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December 16, 2009


Hugh Macken

Hello John,
You stated that this was in "rough form" but this is, in my view, as comprehensive, timely, and insightful as any whitepaper on enterprise level social media brandiing strategy that I've seen. You've prompted my thoughts which I can't resist sharing:

1.) Corporate Culture. Your observation that IBM's CMO is making a case for a new discipline within the enterprise that puts corporate culture at the center of everything a company does including how they operate “socially” was right on the mark. Corporate culture, in my view, has the potential to be a company's most agile ally (Zappos, for instance) or its fiercest foe (would rather not give an example:).

2) The impact of social media on Sales. You accurately state that "Social media is not some new channel. It is an enduring change and represents a new discipline for marketers." I agree with you here and I would like to add to it the following words: "and sales teams." I think what a lot of us forget about in this discussion is the impact that social can, has and will have on sales teams as they too get up to speed. They need to be at the table with marcom teams when social strategy is discussed. And they need to be engaged and in sync with the Engagement Framework. The importance of the sales element will, of course, vary from one enterprise to another but it's an important component. Radian6, for instance, as you probably know, has integrations in place with the Salesforce.com CRM platform. From what I'm told they are working on integrations with other CRM platforms as well. That said, though, I completely agree that social media engagement does not generate "a simple ROI of stimulation."

3) Listening. Amber Naslund (of R6) recently posed a question from a customer's point of reference (see: http://altitudebranding.com/2009/12/the-critical-mass-of-listening/)
that you addressed in your Active Listening section: What’s our critical mass for expecting companies to hear us when we talk about them?
From a corporate standpoint, not boiling the ocean, as you put it, is a good metaphor but how to know when that's what you're doing? How to determine which battles are worth fighting and which are best left ignored?

So many questions! It's nice to see that some of the answers are starting to become more apparent. Then again, without the questions, there'd be little basis for innovation!

Speaking of questions and answers, I very much look forward to reading WOMMA's Metrics Guidebook.

Thanks so much for your thought leadership on this topic. I look forward to your future posts.

Hugh Macken

Renaissance Clothing

"Social media is not some new channel. It is an enduring change and represents a new discipline for marketers." It is enduring, but I personally feel there will be a lot of turnover. Facebook for instance people sign up, friend everyone, and then realize it is sucking up their lives reading posts about baking brownies, or hating work. People love it and HATE it fast, well at least the adults with lives.

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