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How to Chose the Right Social Media Partners

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W2O Group's President, Bob Pearson, outlines key factors to consider while choosing social media partners and agencies for your business. This was originally presented at the Internet Retailers Conference in Chicago.

Published in: Social Media, Marketing
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How to Chose the Right Social Media Partners

  1. 1. How to choose the right social media partners June 5, 2015
  2. 2. Why does this matter? 2 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  3. 3. Ten Reasons Why Selecting the Right Firm Matters • #1 – We can identify the exact influencers and sharers who matter • #2 – We can build our own audience architecture for a brand • #3 – We can use ESO (earned, shared, owned) to make paid smart • #4 – We can optimize our spend if we do #3 • #5 – We can see what language, channels and content matter, precisely • #6 – We can magnify the efforts of all agencies if we align • #7 – We can create better content with right insights • #8 – We can move from responsive design to responsive experience • #9 – We can work globally from fewer locations • #10 – We can build ROI metrics that ensure we are no longer guessing 3 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  4. 4. What’s not working……. 4 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  5. 5. Most RFPs, scorecards and check lists are ineffective 5 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  6. 6. Why ineffectiveness occurs • Agencies learn how to take tests • Most questions are the same, so cut and paste replaces real thinking • Market knowledge is rarely tested • Questions are tactical, not strategic • Background “knowledge checks” rarely done • In today’s world, you can review your team online pre-meeting, but we often don’t • The best firms don’t always do every rfp • Are you getting who is available vs. who you need? 6 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  7. 7. Our complaints are similar 7 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  8. 8. 10 common complaints about social media agencies • #1 – Everyone is an expert – really? • #2 – Cut and paste plans – same plan, many brands • #3 – Ideas not backed up by data – are conference rooms of people smarter than the market? • #4 – No real idea who shapes the market – who are the 1% and the 9% who create content and share your brand’s story? • #5 – Non-existent or weak campaign metrics – it’s not about page views or hits or views and hasn’t been for a long time 8 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  9. 9. 10 common complaints…. • #6 – Lack of understanding of the customer journey • #7 -- Lack of understanding of internal approval processes – “can you approve this so I send right now” vs. “how do we prepare so we are agile?” • #8 -- Non-actionable insights in a pretty dashboard • #9 – Lack of industry knowledge – that’s great you understand Facebook or Twitter, but what about my marketplace? • #10 – Lack of experience ingesting data streams – earned, shared, owned, paid media and sales data • • 9 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  10. 10. What do agencies dislike from clients? • #1 – The impersonal cattle call • 6+ firms implies agencies are commodities • 3 firms implies the client cares • #2 – Lack of clarity in brief • Info is same stuff we can see online • #3 – Inability to get questions answered clearly • In effort to be fair, the direction becomes unfair • #4 – A focus on price too early in the process • The worst are auctions to make final decision • #5 – Being referred to as a vendor • Are you going to become a trusted partner or just a service?10 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  11. 11. Agencies are thinking “you don’t know us well enough….how can we get you to know more about our tremendous knowledge, skills and people?” 11 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  12. 12. The answer is simple. Select your agencies in a different manner. If you want the best, let your agencies show you why they are Pick great athletes and teams 12 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  13. 13. #1 – If you have to do an RFP, make it a RFK Request knowledge, not a presentation 13 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  14. 14. Test by scenario • Develop the scenarios important to your brand • Assume 3-5 scenarios so you have a range • Ask each agency to listen to a scenario, take 15 minutes and then explain what they will do • You’ll see how they think and if they do it together • You’ll see what their models really are vs. slides • You’ll understand how much experience they are drawing on The move to “Knowledge” vs. “Presentation” 14 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  15. 15. #2 – Assess the social media presence of your agency and the team on your business 15 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  16. 16. Three areas to assess • #1 – Thought Leadership – what do they write about related to your business? • #2 – Your Team – what does your team do socially on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn Instagram, other? Are they leading by example? • #3 – Willingness to Evolve – is the agency or your team challenging the status quo in the public domain? Or just toeing the line? 16 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  17. 17. #3 – Ask a few questions that test market knowledge if you are passionate about an area, you are learning continually 17 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  18. 18. Examples of questions to ask today • What data streams do you ingest today? • Should name specific partners & channels • What’s your view on security for our brand? • Could discuss spam, malware, bots, click-fraud • What’s your favorite software to use for your products? • Java? Use elastic search? Apache? • How do you use social media to market your own firm? • Walk the talk? 18 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  19. 19. #4 – The clues are all available Your firm should be insight-driven and know how to identify what to do, based on analytics 19 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  20. 20. The questions to ask • Influencers – how many drive a market and how do you know who they are? • Language – how many keywords drive people to our story and how do you know? • Content – how do you determine the content we need to put out vs. what we do today? • Channels – how do you know which social/media channels are most important? 20 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  21. 21. #5 – Understand how the buyer’s decision- making process is impacted in an omnichannel landscape 21 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  22. 22. How to assess omnichannel abilities • Attitudes/Behaviors – how do you assess? • Marketing Funnel – how do you increase/shape demand? • Causality – how does social media impact SEO? paid media choices? CRM? conversion? reviews?, in-store experience? • Customer Service – how do you improve customer service? Help with returns? • Point of Sale – what can you do to leverage packaging? Displays? Labeling? coupons Example…..product x 22 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  23. 23. #6 – How do you help with the “first sale” vs. the “second sale”? 23 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  24. 24. Key questions on 1st and 2nd sale • The 1st sale • How do you map out the customer journey? • Which aspects of the journey are you weak in? • Who do you partner with and why? • The 2nd sale • How do you keep in touch with customers? • How do you build loyalty? • Do you make your client smarter via cumulative knowledge and if so, how? 24 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  25. 25. #7 – How do you get smarter each day you work with us? 25 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  26. 26. Questions to judge if you are getting smarter • Follower Strategy – how do you build followers for our brand and how does it increase in value over time? • Customer Index – do you track all customers or a representative sample and what does that lead to? • New Opportunities – provide examples of new ways to reach customers gained via your approach 26 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  27. 27. #8 – New, innovative areas require intellectually scalable models What models does the firm use to ensure consistency and why do they add value? 27 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  28. 28. Ask three simple questions • How would you identify our next 100,000 customers? • Ability to use data • What would be your approach to shape their views? • Ability to tie data, creative and engagement together • How would we measure your success? • Ability to show ROI 28 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  29. 29. #9 – Don’t judge case studies. Judge people and their ability to assess information 29 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  30. 30. Why case studies are low value & what to do • Low value because…. • The story is rehearsed • Every case study shows AWESOME, AMAZING, BEST IN CLASS WORK! WOW! • The people in the room probably didn’t do that work • New approach • What are your key learning’s from ALL of your clients and how do you apply them to evolve your offering? • Please give us 5 examples and explain the before and after for your offering 30 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  31. 31. #10 – How do you partner with other agencies? Why and when do you do so? 31 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  32. 32. Questions to ask on partnering • Difficulty of partnering –we know it is hard. Tell us how you get there. • Reference –do you have a partner we could call? • Results – why were results better together? 32 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  33. 33. #11 – Ask the agency to explain how they align with internal processes How client service oriented are they? 33 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  34. 34. Questions about internal processes • In-house experience – who on the team has worked in-house and knows how to gain right approvals? • Policies & Guidelines –do you develop policies, guidelines and training for companies today? • Map an example – explain two examples of how you accelerate internal approvals through your approach 34 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  35. 35. #12 – How to get the right metrics in place 35 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  36. 36. Establishing the right metrics • Create three buckets • Behaviors • Any action that shows intent from visits to shares to likes to retweets to views • Audience • Measure what your audience does that shows a change in behavior • Increased time reviewing brand story to actual purchase to higher share of conversation for a specific audience • Alignment • What are the metrics that matter for each brand priority? 36 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  37. 37. The final question is a question “What questions will you ask yourself to determine if your strategic plan should change?” How will you share this with us? 37 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  38. 38. Wisdom of leaders who innovate in social media 38 Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  39. 39. Key Innovation Traits of Top Leaders Vision that is incremental and continual It just never stops……… Ability to see gaps in the market without full research Continual learning leads to powerful gut feel Plans align and change based on customer insights Politics and trade-offs are not part of their vocabulary…usually Desire to fight off antibodies The “debate” is actually fun Intense desire to learn faster than competitors Reading, networking, best team and more Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  40. 40. The “Real Lessons” from Global Leaders Top 10 1. Transform your company, not a department • Empower your COE with goal of full integration 2. Think of all current models as old school • Issues management to media planning 3. Centralize strategy, decentralize execution • Build official models and the Brand X way to operate • Have a “social media roadmap” and integrate with IT 4. Realize your consultants are learning too • Learn from the leaders and teach your agencies 5. Learn how to Fail Fast • Think in terms of economic concepts, e.g. price elasticity • What is the market sensitivity to your ideas? Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  41. 41. The “Real Lessons” from Global Leaders 6. Focus on ROI from the beginning Build share of conversation, demand and more 7. Never guess Answers are right in front of you if analytics are strong 8. Innovators will drive change. Find them 9. Dinosaurs protect yesterday’s models at all costs Watch out for antibodies 10. Become a student of digital You will think different, e.g. 27 vs. 10 languages to reach majority of people globally Contents are proprietary and confidential.
  42. 42. The slides will be available on blog.wcgworld.com – “Common Sense” blog @bobpearson1845 Book – PreCommerce Next Book 2016 -- Storytizing 42 Contents are proprietary and confidential.

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