The Social Enterprise: Lessons on Content, Internal Advocacy and the Human Element from IBM's Susan Emerick

Kathy Klotz-Guest
Kathy Klotz-Guest CEO, Keeping it Human

Posted on August 2nd 2013

The Social Enterprise: Lessons on Content, Internal Advocacy and the Human Element from IBM's Susan Emerick

Content, Profits and Internal (Employee) Advocacy

Today I had the pleasure of talking with Susan Emerick from IBM. We chatted about content, employee advocates and to how balance marketing as both art and science. IBM has more internal employee bloggers/champions than any company around. How has IBM been able to scale relationships? It’s not just with technology. IBM has grown by being open, decentralizing content creation and trusting (and empowering) passionate employees to carry the torch.

Move Over, Marketing: There are New Content Sheriffs in Town

This breaks down the silos to great content that customers want. And what they often want are relationships with experts, not a mediated, controlled experience through ineffective marketing tactics.

Return on Relationship: Scaling ‘People’ is Good for The Bottom Line

You can’t scale the human element – relationships – by relying on marketing automation alone. You need both science (analytics, listening) and art (real-time human conversations). By unleashing employees, IBM has reached an interesting point in its trajectory. Susan mentioned that in a number of case studies with customers, the value of subject matter experts on the bottom line has been near 7X.

Amen, Susan.

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Kathy Klotz-Guest

Kathy Klotz-Guest

CEO, Keeping it Human

Kathy Klotz-Guest, marketing and messaging strategist, and storyteller, is CEO of Keeping it Human. For 20 years she has helped companies turn marketing-speak into customer-speak so they get better results. With a background in improvisation, Kathy injects fun and humanity into brands, stories, and products. Kathy has an MA from Stanford University, an MBA from UC Berkeley, and a Masters in applications design (nerd!). She performs regularly with the ComedySportz San Jose Rec League, and has spoken all over the country on a number of marketing topics. She is a founding fellow for the Society for New Communications Research, and Marketing Chair for the Applied Improvisation Network Conference.
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