Real-time marketing and communications aim to surround sound audiences with relevant, consistent, and repetitive storytelling across all digital channels. The only way to do this is to ensure a solid social business plan.
Real-time marketing refers to ideating, creating, publishing, and promoting content quickly and efficiently.
Marketers have a bad wrap, and it’s understandable. For years, college professors have been teaching old-school marketing theories like the 4 P’s of marketing, with the 4th P being Promotion (or marketing). This is still the truth in most of today’s college curriculum (with some exceptions, of course).
And even today, many marketers are using social media to share marketing messages without any regard for building meaningful social media communities that can drive actual business value. And the ones who get it (I would classify myself in that category, thank you very much) are often poked fun at by the enterprise IT consultants and technologists because of our heritage. I don’t blame them and often poke fun back because, well … that’s another blog post.
The point is, we all know what the outcomes of this transformation can be … a more connected organization, culture change, stakeholder value, faster more efficient customer support, innovation, enterprise collaboration, employee engagement and (insert all the other buzz words).
But one outcome, which isn’t talked about much, is how social business can enable real-time marketing and communications. I believe this. I think this just about as much as I think that Magic Johnson is the greatest player to have ever played the game of basketball. And if you know me well, you know I am serious and can argue for days about this topic and usually win.
Here are a few examples of how this works. It’s not theory. It wasn’t a dream or vision. And I didn’t read it somewhere. This works, and I have done it. I believe it.
Content is the number one challenge for marketing organizations today, especially for global firms with multiple social media channels and stakeholders. A social business (via collaboration, knowledge sharing, process creation, and governance) can enable marketers to create content that matters – relevant content (the right content, at the right time, in the right channel, to the right customer). This is done by creating a collaborative narrative about the product or brand internally coupled with real-time monitoring of brand/industry-related topics and conversations.
Establishing real-time social monitoring (or command center or social listening center) requires a significant amount of cross-functional collaboration with customer support, IT, operations, and applicable business units. The last thing marketers should be doing is making technology decisions without consulting with, or better yet, partnering with IT. Real-time monitoring can ensure that the organization is front and center in the conversation – handling/escalating support issues, intercepting sales-related conversations, or general community engagement. And marketing teams are on the front engagement lines and can become more strategic in the organization by driving social business initiatives.
There are two truths about social media analysis. Either organizations aren’t measuring their B2B social media marketing efforts, or everyone is measuring it differently. In either case, that’s an ugly problem. Especially when the CMO wants to know how many people were reached globally through social media or is curious about engagement rates were for a given time frame. A collaborative analytics framework will ensure everyone in the organization is consistently measuring social and enabling marketers to shift and iterate their content strategy based on real-time data and give the CMO what they want when they want it.
I have written about the Social Media Center or Excellence in the past. One responsibility of this team is to create systems and processes that will enable other marketing organizations, product teams, geographies, and regions to build social media programs locally that can scale and consider those particular cultural trends and behaviors. Again, this goes back to content. Also, this type of governance can prevent organizations from creating many external communities without proper planning like identifying a community manager, content plan, measurement, and crisis plan.
I am sure you have examples of how social business can enable better marketing. These, of course, are my opinions. But hey, what do I know? I am just a marketer.
Note: This post was originally written on May 18, 2012.
I do my best to create actionable content and provide value to the work you do. Please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel, and be sure to hit the notification button so you can be notified when new videos are uploaded. You can also connect on Michael Brito’s social channels if you like.