Jan 28, 2014

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Is there a crisis of business sales thinking? The word 'big' seems to be synonymous with success in the past BUT is that changing? Big no longer also means profitable. Big does not necessarily mean you are able to control the market because the market is global rather than local or national. Big does not necessarily attract the best talent anymore, indeed it may be a turn off to the millenial generation. So are we facing a crisis of thinking at the top of businesses? I think it is possible. We need to change business thinking from big to wide and let me explain why.... Big is often determined by sales or quanitity...the problem is that both of these can be bought through discounts. This can lead to a spiral back to mass production and line extensions for brands, which is precisely what the consumer does NOT want...the pressure to keep growing sales leads to short term decisions that dilute the strength of the brand. So what if we aspired to be wide or even deep? Here the business goals would be about quality of engagement, about the engagement past the transational mindset. Here the business would aim at keep extending the market past the current offer to retain and keep customers.... Here the aim would be to create relationships rather than a one off transation and it would be aiming to create value not sales. In order to create value then you need to keep thinking and offering a product or service that is worth the premium, so potentially less sales but more profit. With more profit, this would mean more investment in talent and development of the offering? The more I look at our focus on GDP for countries, sales for companies etc etc ...the more I feel we need to have an open discussion on what is the definition of growth. I would rather have growth in the value of my life and I believe most people would...it is just that we have linked too readily pay and sales growth as the way of achieving this...when in reality it can destroy it. The interesting thing is that companies who concentrate on depth and widening the value....tend to grow!
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10 Common Social Media Myths...Debunked! There are so many myths around social media marketing. Myths that are developed either to put you off or to ensure that you buy someones services to help.....Here are some of my answers to myths about social media Social media is FREE. No, it doesn't need to cost money however it does need you to invest in thinking about who you are, what you stand for and against etc And thinking is available to all of us. Social media is about tweeting about your lunch. No bad social media is about that, great social media entertains whilst others are eating their lunch! Social media is time wasting. No more than any other tool in business such as meetings, strategy sessions, brainstorming...if you don't plan why and what you are doing.....and set targets that can be measured. Social media is a nice to have. Well if you assume customers are nice to have's.....and you want to connect with said customers...then yes, you are right! Social media is about going viral. No, social media is about attracting the exact customer base you are looking for.....that may be 7, 7000, 70,000 or 7million! It is not about the absolute number, it is being absolutely clear who your customer is.... Social media is about computer geeks. No social media is about mobility and indeed more is accessed through mobile devices than a computer screen. Social media is new. Rubbish. Talking and getting to know customers and offering tailored content to them is old, it is only the delivery mechanism that has changed. Social media is a must. No absolutely NOT. If you can't see the strength in it, if you don't want to invest the thinking time...then don't do it. People see through faking it.....and your content will not be engaging. Social media is a fad. Love this one.....and only believed by people who think the web is a fad too.... Social media is about cats. Yes if you are a vet or a cattery but then I have never posted about a cat in my life and 70% of my business comes through social media! Now I am not saying that social media will not evolve, of course it will. The Facebooks of this world will come and go, however don't throw the baby out with the bath water......the concept of educated consumers who want to be listened to, want relevant content and who want to engage with brands that value them...well, they will be here forever no matter what delivery mechanism is popular.

Anna Farmery

Social Marketing Architect, Speaker, Author and in spare time completing PhD on the future of the social business model

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