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How to build a business case that will advance your social marketing initiatives — Live from the Measurement Pre-Conference

Coverage of this session by Bridgette Cude of Connect with her by following her on Twitter.

2:10 —’s Kurt Vanderah introduces Forrester Research’s Senior Analyst of Marketing Leadership, Kim Celestre.

2:11 — Kim: “Twenty minutes is really tough for an analyst” I have six steps to build a business case on your social media program.

2:12 — The marketer’s top 3 challenges:

1. ROI
2. Measurement
3. Lack of internal resources

2:13 — The problem is marketers are in a catch-22: They need to prove ROI and measurement to get more internal help, but they have trouble getting there. We have to work to start advancing our social marketing proposals before we can get there.

2:14 — We need to start thinking about this more formally. This is more than a water cooler conversation with your CMO. We have to advance to more socially mature stages by articulating a business impact from a business perspective.

2:15 — Social is not new — unless they’re in an industry that is a little behind, like healthcare. But lots of people are stuck, because to really scale, they need the resources.

2:16 — There are six steps:

1. Gather insights you have been collecting from all of your campaigns. This is the foundation. Data-driven insights come from lots of different places. It’s important to take this data and learn how to take action on it. You need to use it to improve products, internal processes, and generate leads.

2:17 — Although this is the first step, it applies to all of the insights we’ll talk about.

2:18 — 2. Marketers immediately implement a platform without tying it to a business objective. It’s like “building a castle in the clouds.” You always have to start with the customer journey.

Here are the four stages according to Forrester:

A. Discover
B. Explore
C. Buy
D. Refer

We have three objectives here: 1. Reach 2. Depth 3. Relationship

2:19 — 3. Set a strategy: Part of it is knowing what to do as well as what not to do. This is hard because there are a lot of low cost ones that marketers check off the list even though they don’t need them.

2:20 — First, if you’re going to reach an objective, you need social advertising. For depth, you need to embed social tools and content on your site. For a relationship objective, you have to create branded profiles on social networks and use the engagement to carry on conversations.

The true value of social when you’re measuring the impact is to show how these objectives are moving customers from one objective to the next.

2:21 — 4. Involve your key stakeholders: They are the pillars of the business case and they are supposed to support you. Identify them, listen to their concerns, engage with your CI and BT teams (IT teams).

2:22 — 5. Conduct a cost-benefit analysis: The heart of every business case and where you’ll spend the most time. We don’t call it ROI we call it Total Economic Impact.

This has three key benefits:

1. Identifiy the benefits: reach, depth, or relationship
2. Use existing metrics
3. Assign value to those metrics: if you’re lucky you’ll have an attribution platform to help you calculate this, for example NPS (net promoter score)

2:23 — Risks: Identify uncertainty, and calculate probability and determine your future flexibility

2:24 — As a result of all of these calculations we come up with the Total Economic Impact (TEI)

2:25 — 6. Commit to measurable outcomes: Link everything you’ve just done to the business opportunity or the corporate objectives. Step back and take a holistic perspective that what you’re doing is impacting your executives’ goals.

2:26 — “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” -Alexander Graham Bell

2:27 — How Adobe got approval to build out a marketing team. The challenge: The director of social was having a hard time getting her voice heard in strategic level marketing decisions.

2:28 — Kim shares a graph showing how they built their business case using the product launch as a way to gather information — she provided details on the strategy that worked towards three business objectives (reach, depth, and relationship). She outlined her key stakeholders (the people she had to persuade).

2:29 — Because of their social tactics, they drove 3 million plus visits to This is a really strong argument for expanding their team to include social initiatives. The result: She doubled her staff and quadrupled her marketing budget.

2:30 — Kim shares a quote, “If you’re presenting yourself with confidence you can pull off pretty much anything.” – Katy Perry

2:31 — Take the time to educate your stakeholders. Not all stakeholders are going to understand social. Tailor that proposal to different perspectives. Recruit key influencers, and be confident.

Q & A:

Q: Is there a goal for time to complete your social business case?

A: Kim: It really depends on where your company is on that social maturity curve. A more socially mature CMO will not take as long as a company in the testing stage. Kim shares one social business objective for creating a YouTube channel. The case took her three years just to educate internal folks on what social was and how to use it.

Q: Do you have any trends or insights from organizations on which strategy they concentrate on?

A:Kim: Most companies are focusing on Reach and Relationship. Almost every company I talk to has a Facebook or Twitter. But they’re not as focused on depth.

On the BtoB side, more and more companies are offering help and support. As we all know, doing anything to your website causes a lot of angst — but I think we’re seeing more companies invest in this as they’re changing their site priorities.

Social advertising is ramping up a bit too.

December 9, 2013 0 comments

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