Internalize social for marketing

The chief marketing officer’s role is undergoing a massive shift that matches the shift we’re seeing to a mobile and social online world. The Internet, social media and the turmoil of the publishing industry have radically altered how we connect with customers and prospects.

Now, thanks to Facebook and Twitter, your brand is shaped by what customers say about you and by how you respond to that public conversation.

As marketers, it’s our job to chart the path for brand awareness and relevance in this new landscape. To make that happen in today’s social, mobile and real-time world — which we at call Cloud 2 — CMOs need to be adaptable. They need to be willing to try new strategies, enlist new talent and hear others’ perspectives. The most effective way to achieve those goals is by using enterprise social networks internally.

Take Saatchi & Saatchi, a creative advertising agency that wanted a central workspace where creative professionals throughout its seven offices could swap ideas and best practices, streamline project management, and see what others were working on.

By applying social applications within their organization, Saatchi & Saatchi has been able to crowd-source campaigns and materials, create workflows, and share tactics and successes they might not otherwise have known about. They have found new ideas and creativity in unexpected places, which enables the agency to reuse campaigns, materials and strategies across markets.

Collaboration through social networks for the enterprise enable companies to act with far greater speed and flexibility. I employ this within our own marketing department, and it lets me follow lead conversion with our sales organization. That means I can follow big deals and collaborate directly with a sales representative. I also can follow campaign results, see what works and doesn’t and confer across my team. My team and I can easily create new and update existing marketing materials that everyone can share and see as a single source. 

We share a wide variety of ideas, tactics, documents and customer stories. Best of all, others across my company can chime in with their own contributions. It’s true organizational intelligence and true democratization of information, which I use to build better campaigns and promote all of our campaign success throughout the company. 

Clearly, social networking for the enterprise has created a new organizational structure that bridges barriers, jumpstarts creative thinking and gives marketers unfettered access to creativity from unexpected sources. Successful CMOs will be the ones who use that new structure to their own advantage.  

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