Brands need to address their customers on a personal level, is a firm belief of Scott Monty’s. In today’s digitally driven world, it’s imperative that brands build relationships and shy away from generic messages.
Our 10th instalment of Influencer Insights continues with social business advisor and public speaker Scott Monty. Scott, though a classics major, rose to the top of the social business game advising companies including Walmart, Google and IBM. Prior to speaking and running his executive consulting firm Brain+Trust, Scott was the head of global social media for Ford Motor Company. It’s no wonder that he is a sought after strategic advisor, who was even named #1 among Social Business Leaders by The Economist.
You have talked about how the use of desktop computers is rapidly declining and that most digital media time is now attributed to mobile use. How do you see this being reflected in the type of content that is being produced?
I think right now we're seeing quite a bit more content that grabs attention more quickly. Snappy headlines, quick solutions like "The Top 5 Things You Need to Know to..." and shorter articles. However, I think we need to consider going in the opposite direction. Less content, fewer clickbait headlines and more thoughtful pieces that have the right to stake a claim on longform content. This will result in more considered opinions, informed debate and may even cause our audiences to slow down.
Would you say that since 9 out of 10 consumers want to text message with brands, the overall relationship between a consumer and a brand has become less generic and more personal and casual?
Absolutely. And it needs to become more personal still. Consumers want things on their terms, and to be able to text a brand - even if through a chatbot - they want to be able to get in, get out, and find the information that is specific to them when it comes to retail. They don't need to sift through a deluge of content that's meant for a generic audience.
Since launching brain+trust what have you seen as a major misunderstanding that your clients have about digital platforms and emerging technologies today?
Our clients tend to be very well informed about the platforms and technologies, but I think one thing that's universal for many brands is their desire for instant gratification. What I mean by that is that they expect to see results nearly immediately, when these approaches are about building relationships and developing an affinity over time. The challenge then becomes less about technology education, but rather more about managing expectations.
Do you think putting humanity into a brand's digital communication is as important for B2B companies as it is for B2C companies? Do you see social selling being equally effective in both?
Absolutely. People buy from other people. And the single most trusted source when it comes to marketing is still recommendations from "people like me" - friends, family members, colleagues. So there should be no surprise that 84% of B2B sales begin with a referral, not a sales person. In this case, the social is more about the word of mouth rather than how a salesperson uses a social platform.
Related: 3 Factors That Humanize A Brand
As an expert in staying up to date with the digital landscape, what piece of advice can you give to someone in a leadership role looking to keep themselves and their employees at the top of their digital comms game?
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