Social Media Marketing: "Snackable Content Goes So Much Further Now"

In part 2 of our interview with Christopher Justice, CMO of Magnolia International, he talks about "human marketing" and the impact of social media.

cjustice.jpgWe first spoke to Christopher Justice (pictured on the left) last month, discussing some of the biggest challenges Chief Marketing Officers face today. In the second part of the interview we delve into the digital evolution within the marketing industry.

CX Network: What major changes do you think will impact the industry over the next few years?

Christopher Justice (CJ): "First, the Internet of Things - the devices in our pockets and on our wrists that can tell us our health and proximity to value. These devices provide an undiscovered country of information and personalization that we have never been capable of understanding or collecting. This provides retail brands with a way to reverse the trend of the consumer who assumes everything is cheaper online.

"Second, privacy and information sharing. Each week we discover a new brand, bank or retailer who has compromised some financial or personal information. Security must come first, before marketing, before sales and before customer experience. We have to demonstrate, prove and respond to the question, ‘Is my data safe with your brand?’.

"The unfortunate reality is right now, it’s not. The ‘cloud’ makes the location your personal information even more cloudy."

CX Network: What areas are you looking into investing in yourself over the next 12 months?

CJ: "We are invested in making it a joy to interact with our brand. From every digital engagement to the face to face personality, we strive to make the experience consistent, rewarding and honest. This means that this "personality" must be reflected in our content strategy and in the way we design our digital marketing campaigns. We place a key focus on personalization and video to communicate our value through all our online brands.

"We find that people are reading less. They prefer more human marketing. A person wants to be explained "why" a solution is a fit for them, not why it is perfect. We also want to make it easy to share personal information with our brand: we don’t want to force people to fill out complex online forms. We are removing the barriers to entry, including social sign on to reduce abandonment rates for landing pages, campaigns and access to our online portals. We will then collect more detailed demographic data to ensure every subsequent experience is relevant and personalized."

CX Network: In the age of social media, a single Tweet can be the catalyst for global publicity – positive and negative – how big a factor does social media play when defining your strategy? And is all publicity really good publicity?

CJ: "Social media is essential to our strategy. No one wants to be spoken to anymore. People want interesting things to share. ‘Snackable’ content goes so much farther now. A concise opinion, perspective, photo or graphic can tell your story so much easier than major advertising initiatives. As marketers, we must be more creative than ever and do this in 140 characters or less.

"Social media is both a dream and a curse. One misstep and the brand can be affected negatively. Some people believe that the power of social media is the instant communication and immediacy of action.

"But it is as important to be silent and wait as it is to be responsive. Twitter is as much about listening as it is about talking."

CX Network: What three pieces of advice would you give your peers, so they can make the customer experience journey more straight-forward and profitable?

CJ: "First, show respect and focus on service. The expectations of customer service are changing and people want to be heard. Listen first.

"Second, focus on short form content and create curiosity with everything you do. Breadcrumbs are more powerful today than the loaf.

"Finally, be human. Remove all fluffy language and condescending marketing messages. Be genuine with what you do and how you do it. People hate an authoritative tone. Customers are not children. Rather, think of these customers as your best friends. People who like you for who you are, not what you do.

"Good people will naturally attract good products and, more importantly, they’ll share who they met more often that what they bought."

Want to know more about this topic?
dmesmall.pngThe Digital Marketing Exchange is taking place in London in September. Attendees at this invitation-only event will have the chance to meet, discuss, network and benchmark against some of the world's most renowned digital marketing leaders, whilst engaging with the market’s most innovative solution providers in private, pre-scheduled one-to-one business meetings, to decide the future of their digital strategy.