Friday, January 8, 2010

Making and Measuring the Business Case for Social Media Marketing in 2010

Social media marketing is here to stay and, is gaining ground these days. The New Year will see a continuing increase in the use of social media marketing tactics and strategies. One of the frequent questions I hear about social media marketing from a variety of sources is how do you measure its effectiveness?

Demand Metric has developed several tools designed to do exactly this. Whether you are a marketing person trying to develop a business case to implement or expand your social media strategy, a business owner attempting to put together a RFP for social media consulting or, a marketing executive trying to develop a job description for a social media marketing manager, they have developed the time saving tools specifically for you.

 I really like the Social Media Readiness Assessment. It is an already prepared Excel spreadsheet with five tabs, instructions, weighting, self assessment, results and, recommendations. The formula’s are built in so that all you have to do is put in your evaluations on a scale of 1-5 and it will flow from tab to tab. It makes a series of statements like;” Senior Management is interested in leveraging Social Media as a new marketing channel.” You then can score that statement on the 1-5 scale 1 being strongly disagree to 5 being strongly agree. The recommendation tab gives actionable solutions to improving the score in a specific area. For example, if senior management is found to be not interested in leveraging social media then the recommendation is to “obtain survey results to help analyze senior management’s lack of social media sponsorship.”

The following is a list of the types of social media metric tools that they have available:
  • Social Media Business Case Template
  • Social Media Channel Map
  • Social Media Posting Schedule
  • Social Media Strategy Scorecard
  • Social Media Policy and Guidelines Template
They have more than these few and they also have how to guides and other templates.

These templates are another indication of the growing interest in social media marketing within all businesses today. I know that these templates and tools are developed because one of their clients had a need for it. This points to the fact that more and more companies are pursuing social media marketing. Once the templates are built, they can be rebranded and used by a variety of companies. These templates are available for a reasonably priced annual subscription and member clients have access to all of the templates and tools they have developed and the number is well over 250 and growing.
I appreciate any comments or questions so feel free to interact or email me. I will get back to you for sure.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Examine your marketing strategies for 2010; Excellent food for thought!

Marketing should be the focus of everything you do in 2010. In fact, it should be the focus of everything you do in your business all the time. Properly done, marketing is a fine tuned cycle that perpetuates your revenue. I am amazed when ever I find small business people and entrepreneurs that do not see the value of marketing and, all too often it seems to me that many see it as advertising and sales only. This is not the case. Marketing should be the focus of every business action you take.

Target Customer and Product/Services Research

Ongoing research of prospective customers, clients and potential products or services is paramount to business success. You should be testing and researching all the time. One of the best ways is to ask questions of your current customer base or clientele. You would be surprised what current customers will tell you and how much value it has for marketing your business. You can find new products or services to offer by using this kind of research. Also, you can find how to position your product or service by researching your competition. Find something that they are not doing or offering that you can do or offer and differentiate on that. 2010 is the perfect year to begin this project.

Product or Service Development, Packaging and Pricing

You should always be on the lookout for products or services that you can offer. This can be an important part of your market research. You can bundle services together at a reduced price to offer special packages for your customers. This is as much a part of the marketing process as advertising and yet, so often people only think of advertising strategies w they think of marketing. This kind of research can be done with your existing customers. They can be very helpful in helping you decide packaging and pricing. How will this affect your overall business and revenue in 2010?

Advertising Promotion and PR

Advertising is a place where companies can give much thought to the strategies and tactics that will be used this year. What has worked in the past and is there an apparent change in how it is working? These are a couple of key questions that business owners and entrepreneurs should be asking this year. Is this perhaps the time to either begin or increase social media marketing? Is this the year to start a corporate or business blog? What about using LinkedIn face book and twitter? This is a great time to begin to strategize concerning social media.

Sales and Distribution

How will sales and distribution differ if at all this year? Is this the year to build a new website or, to increase SEO on a current website? Are you planning to expand your bricks and mortar location? Would this be a good year to start developing channel partners? The list goes on and on.

Customer Service

Last but not least, in this new year, re-commit to your high standard or, improve your customer service. Remember, it costs a lot more money to acquire a new client or customer than it does to keep one you already have.  Think about ways that you can improve your customer service in the upcoming year and make sure that you stay on top of the marketing cycle, taking in all of its facets.