Online Marketing Summit PHX: Part 1 of 6
The inaugural Online Marketing Summit in Phoenix attracted more than 200 search and social-media marketers May 20 to the downtown Sheraton convention space.
The all-day event, organized by Aaron Kahlow, CEO of Online Marketing Connect, featured several keynotes and then presentations broken into three tracks: B2B, B2C and Social Media Integration.
Based on the comments of attendees, the summit produced numerous nuggets for navigating the ever-changing online landscape.
This is the first of a six-part series.
Creating a ‘Center of Excellence’
For mid-sized to large companies, the social media/online department is no longer a pair of folks working in their own silo and trying to get the rest of the organization to listen to them.
Companies realize that everyone is having conversations online, and that it’s in their best interest to participate.
Hunt described creating a “Center of Excellence” within a company. It would comprise four “pillars”:
- Uniform KPIs: The organization determines what they will measure in terms of online participation and why. Instead of trying to gather all types of data, a company should select only those that are relative to its objective and can provide actionable information.
- Education: When it comes to search and social media, a company needs to know what it’s doing, when it’s doing it and how it’s doing it. One issue is what keywords or tags should be used across all marketing divisions.
- Force multipliers: If a company can establish some basic standards and rules, the message will be more unified. A company needs to actively manage its portfolio of brand assets for best effectiveness and analyze processes to see that efforts are not being duplicated.
- Engagement: Commonality is great but the center of excellence’s impact will rely on customer service. For this reason, a company needs to set up scenarios and document the actions expected by front-line personnel. Furthermore, if keywords being used by the online marketing are repeated by the team pushing out emails, the company’s search presence will be enhanced.
In a reply to a specific question about gaining a higher presence in search engines, Hunt recalled his days with Procter & Gamble and the importance of “shelf space.”
“You want to seek out multiple positions in search,” he said.
Ginty said one of the problems companies face in social media is “publishing without listening.”
“There’s inconsistent reporting, goals are experimental only and there is an absence of a common strategy,” she said. She showed an image of a lot of building blocks collapsed on a table.
Instead, an organization needs to coordinate its marketing efforts with the public-relations team, and with its technical support and customer-service folks. She suggests identifying one person who “listens” and then distributes questions to the individuals who can best produce answers.
Interactions may occur on a company website or blog or forum. But she emphasized that your customers are on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
“That is where the party is happening,” Ginty said. “You need to go there and listen.”
This may be as simple as doing a search of the company name or product. The team should develop a template for how to interact with customers.
She particularly encourages companies to use YouTube.
“Create an advocate for the customer,” she said. “Produce a video that helps them.”
Maura Ginty of Autodesk shares some ideas on integrating a digital strategy throughout an organization. Bill Hunt looks on.