Blog

All Things WOMM
Themes Trump Trends for Sustained Engagement

This is the time of year when the world's digital pundits post their annual trends outlooks. Some may actually come true. My favorites (thus far, though it's still early days) for 2013 are from Peter KimMillward Brown and Edelman's own David Armano. That said, perhaps the most salient piece I've read as regards where we are and where we are likely headed of late was Mary Meeker's State of the Web deck, released last week. 

Not being a great forecaster (ask our CFO), I'm not going to try to predict the future. Rather, I'd like to propose four themes that organizations of all kinds should consider embracing – wholly and without compromise – in their marketing and corporate communications plans, programs and processes to drive greater stakeholder engagement, and ultimately, greater return on effort across their paid, owned and earned media.  

Empathy

Translation: the world does not revolve around any brand or company, nor is any individual truly on edge waiting for the next Facebook update from the brands s/he may favor. If engagement is the goal – and ideally, sustained engagement at that — then anyone on the receiving end of your communications needs to see some value in it for themselves. What we as communicators say and do should embrace what our audiences want to feel and do as much (or more) as what we want them to feel and do. At the most fundamental level, this all boils down to conveying a feeling of mutual respect. Today, far too few programs are truly based on that principal, and the people we're trying to engage are calling us out on it. Put yourself in their shoes. 

Inclusion

No, I'm not talking about crowd-sourcing everything you do. That said, involving your most passionate advocates and those who influence them in candid, transparent discussions about what's working, what's not and why, and then further engaging them on potential solutions will drive both greater advocacy and improved performance. Similarly, denying them that opportunity will cost you. Most companies claim to want this level of relationship with their stakeholders. Truth be told, few have the courage to ask for, listen to, and act on what their staunchest supporters and detractors really think. Transparency is not just inevitable, it's liberating. Open up.  

Intuition

Data is an incredibly powerful tool, but abused, an equally paralyzing crutch. Fact: it's impossible to analyze the risk out of decision making. So why are so many attempting to do just that with alarming frequency? (Note: the inverse — shooting from the hip – is equally folly) Innovators become leaders by taking smart, informed risks faster than their competitors. And innovators mitigate risks in the decisions as to what, how, where, and when they communicate with the same discipline. Do your homework and then trust that gut. Tim Cook said it well in his recent interview with Bloomberg Business Week: "At the end of it, the things that are most important are always gut calls." Don't let the next feeling you have be remorse for losing an opportunity to lead.  

Resilience

Everything we do is moving ever faster; indeed, a lot faster than most organizations are prepared to handle. Poptech's Andrew Zolli wrote a really great book on this phenomena aptly called, Resilience. Andrew defines it as our ability — as individuals, businesses, governments, and societies — to absorb disruption by changing the way we think; and from focusing on risk mitigation to risk adaptation. He challenges us to ask ourselves how we can embrace change, disruption and failure to bounce forward, instead of bouncing back. In communications, pre-planned campaigns built around peak selling periods are beginning to take a back seat to ongoing content-fueled initiatives that drive engagement amongst each of many distinct stakeholder groups in real time. Embrace the change and shape your future in the process.

All four of these themes share two things - a sense of humility and humanity.

What communication wouldn't benefit from a solid foundation in both? 

This post was originally published at Edelman Engage.

Author:
Rick Murray
President of Edelman Chicago and WOMMA Board of Director
Edelman Chicago


This entry was posted on December 20th, 2012
Tags: Engagement, Trends


Our Contributors

Rod Brooks
Vice President & CMO, PEMCO Mutual Insurance
Dennis O’Malley
CEO, Ready Pulse
Frank Burns
VP of Solutions, FeedMagnet
Ekaterina Walter
Partner & CMO, BRANDERATI
Theresa Trevor
Marketing Director, Amplifinity
Steven Van Belleghem
Author of “The Conversation Company”, B-Conversational
Jordan Slabaugh
Director of Social Media, Spredfast
Geoffrey Colon
Vice President, Digital Strategy, Social@Ogilvy
Kendra Simpson
Vice President, Social Strategy, Social@Ogilvy
Stuart Tracte
Account Director, Digital Strategy, Social@Ogilvy
Brad Fay
Chief Operating Officer, Keller Fay Group
Kristen Zufan
Consultant, ComBlu
Gary De Jesus
Former Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, MKTG INC
Richard Beedon
Founder & CEO, Amplifinity
Andrew Rossi & Lauren Martiello
Creative Team, M Booth
Virginia Miracle
WOMMA Chairman and EVP of Services at Spredfast, Spredfast
Carri Bright
Senior Manager of Community & Support, Izea
Rick Murray
President of Edelman Chicago and WOMMA Board of Director, Edelman Chicago
Suzanne Fanning
President, WOMMA
Courtney Doman
Digital Marketing Manager, Spredfast
Ed Keller
CEO, Keller Fay Group
Anthony DiResta
Partner, Winston & Strawn LLP
Rose Reid
Digital Strategist, Account Executive, Social@Ogilvy
Blake Brysha
Freelance Digital Strategist & Social Advisor, Extole
Irina Kondrashova
Strategist, 360i
Rosanna Rago
Influencer Marketing, 360i
Megan Conley
Social Publicist, 360i
Emily Garvey
Senior Social Publicist, 360i
Danny Palestine
Social Publicist, 360i
Jose Martinez-Salmeron
Senior Vice President, Executive Creative Director, Social@Ogilvy
Martin Oetting
Partner/Head of Research, trnd
Chloe Mathieu-Phillips
Supervisor, 360i
Peter Claridge
Marketing Manager, Unmetric
Stefan Pollack
President, The Pollack PR Marketing Group
Kim Cohen
Community Manager, Hunter & Bard
Leigh Pankonien
Vice President, Social Distillery, Inc.
Ryan Garcia
Legal Director, Dell
Joel Windels
Lead Community Manager, Brandwatch
Jye Smith
Vice President - Digital, Asia Pacific, Weber Shandwick
Marcia W. DiStaso
Assistant Professor, College of Communications at Pennsylvania State University
Asit Gupta
Co-founder, Advocacy WOM
Maggie Walsh
Senior Strategist, 360i
Ben Straley
Vice President of Social Technologies, Rio SEO
Gemma Craven
Executive Vice President, NY Group Director, Social@Ogilvy
Jeff Bodzewski
President & Chief Rhino, Rhinotale
Tom Chernaik
CEO at CMP.LY, Co-Chair of WOMMA’s MEAP
Devra Prywes
VP Marketing & Insight, Unruly Media
Katie Creaser
Vice President, Affect
David Yeend
Senior Brand Strategist, 22squared
Mr. iStratbuzz
Blogger, iStrategy
David Krejci
Executive Vice President, Weber Shandwick
Thomas Kim
Product Manager, Social Technologies, Rio SEO
Judi Friedman
Sr. Vice President, Fizz
Jasper Snyder
Vice President, Converseon
Nando Rodriguez
Senior Social Media Recruiter, NA, Social@Ogilvy
Ashley Libby
Principal & Founder, The Anca Group
Bill Chamberlin
Principal Research Analyst and Consultant, IBM
Jane Collins
Research Director, BlogHer
Neil Beam
Director of Sales, MotiveQuest
David Blake
Freelancer, Money Crashers
Andy Levitt
Founding Partner, HealthTalker
Jennifer Voisard
Senior Consultant, ComBlu Inc.
Matt Heindl
Senior Director of Social Media Marketing , Razorfish
Karen Kuller
Director of Marketing, Hunter and Bard
Martin Daniel
Marketing Executive, Unmetric
Kristy Woolbright
Senior Social Media Associate, 22squared
Nick Cicero
Lead Social Strategist, Livefyre
Desiree Mejia
Intern, Social Distillery
Jeff Morrissey
Brand Specialist - Marketing and Innovation, BISSELL Business Ventures
Jeff Woelker
VP & Director of Digital, Zócalo Group
Kristen Matthews
Marketing & Community Manager, GroupHigh
Ryan Simmons
Creative Technologist, 22squared
David King
Founder & Resident Wikipedian, Ethical Wiki
Jeff Epstein
Founder, Ambassador
Ryan Johnston
Account Coordinator, Social Distillery
Rob Key
Founder & CEO, Converseon
Mauricio Godoy
Account Director, Social@Ogilvy
John Moore
Chief of Wahoo, Brains on Fire
Jeremy Katz
Worldwide Editorial Director, Ogilvy & Mather
Allison Jordan
Intern, Zócalo Group
Ranjani Raghupathi
Marketing Executive, Unmetric
Dan Martell
Founder & CEO, Clarity.fm
Deirdre Walsh
Sr. Social Strategist and Social Team Manager, Jive Software
Rachel Ullstrom
Account Director, Social Technologies, Rio SEO
Kyle Lebet
Associate Digital Media Director, 22squared
Rhena Wallace
Account Supervisor, Affect
Elissa Fontenot
Social Media Coordinator, Social Distillery
Danielle Johnsen Karr
Senior Community Manager, 360i
Mann Russ
Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Covario
Brook Jay
CMO, All Terrain
Ashley Futak
Senior Marketing Manager, Extole
Erich Marx
Director of Interactive & Social Media Marketing, Nissan North America, Inc.
Maureen Higgins
Digital Marketing Manager, BOHAN Advertising
Mary Green
Social Media Fuze
Ashley Walters
Director, Consumer Experience, Powerhouse Factories
Erin Rankin
Social Media Manager, Johnson Group
Iris Vermeren
Community Manager, Brandwatch
Sarah Eck-Thompson
COO, All Terrain
Monica Bhandarkar
VP, Social Media & Business Development, JSH&A
Adam Wexler
Founder and Chief Strategy Officer , Insightpool
Lisaann Dupont
Communications Manager, Ryman Auditorium
Betsy Smith
Senior Digital Strategist, Flightpath
Steven M. Weinberg
Partner, Holmes Weinberg PC
Anna Kassoway
CMO, Crowdtap
Brandon Evans
Founder and CEO, Crowdtap
Deborah Holland
Executive Vice President, Publishers Clearing House
Clay Sifford
Chairman and CEO, Ovation, Inc.
Ben Rosenfield
Founder, Freebie
Chris Duskin
VP of Marketing, Extole
Kelly Karcz
Account Executive, JSH&A
Bob Troia
Founder and CEO, Affinitive, a Project WorldWide agency
Eric Forst
Chief Marketing Officer, Synapsify
Holly Regan
Software Advice
Amanda Nagele
Senior Account Supervisor, JSH&A
David Witt
Leader, Mid-West Region, WCG; Group Director, Brand Strategy and Engagement, WCG, a W2O Company
Lauren Gould
Marketing Manager, Ready Pulse
Kristen Sussman
President and Founder, Social Distillery
Alicia Lawrence
Content Coordinator, WebpageFX
Noemi Pollack
CEO, The Pollack PR Marketing Group
Sam Ford
Director of Audience Engagement, Peppercomm
Vanessa Squires
Program Manager, Fizz
Marcos Martinez
Business Development Executive, GroupHigh
Sandra Fathi
President, Affect
Josh Anisfeld
Vice President of Digital Engagement, Zeno Group
Ginny Broker
Senior Account Supervisor, Zócalo Group
Rick Liebling
Head of Global Marketing, unmetric
Ran Shaul
Pursway
Katie Sotor
Crane USA
Mercer Moore