During the recent Expion Social Business Summit in Raleigh, I got a chance to see Michael Brito present—and he didn’t disappoint. Hailing from Edelman, and a business strategist, his presentation was focused on social business. Fitting for a social business summit, no? And even better than discussing the five truths, Michael’s presentation covered how you can adapt your business strategies once you understand those truths.
The Five Truths
1. Surplus. There is, without question, a surplus of both content and media. We are all routinely bombarded with tweets, posts, texts and noise, not to mention a plethora of marketing messages.
2. Lack of Attention. There is an attention deficit. We only have so much space in our heads and can only handle so much information at a time. This happens to me all the time—and I have to ask people to hold off on giving me more information until I can process what I’m working on, does that happen to you as well?
3. Customer Journeys Are Unique. Every customer journey is dynamic. This is really important for brands and agencies to understand as they develop messaging and campaigns. And that customer journey? It’s wildly unpredictable and changes. Daily. Multiple times.
4. Tunnel Vision is a Reality. Without question, we all have tunnel vision. And because we can only consume a finite amount of content, we only want to consume a finite amount of content. And that content has to be relevant to us, at the time we encounter it, or we’ll filter it. Michael gave a great example of this that made a lot of sense. Imagine you want to refinance your house. So a lot of the content you consume at that particular point in time is about mortgage rates, the benefits of a 30 year loan versus a 15 year note, how the right appraiser can make all the difference—all related to a refi. Once your needs have been met and you’ve refinanced your home, you immediately filter out all content related to refinancing because you no longer need it. Tunnel vision—at work.
5. Everyone Matters. In today’s uber connected world, everyone is influential. We are all influencing one another to purchase products and not to purchase products. I recently asked my Facebook friends which airline I should use to fly into San Francisco to speak at a conference because I was flying from an unfamiliar airport and the two airlines serving that market are airlines I’m not all that familiar with. Their feedback impacted my decision on which airline I ultimately selected. How many times a week do your friends and connections influence your decisions? I’d wager the answer is many.
Content, And How It Impacts Business
Brito reported that 78% of marketers surveyed say their biggest problem is content. And since part of what we do as an agency is provide content solutions to clients, this is a reality we live daily. Content is, without question, the heart of what we (brands and agencies) have to do (and generate) in order to reach consumers.
So, content is one of the biggest problems facing marketers and 43% of marketers surveyed report that developing content takes too much time. What’s a body to do?
Well, here’s the thing–business objectives remain a constant. And no matter our businesses, we all need a certain amount of growth, sales, profitability, etc. And the external marketplace is not going to change. So when it comes to serving your customers as well as to meeting your growth, sales and profitability goals, the only option for brands and marketers is to adapt and change. You have to change the way you think. You have to change the way you operate. And you have to change what you do. And in order to do that, take a look at media companies and understand how they work. Because what they’re doing? Well, it’s what brands and marketers need to understand how to do as well.
How Media Companies Operate And Why It Matters
Five key elements are important when it comes to understanding how media companies operate. They are:
Storytelling – Media companies are masters of storytelling.
Content machines – Media companies are truly content machines. They produce content by the boatloads. Content that their audience not only finds relevant, but that they consume, like and share as fast as media companies can produce it.
Relevance – Media companies understand what it takes to produce content that’s relevant to someone, somewhere, sometime, that’s both recent and real-time.
Ubiquity – Media companies are everywhere. By virtue of the sheer volume of content they produce and content that they’ve created that’s disseminated by others, they dominate search engine results.
Agility – Media companies pretty much personify the word “agility.” In their organizations, there’s not a lot of red tape and corporate bureaucracy–they can (and do) move quickly and have workflows that can adapt to facilitate the entire content supply chain (ideation, creation, approval, distribution and integration). Think about Forbes, Digiday, AdWeek, TechCrunch, Mashable, etc.
Content and Its Role in Social Business
Media companies have the business of content firmly in hand. And brands and agencies? They need to figure this out. Not having the time, the skills or the resources to create the right kind of content isn’t the answer to your own growth and profitability, nor is it the route to serving the needs of your clients and prospects.
And, according to Brito, if you want to understand the basic premise of social business, especially the part of the social business equation that relates to content, you’ve got to understand that.
Social business is thinking about being adaptable. It’s about changing your business to facilitate the transformation that the distracted, saturated, connected consumer of today has undergone. Adopting social business principles makes you smarter–with both your marketing and your data, it allows you to create better content, build better client relationships and serve your clients better. Which, in turn, allows them to meet their growth and revenue goals.
Chew on that for a little bit, think about how (or if ) your company is focused on integrating social business principles across the organization, where you are today and where you might be tomorrow, and the role that content plays, or will play, in that undertaking. Then come back in a couple of days and we’ll give you some more information and some how-to’s from Michael Brito’s presentation.
This post first appeared on the Expion Blog. You should be reading it. It’s awesome.