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The New Language of Marketing 2.0: How to Use ANGELS to Energize Your Market, Part 1 (Audio Podcast Transcript)

MarketingProfs President Roy Young interviews Sandy Carter, VP of SOA & WebSphere Strategy from IBM Corporation, about her 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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Roy Young:Sandy, Hi, it’s Roy Young, president of MarketingProfs, and it's a real thrill to have a chance to sit down with you and talk a little bit about your new book. So tell me, why did you write this book, The New Language of Marketing 2.0. It sounds like breakthrough thinking, but I wonder what possessed you to actually take the plunge and get your ideas on paper?

Sandy Carter: Well that's a great question. I think it turned out that we were experimenting with all of the new Web 2.0 technologies and how these technologies could be used to drive greater value for our customers, to reach new customers. So we started doing some experimentation with things like serious gaming with wikis, with Twitter, with blogging, and we started figuring out how to measure it and what success really meant in those areas. One of the things we found especially as a B2B company IBM, we found that there are lot of people who were watching and invited us to come and share best practices. So I thought, wow, there is a lot of interest in a lot of these new technologies, and being a professional in both marketing and technology, I wanted to share some of those best practices so that the greater population, the greater public could learn from what we were doing and how we leverage these great, new cool technologies with their market.

RY:Great. So where do you see this as practitioner of marketing in a progressive company like IBM; what are the key changes in marketing that you have seen since you started your career how long ago?

SC: About 18 years ago, long time ago.

RY:So what's new about marketing? Everybody says that it's the most exciting place for a company to be today, what’s changed?

SC: Well, I think for me a couple of things have really changed in the marketplace itself. First the technology; technology today is so much more usable; it can be used to connect and allow you to have a dialog with your customer. So if you look at the trend from web 1.0 where you accessed information and you could purchase online, now web 2.0 gives us the ability to share and collaborate with our customers, to participate with them, to co-create with them. That's all brand new; before you just pushed the message out; now there’s so much and more that's happening that’s so powerful in the marketplace.

If you also look at some of the changes that are occurring, especially right now, with what's happening in the market, change is the coming a way of life. It hasn’t been that way in the past; before marketing processes and the way that you reached the customers was pretty solid, but today if you look at even a CEO, CEOs are saying that they need to change; they have to change to survive. I think this change is a way of life and this need to experiment and see what's going to work, not just on a local basis, but a global basis, has truly changed in the culture of all companies. This globalization the fact (if I could just build on that a little bit) the internet has really leveled the playing field for companies of all sizes and all geographies. If you think about it, a small company in Cambodia can get attention in the United States if they use the right tactics; whereas, five or ten years ago that would have been truly impossible. So now with the world becoming flat, marketing has changed as well.

Then of course our customer has changed. If you look at the customer now, that customer wants to play a role; we’re seeing shifts in style and taste; we’re seeing shifts in how we gather information, how they gather information, how they make decisions, who they trust as an influencer, and who they trust as an advisor. With all of these changes this is really, really demanding that marketing change as well. Take from what they have done in the past, but also apply some new techniques in order to be successful in the future.

RY:Great. Are there principles that communications efforts and other leaders in companies who are responsible for connecting with customers follow and apply to new technologies, or would you say the new technologies are actually introducing new principles of how we connect with customers?

SC: So let me see if I understand the question. You’re saying is technology driving it or is the customer driving it? Is that in essence the question?

RY:That's the essence; well put.

SC: So that's really an interesting one. So is it the technology or is it the customer? I think that technology has changed the customer. I think that access and connectivity cue information has changed what they looked for. So I would say if there is a chicken and an egg, I would say that the beginning started with technology. I say that because if you look at what's possible today, it wasn’t possible before. The connectiveness that customers feel today wasn’t possible in times past, and I think that that's all driven by the technology. This whole digital customer, digital citizen, they’re a digital customer and a digital citizen and they want to collaborate; they want to socialize because now they have technology as a tool. Do you agree with that; I know you do a lot of work with MarketingProfs, do you agree with that?

RY:Yeah I think that's right. I guess it’s a cliché to say the customer is in control. And as you say, the customer has certain needs; he’s going to find out who’s going to best meet those needs. But the information flow is intensified with technology, and so sometimes there’s information overload; we overload the circuits. Sometimes just the amount of information coming from so many different directions has in some ways usurped, or I guess, weakened our role as controllers of that information. We used to (we as companies as in communicators) have years ago (and only couple of years ago perhaps before web 2.0) much greater control on what kind of information we offered and how we offered it and in what doses, but now I think it's a wild, wild west.

SC: Yeah, it's really interesting. Yesterday, we had the first meeting of the social media community here in California out of San Francisco, the valley. It was 38 different companies who came, some were brand, some were vendors, some were new start ups in this whole area of social marketing and social media. It's true, very true, and very apparent to me that everybody right now is trying to figure out how to use the new technology; everyone is trying to figure out how to embed this whole aspect of social marketing into not only their marketing, but social, into their development to co-create, into their support, into their strategy, and really to leverage it. I think especially given that session we just had yesterday with these 38 companies all grappling with how do you measure it, what are the best practices, how do you use it, I think this book is very timely and comes at a time when people are trying to figure out this new market space.

RY:Absolutely. Sandy, use the term hybrid marketing; what is hybrid marketing?

SC: It’s really interesting; we discussed this yesterday. We’ve been experimenting with a lot of this Marketing 2.0 or Web 2.0 technology now for a while, and one of the things that we found is if you’re a purist and today, if you just go after reaching your customer purely through web 2.0, at least in our business, in our B2B business, we are not as successful as combining the two techniques together. So for instance, if you want to do market intelligence and market research and we go out and we scan blogs and Facebook and MySpace and we look at the sentiment metrics that are out there today, if we combine that with traditional research that we do in focus groups and surveys, we get much more powerful results and answers that we believe are more on target than if we just use one medium.

Another example: if you look at an integrated marketing campaign, and if the steps include some of your traditional marketing, direct mail, events (events are very big for us, in person, and face to face events) is in our marketing mix, we add the elements of this web 2.0 or marketing 2.0, cue it; it increases the efficiency greatly, but if we eliminate the traditional elements then our effectiveness goes down again. So hybrid marketing is in essence combining the new way of marketing — the new web 2.0 techniques with the traditional ways that I learned to market back in marketing 101.

RY:So is this synonymous with integrated marketing, or is it really a new spin or a new take?

SC: Well, I think it's more of a recognition that the integratedness needs to occur with both traditional and non-traditional views. As we went out, and we’ve been talking to customers about best practices, there are a lot of customers who will say, “I try to do everything online, all the way to close the deal,” and in some businesses you can do that, but in a lot it's much more effective to combine them in an integrated campaign with both the web 2.0 as well as traditional and then just figuring out how to measure the integrated campaign not one element of the campaign.

RY:Okay. You have a framework you call ANGELS, and it sounds like that's the methodology to energize your markets; can you tell us little bit about that?

SC: Yeah. One of the things when I had agreed to write this book (I was working with Pearson) and they said that what would be very helpful would be to walk through with our readers, the methodology that we use and how we really think through and apply a framework to the new world. If you think about it, and look at the elements of it, it's really not just about the new world, it has a lot of elements of (like we talked about earlier) the traditional world as well.

So for us ANGEL stands for: “A” is around analyzing the market, and this is all about ensuring that you have a strong market understanding and combining with the new world. It means that you listen now; you discover information in new ways, not just from traditional approaches of focus groups, but adding in some of the ethnography, adding in some of the listening to blogs, the sentiment metric, so that you can really understand what's happening in the global world. Then supplying a lot of the segmentations that we’ve talked about perhaps looking at segmentation slightly differently in the new world, but applying again the same methodology to it.

The “N” is around nailing the strategy and the story. It became very apparent to me when I was talking to a lot of customers that when they jumped into the new media, the new media became it versus the new media as a vessel. Truly you have to nail your strategy and your story and you use the new media to get your message out there. So the basics of understanding what's relevant to your customer by the role that they play, being able to speak their language, how to brand, and how to lightly brand now using some of those new vessels and adding in some of the corporate social responsibility that continues to rise in importance are elements that the new marketer needs to look at.

And then the “G” stands for go to market and how you do your planning, how you do that integrated planning that we talked about. So what are the tactics that you’re going to place into market by segment? And there, it's helping customers to make some choices between some of the new techniques in maybe a micro site or a blog with some of the traditional techniques that exist. So that section of the book really goes into how do you elaborate some of the new influencers, how do you leverage relationships in word of mouth coupled with the areas that you would normally do in a marketing plan.

And then the “E” is around energizing. For energizing, I went into a discussion of all the new elements that are out there: all the new vessels, whether it’s serious gaming blogs, wikis, virtual environment, FaceBook, Twitter, communities. I go into a little short example of each of those, and then I have a web 2.0 starter kit or marketing 2.0 starter kit for beginners so they can see what these elements mean and how they could use them when they might want to use them, and that would lead us to our “L,” which is how you measure them.

“L” stands for leads and revenue. Regardless of whether you’re only doing traditional marketing or whether you have this hybrid marketing, you’ve got to look at some of the new metrics that are around here today like engagement; you got to have a solid dashboard, and of course, the end game is always revenue.

And then our “S” is around scream. Screaming it out there; going from a whisper to a scream. Scream for me was all about the technology. In that chapter, I go through some of the new technologies that they may wish to leverage such as: event processing and business process management, and commerce, and I try to explain it in a very simple way so that they would understand how they might be able to use that technology in a powerful way in their business.

RY:Great. We love systematic thinking and systematic frameworks in marketing; it’s so important to keep our work focused and on target, so it sounds like a very useful framework. Sandy, clearly you have a lot of experience in marketing at IBM, as you were researching the book, what other companies did you come across that actually helped open your about this work, and who are the leaders out there that you see?

SC: Well, there are a couple of very interesting case studies that I went through to learn as well as I was going through the book and the whole process myself. If I thought about leading edge customers and who they might be, some of the ones that I thought about were folks like Google. I had an opportunity to talk to Google on two fronts: one, how they co-create even on simple things like their logo, and two, how they measure. They have a phenomenal statistical team in some of their metrics. I looked at some of the leading B2C companies like Coca Cola and Mentos, and I wanted to find out how they leverage on YouTube and other mechanisms to lightly brand their products. They’re really masters at that. I thought if I could learn from them and then apply those to other B2C and B2B companies, that that would be great as well.

I also went to companies like Harley Davidson — a great brand that has such a loyal following — that I wanted to understand what they were doing to increase that loyalty in today's market. And then of course, Roy, I use a lot of examples from IBM, and I did that because I knew a lot of the details behind it; I could go into a lot more depth. I also wanted to be able to show some of the lessons learned, some of the things that we had done well, some of the places that we had stumbled, so hopefully we could save other customers or other companies out there from doing the same thing that we did. So I think it's a great view of a lot of different companies. I think I used about 54 different companies or case studies in the book itself, and I know you at MarketingProfs like to do that as well: emphasize with case studies and references.

RY:That's great. IBM clearly is a technology company, so you’ll be interested in knowing and tracking how companies are using technology to connect with customers and grow their businesses, but in working with management from outside of marketing, how do you teach them? How do you counsel them? How do you open their eyes about the changes that you’re discovering and you’re tracking?

SC: Well, I think one of the important elements is to always have a close relationship with those in your company that have impact as well, for instance sales. Now this is a big one, right: how the sales and marketing work together. For my sales partner, his name is Richard Smith, he’s a phenomenal sales leader, and what he and I do is we look at some of the new methods and really in particular and important to him are the metrics. So for instance, right now he’s very focused on attracting new customers as the most sellers are. How do we broaden the horizon? So a lot of the new methodologies have a great way of bringing in new customers or white space; so as long as I can show him how this will benefit what he’s doing and what he is focused on, whether that's attracting new customers or adding more value to the customers, I think that's a great way to partner.

Other great partners that you have to have in this methodology are your finance counter parts. Roy, as you know, some of these new ways of marketing are more cost effective. Right? I mean you can experiment more. I can do faster market intelligence on the web for less price. In some sense, that also helps my return on investment, which again gets a lot of great interest from folks in finance.

Then if think about my development counter parts, one of the really great things about the web right now is around co-creation. One of the examples we use in the book is around a way that we co-created a product now named WebSphere sMash and how we used and how we leveraged the technology to get better ideas to make sure the product requirements for the development team was much more crisp and succinct and on target for them. So I think it really involves showing value to all the parties and showing how this will benefit them and, most importantly overall, how it benefits the customer because it's all about the customer.

Continue to Part 2 of this podcast.

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