Friday, August 31, 2012

Social Marketing: Its 'part of a nutritious breakfast,' says Christopher Penn of WhatCounts

What are the most important skills for graduating college students if they want to have a future in social marketing?

Christopher S. Penn
I’m asking three questions of some leaders in the field of social media marketing and this is what I learned. This is the seventh in the series (see the links below for other posts in the series).

Today: Christopher S. Penn, Director of Inbound Marketing at WhatCounts, an email marketing service provider; co-founder (with Chris Brogan) of PodCamp, the UnConference series; and the author of the excellent "marketing, media and martial arts" blog Awaken Your Superhero:

"Remember when we were kids and we saw commercials for breakfast cereal?" Penn asks. "And they always included that tagline 'Part of a nutritious breakfast?' That's social marketing."

"It's a channel, in the same way that email, news, PR, direct mail, SEO, advertising, etc. are channels.

"It's part and parcel of marketing, and if you want to really succeed, you need to know how it interoperates with other channels," he says.

So, what skills are the most important in social marketing?

Two are vitally important, Penn says: Understanding how human beings work (psychology, applied) and being a fantastic writer.

And, what separates a successful social marketer from the others?

"It all comes down to hitting your numbers, whatever they may be," Penn says "Reduced support costs, increased customer satisfaction, more marketing leads, more closed sales.

"Whatever you are measured on," he says, "you've got to be able to demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that you are contributing to the success of your organization."

So, what do you think? How important will social marketing be in the future and what MUST students know?

Related posts:
Social Marketing: Make music to an audience’s ears, says Mahei Foliaki (@Iconic88)
Social Marketing: Clearly connect business objectives, says author Aaron Strout
Social Marketing: Don’t be timid, says Ford’s Scott Monty
Social Marketing: Communication is the key, says Cheryl Burgess of Blue Focus  
Social Marketing: Hubspot's Sam Mallikarjunan Tells All
Social Marketing: Mark Schaefer on What Students Must Know


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