The Social Media phenomenon, coupled with the recent and seismic economic shift, is forcing marketing leaders to rethink their priorities and methods. More and more of us are realizing that yesterday’s results, including the process that delivered those results, are out of alignment with today’s focus. It turns out Twitter, to mention just one example from the world of Public Relations, is a great way to add interactivity to live product launch events (see SAS’ David B. Thomas and Mark Chaves respond via YouTube to questions asked from Twitter during the SAS Social Media Analytics launch event).
Marketing has evolved. And we all need to keep up.
Last week, I was talking with our Marketing Vice President, Adele Sweetwood and my peer, Dina Fiorentino. The three of us were chatting about how we could accelerate this rethinking of priorities and methods; about how we could integrate social activities into our traditional efforts. It’s clear that our prospects and customers wish to work with us differently, yet, to be candid, some of our marketers just don’t know how to do that.
After talking through this, the three of us realized we’ve solved challenges like this before. At the most basic level the issue is simple: something changed, and we need new thinking and new skills to adapt to that ‘something’. Or approach, then and now, is to apply a Centers of Excellence concept. There are two lines of attack:
- Formally change the organization to move people in to a centralized team, to do work that requires a specialized skill and can be leveraged throughout the department or company. Or,
- Create a central committee where best practices are discussed and documented. Each committee member is responsible to take those practices back to their teams and help others implement them more broadly.
We’ve had success with both approaches. Critical success factors include a:
- Management champion who is accountable for success
- Clear published and communicated team charter
- Team members with knowledge, credibility and passion for the role
Over the coming months we’ll be writing more about our Social Media Center of Excellence. Until then we’d like to hear from you. What approaches to the social shift have worked for your company?