Jan 16, 2014

The Only 2 Critical Decisions You Need to Make in Business I want to talk about decision making because the more I work with business teams the more I feel this is holding businesses back from achieving their aims. "We haven't done that yet because we need to make a critical decision on ......blah...." I wish I had a pound (or euro, or dollar, etc!) for each time that is given as the reason they are not embracing social marketing or focusing in on who their customers are or what will drive future sales growth...etc etc... I want you to ask whether this is truly a CRITICAL decision? Let's see what critical actually means "(of a situation or problem) having the potential to become disastrous; at a point of crisis" Now is it really a matter of life and death? If the answer is yes then waiting and taking four months, 170 meetings, 24 powerpoints and 3 off site strategy sessions is TOO LONG! That is when failure truly becomes the only option! If the answer is no then why take the risk of losing the motivation of your team, or frustrating the people who are meant to engage the customers through conversations, design, innovation etc? The problem with referring to critical decisions is that it increases the fear factor, it gives the sense of impending disaster and that reduces the chances of making the right decision.....as humans we tend to choose the safest route. What is critical? What is the critical decisions that you must get right? The right people - not the longest serving or the ones you like BUT the right ones who will bring out the best of people around them. That you know what is your market, what you offer and the values that you will express even when that makes a decision unpleasant. Once you have the right people understanding who and what you are...then decisions become easier....each decision becomes a function of does this fit with these criteria? Once you never compromise on values, never compromise on what your company does (and doesn't do!) then you have a framework that the right people can follow..... The chances are if you are having too many 'critical decisions to make' or having trouble making them...then you have not a steadfast framework in place. So next time ask yourself this little 'Bob' teaser Related articles Do you create a lasting smile with your content? Show 457 - How to Make Better and Smarter Decisions How to Make a Better Decisions Busting the Myths of Tradition and Social Marketing
The Secret Sauce of Creating Engaging Content OK, so we understand the role of content marketing from a mechanical angle - a chance to get your content out to customers and also persuade Google, Bing, Yahoo that your website is a trusted source for their search results and therefore getting you on the first page of their search results. However..... Content marketing ONLY works if once you have the mechnical angle sorted and you move quickly to the emotional - or what I love to call the shareability - angle. That is to say move from the 'why' to the 'what' and the 'how'.... Consumer's of the content are not interested in why it works - they have a search query and want content that solves their problem, yes...BUT also explains it in a way that they can engage with.... It is this latter part which is often neglected. It is this latter reason why I spend much of my reading time on various parts of the art world. Reading about how musicians, conductors, artists, playrights, authors all use language, audio and visuals to engage their audience. When you look at all these areas there is one concept that they talk about....and that is the universal language of life. For all the different cultures, for all the differences between people, for all the differences between situations.....the similarity of how we experience life remains similar. That is why stories, analogies work on creating brand engagement. For example, think of many of the great painters...they are reflecting life, yes from their perspective but it is also from a life perspective that they know we will resonate with.... Think of musicians who write the great love songs or the great protest songs.....they are reflecting feelings in life. Content marketing has to reflect the science of why it works AND then the writing needs to engage the reader to make them want to share it. Yes you can try and buck the system - buy links, SEO keyword stuffing- but firstly this will eventually be caught by the search engines and secondly, it doesn't create the content that will market your brand. It is the content that will engage and there is one ultimate truth.... Life through stories and analogies is a universal language of explanation. Related articles Why Social Business is about leading the conversation The Digital Marketing Streams Of 2013 Curation as Content Marketing 6 Website Design Challenges for Customer Experience

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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