I was monitoring the Twitter feed for the Sales 2.0 conference when I saw the thread about the speech being given by Jeffrey Hayzlett, CMO of Kodak. Here are some interesting snips posted by conference attendees that show just how fast markets are changing and how social media is playing a role:
@Sales20Conf: "How many of you bought a roll of film this year?" *2 hands go up* "Thank you, you made our quota"-- @JeffreyHayzlett #s20c
@ fogfish: Change or die: Kodak film sales went from $15B to $2M in 5 yrs. Saved the business by going into printing. #s20c #adapt (via @clarashih)
@ConnectdMarkter : New Kodak paradigm 70% digital revenues, 60% B2B #s20c 75-85% of their business will come from B2B
@ larrybenet: how do you handle change? @jeffreyhayzlett cmo of kodak says you need to do it fast #s20c
@Rinidas : Kodak Social Media Strategy 4E's Engage Educate Excite Evangelize #s20c
@agaffney : Jeffrey Hayzlett, CMO of Kodak, twitter posts have gone from 40% customer complaints to less than 7% by engaging, responding. #S20C
@annekeseeley : @jeffrehayzlett at #s02c: added mic jack to recorder after getting a suggestion on Twitter, which is a huge competitive differentiator.
@BarbraGago : If someone asks (Financial Officers) whats your ROI, ask them what's your return on ignoring #s20c - @JeffreyHayzlett
The above 8 Tweets share a story about Kodak with each thread supplied by a different person. The business model for the entire company changed over the course of five years. Of course, market conditions and technology innovations forced that change, but the same speed of change is impacting many companies across most-if not all-industries.
There are a few key lessons to take away from the points shared about Hayzlett's speech that demonstrate how social media plays a role in the speed of change.
Listen and Learn: You may think that social media is not relevant for your company. However, I'm finding this less true with every passing day. Whether you choose to look on LinkedIn, Twitter or Blogs, you will find recently shared ideas that cover the gamut of topics. Just as the 8 Tweets above recreate a story of change, so do many other threads that are readily available.
Even if you start out by just listening to what's being said about your industry, prospect concerns and product reactions, you will gain insights to trends that could be waiting right around the corner to impact your business directly from the markets you serve. The key to growth and competitive advantage is in having the flexibility to shift along with core markets and discover new entry points. That only happens if you have a clue about what's coming.
Embrace Co-creation Ideas: By embracing an idea shared on Twitter to incorporate a microphone jack into a recorder, Kodak was able to establish competitive differentiation within that market. Companies need to stop creating features they think are important and start listening to what their customers actually want because they have a need for something. After all, your business relies upon them staying interested in the value you provide.
Conversations can Shift Perspective: When you consider that, by engaging with people via social media, Kodak has been able to reduce complaints from 40% of Twitter posts about the brand down to seven percent, the impact on customer satisfaction is tremendous. Your company may not have complaints, but why not capitalize from a great starting point and take the initiative to build relationships that can help to establish your credibility and reputation-before you need social capital. It's like saving up for a rainy day.
The more positive experiences your prospects and customers have with your company, the more likely they are to refer you to others and overlook a misstep here and there. An even better reason to consider using social media is that, according to Dan Kennedy, 68% of customer loss is due to indifference. Why not harness the power of social media to change that? Seems to me that companies need all the help they can get.
Develop a Content Strategy: Social media is content. From your 140 character Tweet, to your LinkedIn group discussion post, to your 500 word blog post, it's all content. The new research shared by DemandGen Report and Genius.com about buyers shows that 66% of buyers said consistency in messaging by vendors influenced their buying decision. However your company chooses to communicate with networks and markets, consistency can only be achieved with a strategic content plan.
The increasing number of avenues available for us to connect with people - not just marketing and sales, but your entire organization - means that we need to consciously stay on point. That's hard to do without a plan. But, when you know the story your company is telling and have the foresight to adapt it for different publishing avenues, your content can intersect with your markets in step with the speed of change.