As CMO at Sprout Social, my primary goal is to lead a team of functional marketing experts focused on generating awareness, driving quality leads and making sure our customers love our product, and the value we provide along with it. On paper, this sounds pretty stale. But in practice my role translates into the unusual opportunity to help shape a rapidly growing organization while simultaneously learning alongside my team.
One of the ways I’ve been able to field challenges and nurture creativity is by sharing insights related to digital marketing with my team. From Facebook’s shift towards community to the strategic benefits of automation, here are five articles that I shared with Sprout’s marketing department this month.
Amidst allegations of sexual assault and other workplace misconducts, Travis Kalanick, Uber’s CEO, stepped down from his role at the rideshare company. After Kalanick’s highly publicized resignation, The New York Time’s Farhad Manjoo wrote a piece on the power of grassroots social campaigns and their abilities to make or break any brand–regardless of its size.
I found the portion of Manjoo’s article that contrasts the difference between TV advertising and social particularly interesting:
“In the era when television shaped mainstream consumer sentiment, companies enjoyed enormous power to alter their image through advertising. Then came the internet, which didn’t kill advertising, but did dilute its power,” writes Manjoo.
At the Facebook Community Summit in mid-June, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social networking platform would be shifting its focus from connecting friends and family to connecting communities. Like most digital marketers, Sprout’s team is interested to see how this shift in focus impacts brands, advertisers and engagement on the social platform.
Gone are the days where consumers are going to willingly seek out your product. Your brand has to be present where your audience is already engaged. That’s why Cracker Jacks turned to social when it wanted to relaunch advertising efforts that had been stagnant since a $62,000 ad spend in 2013. This article highlights how and why the 121-year-old snack brand executed a robust Facebook campaign to target moms aged 25 to 45.
Within the past year, Sprout has grown from a team of just under 200 to an organization of over 350 talented, dedicated individuals. As we continue to expand our marketing department, it’s important that everyone–regardless of their level–remain committed and enthusiastic about the work they’re doing. The Harvard Business Review’s examination of 60-degree assessment data from more than 60,000 leaders found that, in comparison to their 40+ year-old counterparts, younger leaders tend to excel at being both effective and fun. Why? Because they tend to possess six skills that allow them to be successful: clear communication, the ability to inspire others, the motivation to establish stretch goals, integrity, the capability to guide others and the desire to continue learning.
Automation is a scary word that elicits a wide range of feelings from business leaders. But is this wariness warranted? In order for social automation to be successful it needs to enhance the customer experience, not replace it. Chirpify’s CEO, Chris Teso, outlines what takeaways social marketers can glean from email and how those strategic learnings can be applied to social automation. Instead of fearing automation, Teso outlines reasons why we should be embracing a functionality that can increase efficiency and decrease resource waste. Something I found to be extremely pertinent for Sprout’s team given the recent launch of our Twitter chatbot builder.