Strategy is only as good as its execution. But without one, you’ll fail.
- Having a brand is more valuable, even if the brand is no brand. There are too many options that look and sound the same. Is this you?
- Research by the Reputation Institute says the organization’s name and brand recognition are more valuable than product; 87 percent of the company’s capital is based on intangibles.
- Branding is a process rather than a program or campaign. Imagine if your identity depended on a few things you said to make friends at an event. It would make an impression. But would that work next time when you say something different, or behave differently?
- What gives brands a voice is an engine where identity, vision, and mastery co-create value.
- Format, consistency, and evolution or reinvention along with community building are valuable components of bringing an organization to market and interacting with customers.
- Strategizing vs. strategy because…
- It involves choice based on time dependent information whereas strategy involves choices based on assumptions. More here.
- Once we make something a noun, it turns into a thing and ceases to be dynamic and changing, as new relevant information becomes available, we use feedback loops to update our choices.
- Actions > words.
- Organizations whose actions are meaningful and relevant accrue value and social capital.
- In fact, lack of action erodes trust.
Many businesses that are looking for a marketing strategy inclusive of social media have an existing track record. Mature brand can reinvent their way to growth by providing new direction.
Due to an increasingly cluttered market, many younger brands are using this strategy for execution successfully today.
New direction creates movement. This means you:
- own the movement, a direction
- reflect flexibility and speed in holding the course
- bring customers on a journey, a specific path moving forward
The game is about who is going where. This is how you create signal and stand out.
Strategy is motivation
Simon Mainwaring is the founder of We First, a brand consultancy committed to business as a force for good. He asked me to explain what is strategy. Goofy expression aside, it’s an important question.
The most frequently asked questions teams ask during a strategic engagement include—what best practices do companies use online? How do we respond in a crisis situation?
But by far, the biggest challenge organizations face online is building continuity and consistency in their interactions with people.
Why is it such a challenge?
- many organizations operate in an environment where buy in by multiple groups is a necessity
- thinking ahead is hard when immersed in the day-to-day operations of the business, deep in the weeds
- planning programs vs. campaigns requires coordination with several other agencies, especially in enterprise brands
- companies are still having a hard time reconciling the name recognition of the individual vs. using a completely branded approach online
- analysis-paralysis drives inability to get started
- over reliance on the opinion of experts with little attention paid to the ideas and feedback of the people on the front lines
Brands with passionate evangelists
These examples of brands that have managed to create valuable interactions are useful when taken in context. In many cases, they are points in time. Business evolves constantly, technology changes, people move on.
- ABC: How Apple Builds Community
- Tribal Marketing: Ducati
- Apple and Brand Evangelists
- Do You Have the Pixar Touch?
Brand success stories
Some analysis from direct involvement in the success of an organization, some based on observation and conversation with peers.
- BlackRock Takes Stock of its Social Media Assets: Employees
- See How they Did it: 104 Social Media Case Studies
- Intuit Bakes Community into their Digital Marketing
- The Case for Social Media in B2B
- What Case Studies Should Include to Move the Conversation to the Finish Line
- Top Customer Service Accounts on Twitter
- Twitter, Customer Service, and Good Brand Management
- Social Media as Modern Telephone: Frank Eliason, Comcast
- Obama’s Social Media Campaign
Planning marketing executions
The biggest opportunity for companies in social media is that to transform buyers into customers—to increase the number of transactions people have with them from one to more than one. Three major areas of opportunity I see for organizations and brands to help business become more social:
- situational awareness
- ambient concierge
- adaptive DNA
Becoming more social for business means helping people do what they already want to do, instead of trying to take their attention away from those things. This includes employees and evangelists.
More on marketing executions
- 7 Common Business Pitfalls that Impact Social Media Strategy
- Connecting the Stream with Action: Business Becomes Social
- Be Social to Drive Social Effectively
- Marketing as Profit Center
- How Much is Your Brand Worth to a Fan?
- Understanding and Activating Your True Fans
- Is Your Company Thinking that Social Media is a Job?
- How to Get Over Your Fears of Social Media
- Should You Outsource Social Media?
- Da Vinci Was a Change Agent, Are You?
- How Big Brands can Start Testing Social Media
Measure performance as part of a process along a continuum. Design to expand reach, increase engagement, build influence, and request action on behalf of your business—with social media integrated in the communications mix.
These materials should get you started in understanding the importance of having a brand marketing strategy that integrates social communications and provide good examples from brands big and small already doing it.
Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a speaking engagement click here.