Marketers, pay attention. If the Wall Street Journal is picking up on this Web 2.0 stuff, you better be prepared to answer questions from your company’s executives.
The main points would make a good syllabus for an Internet Marketing 101 class:
- Don’t just talk at consumers, work with them throughout the marketing process
- Give consumers a reason to participate
- Listen to — and join — the conversation outside your site
- Resist the temptation to sell, sell, sell
- Don’t control, let it go
- Find a “marketing technopologist”
- Embrace experimentation
Lost in Translation
Increasingly, people in marketing departments all over the world are becoming more conversant with the “new marketing” opportunities on the internet. However, the value and urgency of these principles are often lost in translation when presented to senior management and executives who aren’t as in tune with the pace of innovation on the web. Learn to speak their language and avoid the most common mistakes.
The most common mistake I see within companies is putting tactics before strategies, and strategies before objectives. Meaning, if you are thinking of proposing some social media marketing tactics to your company’s CMO or CEO, you better be prepared to show how it will help accomplish the company’s stated objectives.
Strong tactical execution of social media marketing campaigns begins with clear objectives (the “why”) and high-level strategies (the “what”). No matter how technologically inept your boss or boss’s boss may be, they should be able to understand your objectives and strategies. The techno-geek details come out when you discuss tactics (the “how”).
But by this point they have bought into your objectives and strategies so they should have no problem signing off on your proposed tactics.
Also, be sure you understand your intended audience and how they interact online. Don’t assume that everything you create will be viewed as a “gift to the internet.” Detractors are always going to line up to bash corporate marketers, but be sure you are providing value and a positive user experience to the rest of your audience.
If you are having trouble understanding Web 2.0 marketing and/or communicating these principles to your senior management, consider bringing in an expert. Sometimes all that’s needed is a little 3rd party validation to convince the boss that you know what you are talking about.