• Three crucial conversation streams to manage

    Every day we find loads of conversations about brands on the internet. Managing them is a core activity for every marketing team in the world. If you take a closer look at these conversations, it becomes clear that there are three different types, and each of them requires its own specific management approach.

    • Natural Conversations: these are the spontaneous conversations that consumers have about brands and companies.
    • Fueled Conversations: these conversations are about the content a company shares with its audience. The content gives people something to talk about and they are happy to share it.
    • Direct Conversations: these conversations contain a question, remark or opinion and are addressed directly to the company.

    three conversation streams

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  • Conversation-worthy customer experience? Invest in symbols of extremism and keep the personal touch.

    In the coming years, the focus on customer centricity will continue to grow. Great strides have been made in operational optimization and the next challenge now lies in finding a profitable way of investing in customers, both now and in the long term. Everyone is aware of the fact that customer centricity is a must but many feel that customer centricity is expensive and unproductive. This line of reasoning impedes the improvement process.

    Companies are not against being more customer-oriented as long as it’s profitable. With this in mind, there are two dimensions that are essential in devising a strategy:

    • Evolving from a process-based to a people-based approach: a process is a useful tool in bringing consistency to the customer stream. Still, a perfectly executed process does not always yield the desired result in terms of customer satisfaction. The personal touch makes the difference between a feeling of distance and one of warmth.
    • Actively looking for conversation-worthy aspects of the strategy. Many companies maintain a high level of customer satisfaction but unfortunately this goes unnoticed by the market as a whole. It’s nice to have satisfied customers but real growth comes from your non-customers realizing how good you are. Hence the need for symbols that are easily passed on by the customer.

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  • 6 cases where marketing and technology form a perfect blend

    For quite some time now, I’ve felt that the cross between a marketing and an IT manager makes for a pretty interesting profile. In one of my previous posts I described the three dimensions of marketing in the future: extreme customer-centricity, selling without selling and, last but not least, technology. More and more pundits are predicting a shift from IT budget to marketing budget and for most marketers this represents a new challenge. At a time when many marketers are starting to understand the dynamics of social media, a new trend emerges: understanding technology, data and the opportunities it creates.

    There are three dimensions in which technology can benefit marketing.
    how technology will facilitate marketing

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  • The future of selling will be selling without actually selling

    The expectations towards content marketing will increase in the coming years. Consumers will be spoiled with so many interesting content, that the low quality work will have no audience anymore. Even the average work will have no audience anymore.

    Snagging consumers will become more and more difficult. Today, consumers go looking for interaction with no more than five brands. Technology is making it increasingly easy for consumers to shield themselves from commercial messages. Being extremely relevant is the only way of keeping the consumer’s attention going.

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  • What makes a true social business strategist?

    by Jochem Koole on April 2, 2013in the categories Opinion, social business27 Comments

    This article was initially published in Dutch on

    Last month, my South African colleague David Graham asked me for typical skills and traits to describe a true social media manager. In my opinion, a social media manager isn’t someone who is responsible for managing a company’s social media accounts, like a LinkedIn group, Facebook page, or Twitter account. A social media manager helps a company transition into a social business; a people oriented organization, that creates value (and profit) for and together with the stakeholders within their own network. Maybe that’s why, I prefer the term social business strategist.

    What makes a true social business strategist?

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