2013: Year of the Social Selling Expert

If social media and content marketing managers are to survive the meteoric rise of “big data” they’ll need to become social selling experts—pronto.

Like any new marketing trend, few can actually agree on what big data is. Yet the drumbeat of its promise is quickening and becoming louder. The role of the CMO is increasingly coming under pressure to techno-fy, automate and focus on bridging the gap between marketing and sales teams.

Facebook, blogging, Twitter, LinkedIn? Inbound marketing, content marketing?

“Yup, we’re on it.”

B-to-B marketers are “just doing it.” Growth is slowing. The love affair with social media and content marketing is nearly over. Everyone’s all gaa-gaa over big data.

Social Media Marketing: A Necessary Evil?
We’ve seen this kind of stagnation before in the days of online affiliate marketing. It didn’t take CEOs and vice presidents very long to go from boasting about how many thousands of affiliates they have to completely ceasing to talk about affiliate marketing.

Suddenly, behind closed doors, executive leaders started calling their affiliate marketing programs “a necessary evil.” Today, it’s a check on a checklist of mundane strategies that aren’t customer acquisition channels at all. At best they’re over-priced customer retention devices.

Social media and content marketing are at risk of suffering a similar fate: not being strategic. Will social media marketing end up being seen as a necessary evil, just another check mark on a list of ho-hum marketing strategies, more ways to spend money?

Said more bluntly: Will you be seen as a money spender or a money-maker in 2013? Will you get caught up in Doug Kessler’s “crap storm” or will your content produce leads and sales?

Because ultimately the difference between content that’s crap and content that isn’t is simple: Its ability to create a business lead.

Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell. He co-founded the Google Affiliate Network in 1999, and has been selling for 18 years. Jeff is adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s business school, a social sales trainer and author of the first social selling book, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You. Most social selling trainers teach the value of engaging customers and providing relevant content. Then they demonstrate the technology. But no one tells you exactly how to produce leads and sales—using a proven, systematic approach to content. Until now.




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  • emistrategic

    Agree with your premise, Jeff. While I do think, in certain industries, there’s a place for social as a brand- and awareness-building vehicle, my point-of-view is that if you can’t plausibly explain how a marketing initiative is going to measurably improve your business results, you shouldn’t be doing it. Definitely true of social. In addition, from an operational perspective I think that targeting real sales opportunities should make social efforts more focused and therefore more successful.