Distinguishing Why We Serve Digitally and Socially
April 26, 2011
"Every day that we fill with frenetic activity, to the exclusion of the important strategic questions, is a day closer to risking irrelevance in a digitally connected world."
-Greater MEDIA Chairman/CEO Peter Smyth
I was captivated by Peter Smyth's recent think piece, "Change Agents Wanted" -- especially that powerful statement. Peter notes it's easier for an organization to keep its established focus on things like PPM and ratings, rather than reaching out for help to find out where they should be digitally and socially.
He also notes that "One person's 'focus' is another's 'blindness to the change around them.'"
The key is to seek out Change Agents that can help balance the focus needed in organizations today. There are goals -- financial and ratings -- that require attention and focus. But what are "the larger issues that will determine our long term future [such as] what real purpose do we serve for our listeners?"
It's actually more difficult for many of us in radio to distinguish how we serve because we've conditioned ourselves to forego asking these big questions about how we can serve in favor of our day-to-day tasks.
If we truly want to get closer to determining how we serve and meeting the audiences' needs, we need to get to know their culture and personalized their experience.
Understanding The "Culture" Behind Each Channel
There's no way to truly serve with purpose if we're just barging into social communities or creating a digital presence without knowing the motivations behind the use of each channel (e.g. websites, texting, apps, Facebook, e-mail, Twitter, etc.).
It takes time and resources to understand each channel's primary purpose. But for starters, here's research from Exact Target that plays up to the old saying "We don't always know what we want, but we know what we don't want." These charts should help you better understand how not to use some of the key channels that radio often turns to:
Giving consumers what they want is a universal business practice that applies to digital and social media as well.
Put People At The Center Of The Experience
Once you understand what consumers expect from each channel, you can design tactics that put them at the center of their experience with your product on every channel.
Facebook is proving that the future of the web will be filled with personalized experiences. My Starbucks Idea is one example of putting people at the center of the brand.
The real purpose isn't collecting "Likes" or "Followers" because that doesn't equate to creating brand impact nor will it measure the quality and depth of our brand.
Determining how our brands serve the "Likes," "Followers," etc. ... then putting that into action will separate us from the pack.
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