Monthly Archive: January 2011

How’s Your Influence In Digitally Connected Networks?

David Armano is extending his reach with a new article on Harvard Business Review’s blog, “The Conversation.”

Armano, a Senior Vice President at Edelman Digital, offers up six pillars of “the new influence” in his piece: Reach, Proximity, Expertise, Relevancy, Credibility and Trust.

I didn’t learn about influence from a book written by Malcolm Gladwell or by studying influence theory. I learned about it from years of active participation on the social web. It’s becoming more clear to the business world that this new kind of influence is more is critical to understand and harness. The increasingly skeptical but empowered public uses the Internet to bypass the middle men (like institutions) and go directly to the source.

In other words, a brand can’t rely exclusively on the old push models–advertising and PR, in particular–to create lasting and significant positive impressions among key constituents.

A better, more modern approach, is to do the heavy lifting required by social media marketing. Today, checking the brand’s Facebook page for new interactions has to be part of the marketing team’s daily routine. And brand managers need to develop keen listening skills if they’re going to actively participate in the community around the brand. Without active listening the brand has no awareness of who in their circle actually has influence. The old assumptions were the brand has influence and the media (where a brand runs ads or PR initiatives get turned into stories) has influence. There may be truth in those assumptions still, but it’s not the whole truth.

The whole truth from a marketing communications perspective requires a brand to open a new chapter in the playbook, study that chapter and begin to pursue the findings therein in the real, digitally connected world, where word-of-mouth courses through the network at lightning speed.

Dropping Some Digital Science

My friend and former colleague, Sloane Kelley, recently posted the following slide deck to the BFG Blog and Slideshare.

The deck has some interesting case studies that will prove valuable for anyone working in mobile and/or digital marketing. Sloane and her team also unearthed some interesting data. Like: M-payments account for 12% of Kenya’s GDP; 5-10% of Internet users are “dependent” according to Harvard’s McLean Hospital; and 56 million Americans are playing social-based games but 35% of social gamers have never played a traditional video game.

I’d like to say I taught Sloane everything she knows, but that’s probably a reach. But seriously, it’s good to see her and BFG succeed (and I appreciate the valuable and free resource).

To Make The Sale, Call Again

Kevin Graham spent most of his career as a high performing sales executive in the technology sector working for US Robotics, 3COM Corporation, Ingram Micro and others. Today he speaks, writes and consults.

He might be a bit too Anthony Robbins for my tastes, but I do identify with some of his core principles. Like this one:

1) Call Again

It’s an embarrassment to the sales profession that I have to lead with this tip. If I had a nickel for every reasonable, professional voicemail I received from a sales professional that I simply did not have the time to talk to that particular day. Years ago, I returned everyone’s call regardless but those days are long gone. Why do so many sales professionals call only once? If you try two, three, four or more times, you’ll likely get your eight seconds to WIIFM (What’s In It For Me).

In other words, persistence and perseverance may have much more to do with one’s success than talent or drive. Personally, I find this hard to accept, but I don’t doubt the truth in it.

I think those of us who work in marketing can borrow from this sales lesson, not only when working to bring in new business, but as a general operating principle. In marketing and sales, persistence pays. Doing something brilliant once–or once in a while–does not make the same kind of lasting impression that doing something over and over again does.

Look at Martin Agency’s work for Geiko. The brand and the agency do not rely on just the gecko, they support the gecko with cavemen, a former Drill Sergeant and a musical to name a few of Geiko’s present campaigns.

With all their creative, and a huge media budget behind it, Geiko calls again and wins.