Spending money, silo busting, ROI is messy, and brainy management

Branding has changed in the digital age and marketers are spending their money in the wrong places according to this article in HBR. No longer does the traditional marketing funnel work. Customers are engaging and bonding long after the purchase – and talking about it. Good or bad. Therefore, brand stewards need to connect and monitor many of these digital touchpoints to create a more comprehensive brand experience – and this requires leadership from the executive level. It’s an opportunity for leadership.

Break down the silos is the point of this article. Social media is not another marketing channel but another component of an integrated marketing program – along with PR and all other marketing channels. It’s not a forum for one-way messaging but a way to create community. Very much a part of addressing how customers engage with a brand post purchase (see above). Scott Monty has done a great job at Ford breaking down silos. Surely if he can do it at a traditional big company, it’s proof it can be done. And should. Don’t wait. Silos are dead. They don’t help anybody. Especially where the rubber meets the road: your customers.

ROI is the holy grail of finance. You’re either getting a return or your not – and have to justify expenses based on expected results. Karima Catherine distills the issues surrounding ROI very clearly in this post – talking about how there are currently no clear benchmarks in social media to measure it. And to talk about it generally is to be vague and, well, not very useful. And that’s the problem – you can’t put social media into a tidy ROI spreadsheet. It’s messy. She suggests that rather than strict ROI there are other metrics with which to evaluate and measure success.

Managing with the brain in mind. I’m a bit of a geek when it comes to understanding how the brain works and how it’s influenced by our interactions. And how marketers influence our emotions. Neuroscience is a relatively new discipline in marketing, but this detailed article talks about how the brain responds in the workplace – to positive and negative experiences. Many might think that we go to work to earn a paycheck. But there’s a complex social system behind how we approach work. And as a manager if you don’t understand that, you risk demotivating and disengaging your teams. Understanding how the brain operates helps you refine your approach to managing – and increasing morale, which increases performance which . . . . It’s a virtuous cycle. Take advantage of it and I believe everyone is rewarded.

One of the things I really appreciate about Geoff Livingston is his approach to engagement – preferring quality and relationships over mass appeal. He’s like the slow food movement of the social web – not worrying about followers and influence but whether or not he’s making a difference in someone’s life. Maybe I’m reacting to this because I’m personally exhausted from the me-too drivel out there and am looking for meaning out of the endless noise myself. But I really think he’s on to something here.


  1. I really enjoy these weekly round ups, so thank you for taking the time, Patrick.

    As for the conversation about engagement at Geoff’s blog and still numerous others that keep preaching that same message: do it. Engage with those who share meaning. Isn’t it time to stop talking about how things should be and engaging that way instead? Why is it that we keep rewarding the posts that complain about the current state of affairs instead of simply moving on to having conversations on solid content with those (according to the posters) few who are walking the talk? I find the whole thing ironic. And for “you” and “we” I mean in general terms.

  2. Patrick says:

    Thanks for feedback Valeria – it means a lot. I enjoy sharing what I learn each week. I’ve really reached the tipping point on the amount of noise and crave meaning as much as I’m looking to deliver that back. Something you certainly do very well. It seems there’s such a follow the herd mentality as many want a piece of the action so to speak, so they copy what seems to be working rather than defining their own voice. From my explorations in photography I learned how important it is to find your vision and pursue it. Same goes with content. It’s easier to replicate than explore new ideas but long term, seems you end up the hamster in wheel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.