Social Networks: the new “black book” and more

A research study conducted by Don Bulmer and Vanessa DiMauro concludes that Social Networks are becoming more important in the day to day lives of business professionals. The big three networks are Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.

Over 350 senior level business professionals took part in this survey. Here are some of the interesting findings that b2b marketers and business development professionals would be interested in knowing:

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Be different, but not THAT different!

“Differentiate or Die!” Great title for a book. Sound objective in practice, too. Here’s the big question: what’s your referent? What exactly do you want to be different from and where are you looking for your benchmark?

On purpose, I ask small business owners this specific question, “How are you different?” I say, on purpose, because I purposely keep the question short, leaving it wide open for their own interpretation. You probably already know how every single answer begins. (Want me to give you a minute to think about it? Okay…ready?)

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The Discipline of Listening vs. The Art of Messaging

Listening doesn’t come easy.

For anyone (or any business) with a point of view, an opinion, a measure of conviction, and the means to disseminate a message, listening is rarely what first comes to mind when addressing the communication process.

Client feedback initiatives and market research notwithstanding, from the instant an infant realizes what it takes to relieve the pains of hunger, our practical view of communication focuses on creating and delivering a message. We are conditioned to view charisma, wordsmithing and creative genius as the components of great communication. Result? We equate message delivery with communication.

Listening is…well, just silence. Golden, perhaps. But certainly not communicating.

(We could spend a couple of paragraphs asking how this view has worked out thus far; but let’s get to the good part.)

Here’s the proposition: communication is one of those counter-intuitive disciplines that works exactly opposite of the way we think; it begins when we learn how to listen.

And the discipline of listening is what gives shape to the creative art of messaging.

Discipline and art are not at odds when it comes to communication; rather, they are two essential halves that create the whole. For marketing professionals, this gives rise to a two-fold go-forward challenge:

• Beef up the portfolio of proactive listening tools (Social Media affords great possibilities here); and,
• Practice resisting the temptation to go straight to messaging.


The Party and your Marketing Mix

Here is a neat way to look at some key aspects of the Marketing Mix… thru the eyes of a party setting. So imagine that you, your friends and a famous athlete are all at a party together and in the same room.

Direct Sales/Marketing takes place when you see a famous athlete at a party. You approach them and say, “I am the best sports agent in the business. You should sign up with me.”

Advertising takes place when you are at a party with a group of friends and you pay your friend money to approach the athlete, point over to you and tell the athlete that “you are the best sports agent in the business.”

Public Relations takes place when you see a famous athlete at a party. You notice the athlete’s needs by opening the door for them, picking up their bag and offering them an appetizer. They thank you and then ask you your name… you tell them and say… “by the way I am the best sports agent in the business.”

Brand Recognition occurs when you are at a party and the famous athlete seeks you out, then comes up to you and says, “we need to talk, I hear you are the best sports agent in the business.”

Where are you in the Marketing Mix of a party? Do you know?

Ryan T. Sauers

The Future of Social Networking/Marketing 2010

The next important growth feature for social networks will be ubiquity. Social networks must be woven into everything we encounter and social media/marketing should be integrated into the fabric of all marketing channels, strategically managed from 360 perspective. Social Media is a platform… Social Marketing is how it is leveraged by a brand.

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Social Media: The Fabric of Community

Time to acknowledge the obvious: few things have had as much impact on the fabric of marketing as has the emergence of “Social Media.” In his book – The Chaos Scenario, author, AdAge columnist and NPR commentator Bob Garfield goes as far as heralding the end of mass marketing as we know it.

While many organizations (and marketers, for that matter) wrestle with the function and role of Social Media, and more still will debate some or all of Garfield’s conclusions, few will argue that things are changing. Fast. So, for strategists, marketers and C-suite leaders, here’s an abbreviated take on what is changing, and at least part of why Social Media seems to be growing exponentially at the heart of the change.

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Everyone has a BRAND!

Let’s face it…we use the word “Brand” all of the time. We talk of brands we like, as well as the ones we do not like. Successful organizations have established valuable brand equity and a strong brand name. I have come up with an acronym that can help you to better understand and further relate to the subject of a brand.

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What Your PR Firm Should Be Doing For Your Business!

I tell our clients often that “social media” does not replace traditional communications and core strategies that work and will continue to work (generate revenue). Social Media gives businesses another form of information distribution and simply put, is a great way to communicate information to an unlimited number of people (customers) efficiently.

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