Having spent many years as an I.T. manager I understand tecky speak, ie: the language of the computer bod. I understand their processes, their terminology and their aspirations to make our world faster, quicker, smarter and leaner.
I understand the importance of the latest concepts and am even interested in discussing them and researching the ones that hit my eye.
BUT, having moved from the realm of IT provider to now IT consumer, as a superior Interior Designer, I appreciate that not everyone is as fortunate as me.
This and subsequent blogs are my way of helping non-IT people to understand some of the important technical advancements that are in the marketplace today.
I want you to appreciate the latest tools and concepts from a corporate perspective, whether you’re a Startup business, Sole Trader or an Old Dog of an organisation that wants to ‘get with the groove’.
I’ve used the analogy of a horse in a race because we’re all trying to achieve optimum performance in business to attract the customer’s attention.
To understand social networking and where it ‘fits’ with you and your organisation, you firstly have to understand the component parts:
- The Horse = You, the end user
- The Jockey = Social Networking
- The Trainer = Technology tools and strategies, including Website
- The Race = Your market segment
- The Winning Post = The Customer
Today I’m explaining THE HORSE
You need to recognise where you are and where you’d like to be. You also need to recognise your client’s viewpoint and then appreciate their expectations of you.
WHAT TYPE OF HORSE ARE YOU?
Are you happy plodding along in life resembling one of the donkeys on Blackpool Pleasure Beach?
The reliable donkey serves the customer all day and brings a smile to their faces. BUT, they do the same thing day in and day out strolling up and down the beach. They see the same things day in and day out strolling up and down the beach. They offer the same service day in and day out strolling up and down the beach.
A reliable donkey:
- uses social networking from a personal perspective
- perceive their customer doesn’t use social networking, eg: construction industry
- links to their friends, family and customer’s through e-mail
- has a personal Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/) or MySpace (http://www.myspace.com/) account
- put together a personal video on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/). We love the ‘Evolution of Dance’, it’s hilarious!
- has a company Website that’s in development… it’s nearly finished!
The donkey hasn’t grasped the nuances of using social networking from a corporate perspective and they don’t understand the power of social networking.
They aren’t aware how social networking can help strengthen and grow their personal profile or their corporate brand.
(2) HORSE IN FIELD
Are you standing proud in a field waiting for that opportunist passer-by dangling a juicy, crunchy carrot? Or maybe you’re having a good old run around the field and leaping over jumps?
The horse in the field is aware of its surroundings and its environment as it moves around the field and interacts with items in the field as well as passers by. BUT, it has no goal and no real purpose in its day – apart from rest, eat and play!
Busily working on the job in hand, this horse keeps a lookout for passing trade; it relies on the passer-by (the customer) to take time out and visit the field.
A horse in the field:
- uses social networking from a personal perspective as well as from a corporate perspective – BUT – updates are sporadic.
- appreciates their customer uses social networking BUT not sure how to connect with them on a regular basis
- links to their friends, family and customer’s through e-mail. Has a corporate Newsletter BUT the frequency is erratic
- has a corporate Fan Page on Facebook BUT has no fan page friends L
- is on a business networking site, eg: LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/) BUT doesn’t update their status regularly or make new connections frequently. Their profile is less than complete
- hasn’t considered the realm of video as a corporate marketing medium
- has a corporate Website BUT it hasn’t been changed since it was created
- has a corporate BLOG that’s updated “when time allows!”
They understand that they ‘should be doing something more’ with social networking but they don’t appreciate how to incorporate it into their daily lives, and anyway “it takes too much time!”
Unfortunately, its head down and squirrel away as they “have no time” for anything else.
This horse is aware that social networking is important and they have started using it, but they haven’t grasped the underlying principles and techniques of incorporating it into a marketing strategy and daily life.
(3) RED RUM
Perhaps you’re a thoroughbred and trained to perfection, the highest specification?
Every day you’re exercised to a specific routine, fed with calculated nutrients and rested for revitalization. This is the horse that has all the skills to WIN THE RACE. It has the knowledge, expertise and experience to succeed.
It’s been taught by a high profile trainer that’s supported by an experienced jockey.
When Red Rum walks up to the starting line, everyone can see it’s breeding as every inch of its muscles flex and poise in anticipation and excitement.
- frequently uses and updates social networking from a corporate perspective
- appreciates their customer uses social networking and connects with their 5 senses and key drivers
- publishes a frequent, informative and exciting Newsletter
- has a corporate Fan Page on Facebook and encourages friends, family, colleagues and customer to link to it
- is on a business networking site, eg: LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/). Has a complete profile, regular status updates and quality recommendations
- produces corporate videos. We love Evian’s roller skating babies on YouTube
- has a corporate Website that’s updated to reflect a strong company brand and links to social networking sites
- has a corporate BLOG that’s updated frequently
- has social networking incorporated into their marketing strategy
The Red Rum horse not only understands social networking but it also recognises its power and potential to grow the business, strengthen the brand and get their name out to their customers.
This horse recognises how social networking can make it stronger and leaner…THE WINNER.
Now it’s time for you to analyse the following:
- WHAT TYPE OF HORSE ARE YOU?
- WHAT TYPE OF HORSE DO YOU WANT TO BE?
- WHAT TYPE OF HORSE DOES YOUR CLIENT EXPECT YOU TO BE?
- DO YOU WANT TO MEET OR EXCEED YOUR CLIENT’S EXPECTATIONS?
Why not log your vote on my latest LinkedIn Poll: What Type of Horse are You? http://polls.linkedin.com/p/66011/mkkmp It would be interesting to see where everyone is at the moment and then take another checkpoint next year.
DEALING WITH ANOMALIES
1) If you’re a donkey and your customer expects you to be Red Rum
How are you going to meet their high expectations and give them the confidence that you can undertake the work successfully?
One solution would be to use social networking, particularly Blogs, to showcase your extensive knowledge, previous experience and professionalism.
2) If you’re Red Rum and your customer expects you to be a Donkey
How are you going to interact with your customer without making them feel alienated or belittled?
Again, you could use social networking to talk and connect with them in THEIR language, eg: if they love the cinema - present them with a YouTube video, and if they love reading - present them with a Blog.
3) If you’re a horse in a field and the client expects you to be Red Rum, or even sees you as a Donkey!
Social networking can help to adjust the client’s viewpoint of you and your company. It provides the client with snippets of additional information about you and your work. Your social networking is designed to showcase you and your brand.
Social networking is a fabulous marketing tool – that’s why I call it:
With social marketing you can build your brand and the awareness of who you are and what you do in a multitude of ways, from the formal to the informal.
We use social marketing to connect with our customers because it’s a personal connection that creates trust which leads to the potential for a partnership and working together.
In my next posting, I’ll discuss SOCIAL MARKETING….HOW GOOD IS YOUR JOCKEY.
LET’S WIN THE RACE TOGETHER
Remember to log your vote on my latest LinkedIn Poll: What Type of Horse are You? http://polls.linkedin.com/p/66011/mkkmp
I’d also love to hear your personal stories and understand how you’re taking on board social networking.
CONTACT ME TODAY:
CREATIVE INTERIOR DESIGNER
Tel: 07841 519802