Looking at the brand in the context of social media conversations we found it important to take a bird’s eye view of what we were trying to achieve with the connections that the campaign started to produce.
For Greenland in general, and for Destination Arctic Circle more specifically, one of the main barriers towards building lasting relationships with international partners is to raise the level of awareness outside Greenland to a level where people take note of our existence.
As the videos started gaining ground with the travel community and spread outside the Facebook and Twitter communities, where we initially launched them, journalists, bloggers, tour operators, and people in the outdoor gear business started responding to our content with enthusiasm and positive feedback.
At this point we reached a critical juncture in the entire project, and even in the short life of the Rough. Real. Remote. brand, since now was the time to start acting on the basis of the value platform we had built with out branding.
This platform consists of both core destination values, our existing product landscape, and the profiles and needs of local tour providers. Taken together these made it possible for us to look for similar interests, values, and goals among those engaging with our content
In terms of the roadmap we had come to the part of the road where oncoming traffic was now so significant that we had to start slowing down and spend more time with each connection.
A part of this was the B2C element which was about engaging with both those consumers joining our contest and those interested in Greenland and Destination Arctic Circle. However, in this blog we won’t spend time with the B2C side of the project since many others have covered this topic extensively and well, including blogs such as Social Media Examiner, Mashable, Brian Solis, the B2C blog, and many, many more (plus, of course. hundreds of books on the topic of social media marketing).
From the outset we had decided that the B2B (Business-2-Business) intersections would be our first priority and this made it possible for us to start leveraging new connections to create meaningful relationships that will eventually lead to business for the tour providers in our destination.
One of the ways we did this was to keep track of the kinds of conversations generated by our campaign, and we registered every potential B2B relationship, including media connections, in our MasterTracker.
Keeping a list like this proved invaluable since the assembly of potentials could quickly be reviewed and we could begin doing blitz researching along the road to capture info about people we met. This allowed us to quickly uncover what potential future partners might hold the most value for our brand and products.
The consequences, and ultimately also the end gains, of structuring your work this way is nicely summed up by the Social Media B2B bloggers:
“The goal for most B2B marketers is to convert prospects into customers. Because the sales cycle is longer, B2B companies need to focus on relationships as part of that process. Communication with prospects, engaging them, educating them and leading them towards purchase creates the foundation for a long term relationship. And in many situations, the social media relationship continues past the sale through support, updates and continuing education.”
Getting to the point where you are ready to identify and reach out to those intersecting with your social media road means laying down the foundation through translation of your brand values into content that can be shared online. And once that content is out there you start looking for stakeholders who, through their interaction with your content and this with your brand values, could become potential partners.
Some of those potentials will never be converted into strategic relationships, but while many intersections are only fleeting a few will stick. Throughout the Rough. Real. Remote. campaign we have learned that the most viable partnerships are those where both sides have brand values at stake and where those brand values provide mutual value enhancement.
In short: It has to work both ways or the intersection will soon lose value for one or both parties involved.
Or, as Chris Noble from World Nomads so eloquently says: What matters most is finding those that share your values and identifying what will resonate with them so you can make an emotional attachment to them. And in order to do so you must know the “why” of your existence and of why people will care about what you can offer.
Author: admin | Filed under: SMITW blog | Tags: b2b, high value intersections, smitw2011 | No Comments »