Social media: join for fun!

One common advice (solicited or otherwise) companies are offered today is “social media branding”. Whether a company is into value production, compressors or nappies, content and tool companies suggest social media platform as the panacea for all marketing miscommunications and costly media approaches. Decision makers are enamoured with the promise of more leads, increased customer engagement and branding. Our experience of advising and implementing social media branding for companies in information products and services indicates the outcomes may turn out to be quite different than expectations. Yeah, social media branding helps in increased reach, more people are able to read your posts, some comments (sensibly or some irrelevant), some follow your company’s page (in expectation of job posting, client acquisition, or other info). Likes, Follow ups and sentiments analysis may often be measures of noise made in the market. Is that all desirable or wanted is difficult question. If your company believes in the good old adage “any media mention (positive or negative publicity) benefit then it is a different matter. What companies discover is that all that is published is visible to everyone in the community and some can criticize or comment negative about you and your products. News travels very quickly (viral), hence when you make a mistake online it may cause serious damage to whatever reputation your company has built in market. Another fallacy, companies realize is they can’t adopt MGM and TMC strategy of beaming aged and historic movies to connect with a new generation that lives in this moment. It can be difficult to constantly come up with innovative exciting content that interests a variety of readers, hence plan to involve multiple content generators from the company or hire experts from outside. Finally, it is great to see before and after-campaigns may turn out to be hurrah moments, Return on investment is difficult to measure. Embrace social media for the cost advantage of reaching out to whoever there is and for the fun of being part of the herd.
Fun part is to discover your inside sales team calls up a suspect client and he remembers a blog or post by your company, however vaguely. Fun part is your direct sales team visits an industrial exhibition and while exchanging cards in one of the booths are instantaneously recognized as THAT company…Fun part is to see the pride in your sales people swell a couple of meters. Fun part is discovering a partner who is impressed with what your social media inserts say about your products and wants to represent in markets which you always dreamed of.. Fun part is to discover professionals who became key partners of your company’s growth and value added employee, all thanks to your FB page or Linkedin post. Welcome to the FUN…

-Nishanth. S and Amrita Rao

Sales in difficult time

With darkening of clouds over economic region, Indian companies are bracing for a challenging year. In many companies, sales funnels look bleak and the mood gloomy. Sales leaders are under tremendous pressure to perform. In some sectors, business as usual, which is use to happen on auto mode, itself is in jeopardy. What should be the stance sales leaders adopt in these tough time? Our experiences of working with SME in Circa 2008-2009 bring out some interesting insights. Clients who used carrots survived the slowdown better, could recoup sales faster and importantly could motivate their teams to take additional loads. Clients who used the slowdown to realign “key account management” performed better. Interestingly the experience or professional degree of the resource did not matter much. In fact, one of the client moved their technical resource to key account management discovered the client side could relate better because of common lingo and professional trust and newer opportunities on the table to pursue. Three common pointers emerge from companies that emerge little scathed in 2008-09. First, key to sales performance is “Focus”. Prune the market you want to engage, invest in client intelligence (informal strategies better), and seek outcome based opportunities. Existing client relationships are easier to monetize than acquisition. Focus on relationships and opportunities within existing account and map them with appropriate resources and strategies. Second, keep sales motion nimble and last mile, well kneeled. Reduce redundancies in the system, evaluate each bit of information and opportunity and cover the last mile with your best resources. Finally, carrots work better than stick. Motivate people with higher monetary and non-monetary rewards. That pays!

Nishanth. S, Ganapathy. R