The future of business is really quite simple, pay attention. I’ve been writing and talking about this secret sauce for a few years now, and it seems that most businesses are missing the point. We will spend thousands, no, millions on traditional advertising, because there is a perception that it works. It some cases it still does, but the world has gone into a state of flux, it’s not paying attention to traditional ways of advertising like it used to. Today, you have to pay attention, but not in a the way you think.
For years, OK the last 300 years it seems, we could merely hang a shingle, yell from a soap box, run an ad on Radio or Newspaper, and get the kind of attention we wanted. That’s true, but something has changed hasn’t it? We are no longer within ear shot of those types of ads anymore, we’ve been driven indoors by technology, we don’t get out much like we used to.
Social Networks have become the new place to hangout, it’s where everyone is spending their time, their money, and it’s where they share almost everything their lives. The new advertising model is sharing, and we don’t have to pay for it! So how does one get found, get the attention one needs to generate revenue, or a living. It’s simple, you have to pay attention. You have to pay attention to what is being shared, what is being said.
There’s only one way to do this, grow bigger ears! Learn how to listen, pay attention and look for the buying signals. It’s what we do in traditional sales, why are you looking for something different? The process is the same, it’s the tools that have changed. Because the tools have changed, the world is suddenly confused, and isn’t sure what to do.
Money is being left on the table because most have yet to learn the new tools, haven’t taken the time to use them, and or taken the time to harness the power of growing bigger ears. Many business owners still haven’t bought into the power of listening in Social Networks, there is a huge misunderstanding of what’s happening in these networks. But if you pay attention long enough, and are looking for the right signals (keywords), you can add thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars to your bottom line. So far, it hasn’t happened, at least not in my area, the world is still waiting for something, waiting for something to happen so business owners don’y have to do anything. They are looking for the next radio & Television, the next newspaper, well…..it’s not coming, you will have to do something to find the fore mention dollars that are waiting for you.
I shared an example of what I meant a couple blog post’s ago, the example is me, with 20 thousand in hand, no one was paying attention to me as I shared on social networks. I shared what I was looking for, I am doing improvements to my home, bought a new fridge, and I’m still not done…but no one, not one business was listening, so they missed out on making that money. In fact, 5 other people in my circle of friends are doing the same thing, imagine, 100k at your finger tips and you missed it, you weren’t paying attention.
This is the new way of finding customers, you must be paying attention by growing bigger ears, by listening. This is where the people are, online, waiting, searching, and buying products and services, every hour of the day. Business owners, the future of business is…..pay attention.
Change is hard, for some it’s very uncomfortable, and for the mainstream it’s almost impossible, so it seems. Change is inevitable, it is happening with every minute of the day, how you chose to respond to that change determines it’s value. Like ambiguity, change too must be embraced in order for progress to really take hold. I know you know this, I know you understand it and that’s why this environment welcomes those who truely understand it.
Mainstream media, mainstream big business and the businesses that support them, still don’t see what’s coming and it’s coming quickly. Wall street, the Music Industry, Newspapers, Television Media, are stuck in the mainstream, they don’t know how to make the shift to this new economic model called Open & Free. Amber Naslund ranted about how there is an entitlement to free stuff, I agree with her, I’m all for getting paid and we should be if we are providing something of real value. Unfortunately, the world is filled with many looking for a shortcut, looking for a way to take advantage of others and not pay for what they take. But today, we the people get to decide what is important to us, no longer will we be convinced that products, services and information are important. Unethical Internet Marketers, traditional marketing and subliminal messages raise the BS Meter to new levels and become very suspicious. The pay first and and access second model is breaking down rapidly, no longer to be tolerated, and will all but disappear in the next 3 – 5 years when the rest of the world gets here online. There will be 5 Billion people here in the next 5 years and they won’t pay first, and you won’t be able to make them. They will find ways to get what they want, much like we do today, music, movies and information is being copied at will and that’s what the fight is all about. What you may not see is that the money is moving from the selling of copy, to the selling of experience.
Keeping content, products and services behind walls is a losing model, and is a bad experience, the end of control is shaping up everywhere. With Newspaper’s forcing you to buy access to content, record labels unwilling to move on their position and flexing the control muscle, they are in for a rude awakening. Mainstream Media & Mainstream Business must find ways to make this shift, find ways to monetize around product and service. Rather than fight with everyone and try to maintain the current Copyright Model, try working with the stakeholders and content providers. Create interesting ways to replace the Copyright Gridlock we are in with collective agreements where everyone wins. Much of what we know must be unlearned and new creative ways to allow for everyone to participate in a global economy where the content makers do indeed get paid. The Open & Free Business Model allows for this and also brings a hotbed of creativity that builds trust, relationships and attention.
Silicon Valley has the same issues, it is very much an incubator, it doesn’t really integrate with the rest of the world, they talk a different language, and it feeds on itself and funds itself. Sounds cold and harsh but let’s be honest, they are light years away from most of us but still have to share the same space. We need them to be weird and innovative for the rest of the world, but they also seem disconnected at times, it’s a day time soap at times. It’s like being the Nerd in grade school again, everyone looks at you funny because you talk funny and wear a pocket protector.
Mainstream being stuck in the mainstream has a silver lining, it means we get to be creative and help them get unstuck. Unfortunately, today they are fighting against us and the world, and want to maintain control, it’s a losing battle I’m afraid. They aren’t listening now, but they will, musicians and the like are banding together all over the world as messengers. It might appear mainstream media has the upper hand, but it will be short lived. I try to advocate working together, bring awareness, and help build the future in an Open & Free Business Model, a place where everyone (YOU) wins.
Are you ready? How do you feel about an Open & Free Business Model? Do you think Mainstream is stuck in the Mainstream?
I’ve been thinking about how much time a person or company should spend on Marketing / Promoting their Blog. Is everything you do on your Blog considered Marketing and or Promoting? I mean everyday you do things like branding, PR, adding content and making sure your name (company name / brand) is everywhere. Is there ever a time when marketing what you sell or do is too much marketing? I can’t imagine an executive ever saying we are advertising to much, we have our name out there too much we have saturated the marketplace with our Brand. If you do have someone like that, he or she probably won’t be there very long. I would rather have the problem of too much business and too much awareness than not enough.
Some of the tasks involved in marketing & PR today are changing subtly, because the rules are changing, now that Social Media has become mainstream you can’t just set it and leave it. You have to listen more than you do anything in todays new marketing environment. So, how much time should you spend listening? More than you are probably willing to spend time doing I’ll bet. If you aren’t willing to listen, how will you know what to do? How will you know when to do it?
So I keep asking myself, how much time should I spend doing PR & Marketing my blog? I think you should invest more time listening and then figuring out how you can solve what you just heard that day. So, do you market your blog everyday? How much time do you alot for that task?
Do you promote your blog everyday? I would love your input so please leave a comment below.
This question has been nagging at me these past few weeks like I was being pecked to death by a chicken, could it be that these words are not computing with local business owners? It’s like your smallest child learning how to read an can’t pronounce a word, they end up creating a new word because they can’t say what they are reading. No it’s not a learning disability, it’s an understanding of what those words actually mean and how to use it in this new age and environment of marketing. It’s changed, or has it? Anytime you have the word ” Social ” attached to a phrase or sentence, people think less formal, beach party, BBQ or relaxing on the deck with friends. Yes, that is a form of being social and it is somewhat related to the term in business circles as well. The problem isn’t the word, it’s the thinking that is attached to the words, and small business owners can’t seem to break how they feel or think about the word. It’s not that they can’t, they just don’t know how and it’s embarrassing enough that they won’t ask for help on the topic for fear of looking stupid. I mean come on, it’s the words ” Social Media ” how could I not know what that means! So rather than find out, they think, let’s not go there and or I’ll avoid the conversation all together. Worse yet, I’ll ask my kids. Small to medium business, all business for that matter needs to educate themselves on the tidal wave before them and how to ride that wave without being wiped out.
In my corner of the world here in Western Canada, a very small group of people participate in the formal sense of the words social media. This group is comprised of mostly people from chat rooms or FaceBook and the like, not a many are business owners trying to add this environment into their marketing mix or even their support systems. I say this because I’ve been coming up against this lack of understanding everyday and this uncomfortable feeling when you try to share with them, to help them understand what it is or could be for their business. It’s like the words Social Media aren’t even in their vocabulary or business language, it’s completely missing, and if it is there, it’s a picture of people standing around a water cooler. So in light of that, I am posting the Wiki definition of Social Media here for all the world to see.
Social Media Definition
Social media is online content created by people using highly accessible and scalable publishing technologies. At its most basic sense, social media is a shift in how people discover, read and share news, information and content. It’s a fusion of sociology and technology, transforming monologues (one to many) into dialogues (many to many) and is the democratization of information, transforming people from content readers into publishers. Social media has become extremely popular because it allows people to connect in the online world to form relationships for personal, political and business use.
Distinction from Industrial Media
Social media are distinct from industrial media, such as newspapers, television, and film. While social media are relatively inexpensive and accessible tools that enable anyone (even private individuals) to publish or access information, industrial media generally require significant resources to publish information. Examples of industrial media issues include a printing press or a government-granted spectrum license.
“Industrial media” are commonly referred to as “traditional”, “broadcast” or “mass” media.
One characteristic shared by both social media and industrial media is the capability to reach small or large audiences; for example, either a blog post or a television show may reach zero people or millions of people. The properties that help describe the differences between social media and industrial media depend on the study. Some of these properties are:
1. Reach – both industrial and social media technologies provide scale and enable anyone to reach a global audience.
2. Accessibility – the means of production for industrial media are typically owned privately or by government; social media tools are generally available to anyone at little or no cost.
3. Usability – industrial media production typically requires specialized skills and training. Most social media do not, or in some cases reinvent skills, so anyone can operate the means of production.
4. Recency – the time lag between communications produced by industrial media can be long (days, weeks, or even months) compared to social media (which can be capable of virtually instantaneous responses; only the participants determine any delay in response). As industrial media are currently adopting social media tools, this feature may well not be distinctive anymore in some time.
5. Permanence – industrial media, once created, cannot be altered (once a magazine article is printed and distributed changes cannot be made to that same article) whereas social media can be altered almost instantaneously by comments or editing.
Community media constitute an interesting hybrid of industrial and social media. Though community-owned, some community radios, TV and newspapers are run by professionals and some by amateurs. They use both social and industrial media frameworks.
Here is the link from the above: Social Media Definition
The real issue isn’t what the words mean, it’s how a consultant or media firm explains them, provides a case study that reflects that a business can derive an ROI from Social Media. Thus, giving the term value and a new way of marketing and communicating with their customers, by building a deeper, richer relationship that builds a new kind of loyalty. More importantly it provides a forum where you the business owners actually cares about what your clientele think about your products and services. A place where you can give them and even better experience of dealing with you.
Another challenge for these words and business owner’s; there are people out there claiming to be knowledgeable and understand social media that just plain don’t. These individuals land high positions in large organizations, they get the position and then scramble around to figure out how to do the job when they have no business being there in the first place. A great rant on this topic is from my friend Olivier Blanchard of The Brand Builder, his video entitled, “Is your Social Media Director qualified?”, it articulates far better than I Olivier’s frustration and concern with these individuals in one short video. Take the time to view it.
As you can tell there is alot of work to be done, an educational track that needs to be articulated in a way that business owners can connect the dots, connect the words to a real opportunity and value they have not considered before. Each business owner needs to bone up and learn that the term Social Media is a new marketing environment but also a relationship they have avoided in the past. You can no longer avoid it because it is the new word of mouth, it can be your best friend or your worst enemy. You have to decide which it will be.
The topic of ROI is not a new one but it remains to be a stumbling block for most in the Social Media Marketing field. The problem isn’t that an ROI can’t be derived, the challenge is, most are using old ways & thinking to get to that ROI place in an environment that requires you to think differently. Using old practices does not help you get there because the rules have shifted yet once again.
I got into it with a few people on Twitter over the weekend, @CreativeWisdom @kriscolvin, @mackcollier, @thebrandbuilder and @virtualcfo. We bantered back and forth sharing our views, recognizing we could get there with similar but slightly different metrics. My conversation started with Kris & Mack, we actually started with the Quantity vs Quality of Twitter Followers topic and then we moved onto the ROI question. Then Olivier jumped in along with Leah & Scot. There is a distinct difference between ROI & Impact according to Olivier Blanchard (@thebrandbuilder), his definition is interesting and reasonable I think. He states, eyeballs are not ROI, Impact is not ROI, ROI can’t be calculated with an equation. In one of Olivier’s video’s I was able to relate to him because of my 15 years in Radio & Television, he uses F.R.Y. (Frequency, Reach, Yield) as a way to get to an ROI.
Scot Justice made this statement, “You can capture cost of Social Media by implementing a procedure where every prospect is asked about a blog then Calculate SM$ per impression then ROI”. That is an old school way of tracking and has some merit, we used a similar system in Radio to track campaigns, I would like to hear Kris & Olivier’s perspective on his theory. Talk about a hot topic with some very talented and passionate people, this would make a great panel on Owen Greaves LIVE! (I’m working on it).
I do recommend you visit each one’s website or Blog and see what they are doing and how they are doing it, contact them and ask the questions, I’ve listed them for you:
2.) Kris Colvin
3.) Scot Justice
4.) Mack Collier
5.) Leah Dossey
No they all aren’t Marketers in the traditional form but they do need to understand how obtain a form of ROI. There are many that claim Social Media Expert Status, many think they have a clear understanding of what an ROI is, in my opinion they aren’t and they don’t get ROI.
I’m certain this topic will never really go away because many will have an opinion, many will claim they have the secret formula, the list that do is very, very short. I love this kind of dialogue so I’ll keep bringing it.