- Posted by Mihir
- On February 17, 2015
- 0 Comments
- B2B marketing, B2B marketing on social media, path to purchase in social media, path to purchase model, social wavelength
This episode covers how the transition between brands and agencies has happened of reducing knowledge gap when it comes to Social Media, how brands now tie Social Media ROI to their bottom line and how to effectively use ‘Path to Purchase Model’ for marketing and sales.
Social Wavelength Conversations Episode 02
Using Social Media for achieving your business goals.
- When we started out, on our first website, we had a box which said “Call us for 1 hour free talk on Social Media”. That was our marketing pitch. When we used to get those calls we only spoke on Social Media. In the end, most of those people who called, asked, “Ok, so how can you help us”.
- The demand over time by companies for Social Media included having a Facebook page, having more likes than competitors, improving engagements.
After all this, finally the important questions started coming like, “What have these Social Media activities done for our brand?”, “Have these activities moved the needle in terms of the company’s business goals?”
- In business minds, social media has moved from simply being a checkbox to adding business value.
Social Media has changed from being ‘nice to do’ & ‘good to have’. It is something which can be used to create significant direct business impact.
- The transition of asking “What is Social Media?” to “How can it help me in my top-line & bottom-line goals in business?” has happened in a space of 5-6 years.
- The previous growth in Social Media in India has largely happened due to the hype around it.
It is now that questions are being asked from any activities that we do or plan to do that, “What will be the impact on balance sheet or employee satisfaction or how well do we know our consumers now?
- We like the fact these questions are being asked because if we’re able to answer these questions, it’ll leave no doubt about the value that we or other people from this industry bring to the table.
- Companies work towards fundamental business goals like driving sales, increasing brand awareness, reducing the cost of operations, doing better customer service, getting better customer satisfaction, retaining and recruiting better talent, enabling better investor relationships which have costs or revenues attached to it.
If Social Media can help impact those specific numbers or goals, then we’re in the right space.
- Mihir recommends the ‘Path to Purchase Model’ for Marketing & Sales. It talks about the phase a consumer goes through to purchase a product and get involved with the product.
- Awareness phase– Problem recognition or need to find a solution.
- Involvement phase– Research about possible solutions to the problem.
- Active consideration– Comparing alternatives, asking people.
- Purchase– Selecting a solution and purchasing it.
- Consumption– Actual usage of service or product.
- Relationship building– Relationship buildup with the product or product providers which can be transactional or by having an affinity towards the brand.
- Advocacy– Giving reviews about the brand to his friends people he knows which drives the awareness phase of others.
- Based on the ‘Path to Purchase Model’, if the objective of a brand is to drive awareness towards it, then it should be ensured that the activities planned should be such that it drives awareness and have metrics in place that measures the increase in awareness. It won’t make sense to measure sales improvements in an awareness campaign.
- So the clear message is- Have an Objective, devise strategies to implement that objective & measure the results out of those objectives.
- The way an awareness campaign happens in Digital Media and Mainline is very similar. Both have to choose the specific mediums or platforms via which they’ll target. But the targeting is where the differences come out.
In mainline for example; out of 100k people who view a brand’s ad via TVC/hoardings etc, only 10% of the brand’s relevant target audience might have seen it, where in digital If they want to reach 100k people, they are able to reach 100k relevant people to the brand. This is due to having much sharper targeting options available.
- When you go back to justify to the brand’s CFO as to what we did in social, it measurable in terms of Objectives è what we did è measurable result è no of people reached è amount we spent è ROI
- For CRM activities, the measurability changes. We take an example from what we did for a leading telecom company in India.
- This brand wanted to ensure that every single query, request or complaint about their product/service/brand gets answered to in the fastest possible time.
- We developed a structure that enabled them to do that in a very measurable way. It involved how many queries we are responding to, the average turnaround time- we ensured that the response time would always be less than 1-2 hours.
- This now helps them to benchmark their CRM initiatives in other platforms like (example) a call centre. The response time they take to respond to customers can be compared to our response time. Also, the cost of running a call centre versus running a social media command centre can be compared.
- They don’t ask how many new customers we got or what was the reach of the activity as it doesn’t make sense.
- Brands now don’t have a choice but to respond on spaces where the consumers actually post complaints. It can be tweet or a post or a review on mouthshut. Addressing their queries as fast as possible while being helpful & keeping the fundamental brand goals in place ideal.
- Another example comes of a Pharmacy brand who wanted to educate about diabetes and gain customers hoping they’ll be their customers for life, but their customers were going away in some years.
- We ran Social Media listening around diabetes to know what people talk around this topic.
- We came to know through many conversations from those patients that there was a perception amongst people that yoga removes diabetes.
- We advised them to shift their marketing communication to advising them that yoga is good but is not the cure. This would’ve ensured the customer stays with them for a few more years, the value worth a few million dollars.
- B2B businesses spend a lot of time learning about their customers in their sales efforts especially when the sales are large to built stronger connections with them.
- A purchase decision in B2B involves the Initiator, Influencer, Decider, Buyer and User.
- A successful B2B sale is dependent on how well are you able to navigate through this interpersonal relationships in the organization, i.e. how well and what do you know about these people.
- A combination of meaningful data collected from what a person shares on social and digital mediums like blogs, forums, LinkedIn, twitter, Facebook together in one single view is what we call virtual ethnography.
- We can help build ethnographic profiles on such people based solely on the information that they’re sharing publicly on Social Media and don’t dwell into privately shared information.
- Thus a salesman can know about his prospect details like where he travelled, books they likes to read, sports they play, preference of movie/song genres, who influences them or whom they influence, what they do on weekends and much more.
- This is what gives a huge advantage to a salesman to close the sale compared to his competitor without this data.
- Over the next few episodes we’ll take up specific areas like HR where there are huge amount of business objectives. As we’ll always to our listeners, let us know what you want us to cover as a topic via comments or reach out to us via the links below and we’ll make sure to cover that in our future topics.
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