Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Social Marketing: Converse, don't broadcast says Ricoh’s Sandra Zoratti


What are the most important social media marketing skills that graduating college students need to understand?

Sandra Zoratti
I’m asking three questions of some leaders in the field of social marketing and this is what I learned. This is No. 25 in the series (see the links below for other posts in the series).

Today: Sandra Zoratti , Vice President, Global Marketing for Ricoh, co-author of Precision Marketing: Maximizing Revenue Through Relevance and a speaker on social marketing. She can be found on Twitter as @sandraz:

"Both B2C (business-to-consumer) and B2B (business-to-business) marketers need to converse, not broadcast," says Zoratti. 

They need to "be a part of the social marketing conversation that is occurring around them," she says.

"Consumer conversations, not marketing messages, increasingly determine what gets attention and what gets ignored.

"In order for the conversation to be credible, marketers need to be relevant, be real and listen to the conversations," Zoratti says. 

"Thus the top three skills needed are relevance, authenticity and listening," she says.

The challenge for social marketers is standing out.

"Every single day, we sift through 294 billion emails, 532 million Facebook updates, 400 million Tweets and 2 million blogposts," Zoratti says. "And on average each person is exposed to 5,000 messages."

"As consumers, this is overwhelming," she says. "As marketers, good luck cutting through that cacophony." 

"Smart social marketers are using data-driven insights (based on customer and prospect behaviors, social listening, iterative learning) to know their customers as intimately as possible and using these insights to converse and engage in relevant and compelling ways."

"Social marketing is extremely important now and becoming more and more important as a part of the marketing mix," Zoratti says.

"Peer-to-peer reviews, online conversations, YouTube videos, as well as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ networks, etc. are the new sources of power which are shaping brands, determining credibility and ultimately driving a company's revenue and viability," she says.

"The increasingly impactful role of online voice and reach is evidenced by the role of Klout and Kred scores as determiners of influence and power as companies are now paying to play with the highest scoring Klout and Kred influencers," Zoratti says. "That, marketers, is a whole new world."

So, what do you think? How important is social marketing to the future of marketing and what skills and knowledge MUST graduating students have?

Previous posts:
10 Experts Weigh In On Social Marketing
10 More Experts Weigh In On Social Marketing
Social Marketing: 'Be able to communicate well,' says strategist and author Jason Falls
Social Marketing: Wanting to connect and being inquisitive are keys, says Lisa Grimm
Social Marketing: Create a social media company personality, says eModeration’s Tamara Littleton

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