certainly for any business, large and small, the idea of empowering customers to shape and steer your brand can be perceived as both frightening and dangerous. But here, Farley brings a refreshing perspective on why businesses, including Ford, need to engage customers in a more human and genuine manner. He looks beyond marketing to bring executives, employees and customers together in building a stronger brand, more relevant products and services, and investing in meaningful relationships to ultimately create a remarkable business…a business that matters beyond its goods.
Part 15 in an ongoing series that serves as the prequel to my new book, The End of Business as Usual…
The world is becoming a much smaller place. But even with social media contributing to a globally connected society, businesses that continue to take a global approach to social content and engagement may be missing opportunities for greater resonance and relevance. While a global presence is necessary for any organization hoping to connect with customers around the world, placing reliance on one prevailing strategy is just the beginning. In any web strategy, including social and also mobile media, localization is king.
As the headline implies, even though Social CRM exists as an official category, what it is and what it is not is blurry and hotly debated. No, it doesn’t need a new definition. And, no, it doesn’t need new leadership. sCRM, and now “social enterprise” as categories could however, benefit from clarity around what it is they’re solving for, which companies actually provide solutions against those objectives, and ultimately, how everything works together for the benefit of customer engagement and relationships.
My colleague Jeremiah Owyang sure ruffled some feathers with his post claiming that the Golden Age of tech blogging is over. Aside from being a mentor and a tireless analyst, he’s also a long-time blogger. His words over the years helped blaze the trail for blogging and ultimately the micromedia bonanza that he believes is contributing to the erosion of long-form social prose. In his article, he quotes good friends Loic Lemeur, Ben Metcalfe, Ben Parr, Francine Hardaway, Chris Heuer and Dave McClure. Their perspective is always interesting. And, his post also drew telling comments from some of the best known names in tech blogging including Pete Cashmore, founder of Mashable, Sarah Lacy, Marshall Kirkpatrick, and Dylan Tweney, executive editor at VentureBeat.
Awareness Networks released insights and prognosis from 34 business and marketing leaders as part of its 2012 Social Marketing and New Media Predictions report. It’s written for marketing strategists, brand marketers and consults and those working in agencies. I think you’ll find it interesting to say the least and perhaps even prescriptive.
Here are a few of my thoughts…
On the evolution of social business:
Credit: WireImage, Kevin Mazur – Mark Zuckerberg, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, Snoop Dogg and Sean Parker
On stage during Facebook’s massive f8 developer conference this past September in San Francisco, Mark Zuckerberg introduced the world to frictionless sharing and the future of music. Freshly minted alliances with Spotify, Turntable.fm, Clear Channel, Rdio and many other services now feed the new “Music” dashboard that transforms friends into social DJ’s and music store clerks. In between their status updates, Facebook’s new frictionless sharing platform turns the news feed into a playlist that spotlights top songs, featured music services, and unknown gems creating a social soundtrack to everyone’s life. The result will naturally spark intrigue, dialogue, listening, and eventually new music purchases courtesy of Facebook’s inherent social effect.
As I think about disruptive technology, it’s clear that as an industry, we often get stuck in conversations about products, services, and features. In social media for example, we are enamored with Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and the like. At the same time, we tend to confuse emerging with disruptive technologies and overly invest in rising stars such as Instagram, Quora and to some extent Google+ before we understand the impact they have on our world and the impact we can have within each network.
Part 14 in a series introducing my new book, The End of Business as Usual…this series serves as the book’s prequel.
When you think about social media, what do you envision? Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Foursquare? If you’re like me, blogs would have made the top of the list. But how can blogs survive in a time when the attention of connected consumers is not only precious, it’s elusive. After all, people can read no more than 140 characters at a time right? With the surplus of networks and a river of social activity that washes away personal information levees, how can we be anything but distracted?
Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing, and culture. Solis is also globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. His new book, What's the Future of Business (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold and flourish in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. Prior to End of Business, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.