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Embed in Routines to Drive Business Results with Social

Posted on  18 May 10  by 

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gear placeholderWe’ve now gathered information from over 250 companies on their social efforts via MLC’s Social Media Maturity Diagnostic.  While 90% of the participating companies are not seeing significant business results for their social efforts, a few social media exemplars are seeing big returns.

One of the ways exemplars are driving results is by using social to embed the brand into customer routines—the recurring “jobs” we do in our personal and professional lives.  These brands are using social to aid the customer across a whole range of sub-tasks that go into completing a routine. Here are a few examples:

And it’s no wonder this approach is delivering strong results.  We saw in MLC’s 2009 loyalty work that tying a brand into consumer routine delivers a 9% lift in loyalty (second only to establishing a differentiated emotional connection with the consumer).

Brands haven’t always been able to get to this level of embedment in customer routines.  However, social networking has changed the economics of aiding customers in their routines.

With social, it’s easier (and less expensive) to spot when a consumer is doing a routine (lots of them are broadcasting it!). Social search has made it easier for consumers to find information that supports their routine—whether from a brand or a peer.  And social has enabled consumers to have a two-way conversation (with each other or with brands) to get helpful information or even emotional support in accomplishing their routines.  Prior to social, for a brand to scale these kinds of aiding activities would generally have been economically unfeasible.

As we’ve looked deeper inside of the brands that are using social to embed in routines, we’ve found that the most compelling examples require some kind of extensive cross-functional collaboration.  Why?

No function in the typical large enterprise has evolved to carry out embedding, in a scalable way, across the range of tasks in a consumer routine.  The implication is, to do this kind of embedding, executive leadership is required to break down silos and accelerate fusion of 1) the right knowledge with 2) the arms and legs around (or even outside of) the enterprise.  We believe the CMO is ideally suited to step up and be the executive catalyst for cross-functional collaboration here, because she is best positioned with knowledge of the customer and the firm’s differentiating capabilities.

MLC B2C members: we hope you’ll join us at an upcoming MLC executive retreat, where we’ll dive much deeper into the CMO social leadership imperative and embedding in routines.  This signature work represents the culmination of our 10-month inquiry into social media.  The intended audience is the seniormost marketing leader and the head of social media efforts.  Find more information on these sessions (including registration) here.

MLC Annual Executive Retreat Dates

17 June | New York

14 July  | Chicago

25 August | Sydney

21 September | London

12 October | San Francisco

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