Marketing Fundamentals: Blocking and Tackling

Tackle
Image by Infadelic

People want to win marketing and PR accolades, but they don’t even know how to communicate on a basic level.

It’s a failure to block and tackle.

That’s the problem with today’s marketing discussion, and why so many CMOs struggle to integrate new digital media tactics into the larger communications mix: We have many practitioners and thought leaders who talk well about one tactic like inbound marketing, but are clueless when it comes to the dozens of other marketing tactics at a CMO’s disposal.
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Why You Need a Customer Experience Officer

RCMP smiles
Image by Eyesplash

Greg Verdino turned me on to a fantastic article about the rise of the Customer Experience Officer. The article rightly discusses the real trend of branding today — the comprehensive user experience.

By focusing on the comprehensive user experience, research shows brands strengthen return on investment (ROI).

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Marketing in the Round Infographic: The Tip of the Iceberg

Marketing in the Round Infographic

Today, Gini Dietrich and I launch Marketing in the Round in Chicago with a virtual (1 ET) U-Stream book bomb and a live (5 CT) networking event! Read Gini’s post here about how the book happened.

Immersed in the era of visual media, what better way to start the day than with an infographic of statistics used in the book (also available directly on Flickr and Scribd). The RAD Campaign designed infographic demonstrates how today’s online marketing conversation, actual business expenditures, and business selection of tactics are not in synch.

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What Comes First, Multichannel Integration or Social Business?

FUTURISTIC HOUSE by Architect Ephraim Henry Pavie
Image by ephy1

Most of the online hype about organizational social media adoption revolves around the “social business” craze. In my conversations, most businesses say they’re grappling with the multichannel integration into marketing. It begs the question, “What will come first, the full integration of social media into the marketing wheelhouse or the widespread rise of socially-enabled enterprises?”

Last January, we debated whether social business was BS or reality. It’s a good question, and one that’s still not fully answered in my mind.

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Six for Six

Day 71 - Dreidl Die
Image by slgckgc

Next Monday marks the six year anniversary of my first blog post. As I’m blogging less these days, I decided my final post of this year with six reflections based on my experiences over these years. Here are my observations about social media, blogging and marketing based on my journey:

1) The Idealism of Better Business Through Social

When I began blogging, I believed in The Cluetrain Manifesto. Its raw message that businesses would be forced to act better thanks to social media spoke to me. Cluetrain inspired hope that conversations could change the very fiber of business in favor of people. I was full of passion for that change, and my first book Now Is Gone reflected this idealism.

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Book Title Revealed: Marketing in the Round

Marketing in the Round by Geoff Livingston and Gini Dietrich

This post is co-written by G Squared (Gini Dietrich and Geoff Livingston).

Guess what?!?

We finally get to talk about our new book! We joked, early on, that it’s not nice to tell prolific bloggers they can’t write about what they’re writing about. It’s been a challenge, that’s for sure.

It’s time to let the cat out of the bag with our book now listed on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Special congratulations again to Gini, who is making her first appearance as a published author. Her post today on Spin Sucks discusses some of the feeling that comes with that.

Generally, Gini’s ability to market has been eye opening. She is stellar, and deserves to be one of the industry’s most renown marketers. I quibble that her name should be first on the jacket. While I have much of theory and strategy down, watching her do her thing on a daily basis has been impressive.

Integration of All Disciplines

Integration or multichannel marketing is an underlying topic within social media, but also one that CMOs are discussing greatly.
Not since the original dot com era have CMOs been under so much pressure to understand how new media integrate into the mix, and how all the parts work together.

There is a great need for information in multichannel marketing. As two practitioners who have successfully marketed in the social and mobile media realms, yet find our roots in the traditional public relations and advertising practices, we believe our book offers new insights into how to build a multichannel program that leverages the strengths of all disciplines, old and new.

A critical part of my thinking is the understanding that social media has arisen, and in many ways has plateaued. There are not many new insights to add to the incredibly thick lexicon of social media texts available in book stores.

A recent IBM study of 1,700 chief marketing officers has some interesting results. It found respondents:

  • Are facing a challenge trying to figure out how to integrate the growing number of new marketing channels and devices, from smart phones to tablets.
  • Fifty-six percent view social media as a key engagement channel.
  • Not since the original dot com era have they been under so much pressure to understand how new media integrate into the mix, and how all the parts work together.
  • Seventy-eight percent expect more complexity during the next five years, but only 48 percent are prepared to deal with it.

There is a great need for information and an understanding in multichannel marketing.

Move the Conversation Out of the Sand Box

When the book will be released next May, it will have been nine years since Robert Scoble began his tenure at Microsoft as a video blogger. It will have been more than five years since the launch of Twitter. And nearly six years since Facebook opened to anyone older than the age of 13.

The era of corporate (and general population usage of) social media has entered its maturation and evolutionary phase.

The challenge is no longer how to incorporate social into the marketing programs, but how to move social out of the sand box, and into a role that fits within larger marketing context. In some case it may not fit at all.

We find that role — an important one for grassroots and customer relations — is often overblown.

Consider most successful marketing programs are in actuality integrated using advertising, direct marketing, mobile, and/or PR with strong social components. Rare is the pure grassroots, or viral, hit.

Marketing in the Round

I remember back in the dot com era I moved from traditional media relations into a fully integrated offering at Stackig, an acquired company served as Monster Worldwide’s Washington, DC office.

During my four year tenure there, I had to learn advertising and recruitment principles in order to sell our integrated offering. We had everybody in the region on the client roster; UUNet, DoD, the CIA, AOL, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, MCI and on and on.

At this time, I had some great mentors, Victor Watts and Ellis Pines (a Leo Burnett veteran from the Marlboro Man era), who taught me about branding, advertising, and business development. To this day the ability to apply the lessons learned as a journalist turned PR pro turned marketer distinguish my social media campaigns.

Clients are not left in the dust of conversations without ROI or outcomes, nor are the objectives stand alone without value to the stakeholder. Further, dovetailing tactics is a signature, usually seen with an event, but there are other components.

Look at Give to the Max Day, what many dub as a social media fundraising success with $2 million raised. But many overlook the significant PR, advertising, event marketing, guerilla tactics, and more that went into that recipe.

Collectively as G Squared, our approach to integration is to use a roundtable concept…where all disciplines work together to break down the silos, do what’s best for company growth, and work together.

It may seem a bit naive if you haven’t yet tried it, but it works. G Squared have both been working with organizations to do precisely this for years.

The book has case studies of companies, non-profits, and other organizations who have been successfully integrating for years. It has exercises for creating your own marketing round. And it gives you all sorts of ideas, benefits, and risks for creating a strategic and integrated marketing round.

It’s not out until May (our final deadline is January 2 and we’re already two-thirds finished writing), but you can pre-order it now.