How do you compete in a social economy? Interview with Impact speaker and CMO, Alan See
Shaku Selvakumar 060001XT47 firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  social ibmimpact digital cmo business_leaders marketing_strategy
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Berry Network Inc is a specialized marketing agency and a wholly-owned subsidiary of AT&T. Headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, Berry Network supports over 400 regional and national clients with comprehensive local search marketing programs. Berry Network’s award-winning portfolio continues to expand, and includes a variety of media consumers use when conducting a local search including; print and Internet Yellow Pages advertising, search engine marketing, mobile marketing, direct mail, and social media.
This year, for the first time at Impact 2011, we will talk about the CMO agenda and the mandate for the accelerated business. I caught up with one of our Impact speakers, Alan See, CMO at Berry Network to learn more:
Alan, you are at the forefront of the digital scene and a thought leader. What are your views about the CMO mandate and the IT intersection?
The intersection between Marketing and IT is now a major feature on most strategy road maps. In fact, the CMO and CIO will be on each others calendar a lot this year! Digital media and in particular social media involve technology and strategy issues that will need to be negotiated and resolved at the top level. Questions and concerns related to network security and access to the social platforms necessary to bring a social media strategy to life will necessitate ongoing dialogue and cooperation.
Let me answer that question this way. Ted Turners old success advice; “Early to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise” is not something a CMO can bet their career on anymore. Many consumers’ now expect transparency, trust, relevance and engagement. I know my priorities have certainly shifted in order to deliver on those types of expectations.
What is a social-ready organization? And why is it so important for companies to make this distinction?
A social-ready organization is focused on the customer experience through the execution of a social media marketing strategy that creates value for both the consumer and the organization. A social-ready organization delivers on that goal by integrating social media in a way that allows them to facilitate and nurture communication between all key constituents. Engagement at that level requires an organization to be authentic, transparent, responsive and trusted. In short, they’re probably going to need a new corporate mindset. To support that new mindset, a company that aspires to be social-ready should focus on three key competency areas. First of all strategy. For example, does your organization have a social media marketing strategy? If so, does your strategy integrate and support your strategic marketing plan? Does your strategy have cross-functional executive level support? Second, technology. There is no way around it; you are going to need technology infrastructure support to build a social-ready enterprise. And finally, processes. Get ready to modify some of your operational processes in order to support your social media goals and objectives.
What are some of the challenges that you see companies facing with the accelerating pace of business and our turbulent economy?
I’ve noticed a keen focus on what I’ll call the intersection between “social-mobile-local search” and “daily deal” type of activities. In today’s economy, all businesses, particularly small locally owned service-based organizations, want to be found by ready-to-buy consumers who live in their specific trade area. Consumers are now increasingly using specialized internet search sites that allow users to submit geographically focused searches against a structured database of local business listings. This is commonly referred to as local search. The probability of converting those local shoppers into new customers increases when coupons or daily deals are offered at the right time through the right channel. The right channel may very well involve mobile search on a Smartphone making it possible for the on-the-go consumer to find the business. In addition, location-based services make it possible for a business to push a message or offer directly to a consumer who "checks-in" or is simply within proximity. Social-Mobile-Local search activity will only accelerate as more consumers adopt Smartphone’s.
This is your first Impact conference and I have been following you on Twitter. You have a great session as part of the Forbes Business Leadership Forum. Can you tell us more?
Thanks! I’m excited and honored to be part of the
conference. The title of my session, “Competing
in a Social Economy” may sound a little funny.
But the rise of social media really does impact an organizations ability
to compete. The entire C-suite needs to
rally around this emerging channel or risks maintaining their brand
relevance. In addition, employees at all
levels should be part of the social media adoption process. In my opinion, building a customer focused
social-ready organization will require collaboration across functional silos
that is far more extensive than any CRM
implementation an organization may have experienced.
We have an exciting lineup of speakers. Who are you looking to hear from at Impact?
I’ll also be participating as a panelist in the “Strategy for Global Collaboration & Innovation” session. My co-presenters are Arvind Malhotra, University of North Carolina (UNC) Kenan-Flagler Business School, Alexandar Manu, Innospa International Partners and Michael Hugos, Center for Systems Innovation. I’ve already introduced myself and connected to them through LinkedIn. But I’m really looking forward to meeting them in person and learning from their experience.
Thank you, Alan and looking forward to meeting you at Impact!
Register for Impact 2011 and attend more exciting sessions like these at the Forbes Business Leadership Forum at Impact 2011. Today's connected customer doesn't respond to traditional marketing tactics alone, but Chief Marketing Officers can bridge the gap between themselves and prospective customers through innovative use of technology. Impact 2011 shows how a new, tech-enabled marketing strategy that improves the consumer experience can transform the business – and your career.
Marketing leaders who attend the Forbes Business Leadership Forum can walk away with an actionable plan for creating a more consistent, compelling brand and customer experience. Optimize marketing processes and deepen your insight into customer wants and needs to increase consumer preference, share of wallet and loyalty.