How Bean Counters, Marketing People, and Geeks Create Influency Together

The other guys are coming to get you. Let ’em.

In fact, if you’re after Influency, you’d better let the other guys get close. I haven’t mentioned coopetition in a while, and it occurred to me this morning after reading a piece at that we need to give some time to the idea of coopetition happening even within companies.

If you’ve ever worked for a big company you know about this; departments compete for budget and other resources even as they are working toward what’s supposed to be a unified goal. Is it a conflict? You bet. And the most successful companies are the ones that manage the constantly moving line between corporate goals and the protection of everyone’s fiefdoms.

In Influency, the issue is similar.  Influency is “the company”. But Influency won’t succeed unless the components that make up the company are all satisfied. The Bean Counters. The Marketing People. The Geeks. Influency only works when all of them buy in, and are taken care of.

The Geeks are the folks who handle development and optimization. They keep grinding away at their very specific tasks, and while the goals you need them to contribute to are broad, they need to follow (many, diverging) linear paths to get there. The marketing folks are creative in a different way. Marketing people are the guardians of design, media, and content. They make you look good. Literally. And the bean counters? Well, those are the executives. The people who make sure the math adds up. The guys and gals who make sure you get paid.

And marketing, geeks, and bean counters all must work together.

This is the reason we don’t have “pre-designed plans” here, and love picking on companies that claim to be able to handle what is by nature a consultative practice by cramming you into a package, neatly explained in a columnar pricing table. Influency requires that a lot of things be addressed.

Today’s marketer better be prepared with some metrics. 

Now of course that’s true. Every marketer since marketing became a profession has needed to have a way to measure the success of his efforts. The context today and in that piece at Mark Schaefer‘s is that the sub-topic being discussed was social media. I chimed in:

While, yes, we need measurements and metrics, when it comes to social we start out by identifying the places “worth using” (there are too many to use all of them … duh … ) and then we measure … what? Whether we picked the right ones?

Or … we assume we picked the right ones and we measure … what? Whether the people working them are succeeding?

In other words, there’s a procedural disconnect.

I ‘KNOW’ I’m using (twitter … facebook … whatever). The phrase “I know” is based on my belief that I as the leader (or whomever makes such decisions) can make the right choices. And of course even that is open to ongoing reevaluation.

Now it’s simple; I measure results defined by … well again, whatever. And effected by … whomever.

Simple, nothing. What if you made the wrong choices before the work got started? What are you metrics worth then, and is the problem that you made the wrong choices or that you have the wrong people working them? Or for that matter, maybe you defined the wrong metrics.

Facebook is a no-brainer. Or is it? Twitter too, right? What about rich-media choices like Instagram/Pinterest/Vine?

Again: the problem, as much as I agree that there needs to be a measurement protocol, is that if you measure results from a flawed assumption base you’re measuring the wrong thing. And IMHO, many, MANY people are making the wrong assumptions, colored by an incredibly broad set of assumptions leading to an incredibly narrow set of conclusions.

Flawed assumptions are a big problem, in marketing, and elsewhere. Your metrics need to mean something. Too often, they don’t. My favorite example is the ludicrousness of most service level agreements, but … well, you get my point, right? The things you decide and work from need to mean something, or all the measurements in the world won’t.

This is especially true in social media. Have you noticed that fewer and fewer of the people who jumped on Facebook are still using it? Forget what Zuck and Co. tell you; you know better. You never hear ANYTHING from 90% of the people in your Facebook universe. So, do you use Facebook in your marketing efforts? Probably, but … your “metrics” are likely to be all but meaningless when you try and measure success.

It all starts with a sane approach. An approach that will satisfy the bean counters, the geeks, and the marketing people.

Scratching your head? Good. Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about my newest social media passion, and one that I predict will be sticking around. And here’s a hint: it’s going to take longer than the six seconds it thinks I need to talk about it.

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