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The sales and marketing time machine 07/21/2009

Posted by Paul Daigle in Marketing, Sales.
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TimeMachineI was thinking recently about how sales and marketing have been at the center of everything I’ve done professionally since 1993. The ideas and tactics that fuel successful sales and marketing have always interested me.

Thinking about the goals of sales and marketing from an academic standpoint, it struck me how time really is the crucial piece.  Sales and marketing teams are charged with speeding up the clock. We are the time accelerators.

Let’s assume we have a good product or service. In time people will realize it… and we will be successful.  But if we wait for ideal customers to find us, learn about our offerings and realize how we can enhance their quality-of-life or maximize their bottom line, our competitors might beat us to the punch.  Or worse, we may  go broke waiting for enough of them to walk through the door.

Call in the Sale & Marketing team… the time accelerators! This creative, hyper-driven band of thick-skinners live for the challenge of locating people who are oblivious to the fact that our company and products exists so they can make introductions, influence purchases and establish permanent associations between needs and value and our company… and doing it all in as little time as possible.

We begin by identifying who our company can really help. Who is the ideal customer? What do we know about them? What can we learn about them? How can we reach them?

We then isolate exacting methods for reaching these prospective customers with messages that draw ideal prospects into meaningful conversations.  This allows us to uncover our prospective customer’s unique needs, concerns and situation. Listening, the key to sales, allows us to formulate a response that explains just how and why our company can solve these important problems. This detailed and customized explanation describes an improve future that focuses on the customers own needs… a future that is better because the customer found our company and let us help them. Articulating and delivering on this improved future is our key to sales, brand and sustained growth.

Our qualified prospects step into the Sales & Marketing Time Machine and are hurled off into an improved future in which they are our customers.

Sales & Marketing’s goal: To work to get prospects through our Sales and Marketing Time Machine as quickly as possible without sacrificing product quality or customer experience .

How can we help brands become more social? 07/16/2008

Posted by Paul Daigle in Marketing, Social Media.
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1 comment so far

ListeningTuesdaySeems like almost once a week I find myself reading a blog or industry report that works to redefine what social media means for marketers and advertisers. It’s pretty clear that the advertising and media industries are still wrestling with how they can gain real competitive advantages from the social Internet explosion.

But I wonder if discussing advertising in the context of social media misses the point entirely? Can a company succeed socially without first assembling the assets to function as a social company? Seems the resources and talent needed to succeed with social media have less to do with traditional advertising and marketing, and more to do with customer service, customer relationship management and PR.

Wikipedia defines PR as “the practice of managing the flow of information between an organization and its public.” Customer Service is defined as “the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase.” These are the attributes that make companies social, as these functions are grounded in listening to customers and the market in order to better serve the needs, concerns and desires of the market. Customer relations and PR departments are better equipted to decipher and manage the constant changes in customer perception and market environments, and they know too well the importance of response. They are accomplished in the art of the 2-way conversation. Ironically, just as most businesses have given up on idea of real Customer Relationship Management (CRM), the ultimate CRM facilitator may well have just arrived.

CRM, according to Wikipedia, is “a multifaceted process, mediated by a set of information technologies that focuses on creating two-way exchanges with customers so that firms have an intimate knowledge of their needs, wants, and buying patterns. …CRM is intended to help companies understand, as well as anticipate, the needs of current and potential customers.”

Advertising, on the other hand, doesn’t know how to listen. Sure, you can run traditional ad campaigns within social settings, but the real opportunities being create here are not for traditional one-way messaging… but meaningful 2-way communication. There maybe a misalignment between the goals of marketing decision makers and opportunities provide by the social Internet, and this may explain why so many companies are moving so slowing, and acting so apprehensively towards the social media space.

Advertising, as we know it,  isn’t going to go away. Nor should it. Advertising will always be an important way to build brand and drive sales. But developing social strategies and advertising strategies may require completely different vocations. So I’m wondering whether marketing and advertising departments are where tomorrow’s corporate social strategies will reside.

In order for companies to succeed socially, many will have to restructure to become social entities. It will happen. But it will take time. Helping companies understand where their social assets lie and how to synthesize these assets to create modern CRM/Social Communication  teams maybe the answer. These teams could work to manage the ears, the face, and the personality of a company.

When we represent our companies at social events we try do so in a manner that communicates who we are, why we are there, and what we’d like to accomplish. We also know how important it is to understand who we are speaking to. We know that our success requires that we engage the room in conversation… and that we listen.

Welcome to social media.