Social marketing automation


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Social marketing automation

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  2. 2. If you give a man a fish, he will eat today. If you teach a man to fish, he will eat forever. If you teach a Community Manager to fish, she will get a promotion and a raise. ­— Ancient Chinese Proverb ­— Adapted by Eric Boggs, CEO, Argyle Social2 3
  3. 3. There are two types of social business specialists: Very few social business practitioners think like fishermen. The allure of monitoring ocean trends and social sentiment distracts most oceanographers & social media professionals from meticulously tracking the fish they’re charged with reeling in ( or retaining! ) as customers. A fisherman-like fishermen. ‡ social practice cultivates individual relationships at a massive scale and uses social to move these relationships down the consideration funnel. Largely, social business practitioners think like oceanographers. They monitor and measure the We believe that fishing-focused practitioners will flowing currents, roaring waves, and ever-changing drive the next wave of social business innovation. tides across the endless oceans of social chatter. “Mentions are up off to port! Hoist the sails, we need to get An oceanographic social practice is important: it more followers!” illuminates the public zeitgeist, it reveals the strength of your brand, and, when done well, in can provide prescriptive strategic insight.4 ‡ ( or fisherwomen ) 5
  4. 4. Website A Description of the Problem ial Em oc Social Business Spans S ai id l Pa the Enterprise Organic Social Afliate/CPA Community management stands out as a business practice because fi it spans functional areas. From activating customer conversations to routing leads to the sales team to serving as a first-touch support CRM contact to cultivating product feedback, the Community Manager’s social programs touch all parts of the business. When done well, strategic social programs should be a part of a business’ core strategic Ban framework, tracking prospect and customer interactions at all stages of their life cycle. rch ne r/D ea S isp Enter the CRM — The CRM is the “system of record” for the customer id lay Pa Ad — it is tasked with tracking the entire history of a customer’s interaction s with the business and driving all customer-related processes. Your CRM Organic Search contains all of the fish that your organization has caught in the past and those that it hopes to catch in the future. Regardless of company size or technology implementation, the goal of CRM remains the same: a single view of the customer that spans from the first interaction of the consideration cycle to the most recent retention interaction. The CRM The CRM sits at the middle of the enterprise marketing universe.6 7
  5. 5. Fishermen vs. Oceanographers With this CRM-centric framework in mind, let’s revisit the oceanographer vs. fishermen thesis and consider some important contrasts. Many social professionals should be oceanographers. If you sell Other social professionals must learn to think like fishermen. For low-cost products to high volumes of customers, it may not make organizations that sell higher-cost products to individual buyers and sense to attempt to track every individual fish. Consumer products maintain one-to-one relationships — namely B2B companies with companies like Coke or large retailers like Whole Foods need to operate sales teams — CRM is the business. The B2B Community Manager in aggregate, because they have too many customers and each must think like a fisherman because B2B organizations build their entire customer is of (relatively) low value. operation around the fish. Companies like Coke and Whole Foods track broad ocean trends to Fisherman organizations look at the world fundamentally different anticipate where the schools of fish are today and where they might be than the aforementioned oceanographic organizations. They build headed tomorrow. They manage very large brand advertising budgets relationships with each individual fish so that they can reel them in one to drive high-volume, anonymous transactions from fairly small fish. at a time, as quickly as possible.8 9
  6. 6. Different methods require different tools. Oceanographers use Van Dorn bottles, Soft-Bottom Modified Peterson grabs, and plankton collectors to sample parts of the marine ecosystem and track trends over time. Radian6 ( now Salesforce Radian6 ) is the overwhelming tool of choice for the oceanographer social professional that needs to track macro trends and monitor broad-based chatter. Fishermen, depending on the scale of their operation, use fish finders and some combination of rods, reels, nets, and lures to haul in their catch. No social marketing software provider has fully addressed the social fishing problem very well yet...10 11
  7. 7. The Social Business Blind Spot B2B marketers do a good job tracking prospect activity on their websites and in their email campaigns and then mapping this activity to the individual. This enables targeted email marketing, efficient sales teams, and insightful revenue performance management. On the other hand, B2B marketers do a poor The multi-billion dollar marketing automation job of tracking prospect activity on social industry exists solely to solve media and mapping this activity to the this problem. Companies like individual. As more of the B2B buying cycle Unica, Aprimo, Eloqua, Marketo, Pardot, and InfusionSoft ( & occurs in social channels, more of the fish are plenty of others ) are the fish starting to swim out of view of traditional fish finders that B2B fishermen use finders. B2B marketers are left casting in the dark. every day. And only a very small piece of the overall B2B market How quickly is this blind spot spreading? uses these products, so this According to the data, pretty darn quickly. trend is only beginning. • People spend an overwhelming amount of their day on social sites. ‡ • 60% of the B2B purchase decision happens before they talk to a salesperson. § If you put 1 and 1 together, it is pretty obvious that social media plays an increasingly important role in the B2B buying cycle. Prospects no longer contact your sales team for product information — they seek it out themselves from the web and from their colleagues via social media sites.12 ‡ ComScore, 13 § Corporate Executive Board,
  8. 8. Fishing In A Blind Spot How well are B2B organizations integrating social into their sales and marketing processes? By and large, not very effectively. Businesses miss opportunities to drive Leakage occurs at the top of the funnel. prospects down the funnel. Social is an amazing sales enabler. Anyone know a great Social interactions such as retweets, mentions, comments, and likes all Prospective customers seek out referrals smm product out there? create excellent prompts to re-start paused sales conversations. But and reviews from their social networks organizations don’t connect the dots between social interactions as a part of their evaluation process, and I’m looking for one, too... and CRM records. are immediately able to connect with a representative from the company. The At most socially active companies, an attentive community manager Have you checked out personal recommendation combined with @argylesocial? will receive and respond to social interactions. But this community the low barrier to direct communication manager, being the steward of many thousands (or millions) Let me know if I can be would, in an ideal world, be an extremely of social connections, is unable to know the context of any helpful! Happy to show effective way to initiate a sales conversation. you what we’ve got individual prospect. Is @jthandy a new lead or an opportunity that is scheduled to close next week? Is this the first time I’ve talked to him or the In reality, nearly all organizations drop the ball somewhere during 37th? Obviously, this information would be extremely actionable in the this process. There are the obvious pitfalls of a) not listening or b) not hands of a community manager. empowering employees to respond, but companies are learning to do better on both of these fronts. The real problems are c) the community It would be even more useful in the hands of a prospect’s assigned manager fielding the inquiry has no effective way to feed the lead into sales rep. Marketing automation tools built around the email stack do the established sales pipeline, and d) if the sales person is notified of an excellent job of connecting marketing interactions (email clicks, the lead, he/she doesn’t have any context for an ensuing conversation. collateral downloads) with the assigned sales rep. This alerts the sales rep of an opportunity to restart a stalled sales conversation. No such What should have been a speedy introduction leading to a friendly connections exist within the world of social media. interaction with a sales guy has instead turned into nothing at worst and a ham-fisted exchange at best.14 15
  9. 9. But for two reasons, it is unlikely that social networks will ever provide user-specific data to their marketer partners: • Privacy concerns and associated public outcry creates a PR and government regulatory roadblock. Releasing person-level social data by social platforms is already illegal in Europe and could potentially become so in other areas of the world in the future. Platforms will not provide the fish-finding • All major social platforms currently base their business models around aggregation and monetization of data, data that marketers need. primarily via ads. While they are happy to provide this data in aggregate format to oceanographic marketers, giving away individual data points ( the fish ) would erode their market position. Social networks aggregate massive amounts of data to enable targeted advertising — the Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter ad ­ So marketers cannot rely on the platforms to provide them with the platforms all provide unique examples. Many networks also provide insight into prospect activity that they need. And as an increasing platform analytics like Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics that percentage of the purchase decision continues to move outside surface aggregated insights. of the website and onto social networks, businesses will continue to lose visibility into core marketing data and buying signals. The prospect remains anonymous for longer and marketing interactions — sales conversations, targeted email marketing programs, on-site offers, etc. — suffer as a result. Marketers need to bridge this gap without help from each social platform.16 17
  10. 10. Envisioning the Solution Social Lead Scoring Lead scoring is an incredibly valuable tool to judge 77% improvement in how engaged a user is with your brand. A lead Email marketing automation changed email marketing from a score is a proxy for activity level, and is an effective lead generation ROI standalone activity into one that is deeply integrated in the day-to- indicator of sales readiness. In fact, lead scoring day operation of sales and marketing teams. In the same way, social from lead scoring has been shown to nearly double the ROI of lead business automation will transform social media from a sideline generation programs. ‡ marketing activity into one with connective tissue through the entire selling organization. And it will do this by focusing on the individual fish. Let’s try a simple example. Compare these two prospects and make a determination which prospect is most likely to welcome a sales call: Prospect A Prospect B Downloaded a white paper Downloaded a white paper from from a landing page. a landing page. Exited your website. Clicked through to your website and spent a few minutes browsing, including viewing your pricing page and your product description. Prospect A has a passing interest in your content. Prospect B is curious about your product and is likely somewhere in the buying consideration cycle. If your sales reps call more Prospect Bs and less Prospect As, they will become more productive. Lead scoring tools reflect this by assigning a higher score to Prospect B, thereby allowing reps to easily prioritize their activities. ‡ Search Engine Watch, 19
  11. 11. Current lead scoring technologies account for actions taken on your website: forms filled out, pages viewed, content downloaded, etc. Social signals such as comments, likes, retweets, and replies are completely left out of this equation. Let’s see what the world looks like when you include these signals, revisiting our example. Prospect A Prospect B Downloaded a white paper Downloaded a white paper from a landing page. from a landing page Exited your website. Clicked through to your Then sent a Tweet to @YourBrand: website and spent a few “Hey! I just read your whitepaper. minutes browsing, including Great stuff! I’d love to take a look at viewing your pricing page and what you folks are up to...” your product description. This interaction happens all the time in the world of the new B2B buyer. And current technologies would have you believe that Prospect A is disinterested while Prospect B is engaged. In reality, Prospect A has shown far more interest and engagement than Prospect B and should be contacted as soon as possible. If your Social lead scoring is a powerful augmentation to your existing company used social lead scoring technology, Prospect A would be lead scoring methodologies. Social signals round out the assigned a higher score than Prospect B, ensuring that a rep would prospect activity profile and empowers sales teams to more reach out to them sooner. effectively organize and prioritize their time. All of which boosts your revenue performance, of course.20 21
  12. 12. Prospects Swim around all day looking for tasty Social Sales Enablement morsels. Suspicious of anything with Community Managers a string attached. Responsible for setting out delicious bait and getting nibbles from Community Managers are paid to be plugged into The Matrix. prospects. Epic volumes of social data flow around and through them all day long. The good ones develop extremely sophisticated filtering mechanisms to absorb and respond to as much relevant information as possible. But the rest of your organization doesn’t reap benefits from this connectedness. Community managers simply don’t have the bandwidth to keep the rest of us in the loop when they’re responsible for listening to and participating in hundreds if not thousands of conversations every single day. As a result, significant information disconnects emerge between the community manager and the rest of the organization. One of the most significant is that community managers often have conversations with in-process sales prospects and the assigned sales rep never even knows about it. Uncharted Territory Information from community managers never makes it across the vast expanse This is obviously less than ideal. It creates the potential for confusion between marketing and sales. and mixed messages, and hides valuable information from the rep that could be used to push the deal forwards. Social sales enablement closes this communication gap. With a fishing-based community strategy and some social data trickery, Community Managers can build programs that automatically notify sales reps when their prospects are engaging in social activity related to your brand (e.g. retweets, replies, comments, and likes) and assists them in taking corresponding actions. This type of information can Sales Reps restart stalled sales conversations or push active ones further down Operate in complete isolation from all of the activity between prospects and community managers. the funnel.22 23
  13. 13. Imagine the following notifications as received by a sales rep paired with these follow-up activities: Notification Follow-up Activity Your lead Lead A mentioned Sales rep hops on Twitter to @YourBrand yesterday at craft a personalized reply and 2:15pm: “Hey @YourBrand, what’s follows up with a phone call your pricing? I can’t find it on your to ask if the lead is interested in website...” more information. Your lead Lead C liked your Sales rep uses the recent Facebook post called opportunity as a conversation “How to Fix your Golf Swing and starter and sends a brief email Your Inbound Marketing at the saying “Thanks for sharing our Same Time” blog post! We haven’t spoken in a while; I hope all is well.” Sales reps are always looking for reasons to stay in touch with high value leads, and social sales enablement gives them the tools they need to do so efficiently. The Community Manager does the hard work to create the interaction; a social sales enablement program captures that value by connecting the dots.24 25
  14. 14. Social Customer Service Enablement Be careful when setting the boundaries between these two organizations. There are several pitfalls that companies sometimes Social media is an increasingly important channel for customers fall into. to voice customer service inquiries. A recent study conducted in the UK showed a doubling of inquiry volume over 8 months to 18 • Don’t dump your entire social stream into your case million total inquiries. This same study showed a wide demographic management tool. Most social messages don’t require a breakdown for those who used social channels for customer service, response, and crowding up your case management tool will just indicating that this volume isn’t just driven by millennials. ‡ lead to inefficiency within Customer Service. • Don’t push off all questions to Customer Service. Community But despite the volume of social inquiries, most companies Managers are better suited to deal with social messages, as they don’t have their customer service organizations tuned for social. are native to the medium. Allow them to respond to questions The main problem, as we saw earlier with sales, is an informational to the extent possible, and then provide a seamless escalation disconnect. pathway to Customer Service. • Don’t respond to a Tweet with an email. Most case Case management tools are the center of the customer service world. management platforms are email-based, and most customer Reps aren’t sitting on Twitter or Facebook during work hours, they’re service organizations are used to sending emails. But if a glued to their case management screens. If a customer inquiry customer messaged you via a social channel, their expectation doesn’t show up in their queue, a customer service rep doesn’t know is that they will receive a response via the same channel. We call or care about it. this “symmetry of response”. If an organization wants to effectively serve their customers Customer service reps use the tools that facilitate their workflow. — who are now reaching out to them via social channels more Community managers use the tools that facilitate their workflow. than ever — it needs to integrate its community management Social Customer Support Enablement integrates these tools together function with its customer service case management tool. so that community managers can selectively escalate conversations Community managers need to be able to answer basic questions into support cases, and service reps can easily follow up. but escalate true customer support inquiries. And this entire process needs to be seamless; the entire escalation pathway needs to occur within the tools that each department is most comfortable using.26 ‡ The Next Web, 27
  15. 15. Social Marketing Automation So far all of the capabilities that we’ve discussed have been centered around a theme: equipping staff with additional hyper-relevant social data to improve their effectiveness. Social marketing automation sails further into uncharted waters. Instead of attempting to claim that we can see that far out into the future, we’re going to explore this topic with a set of questions. Visible with a Spyglass • If you could identify all of your biggest influencers — people who, when they share your content, generate the most awareness — and send them targeted messages and offers within your marketing automation tool, would you be able to create more value out of these relationships? • If you could identify your “lurkers” — people who love to read your content but never interact with you — and proactively Visible with the Naked Eye start conversations with them, would they be more likely to interact with you in the future? • If you could automatically follow every lead that submitted a • If you could send drip campaigns from your marketing form on your website, how many of them would the follow automation platform based on a prospect’s socially-sourced you back? communication preferences and interest data, would response • If you could automatically tweet everyone downloading your rates increase? white paper on gluten-free cat food “@catlady329, thanks for downloading our white paper! Let us know if you ever have any These types of capabilities will be available to community managers questions about the benefits of gluten-free cat food!”, how many in the not-too-distant future. Be on the lookout for intelligent of them would respond and start a real conversation? automation tools that will use data from your CRM and marketing automation platforms to deliver targeted, valuable content to your social audience.28 29
  16. 16. Social Pipeline Reporting Currently, community managers are reporting on leading Measurement is the core of effective digital marketing. Finding indicators ( follower counts, number of retweets, etc. ) rather out what works and what doesn’t and iterating messaging, targeting, than business outcomes. But they want, and need, to report and channels is the critical iterative process that leads to strong on actionable business metrics. Social campaign reports for B2B program returns. companies need to have the following metrics: One of the key data points needed to feed this process is the • Audience Size ( # of fans or followers ) return on investment for a given marketing campaign. Campaign • Penetration rate ( # of interactions / audience size ) ROI is the key data point required to feed this measurement process. — think of this as email open rate A marketing programs’ efficacy is measured in business returns — • Leads generated leads generated, website purchases, opportunities won. Marketers • Opportunities generated are used to reports like this within most major channels that they use • Opportunities won every day. Email, paid search, affiliate, and display advertising all have • New Revenue ROI baked in to their standard reporting. Social does not. This is a social campaign report. If you don’t have this data, you’re not The reason for this is simple: the technologies are only now being conducting sound, results-oriented marketing campaigns. You can’t get developed to allow marketers to associate social actions with this data without mapping social actions to underlying prospects. individual prospects and their individual purchase decisions. And it is only when you can map marketing activities to purchase decisions that you’re able to come up with a meaningful ROI.30 31
  17. 17. The Community Manager Gets A Raise We made a silly claim at the top of the document — “Teach a community manager to fish, and she will get a raise and a promotion.” The delivery is obviously a joke, but we’re absolutely serious about the sentiment. Community Managers play a pivotal role in the evolving social business. They have the most public-facing position of anyone in their organizations — they must be, at the same time, a brand ambassador, a customer support rep, a sales rep, a product strategist. And they need to do all of this while seeming like a normal human being that your audience can relate to. Up until this point, the community manager has been an unsung hero. This manifesto is, more than anything, about taking the work that the community manager does day-in, day-out, and elevating it throughout the business. Putting sales insights in the hands of sales reps. Surfacing customer support cases. And giving the CMO real insight into social’s impact as a marketing channel. We want to make these things happen. And if you are a community manager, you should want these things too. It’s time for social media to take its seat at the table. And it’s time for you to ask for that raise.32 33
  18. 18. The Argyle Social Solution If you’ve made it this far, thanks for sticking with us and thanks for reading. We entitled this document a manifesto for a reason. We think that the stuff we’ve been preaching for the past 30 pages is important. Social media can be transformative for B2B businesses, but only when Community Managers have a tool that connects them directly to the individual fish, and connects their activities with the rest of the enterprise. As of June 1st, 2012, that tool didn’t yet exist. As of June 1st, 2012, you couldn’t connect community managers’ activities with prospects’ social interactions with your CRM, help desk, and ecommerce data, even if you wanted to. Today you can. Companies have two ways to get this functionality: • The Argyle Social Signals API allows companies to take this social data and feed it into any of their core enterprise systems. • And Argyle for is a plug-and-play integration that makes this data available within your instance. — Transparency is a core value at Argyle, so we figured we might as well give notice to our customers, our competitors, and our partners what we’ve been up to and where we’re headed. If you’re a Community Manager and you’re interested in these ideas, give us a shout — we’d love to take you on a fishing trip.34 35
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