So, just so we are are clear, I am the “old white guy”.
Whenever we get into a conversation about anything “social” (LinkedIn, Twitter, et al) with a CEO, regardless of their background, it feels like a bunch of old guys discussing something they know is important, but they have limited understanding of what to do next. We are in that world as well as we have ventured into blogging, LinkedIn for the brand, now Twitter (terrifying) and creating linkages between all messaging channels and our web sites. I did not learn any of this in Kellogg marketing classes. It is a new world of Marketing, that definitely impacts both awareness and demand creation. Assuming from conventional theory that Marketing Strategy (segmentation, targeting, positioning, etc.) leads Sales Strategy, then the Marketing Channels we are using to message with prospective clients (and clients) will have a major impact on how we sell.
This will be different by industry and who you sell to (B2B, B2C), but the ground is shifting below your feet. The concept of what a cold call looks like has dramatically changed. Who knocks on doors anymore? Who tele-sells in the same way they used to? In a B2B world based on access to information, detailed governance process, consensus decisions and other factors, it is estimated the average vendor enters 57% of the way through the buying process. However you found each other, the moment of truth or how you sell differently is quickly upon you. You likely have one chance to create unique value or just follow the herd and hope for the best.
Email makes marketing/selling an interesting and impersonal indirect selling channel, but with open rates of 5% and click through rates of 14% (once you opened), this is an inexpensive volume game. The objective through intriguing titles, relevant content and well conceived call-to-action (CTA) is to get a conversation started through all digital channels. In our world, we segment, target and position, but all messaging is just in time. Social tools are about the moment and that requires a certain frequency to stay relevant and visible. The collective “We” seldom go back through LinkedIn or Twitter streams and we are very unlikely to take a deeper look at two week old emails that we opened but did not click through. It is about the “shiny object” and messages from credible sources that may cause us to take action, regardless of how small (or safe) that step may be.
The world has changed forever and it is impacting both “how we market” and correspondingly “how we sell”. What got us here is unlikely to keep as here and if we are not satisfied with where we are, then the broader marketing and sales strategy likely needs refinement. These strategies require linkages or what we call “strategic flow”. Between ourselves and our marketing partners, we would be happy to share our own experiences. Chin up to the old dogs as the new tricks can be taught. We are going through our own overall (day 2 on Twitter) and we have found the right partners, tools, processes and resources both take away the fear and allow you to confidently build strategy and momentum.Share