Thursday, November 19, 2009

New SIIA Webinar Monday, Dec 7- Social Media for Brand Awareness, Thought Leadership and Other Traditional PR Activities

The good folks at the Software and Information Industry Association and I organized a four part series of Webinars looking at the various aspects of social media marketing for companies targeting the B2B marketplace. We have had three of them already and each was a fascinating discussion of how social media is used for business applications like lead generation, sales, cycle support, recruiting, competitive analysis and closing deals.

Our last Webinar is coming up December 7th and is going to focus on the public relations applications of social media. Most people, when they thing of social media, probably think of it as being a PR related activity, and it is. We have a great panel (including your truly!) which will talk about real world examples of companies using social media to target influencers, journalists, analysts as well as communicate directly with stakeholders.

Click here to register: Social Media Webinar Series: Social Media for Brand Awareness, Thought Leadership and Other Traditional PR Activities
DECEMBER 7 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm ET

Social media should be an integral part of your PR strategy, not just your sales function. To run a successful campaign Marketing, Sales and PR need to be integrated using today's popular social media tools. How can you effectively integrate your social media strategy across the enterprise?

Robert Carroll, VP Marketing, Clickability

Richard Dym, CMO, OpSource, Inc.
Kye Strance, Director of Product Management, Vocus
Jeff Majka, Director of Marketign and Business Development, Strategic Communications Group

(There is a $89 charge to register- however, since you’ll be my guest, you can register for free if you use the following code- PRMSTRAT.)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sales and Marketing are Still Sales and Marketing. Right?

Today, Marc Benioff of said that "Facebook and Twitter are a phenomena" , according to ReadWriteWeb. He also let it be know that Salesforce is actively integrating both services, something he calls, "the biggest development for the company in the past ten years."

Some of the features to be found in Service Cloud 2 Sales Cloud 2:

Twitter integration: In Sales Cloud 2, uses may Twitter stream into Salesforce so sales people can engage in conversations with people and add that information into the sales funnel. In Service Cloud 2, customer support may follow Twitter and respond to people with real-time customer support.

Answers: This is a pretty cool feature. A Dell executive showed how an "Answer," tab can be added into Facebook where customers may pose their questions.

Mobile: A sign that moble apps are here to stay. Sales people may use the platform to send documents through the Salesforce platform.

I say it almost every day, but the real value of social media is enabling PR, marketing and sales to work together more effectively. Generating a warm lead out of a conversation with a group of people self-selected to be interested in issues the surrounding your product or service is a hell of a lot more likely to close than a cold lead generated from a palm card sent to 10,000 names on a spreadsheet or an email sent to 100,000 names in some rental email database.

Social media is interesting in itself, but not compared to the real, measurable results you can generated when you align and integrate it with your sales and marketing strategy, plan and team.

Another interesting post that focuses on the idea that social media is just a part of the marketing mix. Read it here: Don't Call Me A Social Media Guy by Rohit Bhargava at Ogilvy.
Social media is just one of the tools that I use on a daily basis. To focus on just that and make it my identity would be like calling a runner a "sneaker guy." They might love their sneakers, but it's still the method they use to get from where they are to where they want to be. The way I use social media is similar ... I use it for marketing. I'm a marketing guy first and foremost. It's why my blog is called Influential Marketing and why you won't ever hear my introduce myself as an expert in social media. I use it often, and do know what I'm doing - but my expertise and my career is in marketing.
So many people are fixated on the tools of social media that they are missing the big picture. Marketing is still marketing, you just use additional channels- channels with some different rules and best practices.

Looking for a job? Have a high pain threshold? Then cover the Nats!! WaPo Seeks New Nats Writer

This is one of the most high profile and rewarding beats in Sports because our coverage of the city's MLB franchise is at the center of our department's mission. It is also a very demanding job. It involves covering upwards of 140-150 games per year, in addition to spring training and the off-season.

The beat writer is also responsible for regular posts to the Nationals Journal blog, which has a large and passionate following of baseball fans. A background in sports is not essential, though the ideal candidate would be someone who has high energy, a willingness to travel and a love for the game of baseball.

We would like to fill this position soon to give the writer time to acclimate before the start of spring training in Florida in mid-February.

Hmmmm. Tempting.....but no.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Is Your Washroom Breeding Bolsheviks?

Every day I read lots of blogs, tweets and news stories. 50? 60? It's hard to count them all. Today seemed like there was a ton of odd stories that grabbed my attention, even though there was a great deal of hard news out there (HP-3Com, Intel-AMD, etc)

Here is a sampling:

"Is Your Washroom Breeding Bolsheviks? - A Look Back at Oddly Charming Cold War Ads"
- Jim Edwards at Check out the "Communism, Hynotism and the Beatles" ad. A classic.

"Warm Weather And Raw Oysters Don't Mix"
-Deidre Woollard at Luxist. Apparently, our governmental masters think that oysters are a danger to our Republic and want to ban them during certain times of the year.

The Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman won the Gold Glove and the team hired its interim manager as a full time one. Nats blogger, Federal Baseball has a recap here.

"Survey: 42% Say PR Budgets Will Remain Flat in 2010"- the fine folks at Vocus surveyed 1800 PR and marketing professionals to see what budgets will look like. Flat. Yay. However, five percent of the respondants said that budgets will increase "significantly". Hey Vocus- if you could email me the names, email addys and phone numbers of the people who said that, I'd be really grateful. Thanks!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Webinar: Using Social Media to Target the C-Suite and Close Deals

Last week, I had the great opportunity of serving as a moderator for a Webinar on the use of social media to target executives and close complex sales, hosted by the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA). There were two excellent presentations and a fascinating Q&A session. The speakers were:

Steve Ressler, Founder, GovLoop
Jim Fowler, CEO, Jigsaw

Download the PDF of the 36 slides here and listen to the audio here (about 60 minutes).

What do you think? Please leave a comment or drop me a line!!

The fourth and final Webinar is coming up a few weeks. Take a second and mark it down on your calendar:

Social Media for Brand Awareness, Thought Leadership and Other Traditional PR Activities
Price for SIIA Members: Free, Non SIIA Members: $89
Monday, December 7th - 1:30pm - 2:30 pm EDT

Social media should be an integral part of your PR strategy, not just your sales function. To run a successful campaign Marketing, Sales and PR need to be integrated using today's popular social media tools. How can you effectively integrate your social media strategy across the enterprise?

Robert Carroll, VP Marketing, Clickability

Richard Dym, CMO, OpSource, Inc.

Two other panelists are TBD

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Social Media for Small Business

Are small businesses immune to the hype of social media?

As with every new technology, there is an adoption curve that influences the penetration of social media into business. A new technology starts with the most innovative individuals in the most innovative industry and works its way through the ecosystem until the most conservative individuals in the most conservative industry adopt it. The commonly accepted stages of adoption are:
  • innovators
  • early adopters
  • early majority
  • late majority
  • laggards
It isn't a groundbreaking observation to point out that innovators have completely adopted social media as a medium of communications. Indeed, for many of our clients, the early adopters and even the early majority, are moving beyond test or pilot social media programs and are starting to integrate social media into their overall sales, marketing, HR, customer service and investor relations strategies. This evolution is made easier by the fact that Strategic's clients are generally well funded companies in the healthcare and technology space- both traditionally innovative areas.

It's important to note, however, when areas are lagging behind, for whatever reasons.

With this in mind, I found a new blog post by Jack Loechner (Center for Media Research) to be very interesting. He reviews a new survey by Citibank of 500 small businesses and their experiences with social media. You can read his whole post here:

76% have not found social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to be helpful in generating business leads or for expanding their business during the last year, while 86% say they have not used social networking sites to get business advice or information.

The survey found that general search engine sites such as Google and Yahoo! trump small business-focused sites and the as destinations for small business owners to seek business advice or information. 61% of respondents say they rely on these search engine sites.

Lead Generation by Social Networks (% of Respondents, August 2009)
Small Business Execs Who Say

Social networks are:
  • Very helpful- 3%
  • Somewhat helpful-9
  • Not very helpful- 13
  • Not at all helpful- 63
  • Don't know/na- 11

Source: Citibank omnibus poll by Gfk Roper, October 2009

Maria Veltre, Executive Vice President of Citi's Small Business Segment, concludes "... small business owners are still feeling their way into social media... many... may not have the manpower or the time required take advantage of them."

Additional responses found that 42% of small business owners and managers reported that in the past year they have made greater use of their company's website to generate business leads and sales. Among companies with 20 to 99 employees the percentage rises, with 57% saying they have made greater use of their website. 28% of survey respondents are also using email marketing and 25% are using online advertising to generate business leads and sales.

It's clear that the adoption rates among small business owners and executives is low, but is probably growing. As a marketer for a small business, I can tell you that we think of social media from the outset when designing our integrated sales, marketing and PR plans. This is a function of "going where are customers are." As more and more small business owners realize that their customers are on social networks, the more we'll see these adoption rates go up.