I had the privilege of speaking at Fashion Forward Digital on October 20th. It was a fabulous event featuring a lively audience and many wonderful speakers. Recently, they posted a summary of my speech – The Communication Quotient. You can read the full write up on their website or quoted below:
The Founder of TCG Agency and brilliant mind behind the Communication Quotient, Clare Munn presented to the audience at FashionForward about the overlap between human nature and business marketing through the context of social media.
As society and people evolve, Clare enlightened us, a new type of intelligence is required. The Communication Quotient bridges what we feel and what we think in a way that connects our IQ (intelligence) and our EQ (emotional intelligence). In a world where social media provides a global stage from which we can share and broadcast our feelings and thoughts, the strength (or weakness) of our communication quotients are more exposed than ever.
Through things such as images, tone, wording and environment, either clarity or confusion are achieved. In order to really understand people (a word Clare stresses over “customers”), brands need to get into the minds of others and create a framework with the goal of expressive and receptive intelligence.
So what does this framework look like exactly?
Clare presented a process, essentially a scale from 0 – 10 from which all things are measured, and from which all new initiatives can begin.
Regardless of where a company perceives themselves to be in the process, the starting point always takes them back to 0, “What is your intention?”. As Clare describes it, this is not an outline of your goals, but rather, the truth behind your actions.
From truth comes key values, where Clare challenges brands not just to trail off the generic listing of the company’s values, but to ask themselves, honestly, if anyone even cares about this value statement and why.
Competitive analysis is not who’s product is similar to yours, but who is doing something that could help you learn best or worst practices, or who might be a collaborator to your brand.
Knowing your audience is not based on gut feeling, (or more likely in the fashion and luxury market, who you long for your customer to be), rather it’s backed up by solid data. I think this point rings especially true when it comes to social media, as many brands feel their fanbases on platforms like Facebook are not their target customers.
Integration is a major piece of the framework, as Clare posits that social media is no magic pill, it is a collection of talents and platforms that make up success. If you had one hire to make, the recommendation is for a strong project manager, who can cohesively bring together various channels, both online and off.
Another milestone along the framework has to do with the digital footprint of the conversation your company has with people. Do you own this conversation? Through simple tactics like correct and consistent urls, hashtags and naming conventions, brands can start to own more of the conversations they are leading and participating in.
At this point, after knowing your intention, competition, audience, etc, it’s time to understand the content. Determining your social media assets is about more than simply the images, copy or campaigns; its about a combination of factors that all contribute to the generation of content. Specifically, the quality of the research, the crafting of the message, and the packaging of the creative is all just as important as the actual product itself. Once the assets are compiled, it’s critical to have an editorial calendar.
Now it’s time to propagate your content through contests and campaigns, but the focus shouldn’t be on winning, exactly. Clare argues that your audience doesn’t think about winning, they think about how you find them, how you approach them, what you are doing to connect with them and what the call to action is. Some tips: don’t spam, have ambassadors (and not necessarily ones) and be sincere in your approach.
Next be sure to review all variables, meaning the logistics and customer service. This may be the most boring of the tasks, but a misstep could cost you the success of the initiative. Create a check list before anything goes live and use it. Are the urls correct? The phone numbers? Do all links properly work?
And last, create a benchmark strategy to show progress in a way that is digestible and set yourself up for success.