Toronto - New York
Author of: Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage and Measure Brand Influencers | Partner, Sensei Marketing | Moderator #Bizforum Twitter Debate
@jaypalter I would like to hope we're entering a "very disruptive phase." Not so sure. I believe that smaller players in financial services will innovate, take risks...and attempt more human-like engagement. We've seen it for years.
Then, they become successful. And then their shareholders force them into a position of more and more profit, which means less and less, well, human-like engagement. Or they get bought out by larger corporations and assimilated into the Borg.
Been here before. Sad, but true.
6 days, 17 hours ago on Trust, Humanizing, and Other Social Marketing Myths
@mpace101 I like "guru talk." I'm going to be stealing and re-purposing that line. :) Tweetable marketing is a by-product of the Klout-era, where marketers have sought higher engagement (tweets, retweets, fans/followers, likes/favorited tweets, etc.) in order to increase their ranking and ego.
And that, in turn, has created the buzzword bingo game, where we call each other out for using works that we see too often in those pithy one-liners.
Using buzzwords or one-liners is not a problem - when they're used right. And therein lies the problem. The desire to be retweeted has created improper use of words and distracts from those who use it right. Similarly, discussions and observations such as those shared by @bryankramer in his eBook get derailed because we can't see beyond those buzzwords.
1 week ago on Trust, Humanizing, and Other Social Marketing Myths
@jaypalter The financial services industry is another great example of brands that enjoy little goodwill or "trust" from consumers, yet (well here in Canada anyway) are making record-breaking profits year in and year out. Purchase decisions are made based on convenience mostly (closest location to home/work in the case of personal banking) or low rates (in the case of credit cards/mortgages, etc. )
Using bank managers, financial advisers, etc. to create the human relationship with customers is a great strategy, yet few empower those employees to do so. Those that do find their employees resistant because of the punitive nature of their social media policies and guidelines. A client of mine is one of the largest financial institutions in the world and in this case, financial and mortgage/lending advisers are independent, which makes humanizing the brand through staff next to impossible (the subject of my next post).
The reality is that the financial services industry has spent the last 20+ years divesting themselves of the personal touch by introducing online banking, automated teller machines, mobile banking, etc. There's less and less actual human-to-human touch points, which makes the need for social and digital communications that much more important.
I agree that using employees better is an excellent H2H strategy; however I'm not convinced that the stakeholders will invest it in given their actions the past 20 years.
@takanomi Yes, the "H2H movement" would be better served if the focus was placed on how to connect in a human way to customers in each industry - and what that looks like in each industry - as opposed to heralding their death.
@bryankramer We're all about the debate here Bryan! Wisdom is found in a healthy exchange of ideas.
1 week, 1 day ago on Trust, Humanizing, and Other Social Marketing Myths
@HarteArbeitErobertAlles Many thanks! Cheers
1 week, 5 days ago on Starbucks’ Tweetable Coffee Program is a Lesson in Real-Time Marketing
@Danny Brown Too bad there weren't people out there warning everyone that social scoring isn't really effective influence marketing - and that there was another way. ;)
3 weeks, 1 day ago on Why The Lithium Deal Highlights Klout’s Failings, But Is Good News for Influence Marketing
Social scoring is dead. I wish. I doubt it's gonna die because there will always be vanity in marketers...and there will always be companies out there - including the new Klout - that will want to profit from it. Not to mention marketers looking for shortcuts in this new 15-minutes of fame space. Instead of doing the work necessary to identify who really moves product and sales for their businesses and clients, Klout offers a way to justify marketers' jobs without having to work. In its own words, Klout added its new content aggregation service in response to its players constantly asking: "How do I increase my score?" The new service is not meant to support marketers do their jobs better, like Curata or other content services, but to help players better game the system. Social media is an industry built on ego and so there will always be scoring systems that feed on it. Let's just hope marketers will tire of it, realize that broadcasting is not influence, and that new methodologies and technologies now exist that will truly help identify who (measurably) helps them sell their products. The best we can hope is that social scoring platforms become marginalized, looked upon as the online game that they are so that marketers can move forward and do the right thing for their businesses/clients.
3 weeks, 2 days ago on Why The Lithium Deal Highlights Klout’s Failings, But Is Good News for Influence Marketing
@AmyMccTobin I agree that community management requires a knowledge of the entire business. I've often said that community managers must speak the "language of the business" and be as adept at accounting/operations as they are at sales/marketing. How else would they be able too properly liaise between the audience and all departments within the organization? That being said, no one is being trained for such a role. We need to start someplace. Social media management is a department, a coordinated effort - it's more than just one person. So we have to start with one base level of experience and train from there. Given the mob mentality of social media (http://www.senseimarketing.com/be-wary-of-social-medias-mob-mentality/), I still believe that the best person/skill set to lead that charge is those with proper RP training/accreditation.
3 weeks, 3 days ago on Why Your Social Media Team Should be PR Professionals
@DaveMurr I think we agree here. I'm not suggesting that social media teams should be only PR professionals but led by those with PR training. If I've not made that clear, my bad. Our belief is that social media is a cross-functional department and must liaise with//include all departments in a coordinated effort. One strategic plan is required for the entire organization: Customer Service, Marketing, Sales, etc.
Here, I'm sharing our experience that when we decided to appoint those with PR training and education to LEAD that team/effort, develop the communication strategy, and oversea the team, our results - and client satisfaction - increased dramatically.
@LinkedMedia I think we might be saying the same thing? The point is to not have to "mobilize a PR effort to counter or respond to an issue." My experience has been that social media teams led by (not exclusively comprised of PR people but led by) are able to: a) manage the conversation before issues arise and so that issues are less likely to arise
b) respond, in the correct fashion, to issues that arise in real time because of their unique crisis management and communication training and experience
This is not something that is exclusive to enterprise organizations. For example, while Sensei works for enterprise clients, we're a small business and this works for us.
Similarly, many enterprise clients still only allow budget for small (1-2 people) social media teams. As a result, we've chosen to employ people with Degrees in Communications and Public Relations to manage those accounts. Their experience and training has allowed us to deliver superior service with fewer people.
@amefano Many thanks for the recommendation!
3 weeks, 5 days ago on Influence Marketing: Six Months On
@AmyMccTobin Agreed, all businesses need to be prepared for potential firestorms; however, that's reactionary. I'm working on models where we can better predict the negativity - that's just waiting to pounce - and how we might manage campaigns to prevent it (or leverage it. :) ) It's not as easy as we'd like, but it's definitely starting to take shape, thanks to natural language processing.
3 weeks, 5 days ago on Be Wary of Social Media’s Mob Mentality
@remarkmarketing I am! I'm honored, excited, and humbled even. I'm gonna write a country song and start a book club, cuz you know, that's what we "experts" do.
3 weeks, 5 days ago on Influence, Ego, And The Mob Mentality
@JoannHarrison Just surf the net in the bathroom! It's more efficient. And safer.
3 weeks, 5 days ago on 12 Most Horrific Hours Leading Up To My Colonoscopy
@TheDaveReynolds Merci mon ami.
@Danny Brown That's a fair point mate; however, not sure that one person can make the case for the opposite. We can make the same case for the Red Cross's marketing guys (not PR) tweeting how they were "getting slizzard" with 4-bottle packs of Dogfish Head's Midas beer. Within any group there are whack jobs, poorly trained staff, and some that are just bad people.
The point is that with so many departments getting involved in social media, there needs to be better leadership AND coordination. All staff need media training today. PR firms give this to business executives and celebrities before they face the media and they need to step up and train all employees with a social media account - personal or business related - with the same knowledge and management. I'd argue that it's even more important to train (and manage) staff in media-relations when in social media than for executives in front of traditional media; the potential brand damage could me much worse as we've seen countless times lately.
Can marketers or marketing departments do this well? Of course. However, properly trained PR pros - in my experience - have the best existing training for creating, monitoring, and swaying buzz, media relations, crisis management, blogger outreach, etc.
1 month ago on Why Your Social Media Team Should be PR Professionals
@TrevorCherewka I have no issue with marketing automation. However, 90% of the time it's used incorrectly (that's based on my experience). Automation does make marketers lazy, much like CRMs make sales people lazy. Marketing automation can't be done well without human involvement, insight, and interpretation. Automation tools can trigger an engagement based on an action or series of actions taken by the consumer but then a human must take over. Here at Sensei, we've reconfigured the tools we deploy for our clients to initiate that conversation, but the second and third steps trigger the appropriate staff to take specific actions - not the software or the client - and to report back to the tool for analysis. The problem with marketing automation is that it tries to automate the customer experience, instead of managing the company's staff to improve it.
1 month ago on Do Marketers Need Email Marketing 101 – Again?
@Danny Brown @Frank_Strong Sad, but true. There are many inexperienced business professionals who eat this stuff up. And yes, eventually, they smarten up but often not after wasting a ton of money on these types of campaigns. What they miss is that such campaigns don't contribute positively to the life-time value of a customer, even if they drive up immediate hits and conversions. Customers earned through these types of campaigns are often not good long-term investments. You get what you pay for.
@Frank_Strong Sadly, "short-term, immediate response" is the underlying motivation for most marketers. And this is the result.