80% of purchase decisions based on recommendations

Society3-networked-worldSocial Media has changed the way consumer and business manager alike make their purchase decisions. The web has become the most influential resource in figuring out what to buy. Depending on the research, target audience, product or service, the percentage of new purchase decisions based on mentions and recommendations range between 72% to 90%. That is true for both B2B and B2C customers.

It is hard too imagine a manager making a  purchase decision purely based on advertising inputs and conversations with vendors. In the Tech industry estimations are that those purchase decisions are even at nearly 100% based on public mentions, reviews, and recommendations.

A business executive cannot stay put and just hope that their solutions are good enough and be recommended. They have to be proactive and stimulate mentions and recommendations. And in today’s wide open online world it is not too difficult to do so.

Smart executives focus on four business units.

1) Marketing
Marketing being the obvious one. Marketing was always the group that was responsible for sparking demand, responding to market changes and stimulating interest. A marketing department that is able to stimulate mentions and recommendations represent a huge competitive advantage over those who do not.

2) Partner Networks
Distribution channels, including resellers, broker, dealer, alliance partners are highly influential channels directly addressing certain market segments or geographies of a given vendor. Like the general marketing those channels need to be aware of the shifts in purchase behavior and able to address those changes with smart ways to stimulate conversations around their brands

3) Sales Organization
Sales people are typically the most social teams in an organization. However they are not automatically web savvy. Most have been trained over years, even decades to follow specific processes and have the hardest time to bring their sales processes in alignment with the new buying pattern.

4) Customer Experience Management
CX or CEM is a relatively new discipline in most businesses.  However, it has just become a very significant investment when it is coming to mentions and recommendations. Businesses providing a good customer experience are obviously much ahead of their competition that has only mediocre or even bad customer experience.

The ultimate Social Media objective

In today’s extremely competitive world being mentioned and recommended is one of the most important aspects of business success. Companies like Zappos, Star Bucks, Jet Blue, Virgine, SalesForce.com, BMW, SAP, coming from all kinds of industries covering both B2B and B2C, have outperformed their competition mainly due to the fact that their customers are happy and say it across the Internet.

It isn’t “Social Media” per se that makes any difference – but the way Social Media is leveraged in a globally competing world. A rock solid social media strategy is paramount to leverage the web to a degree that it positively affects the bottom line.

Axel
http://XeeMe.com/AxelS

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Thousands Of Social Media Agencies/Managers At Risk

I recently wrote a post “Over 70% of Social Media initiatives FAIL“. I received more personal responses on that one post than on all posts I wrote in the past 5 years together. It inspired my to write this response to the overarching question: “What shall we do“.

No project success – No Reference

The consequence of failing projects – beyond the fact that it failed: here goes a potential reference customer.
Agencies have to come to a bitter realization:

Taking a print brochure to the web was an important transition
Taking a webpage and share it with friends is meaningless

Tens of thousands of agencies and social media consultants struggle to run their business. The social web is just NOT what so many people think: “just yet another marketing channel”.

10 things successful agencies do differently

Successful teams think entirely different and help their business clients to think through the entire chain of implications of a social engagement rather than just selling followers, fans and a page. And this is no different whether it is a 25 people small business company or a 25,000 employee global enterprise. Continue reading “Thousands Of Social Media Agencies/Managers At Risk”

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NEW: Social Presence Methodology

After three years we are updating our methodology set. While our methods are all technology independent and don’t need an update whenever a new tool comes in or one goes out, we still fine tune our methodology set.

What has changed

1) Presence Management

Managing a social presence has grown to a very critical point that we call it now strategic. While in the  past years defining and managing the social presence was a rather easy task – it has grown in complexity in just the last two years. Today almost every department has their own page on Facebook, their own twitter account in parallel to personal accounts and the same for Pinterest, Facebook or LinkedIn groups and so forth. In addition, businesses realized the enormous brand power their teams can contribute when more and more of their employees are getting active. The presence related questions that need to be answered include: Continue reading “NEW: Social Presence Methodology”

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Top 15 Social Media Rules for Business Leader

Rule #1 Connections

If you hate to read about people walking their dog, eating pizza or making you rich in 3 weeks:

You are connected with, or are following the wrong people.

What you read is who you connected with


Rule #2 Time Management

If you are not sure how much time you should spend in social networks? Don’t spend any time at all.

Invest time in your most relevant contacts. If they happen to be in the social web – be where they are.

Invest time in relevant people not platforms


Continue reading “Top 15 Social Media Rules for Business Leader”

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How to get executives fully comprehend Social Media?

I guess you all rationalized that Social Media projects are typically difficult to close and painful to execute if executives are not well aware of the impact of Social Media to their business. The single biggest problem is that most executives do not speak your language.

Getting your or your client’s executives to understand Social Media has become for many the single biggest obstacle. Even if you have a good story, they may not trust you – but they may trust the Social Media Academy. SMACAD is trusted by executives from ADP, Dell, Salesforcce.com, SAP and many others. Based on our own experience dealing with world class executives, we created this brand new executive program: “Social Media Business Essentials” for executives and top executive consultants http://bit.ly/smacadsmbe $395 incl. certificate Continue reading “How to get executives fully comprehend Social Media?”

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Social Media Strategy For European Union

This is a great case for a social media strategy on some of the highest levels

The EU is committed to invest Billions of Euro specifically into the digital advancement of EU Member countries and their respective businesses. The EU Commission fully comprehended that the digital infrastructure is the next most important investment of a developed nation. Clean water supplies, transportation infrastructure (Water, roads, air traffic), radio communication, and now Internet and Social Media infrastructure is the pathway to a successful and globally competitive nation.

The purpose of the Social Media Strategy Europe

Helping small and medium size businesses and innovative start-ups across Europe to leverage social media to create a sustainable growth, additional jobs and being able to compete in a global market. We want to empower 25,000 business owner in the EU to leverage social media with a measurable positive impact on their business growth which created new jobs by 2016. Continue reading “Social Media Strategy For European Union”

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A Social Media Strategy is like Sex – those who have it don’t brag about it

My friend Bob Thompson wrote an intriguing post about the status of Social Media, which in turn sparked this post. Basically those companies who have a brilliant social media strategy don’t brag about it. And the reason is simple: Why should you share some of your most significant competitive advantages. As many of you know, I’m involved in several of those major strategy developments and can’t and won’t talk about it other than teaching how it is done.

Continue reading “A Social Media Strategy is like Sex – those who have it don’t brag about it”

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The Social Media Strategy Framework

In times where 60-80% of purchase decisions are based on recommendations, the best leverage of social media is making sure you are part of the recommendation chain. And that requires a sound business strategy.

Social Media Academy Strategy FrameworkThere have been quite some discussions about social media strategies recently. So I thought I share what we developed over the course of the past three years and is today in practice by some 40+ social media managers and consultants in many parts of the world and vetted by some 20+ mostly corporate social media strategy projects.

Admittedly this framework may not apply to a small business below 20 people. But even there it may be helpful to see the components.

 

The Strategy Hexagon (six components) is based on two assumptions:

Continue reading “The Social Media Strategy Framework”

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