Dave Chaffey
Dave Chaffey

Dr Dave Chaffey is the CEO and Founder of Smart Insights. It’s an apt name since Dave has made it his mission since 1994 to share his online marketing insight with countless people around the world. An accomplished author, blogger and public speaker; Dr Dave Chaffey was a keynote speaker at i-SCOOP’s Fusion Marketing conference.

If you fail to plan you plan to fail. That truism certainly applies to content marketing and social marketing where, as Dave observes, not enough of us have an overall plan. In fact, without that plan you might not even know if you’ve failed because you don’t even know what goals you have to reach to win.

Dave offers up Dell as an example of a company with a plan and long term vision. He suggests that taking a look at their strategy and implementation to help you establish one with your team. Dell tests and refines via their analytics team to understand what online offers work best in what markets.

“We need a social media strategy!” But before you get there you need to really understand what’s going to engage your audience and what kind of content, information and experiences will do that. You might start by getting to know your audience as well as you possibly can.

Dave often encounters something that many of us in the consulting business run into – a fear of blogging, of exposing one’s organization to the world via a corporate blog. Fears which range from what customers might say about the company to concerns that they won’t be able to generate content effectively. Dave views these as excuses to avoid really engaging customers.

He doesn’t point the finger at marketers either. From what Dave had to say at The Fusion Marketing Experience, this trepidation and tendency to use excuses doesn’t come from the marketers, but from senior management. The marketing people want to get into social media and use it to engage their customers, but upper level management is hindered from moving forward because of fears many of us have heard more than once.

Dave offers an example of how to deal with such fears from attendee Chris Hall who helps overcome any phobias by exposing senior management to social media in a non-threatening and gentle way. He’ll show them examples of how people use social in day-to-day life and then demonstrate the value social media can bring to the organization.

Putting some effort into meeting such senior management concerns might be the best place to begin. For a large company at least, content and social marketing probably doesn’t come cheap so, starting at the top and getting that buy-in from senior management is extremely important if you want to succeed.