Dump Your Social Media Strategy. It’s Not Customer Service

Social media is not a destination; it is an enabler of business strategy. In and of itself, social media will not drive customer satisfaction, robust collaboration, or revenue. It’s like putting a toy sailboat in a pond and huffing and puffing into the sail to make it go. It will go but randomly for it lacks a rudder..... Read the complete post on Forbes.

Buyer 3.0 (a.k.a. What Social Tells You About Buyers)

The klaxons are ringing in corporate halls. To use an old praise, someone “moved the cheese”.  Marketing programs are struggling to consistently produce qualified leads that convert; prospect conversations are more challenging; customer co-creation expectations are wreaking havoc on product roadmaps; and customer service has lost control as customers turn to social media and peer-groups for help.   What’s happening?  The adoption of social technologies moved the “cheese” and heralded in the arrival of Buyer 3.0.  

How CMOs can use Social Tactics to Outsell Sales

I'm presenting a session about embracing Buyers’ Journey during DemandCon, taking place in San Francisco during March 5-7, 2012. Click through to see more details...  

Big Thinkers, Wine, Lithium and the Perils of Social Change

The catalyst was a book launch of Lithium's  chief scientist Dr. Michael Wu.   The location was the Prospect Restaurant in San Francisco's trendy south of Market.  Invited was a veritable 'whos who' of social media bloggers and big thinkers. Walking to dinner after flying in from Austin, TX and being up since 2am, I thought this could be a great experience or one very long night if the room was full of people talking about social marketing tactics. I was hoping for the former as I wanted to share my experiences around the Buyers' Journey with others.  

Speaking about Buyers Journey at NAWBO Silicon Valley

Come join me on November 15th for dinner and a talk at 6pm to the NAWBO Expo about the Buyers Journey. Location is at the Biltmore Hotel & Suites, 2151 Laurelwood Road, Santa Clara, CA 95054. Growth in this economic rebound has a different set of rules: Markets are transparent, buying is social, products and services must be sticky, buyers place more importance on the lifetime experience than on the purchase, and they expect to realize value long before they purchase your solution. To grow in this new economy demands that companies adjust not only how they market and sell but drive faster revenue cycles.  

Tipping Business in the Right Direction

Our economic situation is a sum total of all the activities and perspectives of businesses, citizens, investors, and governments. What plagues our economy is the same thing that hampers growth in our companies – doing the same thing over and over again, yet expecting different results. Marshal Goldsmith said it well in his quote “What got you to here won’t get you there” and it is rather appropriate for our current situation. It would do us, and the economy, well if we gained some perspective for we are at a tipping point... Read the complete post on Forbes.

Tipping Business (and our Economy) toward Growth

Tipping Point The market’s response to the S&P downgrade of American debt was panic.  The ‘Great American Downgrade’ is what I’m hearing it being referred to.  While the pundits argue over whether it was a ‘crash’ or a ‘correction’, the Senate, ironically, debates opening an investigation into S&P’s “irresponsible” act.  The looming question of whether this will trigger a double dip recession depends on how we look at the future. A glass can be either half full or half empty; it all depends on your perspective.  In the frenetic world of 7x24 news, social media, always-connected jobs and maxi-multi-tasking lives we often lose perspective.   It is as if we’re racing through a forest as fast as we can, seeing only the blur of the trees and believing we’re on the right trail.  

Time to Pull Up Our Socks

Like most people, I have one eye on the debt ceiling and unemployment debate.  Sorting reality from spin and the juvenile drama reminds me of decades ago university student government meetings.  It's also reminiscent of some management team meetings where one spends enormous energy sorting the facts from all the hooey. What strikes me as troublesome is the colossal disconnect between the perspectives of government, companies and the general public. Their focus is telling of the disconnect: The next election cycle, next financial earnings report, and when the next set of bills are due.  The lack of common ground or shared goals between these three perspectives is undermining our future.  

Customer Acquisition is a Myth

The economy is working on rebounding and companies are gearing up.  Pipelines and revenues are heading north and hiring along with it.  But something in this rebound is different. For new sales hires, the expectation is that they join with a solid book of business and a pipeline already in hand; even for companies where the ramp time for sales people to achieve repeatable revenue productivity is six to nine months.  Same goes for marketers. Regardless of the market’s or company’s maturity or readiness the expectation of newly hired marketing leaders is that they produce a significant uptick in pipelines in 60 to 90 days, regardless of the capabilities or competence of marketing or sales. For many new hires, these are unrealistic and unachievable expectations.  Nevertheless, the message is loud and clear – growth comes only from net new customer acquisition.  

2011: Redux of 2010

Popular consensus was that 2011 would shape up to be a stronger economic year than 2010.  The rebound would be firmly established and, as a result, everyone had sugar plums of bigger budgets dancing in their heads.  But the facts paint a different story.