If you are a marketer, that comment might sound scary. But, according to Jay Baer, of Convince & Convert, and Amber Naslund, of Radian6, this is the newly defined role of the marketer in today’s business environment.
At the MarketingProfs’ Digital Marketing Forum this past week, the authors of “The Now Revolution” told a room full of marketers and branders that the advent of social media has turned every customer into potential reporters. In turn, every employee is a potential first responder. Behind this movement is an urgent need to reply to those creating chatter around your company early and often.
After their presentation, they took some time to explain why marketing is at the nucleus of these sweeping changes.
Everyone’s A Marketer
In Jay and Amber’s vision the traditional marketing department serves as the nucleus of a larger organizational-wide marketing apparatus. Every person in the company can play a role in marketing, from the people taking customer calls to the people designing products. “You have stories internally, but most of the time it’s locked inside your personnel,” Jay said. Getting at those stories requires a change in culture where employees are naturally inclined to share their daily successes externally.
But forcing someone to blog can lead to disaster. As you implement these cultural changes the staff that have the talent and drive to provide content, as well as connect with customers and prospects, will self-identify.
The Changing Employee Persona
The frenetic pace of social media will prove too heavy for one person to handle. As the duties of responding and creating conversations are spread out across the organization, the skill set expected of all employees, regardless of their job title, will broaden.
“The profile of tomorrow’s employee is changing,” Amber said. “There’s a need to hire generalist. (Businesses) will hire for skills and hire for culture.” Put simply, every employee will need to not only do their job well, but also see how that job fits into the overall story the brand is trying to put out into the world.
Social Media Is No Email Killer
There’s talk of social media leading to the downturn of more traditional forms of digital marketing, such as email marketing. Jay and Amber strongly disagree with this notion. As Jay put it: “Someone liking you on Facebook is not a blood oath.”
Much of the currency derived from social media (such as a Facebook fan) can be rather weak when compared to the value of touching a prospect or buyer through email, particularly for b2b marketing. A like on Facebook or a follow on Twitter is more passive than signing up for emails delivered directly to someone’s inbox, especially as you attempt move a prospect through a lead nurturing program. Robust digital marketing requires email and social media working in concert.