We’ll be covering keynotes and select panels at the Atlanta Social Shake-up, September 16th and 17th. Visit this link for livestream coverage of the event. Livestream
The first ever Social Shake-Up conference in Atlanta, Georgia, featured a who’s who of the digital marketing world. Industry leaders from around the country descended upon the southern capital city, gathering to learn about what developments will shape the social media world.
Liza Landsman, the CMO of the iconic online investing brand E*Trade, served as the first keynote speaker and addressed an enthusiastic and engaged audience about the developing and evolving role of marketers in the modern business world. No longer is the digital space an undefined area of business, she noted, it has become a key component in any operational strategy.
At a firm as large as E*Trade, with a significant marketing budget, there is a balanced approach to their overall consumer engagement push. With notable campaigns like the E*Trade baby garnering much attention via television advertisements, Landsman spoke to how this must be used in conjunction with a larger, comprehensive media approach.
“Television advertising cannot be the only arrow in your quiver,” the vibrant CMO told the Social Shake-Up crowd.
Customers have to be engaged across different channels, via numerous mediums, as each person is in their own stage of the digital media journey. Certain individuals are experts in dealing with the social media advances, while others may be taking a slower approach to emerging technologies.
However, regardless of the medium that is used, there needs to be a singular message that is displayed across all social media outlets.
‘Digital is fused into culture’
The days of digital marketing being viewed as a cutting-edge approach are long gone, as social media networks are an integral part of disseminating a company’s message. The younger generations don’t think of things like Twitter and Seamless as specialized sites, to them they are simply part of everyday life – ordering food online is the refrigerator of this population segment.
This is something that companies need to adjust to, and hiring should reflect this approach. Landsman spoke to the need for “utility infielders” within a marketing team, as opposed to simply looking to fill more specialized roles.
By having a talented and balanced staff, organizations can create a framework for their marketing campaigns. The CMO noted that marketing execs have a chance to build this creative space within their organization.
“Structure allows for creativity, as it provides a safe space for people to flourish,” said Landsman, adding that this approach fuels innovation within any organization.
The business side of marketing
The challenge for many marketing professionals is to demonstrate value to the financial executives within their organization. However, Landsman noted that marketing can’t and shouldn’t be seen as a big driver of expense – business and marketing strategies are the same thing, simply approached differently.
Companies can find out many things about their customers through social media networks, and this feedback, in conjunction with effective marketing pushes (like the E*Trade baby), help to fuel growth and demonstrate ROI. Getting to this point is done through hard work and efficient tracking of metrics. Marketers need to be gritty as well as agile, and should remain focused on the overall goals of the business.
“Don’t get distracted by BSOs – Big Shiny Objects,” said Landsman. She added that there needs to be a focus on the end goal, especially when looking at new products and technologies for the business. These cannot simply be “cool” – there has to be a point behind the investment.
If a marketing team is able to make the right purchases, and in turn drive customer engagement through the use of new technology and mediums, they will be granted more of a role within the overall business.
Executives are starting to understand digital and social media more and more, and this can bolster the standing of the marketers within the organization.
Avoid stupid decisions to move forward
Marketers should make educated bets regarding the future of social media and the digital space, and limiting poor decisions can often be just as important as thinking ahead of the curve.
“Figuring out which dragons to slay and which to avoid is key,” for CIOs and other tech leaders within an organization, said Landsman. She once again stressed the need for focus and structure for marketers, and this type of approach will allow for the best investments and decisions to emerge and organizations to flourish.
Limiting mistakes is an essential focus for marketers, and this is done by maintaining an adherence to the overall goals of the business. You can’t simply look forward, as one has to focus on the present to best prepare for the future.