By Lynn Stafford.
Successful real estate strategy is synonymous with Location, Location, Location. Today, in this nascent, Mesozoic period of integrated design and build I asked myself, in the future, what will become synonymous with successful Social Media strategy? Smart money is on Culture, Culture, Culture.
Smitten with the latest apps, trends and data (the latter always being vulnerable to misinterpretation anyway) marketers seem to be giving too much lip service to technology as strategy. And the evidence this kind of narrow thinking is creating in the marketplace underscores the reason to rethink what truly defines a winning strategy. More and more I hear the buzz promise of app driven campaigns without the kind of language or deep understanding that comes from building a strategy that is driven by authentic communication expressing a company’s culture as brand and brand as culture. Consumers know what companies do; what they’re interested in discovering is if there is an alignment between them and their products and services – discovering what the company stands for and who they truly are.
Given, great technology and measurement will always serve as a if not the critical lynch pin to the success of a company’s Social Media strategy. But perhaps those sweet buzz kisses in your client’s ear just might be serving more to tease and foster a competitive advantage than to fulfill a commitment to the one you love.
The book, Tribal Leadership – Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization, Logan, King and Fisher-Wright, asserts that, “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Catchy huh? And luckily for me, three things I’m enormously fond of. More than metaphor, the concept of culture in this context is attached to the core values of an organization, people and their relationships (both internal and external) and by the language they use.
As it turns out, one study from the book (Corby and O’corrbui, 1999) found that strategies fail an estimated 70 percent of the time. And this figure is considered a very generous estimate. Other observations in this field suggest that as much as 80 percent of all strategies fail.
This is mind-blowing data. And once it lands with you, you’ll never think about how important culture is to strategy again. Consider this. Even if there was a (-/+) of 20 on the 70 percent finding, it would mean that an organization would have no more than a 50/50 chance of succeeding with their next strategy. And when you consider the crash and burn rate of new business ventures in tandem with the billions of dollars invested in marketing, advertising and social media campaigns that never return their investment, indeed, if culture usurps strategy, the focus of our strategy conversations must change now.
This means you get to unequivocally understand and be able to communicate your client’s culture – to truly own their DNA and envision its quality of life in popular culture. But here’s the catch. It’s our experience at Two Bananas that most companies don’t really have their arms around their own DNA yet alone a rock solid narrative of their own culture. Most companies don’t know or can’t articulate what drives them.
Needless to say, this is a problem and especially for creatives. There you are at the big table and some middle management guy says… “Hey… we’re going to have to really think outside the box!” The problem here is that thinking outside the box implies that one knows what’s inside the box. And again, most organizations don’t truly know what drives them outside of profit.
One of the most important pieces of evidence we look for with new clients is whether or not they are prepared to initiate and sustain their Social Media Strategy. Our next conversation is about culture.Tweet