Social Media Strategy and Change

In an answer to a LinkedIn question about the definition of Social Media Strategy I answered that we accomodate constantly changing needs and embed them into our Social Media Strategy by defining Strategy as the point at the intersection of Goals, Metrics and Resources.

Flexible Social Media Strategy 

Typically Social Media ‘strategy’ focuses on selling though it is easy to apply Social Media investments to many corporate, profit or not-for profit, NGO or political places and spaces.  Regardless of the venue or business, once the Strategy target is set (Goal, Metrics, Resources) we create relationship maps of People, Process (work) and Content.

Once we determine strategic relationships we then consider Value outcomes of our Social Media Strategy.  Value is different than our Goals though it may also be included in our use of Metrics.  High quality customer relationships is an example of a Value.

Understanding how customers rank Value and then linking it back to our Strategy allows us to work with our next two elements; Content and Learning.

 
Content and Learning

Content takes customers or other value chain partners to the Value that we deliver and helps us learn and deliver learning across our value stream, including our customers. Innovation and market success depends on our ability to understanding learning requirements and deliver them as part of our Value.

Social Media Strategy is only as good as your ability to help people find the relationships they need between People, Work and Content. Learning supports the ability to innovate and ensure that the content is learned to the benefit of value chain partners and customers.

 
Social Media and the Social Graph

Silicon Valley insiders employ the concept of ‘Social Graph’ to Social Media evaluations though it is a ‘command and control’ concept where it is assumed that relationships are fixed. Twitter’s Resonance business model is much better as community members can create temporary relationships and with this we get to our ‘secret’ strategic ingredient–perspective.

We allow our customers or other value chain partners to take any perspective according to their needs. During one social interaction a person may look like one market segment and during another they may look like another–behaviour flexibility matter more than fixed market segments or social graphs where everything is a commodity.

Currently it appears that Twitter’s software platform offers better value faster and from multiple perspectives to community members and so our Strategy starts with Twitter though this may change.

Why do we start with software? It is easier to anchor customer presentations and compare value delivered by other Social Media platforms and advertising campaigns to Twitter’s software and Advertising Resonance model. It is a solid benchmark even if the client need takes us in a different direction whether we employ Social Media for marketing, advertising or deliver other value to value stream partners or even internally for innovation or manufacturing support.

Social Media Behaviours and Infrastructure Investments

Another hidden value offered by a good Social Media Strategy is the ability to understand shifting customer or market behaviours and helping infrastructure projects move forward profitably. Wireless providers typically have a long cycle for infrastructure investments, one which is longer than new product introductions and perhaps new customer behaviours that move from heavy voice use to heavy SMS and video use.

Part of all of our client Social Media Strategy analysis is linking current products and customer behaviours to infrastructure deployments. Once we understand markets are diverging from the value delivered during a deployment we map the new behaviours, hop back into the POS or BI warehouses to adjust demand models, compare anticipated demand to value delivered with future infrastructure and then hop back outside to tune marketing advertising to incent or dis-incent behaviours to align both as much as possible. This reduces both infrastructure and market risk and ideally our recommendation would be to provide contractual amendment suggestions so that suppliers might shift what they deliver to adjust event more. Baby steps first.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,
Nick

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Voice Battles Text in Search War

If Media is where the battle is then search are the weapons that determine the winners of the war.

Mobile phone interfaces have not reached the simplicity of voice and voice is where the battle for Media will be won.

Some voice search resources can be found but this is an old battle which we will detail in our brand war blog.

Cheers,

Nick www.neuropersona.com

Proximity Branding & Advertising

Proximity Branding is one way to spread the influence of your brand without spreading your branding budget.

Advertising dollars guided by a Persona perspective will permit targeting behaviours rather than clicks.

Why is this important?  Marketing and Advertising objectives and measures have changed drastically.

Cheers,

Nick www.neuropersona.com

why do customers buy?

There is a big problem out there as customers know how to use products better than manufacturers or suppliers.

Now that everyone is ‘cutting costs’ aka PEOPLE, manufacturers or suppliers know even less about why customers buy and how and when they would apply their products.

This is an amazing opportunity and why Scenario2 exists.

Cheers,

Nick www.scenario2.com

Press Releases and Future Success

Consultants often tell their clients to create press releases to represent their ‘desired future’ and then work backwards to the processes and events that must occur to achieve their  objectives.  This approach has two critical problems.

  1. Focusing on one ‘desired future’ can poison our behaviour today by limiting our perspectives rather than preparing us for multiple considerations of what may happen.
  2. Just like forecasting this simple approach fails more often than not as most companies don’t know their current state and their internal focus restricts their field of vision as to what may occur and hamper the analysis and actions needed to achieve their desired future state.

The Press Release technique is interesting but must build on accurate current state information and high quality future scenario analysis to frame press release content links to company stories, processes, software, brands and KPIs ( see the STORY LENS ) in a meaningful way.

Cheers,

Nick www.scenario2.com

FAST SCENARIO

A scenario is a bucket of stories that drives processes, stimulates creation of software, adds to brand value and spawns measures to help us adapt to future changes in the world as we see it today.  Think of a scenario as a number of vignettes about the future and we use them to help guide what we do and when.

Ideally we use two or three different future scenarios to prepare ourselves for different possible futures, to minimize our risk of failure or minimize our risk of NOT SUCCEEDING or exploit future scenario opportunities.

Accountants use scenarios daily.  Forecasts are the intersection point of Accountants, numbers and stories, but sadly they forget the stories behind the numbers and manipulate numbers without considering that story relationships are far different than adding or subtracting, more or less flexible or just plan inexplicable.  Scenarios are not sensitivity analysis (sales up and expenses down) or workflows (if I do this then should I do that) or tools to create web sites (if a buyer goes there they press this button) but rather a bucket of stories, pure and simple. 

For a FAST SCENARIO create a folder, digital or physical, and cut and place stories into the folder.  When finished read the stories to see which internal process, software, brands or measures are affected by the stories.  This perspective is reflected in a simple but powerful tool, the STORY LENS.

Once we understand the stories in the folder or bucket and their relationships to each other we get a clearer understanding of the current state of the business.  We finish the scenario by simply fast forwarding the stories and processes from our new understanding of current state.  We are here now and we expect to be ‘there’ or where the scenario takes us in the time that is of interest to us.

A FAST SCENARIO tells us where we might go and allows us to understand how to prepare.  The hidden value of a FAST SCENARIO is understanding where we are today or our current business state. 

Most companies are very good at understanding where they want to go and forecasting.  Where they fail is understanding their current state as no matter how good their forecasting is, they will not reach their goal as they almost always start from a different place.

Cheers,

Nick www.scenario2.com

Persona Expertise

Scenario2 was created to illustrate the value of multiple perspectives and this post will explore the practical value of shifting from a Persona Marketing perspective to a Persona Expertise perspective.

Persona marketing is about aligning a value proposition linked to a service or product to the value desired or required by buyers, either today or in the future.  We use Persona masks to illuminate and even anticipate Buyer behaviour and ensure that we meet our strategic objectives of service or profit or other.

When we shift perspectives from a value proposition, product or service to expertise, a Persona helps us accomplish some very valuable objectives including supporting Innovation and adapting to a hostile commercial environment rife with Mergers, Acquisitions and drastic business change.

I posted this at http://neuropersona.wordpress.com and it highlights how the Persona construct can be used many ways in addition to simply persona marketing.  Expertise is a brilliant opportunity for those who need tools and techniques to adapt and thrive in challenging times–here is the post.

http://neuropersona.wordpress.com/persona-marketing-innovation-and-stories/

Persona Marketing, Innovation and Stories

This place should be used to exchange Persona ideas and think about how to best serve customers so that we are all more successful in our business day. The ideas can be simple or complex and links to your website or other sources are welcome.

The first idea here is Persona or a mask that people can wear or remove. The mask is made up of stories and processes to provide a unique perspective to those who wear it.

Marketers are served by using a Persona perspective as it helps them remember that people change quickly and for their own reasons. Different people can also act the same way regardless of which marketing label attached to them.

The second idea is that success with customers requires a product or service to be matched to what they want or need today, not what we believe they bought yesterday. Combine this with a Persona and we have started to create measures and perspectives that will help us succeed.

The third idea is the Story Lens which is described on my Scenario2 website.

Stories are the core of who we are and what we will accomplish–Tell a Story twice and it is a Process, tell it again and Software is written to accelerate processes, tell it again and Brand Value is created and tell it again and a measure is created.

The fourth idea is the concept of Creativity being the core of Innovation and that Innovation only happens when Creativity is supported by Processes. If a company cannot support Creativity with old or new processes Innovation doesn’t happen regardless of how many brilliant ideas you document. Creativity is simple and implies that something is created, not just more ink on paper.

Now let’s put all four ideas together and look at them from a business perspective and consider this question.

How do we Innovate in an environment where we have severe business stress, mergers acquisitions and most companies are cautious or worse?

Let’s start with Creativity and think about it in a way that applies to other business change as once we know where we are and understand where we want to go then why we decided to change doesn’t matter anymore. We just do it!

Creativity requires the support of processes to manifest value from ideas and it is easier if we understand the skills of the people we work with everyday. My suggestion is to think about what people can do and when I do it formally with an inventory I call it a PEP or Persona Expertise Program where I substitute expertise for product when I describe how I think about Persona.

Persona Expertise Programs or PEPs can be used to inventory the expertise elements across a company and its value chain to understand what is available to manifest innovation value from creativity.

Think of a Persona Expert as an ideal combination of process expertise needed to manifest value from creative inputs. We employ the concept of a Persona Expert to identify where the expertise needed to perform the new processes resides.

Once we know the combination of experts needed to transfer expertise identified with the Persona we might help the client with setting up processes to transfer that expertise to the people tasked with the new processes–EAT. Expertise Acquisition & Transfer.

Cheers,

Nick

 

What marketers don’t want you to know about Persona Behaviour!

Marketing is an interesting profession, a mixture of art and science like any other, full of different ideas.

One of the core ideas of marketing, the concept of market segmentation, is also the most dangerous.  Marketers don’t want you to know that segmentation does not matter, behaviours matter.  The simple story of two newlywed couples illustrates this clearly.  The first couple in their early thirties get married, buy a condo, fridge and stove.  Another couple, both recently divorced, get married, buy a condo, fridge and stove.

Conventional market segmentation would have missed one couple, and depending on the market where they bought their condo, probably both.

Observing Persona Behaviour and simply giving the couples a chance to declare their intention directly or indirectly and allows you to serve both.

Do you have any stories about Marketing Myths?

Shape your Future!

The future is the intersection of people and stories and we can wait to see what the future brings or shape it ourselves!

 

 We create our future and how we influence our future by understanding stories interests me personally.  Scenario2 offers a commercial prospective on tools and techniques that link numbers and stories to inform and help us shape our future including a unique look at Personae Behaviour .

“I WANT IT!” are three simple words that drive markets and understanding them helps us understand “WHY WE BUY”.

When it comes to buying and selling, we follow the money and multiple buyer perspectives including computer buyers, music buyers, current or potential suppliers or potential investors.  Apple is a brilliant example of ‘follow the money’ for success. 

 A change in a story related to Apple and one or more of the “I WANT IT!” perspectives would impact the way the Story Lens is perceived. If a new laptop with enhanced capabilities be introduced with a press release or story then current or new Apple customers think about how it affects them. Does the new product make it easier? Could they buy more powerful software? Will I look silly because I bought the old model yesterday? Will the talk about the Apple brand differently or will they look at their old Apple product differently?

Point the Story Lens at Apple to see the impact of new stories.

If Apple buys new Enterprise software that costs millions of dollars there would be an impact across Apple’s Story Lens. New software causes internal processes to change and impacts customers directly as would happen if a new shopping basket was added on the Apple web site and possibly require customers to pause and learn another way to buy. The software purchase requires new ways to measure productivity to ensure its effective use and value to Apple, Apple customers shareholders and eventually the Apple Brand and stock values.

 If we need to work with stories at a deeper level consider how storytellers evolve from hearing a story, repeating a story, changing a story, crafting a story to living a story.

 Stories create value, good or bad, that can be attached to products, processes, people, places and time.

Stories are my currency.

Cheers,

Nick

Who creates your future?