This weekend I finished Simon Sinek’s book Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. The book is built on the premise that most companies are very good at telling us what they do, some are good at telling us how they do it, but rarely do we find companies that explain why they do what they do.
I spent the weekend contemplating this one-word question. That’s when I asked the one that every executive has either pondered or is about to ponder: “Why should my company get involved in New Media?”
Begin with the End in Mind
Imagine that your company has a Web site. It’s not just an ordinary Web site, filled with boring product brochures. Instead, it’s a resource so rich in useful content that the most popular search engines deliver a constant stream of future customers to it–at precisely the moment they need help with the problems that your company solves every day. This site helps visitors decide what, when, and how much to buy and it’s such a valuable resource, that people from all over the world are referred to it by trusted sources such as family, friends, and colleagues. In some instances, the information is so good that competitors send customers to it.
The Web site uses all of the tools available to tell your company’s stories. It has text, audio, and video, each chosen to use the medium’s sweet spot to convey meaning.
But the Web site contains more than just packaged information. It forms the basis for your company’s customer support platform. Customer support comes in two flavors: official support, from your staff, and unofficial support, delivered through prospects and customers who use your site to communicate directly with one another.
Finally, your company Web site makes it easy for your all of these visitors to purchase your products and services.
Although the corporate Web site is the cornerstone of your inbound marketing strategy, it extends its reach strategically through Social Media services such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and location-based services such as Foursquare. The goal of these services isn’t to supplant the Web site, but rather to offer familiar ways for customers to interact with your brand–on their terms not yours. These social media channels augment the Web site’s services by offering new ways to communicate. Finally, if a prospect on one of these social media sites wants to learn more about your company, they simply follow strategically strewn breadcrumbs back to your Web site.
So, why should your company use New Media?
- To pave an online path directly to your doorstep at exactly the time that a prospect needs it.
- To become the trusted source at the Moment of Truth, the precise moment when a prospect decides to make a purchase.
- To build your audience rather than renting someone else’s through advertising or PR.
- To take advantage of new and emerging technologies such as mobile-based ones, that create opportunities to communicate with prospects not only when they need something (time) but where they need it (GPS).
- To extend the reach of your Web site through Social Media services such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Flickr, where people can experience your brand on their terms, not yours.