Here at Blue Focus Marketing, we spend a lot of time talking about the importance of growing communities. While the value of knowing others in your industry has always been true, social media has changed the nature of how we know peers in our professional circles, which in turn has changed how we relate to each other.
The best relationships, of course, aren’t limited to a single platform or touchpoint. They stretch across channels and technological boundaries. One day, you could be having a quiet, informal lunch with one of your peers, and the next day you might be sharing something that person said that you found particularly inspiring with your network. If modern communication were a multiple-choice test, then it wouldn’t be about picking networking option A, B or C and sticking solely with that choice. For my money, it’s always about going with option D: all of the above.
As Jabez LeBret (@jabezlebret) recently pointed out in Forbes (@Forbes), the “all-of-the-above approach” to business communications, while embraced by some, still hasn’t completely caught on among marketing executives. LeBret’s commentary served to introduce Infegy’s (@Infegy) recently released list of the Top 50 CMOs by Social Influence. It was quite an honor and a surprise to find myself on #5 on the list. My most heartfelt congratulations to all the other CMOs who were recognized. I know how hard each of you works, and it’s achievements like this one that help remind us that this hard work does indeed pay off.
But as LeBret points out, there is still work to be done. There are many positive takeaways from the list — I was especially encouraged to see that 44 percent of the most influential CMOs were women, for instance. However, the fact remains that far too many CMOs — and executives in general — are still hesitant to expand their range of touch points, denying themselves the opportunity to learn more about their customer base’s buying habits, needs and concerns.
In our book The Social Employee (McGraw-Hill, 2013), we dedicated an entire chapter to the value of the social executive and how a C-suite-level commitment to social processes has benefits that reach all levels of an organization. Put simply, social executives, and especially social CMOs, don’t just benefit themselves by learning more about today’s real-time, viral-friendly marketing climate, they benefit their employees by modeling best communication practices and showing a commitment to bringing organizational culture into the 21st century.
If it’s not already upon us, the day will soon come when executive resistance to social communication could actually hurt the organizations in which they work. While not every social platform is equal, and certainly not every single one is worth investing time in, social media engagement as a general practice and marketing tool is now well-established.
As CMOs, our traditional knowledge — the experience we gained through our decades of service to our profession — is still valuable. After all, it’s what got us here in the first place. But it’s not enough. There is always something new to learn, a new opportunity to connect.
In The Social Employee, we go behind the scenes with several leading brands—such as IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo—pulling the lid off the inspiring social business success stories that have propelled these companies into the 21st century. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.
“Great brands have always started on the inside, but why are companies taking so long to leverage the great opportunities offered by internal social media? . . . The Social Employee lifts the lid on this potential and provides guidance for businesses everywhere.” —JEZ FRAMPTON, Global Chairman and CEO, Interbrand
The Social Employee offers an unparalleled behind-the-scenes look at the social business success stories of some of the biggest brand names in the business world, including IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.
The brands that leverage their employee base in order to engage customers and prospects through social media are the ones destined to win the marketing wars. This book not only details the astronomical rise of the social employee, but also outlines the innovative methods that leading companies have employed to foster cultures of enthusiastic and engaged workers.
AFTERWORD by Kevin Randall, Vice President of Brand Strategy & Research at
Movéo Integrated Branding, and journalist for The Economist and Fast Company