Monday, 20 July 2009

One Small Step...

I can't imagine the number of conversations this event sparked..

Podcasts – Turning them into Conversations

I was asked for a few tips on making a B2B Podcast. Obviously not being a creative, or indeed a content expert, I had some thoughts on the part they could play in creating a conversation with customers

Be Relevant . Obviously audience understanding is key, but you need to make sure that the content is not only relevant but also adds value to the customer. Relevancy also means matching content to the sales cycle. Is it a thought Leadership piece to promote awareness, preference in the early stages of the purchase cycle? Or is it more technical that focuses on the product itself during its life in your customer’s hands, and so promotes loyalty and advocacy?

Post new podcasts on a regular basis. Decide on a schedule — twice a week, every week, every two weeks and stick to it. Listeners look forward to new material on a consistent basis. Consistency helps you gain and maintain an audience.

Infotainment. Content is important, but so is the delivery. It needs to engage perhaps by the way that it is presented, its particular style etc. But never forget that content wins at the end of the day

Delivery. Content is wasted if the delivery mechanism isn’t thought out. Think about how the first impact of a Podcast can cut though the other stuff that lands on your target audiences desk/inbox. Why not send them the iPod to start with?

Keep podcasts short. Probably about 20 mins . If the topic takes longer, break it into two or more podcasts and let listeners know this podcast is the first of a two- or three-part series.

It’s an opportunity to start a conversation. Provide an opportunity for listener interaction. Podcasts are Web 2.0 technology and listeners want to interact. These podcasts should be linked to a perhaps a blog or other social network so listeners can make a comment or ask a question.

Build a community . Use whatever channels you currently have to promote the podcast, but use your customers to act as advocates in promoting them. Getting listeners to comment and sharing those comments will boost this community building

Is it working? Measurement and evaluation are important in creating the budget for podcasts. Simple measures such as downloads, customer engagement are key statistics to measure. Oh, and why not ask your customers what they think of them ( now there’s a thought), and if they were used in the decision making process?

Don’t for get that this is part of a value exchange mechanism between you and your customers..their time in exchange for added value from you

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Who Owns Social Media?

When deciding where Social Media belongs in the client and in the agency world, a number of questions need to be answered.

My point of view is that Social Media is another media channel in the same way that press, or DM or the web are - therefore it comes down to what you are trying to achieve.

When brands step into social media they have to provide real benefit to the users. Who is best equipped to make these relationships and deliver positive outcomes for both parties? I’d say the client and agencies who have a deep understanding of the user base and their motivation, need, aspirations. This has to be coupled with an understanding of why the interaction takes place and the drivers or user need for social interaction about a subject/area etc. So who in the client and in the agency has that insight?

If we see the purpose of Social Media to be a lead generator, then it should come out of that area of the business that is responsible for generating those leads and is accountable for the ongoing measurement and evaluation.
A social platform is a channel that will forever build your brand, encourage engagement, and drive site traffic, leads, and commerce. So the maintaining, managing, tracking, and optimizing of the online channels and technologies is key. So who in the in client manages the relationships with the agencies that perform those tasks?
By having search, online media, creative, development and tracking technology under one roof qualifies an agency to deploy and manage a robust social media channel alive with good content, creative and interactive applications

And who will be responsible for governance from the client end to ensure that there is no conflict between any PR/awareness strategy and the lead generation strategy. So again, it depends on what you are trying to achieve.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Not Free at all!

Just as I thought..and indeed as did others. There is no real Free Lunch

Social CRM ?

Social Media, it's everywhere!!. At its simplest level I guess its a way of creating and hopefully continuing conversations with customers, but obviously also embracing the conversations that are already happening out there.

One of the most important conversations we have with our customers is through Customer Service - a key touchpoint of any CRM Strategy.

So does Social Media translate into Social CRM? Is there a need to split out the strands of CRM... Social CRM, Store CRM, Telephone CRM?

This debate on Social CRM is interesting but only the start of the debate.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Free for all..

Old Chris Anderson seems to be getting some mixed press on his latest idealogical handbook, Free: The Future of a Radical Price. John Naughton's The Networker column in the Observer..There's no such thing as free, picks up in particular on the writings of the journalist of the moment Malcom Gladwell who goes for the jugular in his New Yorker column.

Oh and my copy just arrived from Amazon with Free delivery... see you later