By Tress Fereday
With a presidential election looming, politics is the hot topic in media coverage, tweets, and office chatter. I get a chuckle out of the funniest tweets following big events like the debate.
While you may be in business, not politics, there are lessons (good and bad) to be gained from this campaign season.
It was the article about the Kitchen Aid tweet that got me thinking. Now what do appliances have to do with politics? Mmmmm … NOTHING!
So, please avoid some of the missteps made during this election and review three areas of Marketing Communications where you can get it right.
As a case study, B2B behemoth Cisco represents these three areas quite nicely.
Speak Through Social Media
In some respects, social media is still a Wild West with gunslingers fighting for territory. But, it was 1999’s “Permission Marketing” by Seth Godin that outlined this world where brands have an ongoing relationship with users to gain insights and preferences.
So, social media has been around for longer than you think. And, if you believe that social media (other than LinkedIn) is just for consumer brands, think again.
Cisco has been leveraging social media successfully since 2008. Their efforts include a SuperFan Spotlight, videos of roving reporters from their events, executive blogs, etc. etc.
When they began to use social media to launch new products, Cisco estimated a savings of more than six-figures from a traditional product launch.
Social media can be used successfully and strategically in your business as well. Provided you don’t have a “rogue tweeter” at your company commenting on other people’s grandmother.
Talk to All Audiences
Sometimes in business the company leadership can be so laser focused on the customer (and bottom line) that they can forget the other audiences.
While the other audiences may not drive directly the bottom line, they can positively influence it. These influencers can include partners, vendors, analysts, regulators, and one of the most essential …. employees!
In politics, many campaigns get this area right by deploying a large, vocal and passionate contingent of PoliSci majors to canvas local markets.
Cisco is an example of creating programs and teams along with social media channels for these audiences. In addition, Cisco CEO John Chamber’s internal memos to employees go external and become breaking news when he is outlining vision and areas of improvement.
Stick To What You Know
As the debate coverage rolls in and pundits says Obama didn’t do as well as expected, the headline from Al Gore stood out from the rest. “Al Gore Blames Denver’s High Altitude For Obama’s Dismal Debate Performance.”
Wonder what Cisco talks about? The network, the network, and oh by the way, let’s talk about the network.
So, if you make appliances, stick to talking about appliances. And, if you aren’t an expert on altitude sickness and its impact on debates, then maybe you shouldn’t bring that up.
Stick to topics that are relevant to your brand, business, and bottom line. If not, it just sounds silly.