What Earns You Respect?

This week I am teaching a class of management students on #digital marketing. What I find, especially with management students, is the tendency to use jargons. I love jargons too. Nothing wrong in throwing one’s weight using jargons. But when asked for an explanation, if you are wrong or have not understood what the jargon means, you stand exposed. Hence one should be careful. Alternatively practicing to use simple words, to explain, attracts people. It never goes wrong. Not using jargons, no one will run the risk. But using jargons and not able to explain it can undo a lot of things. So be careful while using jargons. What earns you respect is what you can explain simply. I try to teach in simple terms and then introduce jargons. Just an observation from the class. What do you think?

My Thoughts On Technology/Pharma Featured @PharmaVoice


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Growth Via #SocialBusiness : Why Businesses Are Stranded

Just Do ItI discuss #social strategies with many businesses. Everyone understands that it is the way forward. Everyone understands why it has to be sooner than later. But almost everyone takes no action and gets stranded with the decision. They do not move forward. Often during the discussions I hear the reasons.

I talk about mapping their current practices to digital equivalents. That is not easy with their current practices.

Some of the reasons I generally see are:

  • Businesses are not transparent with their employees/customers/stakeholders/partners.
  • Business owners want total control of the situation. They fail to realize that customers don’t need their permissions to talk about them.
  • The team knows they are not good with customer service.
  • Businesses know they are not sincere.
  • They know they do not have great products.
  • They know they want to retain hierarchichal structure with total control.
  • Most of them think customer education will make it difficult for them to sell/serve. So they don’t want to initiate customer education. They think explaining about their products/services, in a way to sell them, is customer education. They are so naive sometimes. They want to wait out till customer learns on their own.

They are more afraid that their not-so-good face will come out openly and hit them badly. They ask me how they can control things. They want to know if there is a way to project only the good face. They ask me if they can partially do whatever. They ask me who will take responsibility.

They are right not going #social with these drawbacks. #social is not a plug-in.

I tell them how they can start and change their businesses using #social and use it as an opporunity to both correct the drawbacks and also to have their dream fulfilled towards the future.

Is There A Plug-in For #SocialSuccess?

 

I visited a company who wanted to listen to me on the ways to use #social for their existing business. As usual, I started with my one-slide Ramayana (I picked up the slide from the internet) and also showed one slide #socialsuccess theme prepared for them and detailed the rest of my ideas. Since the company is a large one and the directors of the company are well-versed on many things, my job was easy. They already knew all the “blah blah” about #socialmedia. They are also extensively using it personally. They agreed that using-personally and building-a-brand-on-it are two different things.

Now you see, it was so easy to talk to them.

The crucial question they had: who will do it? Who will implement it?
My simple answer: All of them together.

My take was:

They should map the existing success steadily into digital prints. At all levels. This will give the necessary confidence.
They should look at integrating the whole company with #social. Not necessarily all at one go, but eventually. But the integration thought process should be there from day-one.
They can choose areas of experimentation within the businesses and start somewhere to learn. Then roll out.
They can start internally and slowly move out externally(customer-facing activities).
In all of the above, they should concentrate on “conversations” be it internal or external.

We discussed many examples and some examples that I could think of from their own domain,I gave. They were too good and hence could understand it completely.

Will they move forward? They might.

If they dont, it will either be because of reluctance to move(let-us-wait-and-see-kind) or the belief in that myth of a plug-in called #socialsuccess which they will continue to look for and loose more time without realizing that there is no plug-in called #socialsuccess that a business could use readily.

I am happy from the time that we need to tell businesses that they need #social for business we have moved to how/who/when kind of questions.

A Secret That Works Well For Me

MindLet me quickly share a secret which works well.
I have been working with #socialbiz (short for Social Business) advisory services and with SME customers in many parts of the world for almost 5 years now in a full-fledged way.
Most of the times customers agree to everything I say but finally ends up with
“I am not yet ready for expenses”
It is always this, when it comes to #socialmedia.
Many of us would agree that it is not true, but we need to accept customers’ answers. What is the way out?
My way out:
I tell them: Ok. I will accept “what you can pay” or “free for certain amout of time” with two riders: 1. I will deal with only the decision-maker while working with your project or company 2. You(the decision-maker) have to put in your time and learn with me.
This is a beautiful filter. If the first objection is false, then customers will find another excuse for this and hence they are not worthy enough to cater to.
If the first objection is genuine, they will take my offer. Once they spend time and learn with me, there is no going back and understand the significance of what I am saying and see the value-for-money. So I win over the client and the trust that develops through this method is long-standing.
Its a win-win situation.

A Lecture On Social Media And Its Impact In Business

YES Chennai 2014

I was invited to give a lecture by YES Chennai Chapter. They heard about my talk at YES Ramnad and invited to deliver this. Word Of Mouth promotion within YES.

A few years before atleast 4-5 people would argue that socialmedia was a fad and it would not work. Now there are no objections and more agreements. Atleast 5-6 people tweet and get connected right at the venue of the talk. A few people follow-up with a “follow” via social networking platforms, email and phone. Thats good sign. Everyone seems to be in agreement that socialmedia can do good and bring about the much needed growth. Hope it moves onto action and business growth in a few years. I try and put in the seed for #socbiz so that they can catch up faster.

2014: Video year for me

This time I hired a person with EOS 5D Mark II camera and had taken some clippings which I can use as promotional videos. I have been thinking of using videos for promotion and looks this year I will give it a try and learn it. This especially looks important  as I advise more customers about using videos for their businesses.

Looks an exciting year ahead with #socialmedia implementation for customers. Keep in touch to know more.

Ramnad: YES Talk Visit


 

 

Marketing Through Website

I spoke on Marketing Through Website(title chosen by the organizers).

Re-Imagining business
Barriers to change
Understanding Social Media
Connecting the social dots
Doing eCommerce/mcommerce

Posting some pictures from Cannanore. #2013talks

Assimilate, Share and Practice with #socbiz

Net Practice

Net Practice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was at my kids’ school today for a PTA meeting. The dean of the school talked about ASP as a motto for the school.

ASP: Assimilate, Share, Practice. I thought it is a very relevant message even for businesses in this #socbiz age that we live in.

The dictionary meaning of Assimilate is “take in (information, ideas, or culture) and understand fully”. Businesses today can assimilate more than any time in the past. They can follow thought leaders, competition, customers, their own employees and other stakeholders and take in so much of information, ideas and culture. They have more than the necessary tools to understand them in proper perspective.

The same way they can share such information, ideas and culture with everyone by using #social tools.

The most difficult is to practice. Here lies the key for success. Assimilation and Sharing become pre-requisites to practice and practice makes it a winning strategy. Since it is such an important word, I give here the dictionary meaning of practice as “the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about such application or use”. Practice also renders more meaning to the assimilation and sharing. Traditionally businesses spend more time, energy & money to assimilate and share the best practices within and outside of the companies. That becomes easier with #socbiz tools with the convergence of #social, #mobile, #cloud and #bigdata.

I thank all those, whom I follow, who help me assimilate the best, I thank all those who follow me and appreciate my sharing. Putting these into practice is what makes us win. One strengthens the other and when done as a process of ASP, we win hands down.

How do you Assimilate, Share and Practice in your business? Feel free to comment.

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Building The #Social Ecosystem

LHI-logo-cuv 200x100When it comes to new technologies or applications around them, we need evangelists to promote them in a generic way. Someone has to be available to show around many aspects of what you need to learn, especially when you have a stiff learning curve. Not everyone has that interests and patience to make it a model for them. Lighthouseinsights.in seems to have that when it comes to #socialmedia. Hence I like them.

Some of us who are in the new space of advising on #social business find it extremely helpful to refer prospects to a neutral place where they can see for themselves what is happening around in the world of #social.  I find Lighthouseinsights.in is a good place for such a reference.  Those articles render credibility to our arguments on why businesses should become #social.

Further I thought I would share what they (applicable to someone similar to them) can do to contribute more to the business community. The following are my thoughts:

  1. Continue “more of the same” as it is good work done. I am finding it easier to refer people to read up a lot of examples in one place and also with more relevance to India. They told me that they would cover the whole of Asia as they go by.
  2. Move to the new #social business news rather than stand-alone #socialmedia strategies. I mean, by #social business, the convergence of #social, #mobile, #cloud and #bigdata.
  3. Interview regular traditional business people and publish what they think. It would be interesting to listen “for” and “against” #social from traditionalists. It will also help a lot of us fine-tune. Ask traditionalists their pain-points and ask specialists what and how they think #social will solve it.
  4. Partner a set of #social biz advisors who can blog for you about various aspects. You can use point 3 to create more relevance for this.
  5. The partner advisors can be used to create awareness programs with various associations, industry bodies and various organizations. Offline promotions will go a long way to gain traction.
  6. Release white papers and e-books on selected topics, which are handy guides to those who are in need.
  7.  Open a #social clinic where you can match the advisors (specialists of social media, cloud, mobile, bigdata) and business needs (customers) for an exclusive Q&A between both. They already post jobs related to this field.
  8. Have a sponsored kiosk in physical traditional events to promote awareness.
  9. Newsletters, Webinars and on-demand workshops.
  10. You are doing a great job of not promoting tools but examples of business applications with those tools. Kudos and continue with that.

Please do add others that you know who do a similar job of promoting #social with news and examples. It will be useful to refer. It will contribute to the ecosystem of businesses.