Traditional Marketing Is Dead

Traditional marketing — including advertising, public relations, branding and corporate communications — is dead. Many people in traditional marketing roles and organizations may not realize they’re operating within a dead paradigm. But they are. The evidence is clear.

First, buyers are no longer paying much attention. Several studies have confirmed that in the “buyer’s decision journey,” traditional marketing communications just aren’t relevant. Buyers are checking out product and service information in their own way, often through the Internet, and often from sources outside the firm such as word-of-mouth or customer reviews.

Second, CEOs have lost all patience. In a devastating 2011 studyof 600 CEOs and decision makers by the London-based Fournaise Marketing Group, 73% of them said that CMOs lack business credibility and the ability to generate sufficient business growth, 72% are tired of being asked for money without explaining how it will generate increased business, and 77% have had it with all the talk about brand equity that can’t be linked to actual firm equity or any other recognized financial metric.

Third, in today’s increasingly social media-infused environment, traditional marketing and sales not only doesn’t work so well, it doesn’t make sense. Think about it: an organization hires people — employees, agencies, consultants, partners — who don’t come from the buyer’s world and whose interests aren’t necessarily aligned with his, and expects them to persuade the buyer to spend his hard-earned money on something. Huh? When you try to extend traditional marketing logic into the world of social media, it simply doesn’t work. Just ask Facebook, which finds itself mired in an ongoing debateabout whether marketing on Facebook is effective.

In fact, this last is a bit of a red herring, because traditional marketing isn’t really working anywhere.

There’s a lot of speculation about what will replace this broken model — a sense that we’re only getting a few glimpses of the future of marketing on the margins. Actually, we already know in great detail what the new model of marketing will look like. It’s already in place in a number of organizations. Here are its critical pieces:

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Facebook changing default emails on profiles to facebook.com

Have you checked your default email address on your Facebook profile or timeline recently? Chances are, it’s not the one you think.  To increase acceptance and use of it’s email service “facebook.com”, Facebook changed the default email address on every profile and timeline to “your email@facebook.com”

Want to change it back, here is how:

1-Click “About” or “Info” (if you still have the old profile) on your profile and scroll down to your email address. Click “Edit” to change them.
2-Click on the circle next to your Facebook email address and change its setting to “Hidden From Timeline”.
3-Click on the circle next to your other email addresses and change their settings to “Shown On Timeline”.
4-Click the Save button at the bottom of the Edit popup.

Be a Teaching Organization Not a Sales Organization

Turning your sales organization from a selling organization to a teaching organization is a game changer. Customers today are looking for more than product information. They want more than pitches and price concessions. Today’s costumers want to learn something that will help their business grow. They want information they didn’t have. They want someone who can help them navigate their complex world. Today’s customers want to be taught.

Take a look at your website.  Can visitors learn anything from it? I don’t mean something about your products or services, but about the industry, regulation, trends, how to tackle a common industry challenge etc? Is your website set up to teach potential customers when they visit? It should be.

Does your playbook contain unique industry information your sales people can use to educate their prospects?  Does your playbook contain tools your sales people can point prospects to like video’s, eBooks, and white papers that would help prospects better understand HOW to tackle the challenges they are facing? Or, is your sales playbook all about your products and services. Does your sales playbook support your sales people in teaching their customers?

Do you train your sales people to teach? Do you provide sales training that teaches how to teach?

Do your sales pipeline reviews and opportunity review meetings evaluate new and timely educational topics that would resonate with prospects? Does your marketing organization regularly provide the sales team with new, updated, industry data and “how to” information they can use to educate prospects?

Is your sales team built to teach or to pitch?

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What happens to your online profile when you’re gone?

Three Facebook users die every minute for a total of 1.78 million Facebook users in 2011, what is the future of your digital self?

You might not know what happens when you die but you can control what happens online!

You are filling the internet with status updates, image and video creating new digital dilemmas such as:

Whether you want to live forever online?
How to protect your privacy after death?
How to maintain your digital legacy?
Who to appoint as your digital executor?
Whether You Would Want to Be Digitally Resurrected

Do you know the death policies of all your online accounts?

 

A few LinkedIn facts

LinkedIn is an ever increasing Professional Network. Currently at 135+ Million users (Jan 2012), the platform is used by professionals around the world, including job seekers, human resource departments, sales, business development and professionals of every sort. LinkedIn is one of the world’s most ideal professional business tools online today. The following are resources for everything on LinkedIn you would need for research, resources, “How To’s”, strategies, insights and much more.

Founded May 5, 2003
Company Overview LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 100 million members in over 200 countries and territories. The LinkedIn website launched in 2003 and currently counts executives from all Fortune 500 companies as members.
Mission Connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.
Contact Information
Phone Number: 650-687-3600
How to reach a live person: Press 1 when recording begins
Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri: 9am-6pm PST

Company Background (Source: http://press.linkedin.com/about)

  • LinkedIn started out in the living room of co-founder Reid Hoffman in 2002.
  • The site officially launched on May 5, 2003. At the end of the first month in operation, LinkedIn had a total of 4,500 members in the network.
  • As of September 30, 2011, professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate that is faster than two new members per second.
  • The company is publicly held and has a diversified business model with revenues coming from hiring solutions, marketing solutions and premium subscriptions.

LinkedIn Facts (Source: http://press.linkedin.com/about)

  • As of November 3, 2011, LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 135 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
  • Fifty-nine percent of LinkedIn members are currently located outside of the United States.
  • There were nearly two billion people searches on LinkedIn in 2010. Based on third quarter 2011 metrics, LinkedIn members are on pace to do more than four billion searches on the LinkedIn platform in 2011.
  • Headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., LinkedIn also has U.S. offices in Chicago, New York, Omaha and San Francisco. International LinkedIn offices are located in Amsterdam, Bangalore, Delhi, Dublin, London, Melbourne, Milan, Mumbai, Munich, Paris, São Paulo, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto.
  • The company’s management team is comprised of seasoned executives from companies like Yahoo!, Google, Microsoft, TiVo, PayPal and Electronic Arts. The CEO of LinkedIn is Jeff Weiner.
  • LinkedIn is currently available in fourteen languages: English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean,Malay, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.
  • As of September 30, 2011 (the end of the third quarter), LinkedIn has 1,797 full-time employees located all around the globe. LinkedIn started off 2011 with about 1,000 full-time employees located all around the globe, up from around 500 at the beginning of 2010.

Marketers Value Social Media for Both Branding and Customer Acquisition

As marketers include social media as part of their overall strategy, 97% agree that it provides benefits and value to their business.

In a survey of more than 700 marketers worldwide, 88% of respondents told Wildfire Interactive, a social media marketing software company, that social media helps grow brand awareness. Social media also benefited marketers by allowing them to engage in dialogue (85%) and increase sales and partnerships (58%). An additional 41% of marketers said it helped reduce costs.

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4 Common LinkedIn Profile Mistakes

With the new year comes the time to clean up our desks, desktops, files…  and start the year on the right foot.

In the digital era and the social media era, we need to add a few tasks to start the year on the right foot.  It’s time to take another look at our social media profiles, clean them up, bring them up to date, optimize them and get them ready to work harder for us.

Let’s start with LinkedIn.  With an exponential user growth, I see the same mistakes over and over again, let’s start with some basic mistakes I see over and over again:

4 common LinkedIn profile mistakes

1-Professional headline:

Your professional headline is your brand, it appears next or under your name everywhere your name appears, in searches, groups… With your name, it’s the first thing users read when they come across your name, make it count.  Your professional headline will determine if someone will merely glance at your name or want to click on it and read your profile.  It’s who you are, what you want to be.

By default, LinkedIn will put in your last job title, is that who you are, what you want to be?  Will that entice potential business partners or employers to take a closer look at your profile?

Take as much time as you need, craft a headline people will remember and entice them to want to know more about you, tell them how you can help them

2-Profile picture:

Social media is a very public space.  Chances are, if you are on LinkedIn, you want to be seen and found, you want to network.

Would you go to a networking event with a mask on your face?  Probably not, then why are you doing it on LinkedIn?

Posting a professional photograph has a number of advantages.

  • Potential contacts do not like incomplete profiles, incomplete profiles send a message that you have something to hide
  • A photo helps potential contact remember you
  • A photo helps identify you are who you say you are
  • A photo builds trust

3-Public profile

Your “Public profile” is actually a misnomer, it’s your public URL.  Think of LinkedIn as a personal website.  Each website comes with a URL (Unique resource Locator), a unique address that  identify them and allows users to find them on the web.

Your “Public profile” as LinkedIn calls it is your personal URL, the address to your personal profile, a link you can add to your resume, marketing material, business card.

Just as any website address, your URL should be short and memorable.

Why short?  The shorter and the easier to remember, the less contacts and potential contacts will make mistakes (typos) when they search for you and the more likely they are to find your profile.  A short URL is easy to remember, it’s easy to add to your marketing material

By default, a LinkedIn public profile link looks like this:  http://www.linkedin.com/pub/first-lastname/24/9a5/766  Try to remember that one, spell it to a potential contact and have that contact type it without mistake.

LinkedIn allows you to chose a custom (also called vanity) URL, the URL looks like this:  http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/yourname*.

Which one would you rather spell, print or type?

4-Websites

By default, LinkedIn adds “My website”, “My Blog” “Other” as the links to your websites or internet properties.  LinkedIn also offers ways to customize the links.  Use that opportunity to rename them, use your website name, your blog name.  LinkedIn profiles are extremely well optimized for search engines, if you search your name, chances are, your LinkedIn profile will come at the top of the search.

As a bonus, renaming the links with the name of your website or blog will give them a lift in searches (SEO effect)