Marketing Leader Interview with John Ellett

John is one of the smartest technology marketers I know.  I met John back in 2001 when his company was helping us in a subsidiary of Motorola. I am delighted to have him participate in this series.

John is an advisor to CMOs, author of the CMO Manifesto, contributor for Fortbes CMO Network and CEO of nFusion, a digital marketing and advertising firm based here in Austin. John worked on the famous Charlie Chaplin advertising campaign for the original IBM PC and later was a marketing executive at Dell.


1. What company is an example of good marketing today? Who do you admire?

MasterCard’s Priceless Surprises, Smirnoff’s Nightlife Exchange, GoPro and RedBull all come to mind. But Samsung is my favorite because of the huge strides they’ve made and because we get to work with them.

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10 Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing

There are many guides, best practices and tips for social media marketing out there. This is a different list. These are 10 principles that are fundamental for organizations that are building a social media plan. The goal is to help you establish a mindset that will help you come up with a strategy. I learned these principles after more than a decade of working on social media and community strategies for startups to Fortune 50 organizations..

To start on a light note, let me share an extended version of an entertaining way to explain social media 101

Social Media Explained


OK, now let’s get to the important stuff. For each principle I provide a summary and a link to an older post where you can read more on the topic.

The 10 fundamental principles for social media marketing

1. Social Media is not a strategy. Social media is interaction, it’s a channel, a tool that can be used for many things – like email, or video conferencing technology or a CRM system or in-person meetings. Social is most effective when integrated with other parts of the business to support a business strategy. Read more.

2. Social strategists are coaches. A mature social team crafts the strategy, provides a technology foundation, guidelines and coaching to enable multiple groups in the organization to be active in social media. If the social media is the only one participating in the conversation, you are doing something wrong. Read more.

3. Social Media is changing fast. My 14 year old daughter has no idea what Foursquare is. Her group use Instagram and Vine more than Facebook and Email. AOL is history. Be aware of social network and style preferences for each of your target audiences. Prepare to be adaptive. More stats.

4. Social media marketing will go away. Soon. Why? Because everything will be social or will have an aspect of social. Every well-rounded marketer must have social media skills and experience. Just like every well rounded marketer requires knowledge of SEO, web technologies or digital marketing. It’s just marketing.

5. There is no social media ROI. The exact value of a Facebook like or a Twitter follower is zero. At least until you come up with an integrated plan to engage fans and create value, they are worthless. If you are measuring ROI for social media activities you are doing something wrong. You must measure the contribution of social media tools and tactics to greater company strategies. Like customer acquisition, branding, support and customer feedback. Read more.

6. Correlation is not Causation. When measuring Social Media effectiveness it is easy to say things like ‘people who follow us on Twitter buy 40% more and buy 3x more often’. We are inclined to believe customers buy more because they follow us on twitter, while the opposite is more likely to be true: customers who like us, are loyal and buy more are likely to follow us on twitter. Correlation does not create value. Read more.

7. Don’t oversell social media. Ads on Facebook or Linked in is not Social Marketing, it is just Advertising. Publishing discount coupons on twitter and other social channels is just taking advantage of an audience to run promotions. Measure value holistically and take into account all costs (including effort, focus and cost of opportunity). Read more.

8. Most communities fail and die. It is alluring to ‘own’ our community of customers and advocates. The reality is that it is very hard to create a community. A better strategy is to fish where the fish are and participate in existing communities. We talk a lot about social media success, we need to talk more about our failures and learn from them. Read more.

9. Becoming a social business is not about adopting social tools, and launching a social campaign. It is about changing your culture to be more customer centric and putting the customer at the center of the business. Read more.

10. Social is just one of five key factors that are changing our world along with mobile, sensors, data and context. Read more about the Age of Context in this post.

If you are building a social strategy for a company, let me suggest this presentation by Warren Lee of Adobe. It provides a useful framework for organizing a team, integrating it with other areas in marketing and specific KPIs that is well aligned (is a good example even) with point #5 above.

Please share your thoughts in the comments below


Marketing Leader Interview with Sam Decker

CMO Interview with Sam Decker

I had the opportunity to work for Sam at Bazaarvoice, where he was the founding CMO, and I learned a LOT from him. Today, Sam Decker,  is the founder and CEO of Mass Relevance, a company that recently merged with SpredFast to create one of the most advanced social engagement platforms.

Sam helped become the largest eCommerce site in the world. Sam is probably the most creative marketer I know and one of the smartest. He has a great sense of humor, and most importantly, he is a great person. You will surely learn a thing or two from his answers to the interview:

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PR in the Digital Age: Welcome to Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing is difficult and often misunderstood. Let’s start at the begging to understand what it is and how can it help with a marketing strategy.

We all recognize that we live in a world where people consume and share information in a very different way than they did just 10 years ago. There is no need to convince anyone of the impact the internet, social media, and mobile devices have had in business and in life. And still, in most companies, the PR function has not evolved in almost a century.

Only a few years ago, information sources were centralized. People got their news from a handful of newspapers, magazines, and TV stations. Reporters writing for these news outlets were the main source of information. They were, in a sense, a bottleneck or a monopoly in buyer opinion and education. Inside a company, the public relations function was the practice of informing and influencing these reporters with the intention of getting favorable news coverage.

Today, this is an obsolete paradigm as newspapers are moving from print to digital or going out of business. An article printed in this morning’s newspaper is not news anymore, it is history. We learn about the news in real-time via Twitter, Facebook or online news feeds. Millions of amateur and professional writers have become publishers thanks to blogging platforms and other social media channels. Anyone can write news. The problem in the world today is that we have too many news sources, too much to read and too many point of views. Continue reading “PR in the Digital Age: Welcome to Influencer Marketing”

Marketing Leader Interview with Matt Heinz

Marketing Expert Matt Heinz

Today’s marketing expert Matt Heinz, president of Heinz Marketing in Redmond, Washington. Matt brings over 15 years of experience in sales and marketing. He is the author of five books on selling, social marketing, field marketing and web strategy.

Matt was recognized as one of the top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers by Sales World in 2012. In this interview, Matt shares his thoughts on good  marketing which are based on a very complete set of the tools and strategies that make marketers successful today: from writing and content marketing to metrics and data. Enjoy. Continue reading “Marketing Leader Interview with Matt Heinz”

Welcome to The Age of Context – and Contextual Marketing

The Age of Context and Contextual Marketing

What is the future of technology? How will technology impact your business and how does it impact marketing?

The preceding two questions are very important. Companies that are not able to adapt to rapid changes in technology are left behind to die. Examples abound, even innovative companies that were ahead of their times in their use of technology such as Blackberry, Blockbuster, Circuit City, among others. Most business executives recognize the need to evolve, as do most marketers. After all, that’s why I named this blog the Adaptive Marketer.

My oldest daughter just turned 14. I have had to explain rotary phones, cassette tapes, film cameras and typewriters to her. Kids born today will have to ask their parents to explain what a music CD and a DVD are. The evolution of these technologies has created and destroyed entire industries who failed to foresee the importance and impact of these new technologies. Any business person should be asking: What is the next revolution? Where are things going? How will these changes affect my business?

I found many answers in The Age of Context by the dynamic duo: futurist & technology blogger Robert Scoble and writer and storyteller & writer Shel Israel.

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Marketing Leader Interview: David Meerman Scott

David Meerman Scott Intervie

No one knows more about using the new tools and strategies to spread ideas, influence minds and build business than David Meerman Scott. His books and blog are must-reads for professionals seeking to generate attention in ways that grow their business. He is the best-selling author of titles that include The New Rules of Marketing and PR to World Wide Rave which are changing the world of public relations and influence marketing.

I am truly honored to have David share his insights with us in this interview.

1. What company is an example of good marketing today? Who do you admire?

I admire HubSpot very much. They started the company in 2006 and today, less than ten years later, they have 650 employees. There growth is all attributable to the content they create online, a strategy the teach others in the HubSpot Marketing Blog.  I admire them so much that I joined their advisory board. Continue reading “Marketing Leader Interview: David Meerman Scott”

The Amazon Bible: 7 Principles behind Jeff Bezos’ Success

7 Success Secrets from Jeff Bezos

What makes a company like Amazon successful? What principles enabled Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, to develop a vision from a garage business to the world’s largest retailer? Are Kindle, Amazon Web Services and other innovations proof that he is the next Steve Jobs?

 I found many of these answers in the book The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone

Amazon The everything store book Continue reading “The Amazon Bible: 7 Principles behind Jeff Bezos’ Success”

Marketing Leader Interview with Augie Ray

Marketing Augie Ray

Augie Ray is a good friend and a true thought leader in interactive marketing, social media and customer experience. He is a voice of customer leader at a Fortune 100 financial services firm. I met Augie when he was the lead Forrester  Research analyst covering interactive marketing and social media.

You will find Augie’s perspective refreshing and insightful.  Enjoy.

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