So it’s been snowing off and on here for three days!!! Geez. But there’s LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL – Miami in 12 days… for 9 days. PIMA and ICMG. First PIMA…

[Twitter Hash-tag for PIMA: #PIMAAssn (more on Twitter at the end of the story)]

The 2011 PIMA Annual Meeting will be in full swing two weeks from today. At 200 registrations and climbing, and with content focused on “Innovation”, it’s shaping up to be a bang-up conference. Greatly looking forward to attending, taking pictures, engaging in thought-provoking discussions, podcasting with a very sharp new member and savvy guests on innovation, and having fun with people a lot smarter than me in this business.

I have a sneaking suspicion that I will be asked a few recurring questions.

  • “How’s it going with the new business?” and
  • “What’s new in e-Commerce and Social as it relates to our business model?”

…or something along those lines. I have some really good answers to both.

But I’m equally sure I will also hear a few recurring statements.

  1. “I don’t have time for all that.”
  2. “Compliance just won’t let us do blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.”
  3. “I’ve been very successful with Direct Marketing…I don’t need all the Social stuff…”

…or something along those lines.

Totally understand and resonate. Let me collect a few thoughts and ask for your comments…

On “No Time”

Social Media Marketing, building a Social-based river of information, actively engaging your constituents, and paying attention to ‘listenting’ programs definitely takes time and resources. No doubt about it. As an example, this blog post took me from 9-1030am this morning from start to finish.

A little about what I do…

  1. A weekly appointment with myself to write a new Blog post.
  2. Open Tweetdeck several times a day looking at my stream or running keyword searches.
  3. Check in on Facebook a few times a day and have top priority network updates coming to Gmail and the Droid.
  4. Spend 15 minutes a day on Linkedin keeping my status fresh and looking for places to add value in conversations.

It does take time.

But on the flip side, I am NOT doing things that used to take up that time. Looking back over last year, I would characterize several big items:

  1. seemingly important but often meaningless conversations with co-workers (I’m sorry, don’t mean to offend, and I enjoyed them and saw value, but nonetheless, a bit of a waste of time, usually in 15-20 min chunks),
  2. inefficient meetings (easily consuming 15-20 min’s of waste each),
  3. paper shuffling (ugh),
  4. and a big one – watching TV at night, especially sports (we gave it up as a family – we’re talkin’ HOURS a week there).

Net net, diving in and making room for Social in my schedule has actually freed up AT LEAST an equal amount of time that it has consumed.

How about you? If you’ve done a similar process, has this been your experience?

If you’ve haven’t done this process, do you see opportunities with your time where you could make similar changes?

Please share a comment.

On the Compliance side, totally get that. Here’s the good news. Last year I collaborated on a strategic project with a leading insurance company in the insurance affinity space. Long story short, they hired me to research industry and company guidance relative to Social Media and Compliance. Once we had all the facts in a nicely organized document, we then took a half day and talked through the ‘real deal’ wrt Social and the insurance industry and more specifically the affinity distribution model. At the end of the day (literally), compliance was VERY pleased with the report, the discussion, and, perhaps most importantly, the approach. (I give great Kudo’s to the affinity marketing veteran who led the effort – a STUDY in professionalism on several levels.) We’re now moving beyond that into the strategy phase – in collaboration with a much smarter compliance department.

Is Compliance still an issue for you? What questions do you have?

Comment below or let’s talk at PIMA…

To the statement about past success, it’s totally legit. Absolutely. I still don’t have a good answer… at least one that doesn’t come off as a scare tactic or offensive. I have a lot of answers, but they typically aren’t successful in helping someone in this mode understand their need for Social and/or to get started. But invariably when I hear this statement, the first company that comes to mind is Blockbuster and the whole Netflix/Redbox situation, since I see the remnant of a Blockbuster store near my house quite often.

At one point, Blockbuster was extremely successful. But now they are… well, let’s just say they have fallen. Why? Of course there are a lot of reasons (click on this Google search called blockbuster case study 2010). But no doubt (and if anyone has a true story to share, please do), at some point in the early days of Netflix, there were conversations at Blockbuster about Netflix as a threat, the whole streaming video business model idea, the potential impact on consumer behaviors, and so forth. What was the response at that moment by the leadership team?

Am I out in left field, or would it be safe to say that Blockbuster did not adapt, perhaps at the very point that they were REALLY successful, at a point where the executives might have said,

“Why change? Our business model has made us VERY successful?”

What do you think? Do you see a connection with the insurance affinity exec that says,

“Why do Social Media Marketing? I’ve been very successful with Direct Marketing.”

What’s your take on all this. Whether you are going to PIMA or not, do you have anything to share that we can all learn from? I, for one, am all ears.. and I’m confident many of the follow-on readers will be as well. Please Comment below. Thanks a gazillion in advance. (Btw, if you do Comment, click the button that subscribes you to the subsequent comments so you can stay posted on the thread.)

Mike

More on Twitter:

Hashtags? YouTube video on it

How Twitter and Hashtags help enrich conferences. Great stuff on this Google Search.

Not sure about Twitter?  Link to Twitter Handbook… excellent Resource.

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Oh yeah, PS. Akron Men’s Soccer set yet another record!!! In the MLS SuperDraft, 5 OF THE TOP 10 DRAFTEES were from Akron!!! Holy Cow! Read the story here.