Is your tactic killing your strategy?

Tactics might become a tornado for companies, and by tornado I mean they can destroy the core foundation of your marketing efforts, overwhelming your strategic intents.

We all talk about a strategy, a plan, a road-map to success, but in reality, finding the right mix between tactics and strategy is easier said than done. Strategy is, like a business plan, once you wrote it, it might be rendered obsolete.

tornado

The problem begins when we stand on top of our managerial pedestal and forget that someone has to implement the plan. You gave the marching orders, but do you walk the walk? Can you make your crew to walk it with you?

Check the next 5 points to avoid the wreckage of overspreading you and your team. Do I have to begin with: Have your strategy written down! I’m not even going to bother with that point.

Establish your measurements

“You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” – established Edwards Deming.

When we create an outreach plan, a marketing plan, even a sales strategy, we rely on outcomes, numbers, data. This is the same as with Big Data (you can read my previous post on the Trap of Big Data here), identifying which are the important factors to measure is as important as your strategy. Kevin Hillstrom has great insights on how to work on your measurements on his blog.

Your Key Performance Indicators (KPI) will vary, widely, and it all comes down to your strategy and where your customers are on the funnel (yes – I don’t believe the funnel is dead – go to point 3). If you don’t select which data means something, you’ll find yourself drowning in a sea of numbers which might or might not mean anything.

Are you getting anywhere with your measurements?

Are you getting anywhere with your measurements?

Communication, communication, communication

What makes a great manager is the ability to communicate clearly that plan to her team. My point here is that we tend to care much more about how we communicate to the outside audiences, and we don’t make the same efforts with our inside crowd. We allow the tactics to become the strategy for our team, because that is the tangible asset, those are the easily measurable items. We pound our team to have a strategic approach, but demand the tactics to deviate from the strategy, to generate immediate results.

If we are able to communicate what we want, how we wanted, and how far along our team can pivot from the immediate rewards/revenue, we’ll have a better and more motivated team.

Be clear on what you want your team to do.

Be clear on what you want your team to do.

Don’t forget the funnel

The funnel is dead they say? I disagree – I think the funnel is more alive than ever. Those who say its dead might base their opinion on the complexity of the current funnel.

Customers and clients don’t follow the traditional funnel anymore. They can get into our radar anywhere – maybe they no longer need to be ushered from lead to prospect, they may already be customers, but how to know? Using a CRM, tracking their interactions, rely on technology. If you don’t have the resources to do it – go back to your KPI’s those are will give you some information on your tracking efforts.

The sales funnel might look as neuronal network instead of just a funnel.

Where in the funnel are your customers?

Where in the funnel are your customers?

Where are your personas?

There are good and bad news if you already have your personas. The good part: if you have them, you already have them. You don’t need to invest more time or resources in figuring out who they are.

The bad news: Maybe your personas are inside someone’s drawer, or computer, or the Cloud. I’m all in favor of saving paper, and trees, but you have to have them where everyone who’s selling and doing marketing can see them.

An important point – update your personas often. Don’t let your personas age throughout the strategic plan. If you see that they are changing, they are using different media, they are moving to other websites, re-target and re-name them.

not idea

 Pivot and align – then align and pivot

When you have your strategy ready, try to stick to it. The danger of tactics will remain, it’s inevitable. Let’s remember D. Eisenhower’s words: “…plans are useless, but planning is indispensable”. The mere action of telling your team the plan, establishing a course of action and adjusting it to the environment will help you to be better prepared to satisfy your customers, to fulfill their expectations. Remember, they are your business, that’s why we work so hard.

Plan

10 Twitter sins for CMO’s

There is a great challenge for brands and CMO’s while using Twitter. While it is a broad spread media, with more than 500 million users, but it is also a potentially passive media, where only 170 million participate constantly, according to TechCrunch. You should have this in mind when you plan your social media mix, this will be your cornerstone of your Twitter efforts.

With that in mind, let us look at what your sins are:

  1. Not have a strategy

Of course I was going to start with this one! A media outlet will not be effective if it is not part of a whole. Twitter is not just a sound box, some people even question if it is a social media. Nevertheless, if used properly, it can be fundamental to distribute your messages.

No

2. Not communicating you have a Twitter account

Having a Twitter account is not the same as using Twitter. If you do happen to have a corporate account, you need to let your customers or clients know that you are using the platform. Include calls to action to follow you.

dontknow

3. Tweet non relevant content

You already promoted your account, now create value. This goes along with my last week’s post about creating a persona for your social media. If you post random Tweets you are not going to be followed. If you are followed and start posting garbage, you are going to lose your hard earned followers.

whatever

4. Tweeting more than 140 characters

There is a limit on Twitter – 140 characters. Respect it, obey it, live by it. Don’t try to fool your followers, we know what you are doing, and they are extra sensitive about brands and companies posting more than they should. Think of Twitter as a conversation starter while on a bar – you don’t want to come across as shy, but you shouldn’t use a cheesy pickup line either.

what

5. Not using hashtags or #using #excessive #hashtags

There was a time in which I hated hashtags (why do I kid myself, I still loath them), but by using them, you can help engage your users. Remember to think your hashtags through, before launching them. Several #fails were associated to a lack of strategic thinking of your custom hashtags.

Also, don’t overuse them – it’s not only annoying, but completely ridiculous. Cue to Justin Timberlake:

6. Not having control or a pattern of your tweets

This one is related to the third sin. You should know who is publishing, what, and which times of day. The same as in Facebook, you need to have a daily, weekly, and monthly breakdown of the major plot lines for your tweets. This will make your account to be consistent and, most important, it would allow you to think twice before using Twitter as a mere promotional platform, and force you into dialogue.

annoyed

7. Not following other users

At parties, there is always the guy that brags about how many influential friends they have. He is annoying, everybody hides from him. Don’t be that guy! It’s common courtesy to follow back. I understand personal accounts don’t have this principle in mind, but as brands or public figures, we are on Twitter to listen and dialogue, not just speak.

followers

8. Not using a Tweet Client

There are great tools out there for you to manage Twitter. My favorite has always been Hootsuite. Having a client allows you to have better control of your streams, followers, publications, and also gives you statistics and analysis on the engagement level of your tweets. Use this tool wisely – especially while programming your content.

Facebook

9. Being a robot – program all of your tweets

Have you ever received one of those annoying calls where you clearly notice that the operator is a machine with the voice of a person? You hang up immediately? Why then do you like to schedule all of your tweets?

You are hiring a social media team or community manager to create content and generate engagement. Don’t just post without replying. Don’t leave Twitter unattended during the weekends – it is after 7pm on a Friday where Twitter crisis generate and everybody is skiing in Tahoe or at the wireless nature reserve = chaos.

Chaos

10. Use Twitter as Facebook

Different platforms, different media, different users, different use from your customers – see? Everything is different. Just because it’s called a Social Media, it doesn’t mean you need to have the same content in all of them.twitter

This sin comes with a warning: You DON’T have to have a Twitter account. It’s not about who owns more social media, it’s about how effective your messages are. Use Twitter with caution, because it can generate you more trouble than rewards.

Fired

P.S. Twitter is a great platform for customer service, demands can be solved fast and you can use the search tools to improve your business.

Next week I’ll dig into Google+. Meanwhile, look at other tips for Twitter on the following links: