PART DEUX—A mathematical equation

I am of the belief that everyone should experience working in a restaurant at some point in their lifetime. The food biz teaches you discipline, teamwork, the perils of becoming a grumpy old bar patron, and every disgruntled consumer’s favorite mantra: the customer is always right. The theory “your customer is always right” is a great for teaching one how to maintain his or her poise under pressure and uphold the standards and quality of the brand or company he or she represents. Generally, I think most people would agree that “the customer is always right”... until you realize that the customer you’re working with is actually the wrong one.

On #MktgProbz this week we answer the question, how to find your brand’s best channel for social media. In the video I share the strategic approach I employ when preparing to open up a new channel of communication with my audience. But, truthfully, the answer to this question is more complex than a 3-minute video would allow for. Below I deconstruct what makes a channel the right one for your brand, and you can refer to #MktgProbz episode 06 for instruction on how to apply this for your company or personal brand.

I) What is social media good for? More than you think.

Communication has two major purposes. One, to share information and, two, to create understanding. This seems simple enough, right? Good, so we can all agree that social media is just a technologically enhanced way of communicating. Right? Wrong. Social media is a lot more than that. Social media is most often utilized by brands as a public form of discourse. What’s the difference? It’s visibility.

Social media platforms are visibly public channels of communication that enable us to have personal conversations across time and space. Not seeing the importance here? Public communication or symbolic expression has way more implication on the world around us than does private, interpersonal conversation. Social media rhetoric (aka—activity, media, communication) doesn’t just create one-to-one impact and understanding. Rather, the unprecedented visibility of social media communication creates meaning is society which, in turn, helps us make sense of our experiences, construct our identities, and live our public lives.

Why does any of this matter? Because it alters the reason for communicating in the first place. When your customers are on social media they’re not looking for a sales pitch, a giveaway, a promotion, or a product demo. They’re looking to gain some greater understanding about the things they are experiencing, themselves, and everything going on in the crazy world around them. But, when you take a look at a lot of the content marketers are serving up on social media few brands are putting out content that satisfies an audience's’ hunger for deep understanding and identification in a technologically enhanced world.

II) Why is this absolutely vital for you?

All this to say, that your blog, your Twitter, your Snapchat, your Facebook, Instagram, and more are not about you. They are about your customer. And, it matters A LOT as to who that customer is, what he or she wants to understand, and where they’re looking for it.

The fit of each marcom (or “marketing communications”) channel can be assessed through a simple PQ x CP equation. PQ is the prospect quality, or how closely the audience on a specific channel matches your target customer. CP is the conversion probability, or where this individual is in your customer lifecycle journey. Each channel has a different combination of PQ x CP fit. AKA—there is no single channel by which you should communicate to individuals at every stage in your customer lifecycle. Instead, think about each channel as being perfect for communicating with intent at a specific stage in the customer journey. In #MktgProbz I start and end my strategy with why. I did this intentionally to make the point that before you can determine where is the best place to communicate you must first identify for what reason and with whom, specifically, it is that you want to communicate with.

So, before you decide to open up a new marcom channel first ask yourself why. Take a look at your customer journey. Identify the areas in which you see targeted or qualified leads fall off the funnel. Figure out “who” that person is. What characteristics do your fallen prospects share? What about their journey is similar? Do some research and figure out what this segment is looking for that you are not supplying. Once you identify who this audience is and what are they seek to understand, you can then appropriately assess the different social media channels available to you for best fit. Ultimately, in marketing it will serve you well to remember that your brand is not a Denny’s. The customer is always right mantra has no place here. Instead, marketers should live & die by the theory theory that only the right customer is always right.


Are you communicating by default, or by design?

—this #MktgProbz episode is for Jason!