Pierre DeBois

SMBs Need to Study, Not Mimic, Successful Digital Strategies

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Shawn Hessinger
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Amen
Shawn Hessinger   10/18/2011 11:22:29 AM
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Amen, Pierre. In fact, there are some larger companies that could learn a thing or two about this as well. The right tool for the right job. Such a simple concept, but so very important.  Thanks for the post.

webmetricsguru
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You always have to be introspective, know yourself, before going into any endeavor, including SM
webmetricsguru   10/18/2011 12:51:57 PM
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Well written post and I enjoyed reading it.

 

Thoughts? Comments?   

I think SMB are no different, in a way, than Art Students.  

 

For example, you can go to Art School, learn the formulas that worked for great masters (translate that to .. gulp ... Klout ..gulp and some of the other you mention ... gulp) but what worked for them doesn't seem to work for you.

 

And even if you could take someone elses formula, it never looks genuine, more of a one off than anything else.   

 

Yet we know that some things seem to work better than others - studying every day seems to produce better grades, painting every day seems to produce a better artist (though some will dispute that - including me) and looking at what successsful brands do in social media tactics would seem to point the way to what an SMB should do for itself, or with some help, should they want to go that way.

 

But as you point out - that doesn't really work so well - the examples big brands have applied doesn't work for your corner bodega, or just about any small business.

 

So, let's look at what we can learn from the big guys, the ones that could succeed, and step back and look inside ourselves, and identify what we can do that is inheritly of value to our customers, and maybe, can be shared, and let's start there.

 

Sound like a plan?

 

BethSchultz
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Re: You always have to be introspective, know yourself, before going into any endeavor, including SM
BethSchultz   10/18/2011 1:46:59 PM
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Sounds like a good plan, indeed. Thanks Marshall.

Shawn Hessinger
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Re: You always have to be introspective, know yourself, before going into any endeavor, including SM
Shawn Hessinger   10/18/2011 10:04:01 PM
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Hi Marshall,

Well, I've never heard small businesses compared to art students in this context, but in a way, I think you have something here. It seems to me that, whether being done by large or small companies, mere copying of technique in analytics or business model simply is not sufficient to gain success. Well thought out analytics strategies are just that, well thought out. One company or organization may not use the same strategy as another simply because they are after different answers, different data. So imitating technique can only really be beneficial if you plan to evaluate the underlying strategy as well and find one that has resonance for your business.

 

Ariella
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Re: You always have to be introspective, know yourself, before going into any endeavor, including SM
Ariella   10/19/2011 10:38:19 AM
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Exactly, Shawn. While business and data principles may remain the same, each situation is different.

Maryam@Impact
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Successful digital strategies
Maryam@Impact   10/19/2011 12:47:17 PM
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Pierre great post I have worked with businesses that feel they need to emulate large business practices without fully understanding how it pertains to their marketplace. It truly is key to develop tools most suited to the needs of the business rather than just copying something that sounds cool.

SethBreedlove
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Re: You always have to be introspective, know yourself, before going into any endeavor, including SM
SethBreedlove   10/20/2011 8:55:51 PM
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Thanks for the article. It's easy to follow the herd and fear being left out of social media when it may not be an entirely good fit for the business. 

No matter what the business is, it still comes down to the four Ps; product, price, promotion and placement.  Social media can help put a human face on a business, however it really depends on the product (i.e. corn) if it really needs that. 

Broadway
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Re: You always have to be introspective, know yourself, before going into any endeavor, including SM
Broadway   10/20/2011 9:17:33 PM
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If anything, can't SMBs be more nimble and creative with social media efforts than large companies, with their many layers of review and their lean toward conservative approaches? A SMB owner/manager can hand off the social media efforts to an ambitious and eager associate, and let them run with it.

Pierre DeBois
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Re: You always have to be introspective, know yourself, before going into any endeavor, including SM
Pierre DeBois   10/21/2011 5:00:42 AM
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Hi Broadway,

 

Yes, small businesses can be more nimble with social media, but they should also take care to be strategic, even if the marketing effort is handled by the enthusiastic associate. The most successful social media examples required some planning and a sense of integration - otherwise social media is deployed without useful goals - the results become unaligned with business objectives. 

Every business is trying to create the success like that of Dell and Best Buy. Due to the open ended nature of digital platforms, each business will have to tailor their usage and effort.  The good news is the number of options now avaialble make selecting the right combination of tools complicated but possible.

Pierre DeBois
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Re: You always have to be introspective, know yourself, before going into any endeavor, including SM
Pierre DeBois   10/22/2011 6:48:09 AM
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Seth,

 

I hear you. The product/service is the source of social media ideas that are appropriate for the business and its objectives.  Social media is not a means to an end. I think this aspect is why some companies "get" that Facebook, Twitter, and blogs, but are hesitant in implementing social media. The "what to do" is not always immediately clear unless the product is consumer good or something easily sold online.  Strategy has to be unique to be valuable - hard to be unique if your imagination for a medium is the same as everyone else.

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