Tuesday 06 December 2016

The Process of Transforming Your Brand to a Media Company

This is a slightly altered excerpt from my upcoming book, Your Brand: The Next Media Company, which is now available for preorder on Amazon.com.

We are inundated daily with media, social connections, status and relationship updates, event invites, tweets, retweets, mentions, direct messages, +1’s, likes, loves, texts, emails, alerts and other random noise that we purposely create filters so that we only consume the content that is relevant to us at a specific moment in time. And the fact that we must hear, see or interact with a message 3 to 5 times before we believe becomes extremely problematic, especially if you work in brand or marketing communications.

So in order for you to reach the dynamic nature of consumers today, you must think about content differently. Traditional marketing tactics alone cannot effectively reach consumers. A 30-second television spot during the Super Bowl is nice to have but it’s not going to turn around a failing brand; either will a clever tweet during the half time show.  Aggressive content marketing won’t work either. You must have a fully integrated content strategy or what I call being “brand omnipresent” that delivers value across the entire online ecosystem in order to fully change consumer behavior or perception. This means that there must be a consistent value message across every form of content; and all forms of media – paid, social, owned, earned – must tell a similar story.

Unfortunately, this is much easier said than done.
Content is the number one challenge for brands today. The ability to tell an integrated brand story across the social web requires internal planning, cross team collaboration, coordination between different marketing teams in various geographies, processes and workflows for content ideation, creation, approval, distribution and optimization. This book will give a detailed approach to overcome many of these obstacles and allow for your brand to fully transform into a media company, using a social business strategy.

Regardless of you define social business; it’s hard to argue that organizations today must change if they want to stay relevant and competitive. I have seen business change and lived through many of its ups and downs during my career. Smart Business, Social Business was my eyewitness account of living through this organizational change while working for large brands like Hewlett Packard, Yahoo! and Intel. In the book, I plead the case that all business, large and small, must evolve into a social business just for the sake of being a social business.

That’s where I got it wrong.  I didn’t continue the story.

Companies that want to become a social business for the sake of “becoming a social business” doesn’t make sense. Enterprise collaboration for the sake of enterprise collaboration is silly. Deploying internal communities using software platforms like IBM or Jive just because your competitors are doing so is a complete waste a time, money and resources.

There must be positive business outcomes.

There has to be a strategic initiative as to why you want to change your business – one that makes sense.

Even before my first book, I talked about the need for companies to start thinking about socializing their business. But the question I often get is “why?” Why is it important for my business to deploy internal communities, tear down silos, coordinate go-to-market plans or get my butt out of my cubicle and have a conversation with my colleagues down the hall? These are all good questions and this book is full of answers. Becoming a social business with no vision for where it’s going to take you is like investing thousands of dollars building your first dream home and never moving in to live in it and enjoy it.  It’s a waste of time otherwise.

I look at social business strategy as an enabler. Let me explain.

I am a marketing guy by trade so many of the challenges I help my clients with are the ones that help them improve the way they communicate externally. Sometimes it’s about operationalizing their content marketing strategy. Other times, it’s about building processes and workflows that can help scale social media globally. And many times, it’s fixing disjointed content and community management practices.

In other words, in order to fix many of these content challenges, you need a social business strategy (people, processes, technology) that can stand the test of time and one that enables better content, smarter marketing, integrated communities and more effective customer relationships. And that’s exactly what this book is about – enablement.  It’s about tackling a real-world marketing problem (or better yet, an opportunity) and using a social business strategy to solve it.
So what is this real-world business problem?

It’s actually pretty simple. Your brand needs to start thinking, acting and operating like a media company. And the reason why is right in plain sight. There is a content surplus in the marketplace today and consumers have an attention deficit. In order for you to reach consumers with your value message, you need to manufacture an environment where you are creating, curating and aggregating relevant content – at the right time, in the right channel and to the right customer. And your brand story must be consistent everywhere. Unfortunately, it’s not like we press the “media company” button and change operations overnight. A social business strategy will help facilitate behavior change, identify roles responsibilities, build workflows around the content supply chain, and make the right technology investments that can help facilitate this transformation.

Richard Edelman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Edelman Public Relations has said for a few years now that “every company is a media company.” Sadly, some companies don’t know it, resist the change or have no clue on how to fully transform their business.  My book will help enable your brand, whether large or small, to leverage the frameworks, practices and strategies of social business to fully transform your brand into an operational content marketing machine. Or better yet, a media company.

Here is a synopsis of the book on Slideshare. Enjoy.

Image credit: tedmurphy

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