Which is better, to be doubted or to be ignored?
Social and digital media is without doubt a powerful tool for marketing, as discovered by small brands like Giapo and huge brands like Burberry.
But in most mid-sized organisations, the strategic value of social and digital media is being overlooked.
That was reinforced to me in a workshop this week, where I asked marketers what measurements their management was asking from them. “None,” was the short answer.
No measurement, and no attention on social at all from the top of the organisation.
The days of outright rejection of digital and social are over, in most cases. But now social media is tolerated, rather than embraced, in most organisations.
In the early days, no attention from the top was good; it enabled intrapreneurial marketers to get in and try some cool things without getting shut down.
But now, social media in the organisation runs a risk of being muted. Being present but ineffective, because it’s caught in the vicious circle of no investment -> no results, therefore -> no investment.
My friend and colleague Albert Qian has observed similar things in the USA.
What’s the solution? My two cents:
- Statistics + stories. Statistics are necessary to make any business case, but they’re nothing without a story, no matter what anyone tells you. Stories are the most efficient containers of data. They include facts + meaning. Find stories that demonstrate the value of your online efforts. Hat tip to Steve Denning for helping me learn this years ago.
- Persistence. Entertainment business legend Murray Thom once told of a sales pitch that he finally won after 8 years of persistence. It’s easy to fall down people’s priority list, especially when you’re doing something unfamiliar. Keep trying. And if you worry about annoying the people you’re after, in Murray’s words, “just be more wonderful”. Be persistent but make them feel good each time you see them. Making someone feel wonderful is another way of being relevant to them.
- Connect. Network with others in your own organisation who are passionate about using these new tools. Learn from each other, and come up with a big picture of how you can demonstrate value for the whole organisation.
What about your organisation? Is social media getting the love it deserves?