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The New Language of Marketing 2.0: How to Use ANGELS to Energize Your Market, Part 2 (Audio Podcast Transcript)

MarketingProfs President Roy Young continues his interview with Sandy Carter, VP of SOA & WebSphere Strategy from IBM Corporation, about her new book The New Language of Marketing 2.0: How to Use ANGELS to Energize Your Market.

This is a transcript of an audio podcast.

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Editor's Note: This is episode 2 of 2. If you are just jumping in, you might want to start with the transcript of episode 1.

Roy Young:You speak about actually getting economy and stretching marketing dollars; clearly that’s something marketers and all companies are going to be interested in now as we’re facing an economic crisis. To what extent will your book actually provide the map or guidance to help companies face this economic crisis?

Sandy Carter: In the book (The New Language of Marketing 2.0) what it does walk you through and how to measure and how to show value and how to be agile enough to deal with the environment. So, I would say if you had to take away couple of things from the book in today's economic climate, one would be the agility with which these Web 2.0 technologies afford you. They allow you to experiment quicker; they allow you to change your business mall faster. In today's economy where you don't know what's going to happen the next minute, he or she who can change fastest is the one who wins. In fact, I just saw a quote yesterday from Charles Darwin and he said it's not the strongest who survive and it's not the smartest or most intelligent who survive; it’s those people who can adapt that will survive. I think that’s what this book does: is it shows you how to be agile in your marketing, how to change, how to shift, how to morph based on what your customer is doing, based on what the market is doing, and based on what's happening in a global environment.

RY:Right, very important. Sandy thinking back to your marketing career and your marketing work right now, what's the favorite thing, what is the one thing you loved most, or perhaps you can share a memory? What have you done that’s most memorable and your favorite memory in marketing?

SC: Well, I think one of the most fun things that I ever did in a marketing setting was working through and figuring out how to create a brand at IBM, and in fact, I dedicated a whole chapter in the book to WebSphere and IBM. WebSphere is an extremely strong brand; it’s ten years old this year, so we’re celebrating our ten-year anniversary. I’ve been with the brand inside of IBM for seven of its ten years of existence, so I feel a lot of association with that WebSphere brand. And going through that, what I found the most interesting was the ability of our team to adapt to different things happening in the market place. So, we started out being a very focused brand and we broadened the brand value, and we did that using a lot of Web 2.0 techniques.

Roy, we produced an SOA movie believe it or not because we found that customers were tired of listening to Powerpoint, so we produced a movie and had customers come into a movie theater and shared with them the value of our products through entertainment or edutainment as we call it today. We were able to start some very strong partner networks and ecosystems that have driven it to the whole channel strategy and how you innovate and energizer your channel. We were able to use Twitter to drive attendance to our webcast; we were able to use blogs in order to attract and educate our customers. We took our movie concept to a game because we found that we need more education in the market place, so we developed a serious game that’s used now in thousands of universities to educate our customers, our future employees on the technologies themselves. I think that stretch after ten years is a great history of how we as a marketing organization changed based on the market, how we foresaw the future in some cases and were able to jump on it ahead of others, and how we were able to leverage a lot of this new technology to build a very powerful brand in the market place.

RY:Wow, that's great. So enclosing, Sandy, can you offer perhaps your top three marketing do's and don'ts and why?

SC: Yeah, let's see, my top three don'ts. The first “don't” is don't forget the office politics. In the book I had a chance to work with some of you guys at MarketingProfs, with some of the folks at Marketing Sherpa and this came up over and over again was that if you look at best practices and if you can't convince the finance department or the IT department or the legal department about what you need to do in a way you need to market, you really will not be able to lead in the organization with authority. So this value of collaboration I think is going to grow, and I think that, that’s going to be a very strong emphasis in the future not just today, but also going there as well.

I think one of the second big “don'ts” is don't take your eye of a profit generation. When I say profit generation, I mean a lot of marketeers get entrenched with the creativity and the great new tactic or the great way they did something — innovation for innovation sake first versus innovation that matters. I would say don't take your eyes of the profit generation, determine a handful of metrics that your department can to some degree control, and understand what those trigger points are so that you can take actions that moves the bottom line of your business. That will be a mandatory skill. Make sure that marketeers, especially in this recession, are not seen as the cost center, but as a value center — really to convince the business of the profit that marketing can bring in.

The next “don't” is don't forget the technology. Today marketeers need to understand the technology. They need to know how to measure it, how to leverage trigger points, how to drive this home all the way and leverage all that great Web 2.0 power that's out there. I have heard many marketeers say their waiting to see how this pans out. Don't be fooled by how frivolous some of these new technologies are; the use of social and virtual worlds will be extremely powerful. Technology today allows us to collect data in an even more granule and precise level. It allows you to get more insight, allows you to connect intimately with your costumers; don't forget to look at the technology.

So, some of the “do's” that I would say that you would want to focus on: is you do want to focus on your influencers. A lot of marketeers that I talk to focus on their costumer and obviously that’s outstanding, but your wheel of influence as we call it in the book is greater than just your costumers; it includes your partners, universities, government, and especially with the emerging new markets. When it comes to the relationship between costumer care and brand reputation, there is an enormous amount of people using social media, and you now have a whole new set of influencers. So, these online influencers need to be at the top of your list and you need to treat them as part of your company, as part of your team. They need to be providing you insight and direction, and you need to be listening and asking for their input as well. So, this whole area of knowing your influencers, knowing who impacts and impacts your brand is important.

Another “do”, the second “do” would be do pay attention to your marketing mix. Today more than ever, and obviously the choices for a marketing mix are overwhelming and there are so many different media you can choose from YouTube, direct mail, TV, and events; make sure that you’re looking at what's really going to drive the best value for your customers and it's going to meet your goals.

If I look at the current marketing mix and I did some work with IDC, they looked at a lot of companies who are really focused on an inside out approach to their marketing mix; in other words, their mix is very focused on an outbound broadcast from company to costumer versus an outside in where they were very much focused on what does the customer want. So my advice at least once a quarter: do look at your marketing mix, make sure you have the right mix, and make sure you’re spending your money on the media that's affecting your biggest buyers. It may sound very basic, but you want to make sure that you’re always asking yourself: am I isolating my most valuable customer names, putting my money against that 20% that are really driving my business?

I think the third “do” is do invest in skills. If you think about the marketing function, you do want to focus on your 21st century talents. Now, what is talent? In the book, I talked about in Hollywood the impact and the importance that talent plays in a motion picture, the same is true for marketing. Talent is critical. A talent centric marketing organization will focus on helping its people learn to experiment with these Web 2.0 technologies allowing them the freedom, supporting them, and really cultivating this most valued skills. So, I think you need to refresh those regularly. For example, one I see very apparent today the world today, Roy, is turning to the CNN sound bite world. They don't want huge detailed white papers; they want to know what’s the essence of what you’re trying to say to me. So, all marketeers today needs to understand the basics of how to present, how to write, how to produce a video, or they need to have people on their teams who can. So, one skill is the art of the simple. Do you have that skill? Are you going to train your people on that skill ? At most today, you get 20 seconds, so are your teams’ skills up to that challenge? So I would say your last “do” is do focus on your people. Do focus on your talent management, and make sure that you’re getting them the right set of skills for today's market place.

RY:Wow, that's fantastic. Just following up on the skills set and training and bringing up young people on the different experiences that young people bring to the work place today, what do you see in the young people that you train and you work with, Sandy, that's different from when you were developing your skills in your background? As you say, they’re in a sound-bite world; they’re in a world of gaming, in the world that grew up with the internet. What's different and what works with these folks? How do you find good people, and how do you make them successful?

SC: Well, it's really interesting to see in today's world how you have to manage different skills, different people. I’ll tell you a great story: so a couple of months ago I was at family reunion. I was sitting on the second floor of a house and some of my cousins were downstairs. I had my iPhone and as I was sitting there I got a text and, Roy, it was my cousin downstairs; I thought this is really interesting. I see her once a year and she’s texting me, so I walked down stairs and I said, “I found it interesting that you texted me, why did you text me?” And she said, “Aunty Sandy, what else would I have done?” I think that's kind of captured the essence of this new generation that I see coming to work for us. They are not just the users of the technology — they are passionate about the technology. They couldn't imagine not having a Facebook page; they couldn't imagine not being able text, and in fact some of them don't even use e-mail; they’ll contact maybe by Twitter or text, but if you try to phone (do a phone call) or you try to send an e-mail that's past tense that's the way of the old world.

So I’m seeing an interesting challenge of how you manage these teams that have two different likes and dislikes much like your customers today. Some prefer direct mail or face-to-face meeting, and some prefer to go online. I see creating an environment where the two kind of two generations not based on age, but based on their digital maturity that you can help them see the value of that hybrid approach, that you help them see the value of the other’s world, and that you help them to work together to innovate. We took a page out of Dell's book where Dell does idea storms; we have innovation storms where we sit down and kind of innovate about what we want to do. I think it's the power of bringing together that diverse audience — a new diversity group, this new digital citizen — is very, very powerful and also extremely fun and energizing.

RY:Wow, well, it sounds like you have a great time in the work that you do, and you’re working in a great organization and certainly you have some top talent to work with on a regular basis. I applaud you; I applaud you in the effort to actually maintain a full-time job and produce a breakthrough book like this, and I look forward to reading it.

SC: Well, thank you, Roy. I appreciate your support and all the work you guys do at MarketingProfs. And I would encourage any readers if you purchase The New Language of Marketing 2.0, and if you have any comments or any questions, please either blog me or get me on my Twitter account; I would love to hear your comments and your best practices. And, Roy, one of the cool things about this book is it has an interactive section as well. So as you’re reading the chapters, a lot of the material we are actually showing you visually on line. Pearson has set up an interactive webpage to compliment the Web 2.0. blog, so check that out as well.

RY:What a great idea: that book publishing has to change in this world of Web 2.0.

SC: Absolutely. Well, Roy, thank you so much. It was a pleasure to chat with you today.

RY:Thank you very much; I enjoyed it, Sandy. Have a great day.

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