The Unified Approach to Social Marketing

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I previously blogged about the segmented landscape of social networks – it’s a niche world now with many valid places to be like Pinterest, foursquare, Instagram, etc…

So brands are now busy in many of these spaces, but I still think the approach is a bit scattered for the most part. There is a way out of this and I’m calling it the Unified Approach, but I didn’t invent it.

The idea here is to encompass all the social and digital spaces into a single entity. Gather up all your assets like Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus and locate them into a sub brand that unifies them all. A few sports brands have done this – a great example would be the Boston Bruins DEN (Digital Entertainment Network).

This makes sense for a lot of reasons. It provides an organized approach to multiple networks – fans can choose how they follow their team. But the key here is also how it impacts corporate partner and media sales. If you work in that business, then you know it can be a challenge for sales teams to position and sell social assets; and likewise, clients often require a lot of education on what they are buying and even how to buy it.

The unified approach provides a clear vision of what all these assets represent – but – the kicker is, by combining all your social assets into a single package, you can also position this on the media buy – not just the sponsorship buy. The total of all these social assets can be a significant number and allow you to position this as a media buy opportunity.

The unified approach makes a lot of sense for a lot of brands – and as a last point, I still think you need to pick your spots. Should you participate in all these possible social networks? How do you prioritize? How do you allocate resources to manage it? How can you monetize it?

That’s where this blog post turns into conversation – use my Contact Page if you want to talk about it.

Sales Training and Social Media

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How has social media changed my approach to sales training?

I consider social networks an essential sales tool. Many sales people wish that social media will make cold calling go away – it won’t, but effective social networking skills are increasingly important. Here is why…

Reason #1: Voicemail

  • Sellers have made the telephone a tough way to accomplish business development efforts. Too many calls from too many sellers.
  • Buyers have turned their phones off (more or less) and allowed voicemail to act as their gatekeeper. Many sellers have not adapted to this yet – and continue to pound the phones looking for the needle in the haystack.
  • Sellers need to incorporate a voicemail marketing strategy. Embrace vm, it is not going away and will not be overcome by endless calling.

Reason #2: The Internet

The role of the seller has changed because buyers can leverage the Internet to find out much of what they need about a vendor, product or service without speaking to a rep. Therefore…

  • Sellers who focus on product will struggle vs. sellers who focus on business requirements.
  • Product knowlege is important, but consulting skills are what is needed to get the job done nowadays.
  • Sellers are valued by buyers when they help find better, unanticipated answers to challenges – better than buyers would have arrived at on their own.

Sellers Need Social Networks

The phones won’t get the job done like they used to and your market initiates buying cycles through information available via the internet – so sellers need to be online too. Sellers need to be available and able to respond when a buyer reaches out.

Your market is already there online – this is the point I reiterate with brands as well. Just like any brand, sellers need to be participating, observing and engaging in these communities. The role of the Seller has changed – from product focus to business analyst. Similarly, sellers need to change their business development activities – from prospecting to networking.

Here’s How:

10 Private Beta Invites for SocialThing.com

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SocialThing LogoI’ve been using a private beta for an aggregator called Social Thing – it simply takes all your friend streams from various social media  (Facebook, Twitter, Digg, etc…) and locates them all in one place. This is not an endorsement – just an offer…

If you are interested to try it – I have 10 invites remaining to give out. Please use my Contact page to request one, and I’ll send them to the first 10 responders.

Should you use it and sign up – please let me know your feedback, thanks!