The Foregone Conclusion of a Twitter Marketing Funnel: Like It or Not

Jeff Bullas charicature

Jeff Bullas charicature

I just got off Skype with a friend and client whose company absolutely defies any suggestion Twitter is a viable marketing tool. You read that correctly @briansolis. Believe it or not, there are millions or companies out there that would refuse and refute ANY channel preferred by clients, if a decision maker in the crew is adamantly enough against the channel.

And the reasons make so little difference. Are you with me now PR peeps? Here we go, a brotherhood of us preaching our best pulpit sermons, and….. silence… then…. “How many times will I need to tweet per day?” Well, after some of you finished laughing, it’s time to bring in the heavy guns I guess. The following influential experts reveal a truth no sane CEO would be advised to ignore. Regarless of whether or not Twitter crashes and burns, or is shotgunned by bird hunters while nesting tomorrow, channel value is value. As my partner chimed in during my early morning sermon, “Ask how they intend for their customers to find them. Through Google?”

@jeffbullas

Jeff Bullas is one of the world’s most influential and knowledgeable bloggers, authors, strategists and speakers on digital marketing and social media. He works with companies execs to help them optimize their online personal and company presence and brands. In a recent post on Jeff’s blog he talks about how marketers should (and do) engage via Twitter. And I quote from the most critical points:

“Publishing is now marketing and the mind share that content marketing has garnered reveals the power of social content and crowd sourced sharing.”

Marketers on Twitter

Courtesy Jeff Bullas

So in other words, if you publish at all, you have to be on Twitter. Almost all marketers are, as the chart above shows. Assuming those millions or marketers are not complete idiots wasting their time…

@qoreilly

Editor of Simply Zesty, Quenton O’Reilly is one of the new and refreshing voices of marketing, social media, mobile and the Web a growing number of practitioners turn to for advice. Simply Zesty, simply does practice and preach what experts like Bullas and others have refined these years. As for Twitter? Let me direct you to “Why Twitter Will Nail Location Marketing Once & For All,” a recent  post which points to Twitter’s strongest value – being primarily a “mobile” tool. I emboldened the word for a reason.

“For one, Twitter is best suited to location due to it primarily being a mobile platform. More than 60% of users access it this way so the potential to introduce location or GPS capabilities is there. If you think about it, the majority of trending topics are location specific and the majority of people tweeting about them would be right there. So location specific hashtags and highlighting related hashtags automatically appearing makes a lot of sense.”

Now, if you need more direction along these lines, let me send you my Paypal or routing number. I am a consultant too.

Google Think Insights

I just got done telling our friend and client rep, “Don’t trust me, tell the boss to trust Google,” and here’s the straight dope on that. “The Customer Journey to Online Purchase” is about as worthy as the tablets Moses came down off the mountain (not Mountain View mind you) with. Love them or hate them, if anybody knows conversions it’s Google. This complex customer journey we always end up explaining can be broken down pretty simply actually. The customer journey as it applies to the buying experience revolves around:

Assisting channels – Build awareness, consideration, and magnify intent early in the customer purchase funnel. 

And the Last Interaction – Or the last point of contact for customers before the ultimate purchase action.

Brian Solis, in his breakthrough book “What’s the Future of Business,” correctly modifies this journey to include still more relevant “moments of truth” than those previously expressed. But for the purposes of this discourse, Google’s definitive studies should be enough, especially when statistics such as these persist:

  • 65% of all revenue derived comes from purchases that took more than one step to complete. In other words, these “assisting channels” almost always impact the bottom line.
  • Social channels including Twitter play major rolls in not only assisting last interactions, but in customer retention and ultimate moments of truth (UMOT)
  • Interestingly, where travel purchases are concerned, over 85 percent of all decisions are made on day 0. Further research is needed, but this may suggest Twitter and other fast mobile influences play a bigger role than once thought.
  • Previous understanding of how conversions were obtained are being turned upside down now. Once a single entity was typically credited with customer acquisition, Google and others have now identified more true paths to sales.

The video is one I used yesterday to point out mobile’s increasingly dominant position where sales are concerned. It is as good a primer as you’ll find to begin considering Twitter’s value in the marketing structures needed for business.

@markfidelman

Forbes contributor Mark Fidelman wears a great many hats, all of them with an expert badge attached. I remember Mark best from Mindtouch, a startup I may have been the first ever to report on back when. But Mark’s mastery of sales reaches far far past early Web 2.0 startups. Mark is a recognized expert in creating sales and marketing machines and so forth, but he offers still more reasons Twitter’s value should not be underestimated in “Rethinking the Customer Journey in a Social World.” 

“The data itself is clear: Social media has become the world’s most popular online activity of all, and perhaps the top digital activity of any kind.”

Now with this in mind, Fidelman‘s assertions many businesses simply do not know how to move forward with social media bears some fruit. However, horse and buggy dealerships that did not start selling cars probably went out of business over similar excuses. As Fidelman continues: “organizations that broadly embrace social perform substantially better than those that don’t.” The graphic below which I borrow from Mark’s story does a good job of encapsulating SM.

To sum up here, I literally could write a book on this sort of emerging sales and marketing paradigm. Sometimes clients and potential clients believe us to be some kind of “know it all” narcissists because we are passionate about helping them, and about the things we’ve spend years learning. But here’s the interesting thing, while I quote these great thinkers quite often, I arrived at this conclusions independently. This is true of many of our contemporaries too. I mention Brian Solis because of his expertness, and because I’ve known him a very long time. But Fidelman and others point to authors like:

Dion Hinchcliffe is Chief Strategy Officer of DachisGroup and Author of Social Business by Design

Muhammad Yunus - Nobel Prize winner and more recent author of  Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs

Charlene LiWho is the Founder of Altimeter Group that Brian Solis  is the principal analyst for, and  the co-author of the bestseller “Groundswell”, author of the New York Times bestseller “Open Leadership.”

The list is quite endless, I assure you. Becoming a bit like those game show hosts from the 60’s and 70’s, the ones radio station owners said would never make it. Sorry, but arguing foregone conclusions takes its toll on us old analysts. I hope this bit of evidence was convincing, now excuse me while I tweet for effect on this.