The Importance of Good Communication

The key to any successful team, whether it is a football team or a marketing team, is good communication.

This article from Marketing Magazine, written by Shelley Pringle, examines the importance of good communication between Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) and Social Media Marketers (SMMs) in a business and offers six questions that can be used to start a dialogue.

Marketing Magazine publishes articles with topics ranging from media planning and buying, digital marketing, and television to reports on multicultural marketing and agency rankings.

Marketing Magazine publishes articles with topics ranging from media planning and buying, digital marketing, and television to reports on multicultural marketing and agency rankings.

First of all, let’s look at why communication is important. Pringle says that because social media is merely one aspect of a business (albeit an increasingly important one), proper communication can ensure social media goals are in line with and complimentary to the business’ overall goals.

This makes sense; you’re not going to launch a TV campaign that conflicts with the business’ image and goals, so why would you do it on social media?

Another reason good communication is important is because the CMO usually controls resources and funding. If the CMO is unaware of what the SMM is doing and why, then the necessary time and/or funding may not be allocated to social media. This just produces poor efforts that certainly don’t benefit the business.

There are many social media platforms that businesses can use to engage customers.

There are many social media platforms that businesses can use to engage customers.

So why does this lack of communication and understanding happen in the first place? I think part of it is because social media is relatively new and constantly changing. This constant change can be intimidating for businesses.

Pringle writes that because CMOs may not be as familiar with social media, they may not see the purpose or value that a SMM sees. This is another reason good communication between the two parties is important.

Without further ado, let’s look at Pringle’s six questions that need to be asked. The first three are pretty straight forward:

  • Which social media platform(s) are you using?
  • Why did you pick these ones?
  • How are you using them?

Again, pretty basic questions, but they can certainly start a very useful dialogue.

The next three questions are a bit more in-depth and can really turn a CMO on or off social media.

  • How are you measuring results?
  • Have results met expectations?
  • What are you doing to improve and correct efforts?

These questions can really help the CMO to understand that the SMM knows his or her role, that social media is important to the business and that it is being used correctly.

So next time you see a company poorly using social media, you’ll know that there must have been a communication breakdown somewhere.

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#TrendsTalk13

Well, it’s December now and the first semester of 2013-14 is winding down at St. Lawrence College. Students are busy with final projects and presentations and teachers are equally busy with marking and calculating grades. Still, the learning has not stopped at St. Lawrence College.

On Wednesday, December 11, I had the pleasure of attending a St. Lawrence College exclusive event called TrendsTalk. TrendsTalk is a conference that focuses on the newest trends in social, mobile and interactive marketing. It is a free event that has been held for three years now at St. Lawrence College.

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The audience includes a large number of students and faculty from the School of Business, St. Lawrence alumni, Kingston business owners and many other professionals from the Kingston community and beyond.

One neat feature of TrendsTalk is that, unlike much of the semester, the Integrated Marketing Communication students are the ones teaching and leading seminars. The IMC faculty, while offering assistance and guidance in preparation for the event, really emphasize the role of students as the leaders of the event.

Free swag that I won during TrendsTalk!

Free swag that I won during TrendsTalk!

This certainly is one of the strengths of TrendsTalk as it really helps to highlight the great work done at St. Lawrence College, and specifically in the IMC program. Students get a chance to display their ideas, knowledge and professionalism in front of many of Kingston’s business professionals; potential employers.

Another strength of TrendsTalk is the audience interaction. At the end of each seminar there is a question period where guests can continue the discussion and explore the ideas that were presented. As well, the hashtag #TrendsTalk13 was used throughout the day as another avenue for discussion and even for live tweeting of the event. This hashtag also allowed strangers in the audience to connect and share ideas.

Without further ado, I’d like to highlight some of the seminars I attended and the students behind them.

“Blogging for Business” was hosted by Synde Smythe & Taylor Young and focused on how a blog can be a great way for businesses, especially small businesses, to connect with customers and the community. A blog will not stand on its own, they warned, and must be integrated with other communication strategies to be effective.

The Fortune Cookie Principle by Bernadette Jiwa

The Fortune Cookie Principle by Bernadette Jiwa

“The Fortune Cookie Principle” was a presentation by Shaun Withers & Kristen Deyo. Their presentation was based on the book by Bernadette Jiwa and focused on creating content that is fresh, shareable and engaging, as well as connecting with customers through a good story. (Plus, there was actual fortune cookies, mmmm).

The third presentation I attended was “Multi-Platform Social Media Marketing,” hosted by Hollie Knapp-Fisher & Joshua Hartson. They explained the values and benefits of several different social medias, but emphasized the importance of selecting which platform(s) would be most effective for one’s business and doing them really well.

The final presentation that I attended was “Websites as Your Hub” by Kyle Carr and James Potts. This presentation discussed the benefits of having a main website that links to all of a business’ online presence. Their analogy of a main train station with inbound and outbound tracks was really effective.hqdefault

There were several other seminars which I did not list here or was not able to attend, but I’ve been told they were equally as great as the ones mentioned here. Some of the Powerpoints and Prezis used are available on the TrendsTalk website and more will be up soon (I believe).

I’m sure all who participated in TrendsTalk 2013 will agree that it was an overwhelming success for the IMC students and for St. Lawrence College, perhaps even the best yet.

I am sure that TrendsTalk will continue to be a staple at St. Lawrence College for years to come and I look forward to the day when I have to opportunity to be a contributing part of it.