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Mark Stonham

Hi Gerard, a great post that reflects how quickly concepts are developing in Social Business.

I'd add to the discussion a different perspective on the three 'C's you mention, each at strategic level:

1. Content is essential, and the strategy in Social Media Marketing may well be to create your own, but could also mean inviting partners to contribute. In Support the strategy might be to encourage Customer or User Generated Content.

2. Conversation, especially in Customer Services area, could mean a strategy to encourage fans and advocates to pass on their experiences to people posting questions, and reward them appropriately.

3. Collaboration has great potential in the selling activity and process, where the strategy may be to reduce unit time and cycle time using new tools, enabling new, better ways of working.

In larger companies, different business areas, functions, departments will have different needs and opportunities to consider introducing relevant social approaches, and resources to execute and benefit from doing so.

An enterprise Social Media strategy would need to consider these many differences.

Mini MBA

Thank you so much. This was really great.

How to Start a Business

There are six basic facets of institutional logic that great companies use to their advantage: a common purpose; a long-term view; emotional engagement; community building; innovation; and self-organization.

Mark Stonham

Hi Gerhard,

Fantastic points raised. I read it 3 times to fully grasp your message.

The whole topic of Social Business brings in so many dimensions, it makes CRM seem straight-forward in comparison, and there was significant investment, pain and unfulfilled expectations aplenty in that field over 20+ years, so Social Business will be a long term, disruptive change.

To me, content, conversation and collaboration represent 3 stages of the journey, one building on the previous. And beyond potentially Cultural Conversion (in a religious, heart and mind, sense to pick another 'C')

There is also the people, process and technology triplet, where people includes both vendors and buyers, process is the sales cycle but also the buy cycle, and technology is the multi-layered apps, infrastructure and carrier (and I recall IBM layered architecture of 25 years ago).

There's also the strategic, operational and tactical dimensions, simplistically at company wide, departmental and campaign/personal.

Where CRM was/is essentially internal Social Business is fundamentally bridging internal and external, and therefore an order of magnitude more complex as a change project.

Hubspot and other pioneers have the advantage of a Sales 2.0 mindset and a blank sheet of paper, and their success will enable these changes to cross the chasm to early majority and beyond.

The Rock Star analogy is excellent - one succeeds handsomely, and in business that may well be by taking sales and customers away from the other 99 who are just slightly behind the curve.

We live in interesting, and challenging times.

It's great to be part of it.


john mista

Very useful as I consider our marketing plan. Many thanks for the tips and the ideas. It is a big step out for a lot of us and that we need all the assist we can get.

mharris InsightDemand.com

Two great sentences all rolled into one great insight.

"In the new world of social business, the sales pitch has been replaced by a fluid conversation between equal partners. The focus is on situational fluency."
"If the prospect has already completed 80 percent of the fact finding in the purchase process, it's the salesperson's job to deliver the remaining 20 percent within the allocated time frame set aside for the conversation."

This will require Salesperson to be even better than they are today.

As for Social Media, I sometimes wonder if winning at Social Media is like being a rock star. Yes 1 in 100 get it right and get the traffic yet there are 99 others who invested time and didn't get onto Google's first page?


Fantastic post. The social business hinges on 1:1 conversations. Collaboration is the next evolution for social media in business, and the potential value of quality conversation increase exponentially when they happen face to face.

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