Social Media Leadership, HP and Cisco

I would like to share with you three old articles (actually two articles and a video) that I find inspirational for Social Media Marketing.

The first one from Mike Mendelhall (HP CMO) draws the picture of what the future of marketing is with the death of campaigns, networks and intermediaries (“why do I need others”) and the imperative for companies to understand, manage and nurture what Mike calls brand’s customer eco-system.

I would add that with consumer thriving for transparency and authenticity and with social responsibility and eco-friendliness becoming critical factors for consumer choice,  brands have an even greater push to engage directly with communities using their people and culture as their primary advocates.

The second is the interview from J Chambers for Fast Company. I love the “co-labor” word that he has coined.

The third one calls for investing in people, rather than campaigns.

To me, it’s even better to invest in people and organisation/process/tools  (disclaimer – we sell software for social marketing) so as to lower dependence on gurus and truly transform a brand’s understanding of its social eco-system into a company asset.

If these people are right, and I think they are, this calls for a radical change in the way companies organize for marketing and execute it.

When Mr X, a Security marketer at IBM comments on Miss Y’s blog – an analyst in the IT sector – or react on Mr Z’s tweet – an IT director at Ford – this touches on many of core marketing processes that, before web2.0, were compartmented:

  • customer research, customer feedback
  • branding
  • product development with potential crowd sourcing of ideas
  • PR
  • and even SEO if he ends up linking his IBM branded blog with any of these friendly bloggers.

If the entire product team at IBM collaborates with the community of experts in IT Security, they could even get market research or competitive analysis, build focus group, identify potential affiliates and so on.

And moreover, they will get all this from people they know and trust and for a fraction of what they would pay today for this information or for this result.

That sounds like a paradigm shift. Not yet there but coming.

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