The Future of Marketing and Customer Engagement – Introducing the Emerging and Rapidly Growing Practice of the Customer Defined Experience

Did you ever consider the following questions related to the future of marketing and customer engagement?:

  • What are the levels of progression of an organization’s customer engagement and marketing capabilities – from the most basic to advanced?

  • What percentage of companies fall into each customer engagement & marketing capability level?

  • What is beyond the current advanced level of customer engagement and marketing capability and the wave of the future?

  • How do you simultaneously and significantly reduce the overall cost of customer engagement and marketing delivery while also significantly increasing your overall customer engagement and marketing effectiveness?

  • What does the future look like in terms of increased customer engagement and marketing ROI?

  • What is the most effective method for creating maximized customer engagement?

If you did, then this blog is for you as it succinctly answers these questions and more.

Future Leading Practice: The Customer Defined Experience
Future Leading Practice: The Customer Defined Experience

The above chart depicts the 3 primary & existing levels of customer engagement sophistication as well as the wave of the future which is The “Customer Defined Experience”. These four (4)  levels of organizational customer engagement capability are as follows:

1) Level 1 – “Shotgun Customer Experience”, very unsophisticated, yet inexpensive. Practiced by approximately 25% of companies.

2) Level 2 – “Segmented Customer Experience”, somewhat sophisticated and moderately expensive. Practiced by a majority of companies, approximately 70%.

3) Level 3 – “1-to-1 Customer Experience”, very sophisticated & expensive, Practiced by <5% of companies.

4) Level 4 – “Customer Defined Experience  which is an emerging leading practice, only practiced by <01% of companies, but the number of companies that are moving toward this capability level is growing fast. I am predicting that this will be, by far, the most effective method in terms of both ROI and cost effectiveness.

The Customer Defined Experience, Marketing Illustration

The Customer Defined Experience Using Marketing as an Example

We will now isolate marketing as a functional example (vs. customer service, sales, etc.) to illustrate how the customer defined experience will be different than traditional marketing practices. The above chart depicts the traditional levels of marketing sophistication and the expected ROI of each level. The newest trend in marketing and customer experience is also revealed in future level called “Customer Defined Experience, Marketing”. Each level consists of the following marketing practices:

  • Level 1: Primary focus on “Shotgun” marketing (approximately 25% of companies). In this approach, companies  send the same offer to as many people as possible with the hope that some of them might take the offer being put forth. With this practice, companies send the same offer to customers and prospects, regardless of their unique interests, needs, wants, history, etc.

  • Level 2: Primary focus on “Segment Marketing” (approximately 70% of companies). This approach models the behavior and history of customers in order to group them into unique ‘tagged’ needs groups. They are then sent offers that appeal to that distinct segment group.

  • Level 3: Primary focus on “1-to-1 marketing” (<5% of companies). This approach combines sophisticated modeling techniques and artificial intelligence to ascertain the unique needs of each customer or micro-segments (depending on the level of marketing technology sophistication, pure 1-to-1 marketing might not be able to be achieved). Companies that use this level of sophistication are few and we can point to major credit card companies, Amazon, Google as models utilizing this type of approach.

  • Level 4: Future Emerging Practice “User Defined Marketing”. (<.01% of companies, but growing fast) Companies like Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Marriott and Southwest Airlines are headed in this direction with the increasing querying of their customers on preferences, needs, wants, likes, etc. The extension of this is to allow customers to define their own experience – how/when they would like to be marketed to, by which channel, which content/tone they prefer, etc. As evidenced by increasing numbers of customer insights groups, this is the trend of the future. Instead of expending all of the effort in modeling/AI/etc. to attain 1-to-1 marketing which attains a 80+% match, why not ask your customers what they want/prefer which will ensure a 100% match to their needs nearly 100% of the time? Research I have conducted has indicated that 72% of customers want a more interactive ‘relationship’ with the companies they do business with, including defining their own customer-company experience – across all of their company touch-points: sales, marketing, customer service, warranty claims, etc. More on this point later in this article.

 

Customer Defined Experience, Marketing Example

Customer Defined Experience, Marketing Example

The above chart is arranged by the levels of marketing sophistication across the top with the following categories arranged on the left for each marketing level:

  • Primary Marketing Focus – What marketing activity do organizations at this level of capability primarily focus their efforts?

  • Marketing Proactivity, Analysis Main Focus: For each level of marketing capability, how proactive is the marketing organization and what is the major focus of their marketing analysis?

  • Primary Marketing Technology Enabler: For each level of marketing capability, what are the primary technology enablers in order for them to achieve their marketing goals?

  • Main Marketing Metric: For each level of marketing capability, what are the most important marketing metrics?

  • Expected Marketing Approach ROI: For each level of marketing capability, what is the expected ROI and return on marketing for following this approach.

Level 1 Capability -Shotgun Marketing

Level 1 Capability – Shotgun Marketing

Shotgun Marketing Practices

Shotgun Marketing Practices

 

Let’s examine the first level of marketing capability, that being Shotgun Marketing. These organizations have the following organizational characteristics:

Primary Marketing Focus: The primary focus for these organizations is to expand their pool of those who will receive their marketing promotions so that there will be likely someone in the mix who will be interested and respond to their canned & generic offer. I heard a comment from a marketing organization I worked for whereby the general manager (overall leader) of the business actually said to me – “just widen the list and I don’t care if Mickey Mouse is on the list, as long as we have 1,000,000’s of folks to send our e-mail to.”

Marketing Proactivity, Analysis Main Focus: The main orientation and focus for organizations at this level is generally a reactive,  whereby the main focus is post campaign execution analysis and ‘seeing how we did in terms of number of responses they had to their offer(s)’.

Primary Marketing Technology Enabler: As you would expect at this level of marketing capability, technology  is generally very basic, rudimentary and inexpensive and would typically include simple and flat file (i.e. Comma Separated Value (.CSV) files) list generation using MS Access or Excel for list generation and very similar and simple spreadsheet type tools for post campaign analysis.

Main Marketing Metric: Since the focus noted above is reactive and post campaign focused, the main metric almost obsessed on by organizations at this marketing capability level is response rates (vs. true sales lead creation rates and actual conversion rates).

Bottom Line with Shotgun marketing organizations: With approach you save $$ by relying on very unsophisticated marketing personnel, processes, technology but this approach rarely produces a high marketing ROI with response rates generally in the 1-2% range due to the inherent high outbound volume. This approach also annoys customers and marketing recipients with mostly irrelevant offerings, products, services, etc., customer risking opt-outs, complaints, ignoring any/all offers by customers/prospects from the same (annoying) company, etc.

Level 2: Segment Marketing
Level 2 Capability: Segment Marketing
Segment Marketing Practices

Segment Marketing Practices

The 2nd level of marketing capability, is Segment Marketing. These organizations have the following organizational characteristics:

Primary Marketing Focus: The primary focus for these organizations is to ensure that the right marketing and sales offers are deployed against the appropriate segment group in order to ensure a marketing lift vs. shotgun marketing practices. An example of this is sending the frugal buyer segment offers for saving $$ by buying quantity of product or by sending offers for products that are discounted (i.e about to be discontinued products) vs. full price products.

Marketing Proactivity, Analysis Main Focus: The main orientation and focus for organizations at this level is generally what I call a ‘retrospective plus’ organization whereby the main focus is post campaign execution analysis and determining the quantitative results (response metrics, plus  perhaps ROI metrics) PLUS the main root cause analysis as to why the campaign yielded in these quantitative results.

Primary Marketing Technology Enabler: At this level of marketing capability, technology in use is fairly sophisticated such as using SAS for building segment models and customer deciles and tools for campaign execution like Salesforce.com and post campaign analysis tools like Adobe and Tableau.

Main Marketing Metric: Since the focus noted above is quasi-reactive and post campaign, the main metric  obsessed on by organizations is overall campaign and segment level response rates as well as ROI if the organization has built a direct response attribution model for campaigns (matching campaign responses to actual customer purchases).

Bottom Line with Segment marketing organizations: By utilizing this approach you spend more $$ by relying on somewhat sophisticated marketing personnel, processes and technology.  This  approach also produces a higher marketing ROI than basic shotgun marketing with response rates generally greater than the 3% range. This approach also ensures segments and marketing recipients within those segments are receiving mostly relevant offerings, products, services, etc. in respect to their needs, wants, preferences, etc.

Level 3 Capability: 1-to-1 Marketing
Level 3 Capability: 1-to-1 Marketing

1-to-1 Marketing Practices

The 3rd level of marketing capability is 1-to-1 Marketing. These organizations have the following organizational characteristics:

Primary Marketing Focus: This strategy strives to ensure that the right marketing and sales offers are deployed against the appropriate individual customer (vs. segment groups)  in order to ensure additional marketing lift vs. segment marketing practices. An example of this is recommending a product that uniquely suits and individual customer’s needs when they are your website for another reason (customer service, billing, warranty claim, etc.).

Marketing Proactivity, Analysis Main Focus: The label is place on organizations at this capability level is generally what I call a ‘proactive predictive’ organization whereby they are recommending items to customers in real-time based on their specific needs profile. The analysis focus of this type of organization is real-time algorithmic learning by analyzing the effect of the real-time offers and then adapting algorithms to further refine the offer (e.g. slightly different product, slightly different price, better warranty coverage, etc.)

Primary Marketing Technology Enabler:  The technology in use for 1-to-1 marketing is very sophisticated and correspondingly expensive.  The goal is to use artificial intelligence for building individual customer profiles based on observed customer behavior.  Automated response engines are then used for real-time customer interactions and offer generation as well as ‘adaptive learning’ algorithms based on offer acceptance/rejection.

Main Marketing Metric: Since the focus noted in 1-to-1 marketing is proactive and real-time, the main metric is customer longitudinal behavior and associated key metrics like lifetime value, loyalty rates, etc.

Bottom Line with 1-to-1 marketing organizations: With this approach you spend a great deal more $$ up-front by relying on very sophisticated artificial intelligence with automated customer analytics and offer engine technology.  This approach does produce a much higher marketing ROI than segment marketing with response rates conservatively greater than the 8-10+% range.  This approach also ensures customers and marketing recipients are receiving extremely relevant offerings, products, services, etc. in respect to their needs, wants, preferences, etc.

Level 4 Capability: Customer Defined Marketing

Level 4 Capability: Customer Defined Marketing

Customer Defined Marketing Practices

Customer Defined Marketing Practices

The 4th level of marketing capability is The Customer Defined Marketing (& Experience). These organizations have the following organizational characteristics:

Primary Marketing Focus: The primary focus here is to ensure, for those customers who are willing to co-define their own experience with your company and brands, that there is an opt-in conduit whereby customers can self-define what type of marketing and customer experience they will have across all touch-points. Examples of this is allowing customers to define, through their own personalized ‘preference portals’, customer experience parameters such as the following:

1) Their tolerable periodicity of how often they want to be marketed to;

2) Selecting the channels they prefer for marketing, customer service, product recalls, etc. ;

3) Preferred time of day, week that they would like to receive marketing, communications;

4) When it is warranted to override their current opt-out settings (i.e. critical product defects notifications).

5) The specific types of content customers are interested in subscribing to;

6) The types of offers customers would like to receive – closeouts, higher end products, types of products/services, etc.;

7) …Many more customer defined parameters.

By enabling these customer-defined preferences above, you are approaching 100% in terms of ensuring the customer receives the right offer, by the right channel, at the right time, etc.

Marketing Proactivity, Analysis Main Focus: The main orientation and focus for organizations at this level of (future) capability is generally what I call a ‘proactive, holistic, continuous’ organization whereby the company is continuously seeking to deliver the desired customer experience with the goal from each customer is rating the company as being rated as extremely open, engaging, encouraging proactive listening, is a good and reliable brand partner, drives high levels of customer satisfaction, etc.

Primary Marketing Technology Enablers: With this level of marketing capability, the technology is not as sophisticated (or expensive) as in 1-to-1 marketing, but requires a paradigm shift back to aligning with the basic premise that the customer is always right and enabling customers to self-define their preferred marketing and overall customer experience through preference portals (enabling the self-defined experience) and through business process rule workflow engines like Pega Systems to deliver the customer defined experience.

Main Marketing Metric: Since the organizational orientation as noted above is proactive and continuous, the main metric almost obsessed on by organizations at this marketing capability level will be ongoing levels of customer engagement, satisfaction and loyalty.

Bottom Line with Customer Defined Marketing (& Experience) organizations: With this approach you spend less $$ by relying on sophisticated marketing personnel, processes, and technology.  The strategy  is expected to produce a much higher marketing ROI than all other marketing capability levels by enabling the customer defined experience and inherently having 100% accuracy rate (customer defined needs/preference = delivered customer marketing/experience).  This approach also ensures customers and marketing recipients are receiving TOTALLY (self-defined)  relevant and preferred offerings, products, services, and communications.

In implementing this solution, companies will have to take into account the following considerations:

1) Not all customers will want to opt into defining their own experience. By using lucrative opt-in incentives companies have been able to achieve nearly 70% participation rates by customers. The remaining customers can be managed by simultaneously utilizing any of the two previous capability levels of segment marketing and/or 1-to-1 side-by-side with customer defined marketing.

2) Delivering a unique customer experience, once defined, will be difficult. By utilizing automated work-flow and business rules engines in conjunction with marketing automation and service automation tools, pathways (e.g. customer use cases) can be set up to automatically deliver the desired customer experience for sets of customers with the same defined preferences.

3) The customer really doesn’t know what they want. I constantly hear  from business leaders and CxOs that the customer doesn’t really know what they want/need so why waste the time and expense to ask them. These are the same executives who are shocked when I provide customer insights or focus group feedback that consistently and totally contradicts their own perception of how the customer perceives their company and brand(s). I applaud the business leader brave enough to ask for these insights since the majority of business leader tout their great pulse on their customer base to internal stakeholders without ever validating these claims with actual customers. In addition, customers today are extremely savvy, sophisticated and aware and want to be in control of their own company/brand experience.

4) Customer won’t really spend the time to tell us what they need/want. A customer insights group I helped developed has 5,000 current members who are required to volunteer several hours a week providing a Tier 1 US bank with feedback on different pre-market launch products, services and approaches. There are another several thousand on a waiting list waiting to join this insights group to volunteer several hours a week to provide company/brand insights. Additionally, the loyalty level of this insights group toward the bank is 57% higher than non-members with members providing verbatim feedback on their participation in the insights group as follows:

1) “Finally a bank that listens to its customers”

2) “We consider bank {xyz} to be a great brand partner”

3) “{xyz} bank totally breaks the paradigm of most ivory tower banks just throwing products at you to buy, they actually care about our opinions and listen to us”

4) “They actually give us feedback on how our suggestions are shaping their future products and services – WOW!”

Therefore, the bottom line is that customers today are very eager to become a brand-partner provided you ask them, allow their direct company-brand participation.

Expected Marketing ROI Per Capability Level
Expected Marketing ROI Per Capability Level

The above graphic points to the fact that, with every increase in marketing sophistication and accuracy in providing your customers and prospects what they need/prefer, the increase in ROI also rises dramatically. The holy grail of this is the practice of Customer Defined Marketing and the abandonment of the expense and exercise of hypothesis building and refinement (iteratively guessing at what your customers want/need) and simply providing a conduit in order that your customers tell you precisely what they want/need/prefer. My research has shown that over 70% of a typical sophisticated customer base is more than willing to tell you what they want/need from your company.

Join the ranks of market leader like Wells Fargo, Marriott, Southwest Airlines, Ritz-Carlton, Bank of America and many more joining the customer defined experience future who query their customers on their wants, needs, preferences, likes/dislikes, etc.

Therefore, instead of your company spending a great deal of $$ on ever more sophisticated hypothesis building (intelligent guessing) what your customers want and prefer, just simply ask them and join the ranks of these market leaders that are participating in the emerging practice of the future – the customer defined experience.

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Social Media Campaigns That Drive Bottom Line Results!

By Steven Jeffes

Infrastructure Establishes a Social Media Foundation, Campaigns Capture Business

Many firms can say they can help your business in social media, all offering help in setting up Fan Pages, web pages, event and photo pages, groups, SEO, etc.  All of this will help you establish a basic presence with Social Media as the bare minimum you will need in setting social media infrastructure, but very little of this foundation building activity will actually help you drive real business by now merely showing up on social media. What is needed to be successful in the realm of social media, after setting up this basic infrastructure, is architecting a robust campaign management program to help drive additional prospects, inquiries, build relationships, and drive actual new or repeat customers.  A sample of the many social media components many firms will attempt to sell your company explains why most are not revenue generating, but rather basic infrastructure and foundation setting in nature:

Component Description Net Result
Fan Pages Establishes a landing area about your organization and business Basic Facebook web page to be discovered – infrastructure
LinkedIn & Facebook Groups Establishes a group for people to join with a common purpose or affinity Building a basic presence on which people ‘might’ join – infrastructure
LinkedIn Events Establishes events for direct 1st level contact to sign-up with intent to attend Building a basic presence on which people ‘might’ attend – infrastructure
Twitter Pages Established a landing area about your organization and business Basic Twitter web page to be discovered or ‘followed’ – infrastructure
Social Media Analytics or Sentiment Analysis Tools Develops listening posts at various social media venues and communities to gauge public sentiment about your company, products, brands, services Develops intelligence on what conversations are occurring that are relevant to your business – infrastructure
Social Media Campaigns such as connection to me campaigns or fan campaigns that drive increases in fans, friends, or connections (refer to sample campaigns below) Drives increases in general audiences and in specific segments for campaign targeting and for sales closure. Increases the universe of potential customers and specific groups with affinity toward your specific products and/or services. Closes sales for your products and services

The bottom line with the above is that many activities will set up a presence within social media, but few activities drive real leads and closed business like social media campaigns.  Social Media pages, events, groups, etc. all develop the repository (setting up the pool) for people to come to when asked, but social media campaigns actually drive people to sign-up, join, fan, friend, etc. (filling the pool with high quality water) that will then be captive for driving and closing new business.  The following sections will look at some examples of how social media campaigns have driven increased prospects and real/closed business.

Social Media Messages All Seems Like a Stream of Consciousness with No Rhyme or Reason”…

Several times in the past few months, several of my clients have commented to me that they see many firms putting out messages via Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc. that are mostly a stream of consciousness and seemingly have “no rhyme or reason”.  My comments back to them was that, for many companies who do not know how to use social media effectively, that is the impact they are having – sending out uncoordinated and unfocused streams of consciousness without a consistent theme, goal, brand message, and in many cases annoying messages about mundane and uninteresting topics more about themselves vs. anything anybody else would be interested in reading.  In essence, these companies are turning off the very people that they are trying to sell to via social media.

I was then asked if there was a way to change this so that companies were sending more coordinated, interesting communications that all made sense and built upon one another to generate a common and interesting theme.  This would encourage people to read more, and more importantly, make them interested in potentially purchasing the company’s products and/or services.  My response to this seemingly silly question was “of course there is.” 

One of the main ways companies can end this stream of consciousness existence on social media, is to utilize a campaign planning template I use for all of my clients in order to facilitate a more professional and coordinated presence on all social media sites.  Similar to the campaign plan/brief/planning template that many of the best of breed Marketing Automations software tools employ like Unica, SAS, Oracle CRM, SAP CRM, Chordiant and Alterian, this campaign planning template can bring order, clarity and relevancy to your messaging on social media sites. It can literally transform your presence from the realm of annoying, irrelevant, and to be ignored – or worse, de-friended, opteded-out, de-connected, etc. to being highly engaging, referred to via viral forwarding, and saved on ‘favorites’ list and other must follow mechanisms.

This campaign template also enables your campaigns to be successful in converting new business by be synchronizing them from a cross-platform perspective (e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) such that present consistent and complimentary messaging that supports your overall brand strategy and campaign themes.  Employing this facilitates your firm in building intelligence into your social media campaigns by pre-designing a campaign brief around key message themes for each platform.  This template is a very small part of a Social Media Best Practice Design Methodology and toolkit that I have developed called SMARTE – The Social Media Adaptive/Responsive/Transcendent Enterprise.  A sample of this Social Media Campaign Planning Template, which is part of this SMARTE methodology, (in summary form), is as follows:

Social Media Campaign Planning Template:

Campaign Brief: Theme, Goals, Tactics, Platform Targets, etc.
Campaign Theme: Social Media for Automobile Dealers Campaign Timing: May 1 – May 30th Campaign Periodicity: One message ever other day on each platform
Platforms: Twitter, LinkedIn Facebook Campaign Success Metrics: Ten  Inquires, Two signed Contracts Campaign Goals:  Convince automobile dealers and brokers
Campaign Targets: Automobile Dealers and Brokers Campaign Tactics: Generate dealer general interest in social media from May 1-15; Communicate how to be success in social media from May 15-20; Communicate we know how to from May 21 – 30th. Lead Follow-Up:  E-mail “Social media for dealers” white paper, dealer testimonials, and invite to June 15th Webinar – “Dealing for Dollars – A dealer’s social media success guide.
Platform Specific Campaign & Message Plans
LinkedIn Campaign Messaging Plan: May 1: Auto Dealers benefit from social media via 7% lift in sales in March May 3: Dealers find that social media generated leads account for top 35% of most profitable customers.
….May 16th: First steps to developing a highly effective dealership social media program: http://xys123.com …May 28th: Auerback dealership recognizes Edgeup Marketing for excellence in social media: http://abc711.com  
Twitter Campaign Messaging Plan: May 1: … May 3rd: …
Facebook Campaign Messaging Plan: May 1: … May 3rd: …

The top part of this template under the heading “Campaign Brief: Theme, Goals, Tactics, Platform Targets, etc.” lays out the overall plan for the campaign and form the global parameters governing the campaign such as goals, timing, success metrics and KPIs, tactics, lead-follow up plan, etc. As part of my SMARTE methodology, I employ an SCAPE of Social Campaign Analysis, Planning & Execution methodology to plan and architect highly successful social media campaigns.

The bottom part of this template under the heading “Platform Specific Campaign & Message Plans” lays out the overall plan for the platform specific campaign messaging that support the campaign such as goals, timing, success metrics and KPIs, tactics, lead-follow up plan, etc. The development of this part of the template is also part of the SCAPE of Social Campaign Analysis & Planning methodology from the overall SMARTE Methodology.

Campaign Execution & Follow-Up

During and following the execution of these campaigns, a similar template governs the follow-up to all campaigns activities, leads generated, inquires, 2nd wave follow-up campaigns and needs to be carefully considered when developing the original campaign.  In this SCARF or Social Campaign Analysis & Response Follow-Up template, all contingencies are accounted for in terms of plans needed to follow up on the campaign including the business rules needed to support the follow-up, the campaign resources required, the type of response required by segment, etc.  I chose SCARF for this component since every aspect of the campaign response needs to be wrapped up and accounted for in order for the campaign to be considered actionable and successful.

Social Media Campaign Success Samples:

The following are a few sample campaigns I’ve executed via social media with this method that have netted huge results in very short periods of time that have helped me acquire several new contracts representing net new business for my firm:

A)   LinkedIn – 15,000+ group members in ~1.5 years!

Consider the following real accomplishments I have accumulated in the realm of group management via the execution of intelligent and coordinated social media ‘connect to me’ campaigns:

  1. In the past year or so I have established and grown the following mega-groups on LinkedIn, each with over 1,200 members by leveraging effective social media viral campaigns:

a)      Current and Former CSC Employees  – 8,100+ Members

b)      Lockheed-Martin Employees – 2,100+ Members

c)       General Electric Current & Former Employees – 1,600+ Members

d)      Capital District & Upstate NY Professionals – 3,200+ Members

e)      IBM Current & Former Employees1,380 Members

When these groups were first formulated, I adopted an ‘invite a friend’ campaign for many of these groups whereby I encouraged and incentivize people to invite their friends, colleagues, associates, etc. to join these groups. The incentive to invite a friend encouraged each existing member to invite their friend, colleague, associate to the group to grow each of the group’s membership. Where I am still employing this campaign, the Capital District & Upstate NY Professionals is adding about 200 members a month across New York State. I also recently re-branded and expanded the group to include most of New York State – from Plattsburgh to Tarrytown and from the Berkshires of Massachusetts all the way to Rochester and Ithaca. Through this active campaigning, this group is now the largest social networking group in all of Upstate NY. 

While the above numbers do not rival the number for some other broader groups categories like ‘Marketers’ or ‘Job Seekers’, the groups member drives above have done well given the limited and narrowly audiences for each group.

These group connections now enables me direct access to over 15,000 professionals world-wide that I can promote my consulting services. As a result, I have landed several consulting contracts through these LinkedIn groups worth $500k+, by using these now large social media groups as a sourcing area for new business – thanks directly to intelligent and **free** social media campaigning.

B)    LinkedIn – 3,000 connections in ~1 year!

By utilizing the group template function of LinkedIn, I employ and ongoing campaign to send a personalized message to everyone who joins one of the above groups to connect to me and to follow some of my activities as follows:

Welcome to the “Capital District and Upstate NY Professionals” Group!

I am the President, Founder and Group Manager for the “Capital District and Upstate NY Professionals” Group and I’d like to welcome you to the group. Please feel free to reach out to me if you might need any assistance from this group and/or any of the members of the group.  Good news – this group just surpassed 3,200 members since I formed this group in late last July! **We are now the largest (and most active) social networking group in Upstate NY!!**

Please invite me to your network if we are not already connected http://www.linkedin.com/in/stevenjeffes. Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/steven.jeffes, Twitter: http://twitter.com/SocialSteven

Also – check out my brand new blog on Social Media at: https://stevenjeffes.wordpress.com/

Please send the following link to your friends and colleagues to invite them to this group: http://www.linkedin.com/e/gis/153859

Lastly, please also check out my career profile website (Social Media & Marketing Subject Matter Expert) at http://www.Stevenjeffes.com and my consulting company website at http://www.edgeupmarketing.com and my awards/client letters at: http://www.stevenjeffes.com/stevenjeffes_awards.html. I am also an adjunct professor at Excelsior College teaching an array of Business & Technology classes.

Thank you,

Steven M. Jeffes, LinkedIn Founder & Group Manager

(518) 339-5857 (Cellular, message)

Capital District & Upstate NY Professionals – Upstate New York’s Largest and Most Active Social Networking Group

Through this “connect to me upon joining” campaign, I now have built over 3,000 first line contacts on LinkedIn in approximately a 1 year period of time by soliciting a connection to me from everyone who joins the above groups. In addition, everyone invites me to connect with them, which totally precludes me from using up any of my limited LinkedIn invites.   This pool of 3,000 highly accomplished current and ex-professionals from Lockheed-Martin, IBM, GE, etc. now become my audience for business development activities for my consulting services.

C)    Facebook – 4,400 friends in four (4) months!

As a result of intelligent campaigning, I have now amassed 4,400 Facebook friends in a four (4) month period of time – almost unheard of according to many Facebook experts.  Many people take several years to accumulate this many friends and 5,000 is currently the lifetime limit you can have on Facebook.  Through an intelligent execution of Facebook Friends campaigns, I amassed this many friend in the period of October 1, 2009 and January 31st, 2010 – just a four month period of time.  Through a ‘suggest a friend’ campaign, 3,800 friends were referred to me, all of which were highly correlated to the needs and interests of my marketing, CRM, and social Media consulting business.

In addition, most of these 4,400 friends are businesses and not persons as is typically the case and include the following business categories:

Albany NY Businesses, Appliances, Architects, Ashville NC Businesses, Auto Dealers, Banks & Credit Unions, Bridge & Port Authority, Brokers, Chambers of Commerce and Convention & Visitor’s Bureaus , College & Education, Computer, Construction, Contractors, Cosmetics, Culinary, Dental, Energy, Environment, Equipment, Fire & Police, Fishing Charters, Foods, Furniture, Gifts, Golf, Government, Health, High School, Hospitals & Medical, Hotels, HR & Recruiting, Insurance, Jewelers, Library, Limo & Transportation, Manufacturing, Media & Films. Metals, News, Not For Profits, Optical, Payroll, Pharmaceuticals, Politics, Pools & Spas, Printing, Professional Friends, Public Interest, Real Estate, Recycling, Restaurant & Wineries, Roofing, Security, Spas, Sporting Goods, Stadiums & Arenas, State & National Parks, Supermarkets, Technology, Travel, Utility Companies, Veterans, Yacht Companies

Personalized Campaigns – Messaging Specific to Each Group:

As a result of being able to save my Facebook friends into the above customized business categories, I can personalize campaigns and messages to individual businesses within these industries. For example and as a result of having a great deal of business experience with pharmaceutical companies in the area of CRM and social media, I just launched a customized campaign to Pharmaceutical companies with the title of “Social Media in the Pharmaceutical Industry – Mastering the Four C’s: Challenges, Concerns, Considerations, Capabilities. Based on this campaign, I am now planning of delivering several workshops on the topic to several pharmaceutical companies. 

Social Media Campaign Success – Similar Stories?

The above shares a small sample of the success I have enjoyed planning and executing campaigns for my own firm and for other companies.  I would open this blog up for people to share their own success stories in social media campaigning and to share insights on what other methods, campaigns, tools, and techniques you have utilized to drive social media campaign success for bottom line results.

About the Author

Steven Jeffes is a thought leader in developing world-class CRM, marketing, social media, loyalty, customer retention and customer experience programs. The recipient of many awards (http://www.stevenjeffes.com/stevenjeffes_awards.html), Steve is expert marketing  strategy  design & optimization: design, development and launch of world-class and best practice marketing and social media programs; change management organizational design and process excellence in marketing, sales, customer service, engineering, product management; and development of successful sales and sales management programs for Fortune 100 companies and government entities. He holds dual B.B.A. degrees in Computer Science and Finance from Temple University and a Master’s in Organizational Design and Excellence from the University of Pennsylvania/Wharton.

Steve can be e-mailed at stevenjeffes@yahoo.com or contacted via phone at 518-339-5857.

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