It’s that time of year, not only are we celebrating the holidays, but we are also figuring out our 2013 resolutions and plans for ourselves and businesses alike.
This afternoon I had the opportunity to attend Business2Community’s “Future of Social Media: How It Will Impact Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service”.
The featured guests were Pam Moore, CEO and Founder of Marketing Nutz (@pammktgnut). Anthony Leaper, SVP of Enterprise Social Software Business Unit at SAP (@aleaper) and Shep Hyken, Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations (@hyken) and the host was Megan Leap (@meganleap) from the Online Marketing Institute.
It was incredible to hear perspectives from three individuals who are in positions and can see where and how their companies are utilizing social media to empower their sales force and employees, as well as what they suggest to do in 2013.
Key Takeaways On The Power of Social Media
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Shep shared a key insight that many of us forget, the customer is in control. They will choose which channel they want your message to be on. So what if their platform of choice changes? In order to stay ahead of the competition, and in tune with your customer, make sure you are knowledgeable of all the current platforms, as well as be aware of those that might be the next breakthrough.
Pam complemented Shep’s comment by reminding us we need to not only understand where our target audience is, but also ensure we are speaking their language. This will keep the right conversations going.
Key Takeaways On Sales Using Social Media
“Social is a journey, and we need to start at certain steps” – Anthony Leaper, SAP
Anthony shared a piece of SAP’s journey with the audience. The software SAP is bringing to the market has been complementing the sales process and in turn creating communities between the sales and customers. These communities have been transforming into a sales tool themselves. Take for example SAP’s SCN, it is a part of this sales oxymoron where the community is both disrupting the sales cycle and supporting it at the same time.
How To Spend 2013 Marketing Budgets
According to Pam, where you allocate your money should align closely to your business goals and objectives.
So what should these objectives be? Anthony thinks the customer experience. Social opens up the window of influence if properly leveraged. Make sure as a marketer you understand the interactions your sales team is having.
As for Shep’s advice, put your money into the sides of training:
- Technical, how to actually use the tools
- Mission, Vision, and the Right Language
- Best Practices that should be implemented. For example, teaching someone how to respond appropriately to something negative. When you mess up, fix it. For the consumer it’s a powerful message that when something’s wrong, you take care of it.
How CMOs and Digital Marketers Can Keep Their Edge
This is something I’ve been seeing more and more, as well as writing on, and Anthony agrees. The CIO and CMO must be friends. The CIO knows the latest technology trends, they have people who not only understand these trends, but are passionate about them and can educate their marketing colleagues. The CMO knows how to make it pretty, they know the communication that should surround it.
Pam brought to light something every company should focus on: fixing the internal issues within the company walls. A revolutionary idea suggested by her was that you need to align your social media agenda to at least two other organizations’. Once aligned, work together for 6 months, you’ll see success, others will see that success and want to join forces. When you’re “all marching to the beat of the same drum”, you’ll be making beautiful music.
Top Predictions for 2013
Shep: Video. Not just YouTube, but instant video to video collaboration on smart phones, tablets, and laptops.
Anthony: Marketing will play a fundamental role in establishing the customer experience
Pam: The structures within organizations will change which in turn will create more formal communities. Those that figure out how to do this well will be the market leaders.