jeudi 4 mars 2010

If well used, Social Media impacts Sales, Marketing, Product Mgmt and Logistics departments

It's what I love in Social Media : if well understood and used, social media can provide a huge amount of benefits to a company, not only at marketing level as usually presented, but at numerous levels. Conversing with customers in a honest & easy way opens unestimated possibilities...

A couple of examples...

Product Marketing : company best-seller product is the one matching customer expectations. If a product is able to satisfy customers needs - obviously with the right price - it will be one of the cash-cow products. Social media enables us to listen to customers better than ever before. What do they want ? we can find it on their discussions. What don't they like ? we can find it on the web too... So why not listen and sell the right product ? A product manager must be on top of the social web and listen to his customers. It is for him a mine of information to make a product launch a success.

Sales department : as already discussed in a previous post (post in french this time), sales process can be optimized with social media dimension. The purchase process changed : we don't buy today like we did 10 years ago, but the majority of sales processes are still the old ones. When I buy something - guess what ? ... I go on google and read feedback, comments, recommendations, and it's very rare I ask details & information to a salesman... and I know I'm not the only one doing this.
Sales process needs to include this type of thing. Salesreps must know their customers on the social web and participate in the recommendation chain, identify influencers, discuss in the right community...

Marketing : obviously marketing activities can be adjusted too. With this new purchase process (google, go on forums, read comments, ask recommendations to community....) do you think it still makes sense to make cold calls ? Will you buy on a cold call ? not me... Does it make sense to spend so much time to clean the inbox of commercial emails ? Sometimes we click on one, but let's be honest - it is very annoying. How many weekly catalogues do you throw in the bin ? too much, just like me. Time is up to move to non advertisial, smart content and user created content.

Logistic : it is always possible to save money when managing stock. If stock is too important, and products stay too long in a warehouse, it will cost money to the company. A company needs to cut prices on products being stocked for too long, because it is costly to keep them. On the other hand, a company will lack a specific product because everybody wants it - and there were not enough available products in stock. Just imagine now if a company listens to his customers and prospects so well that this company is able to anticipate which product is the most appreciated in it's product range. This will help manage the stock, won't it ? This becomes possible using social media.

That's why social media is not only marketing, just like customers are not only marketing...

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