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The Importance of your micronetwork.

The Importance of your micronetwork.

by Alex Low | @Alexander_Low | LinkedIn

With 590million members on LinkedIn sometimes social media can seem being a little bit daunting and you don’t know where to start. This is where the power of your micro network can really come to the forefront in helping you understand where the next opportunity may be.

What do I mean by the micronetwork? This is your network which will be unique to you, based on you school, university, colleges – even your previous employer. You can use LinkedIn to track your micro network and to work out where your next referral for you might be, for example.

Think about your University and have you connected with everyone you went to University with, at least those that you would want to connect with. That said, LinkedIn data shows using your college, even those people who you were not at college with at the same time as you, they show that this is a great way to get a referral in.

So, this is where you would search for example, I will use LinkedIn to filter out anybody that went to Exeter University in the UK and within my network there are around 100,000 people. I can then start to narrow this down to be relevant to job title, role, length of time in role, whatever you want, if you are you are Sales Navigator, you can take this even further with the detail. You can take this one step further if you search on previous employer on linkedin.com. This means you can then find your people that used to work in your organisation and understand where they have moved onto so same principle applies; you might connect with them you might or contact them, even if you don’t know them. If you work in a similar type role in could well be, we don’t know each other, however could you introduce me to or would you be comfortable in helping me find out who is the head of sales, head of marketing, head of legal, whatever the job title might be that you’re looking for.  This could be nice route into helping unlock a referral rather than approaching outright cold.

The great thing is that LinkedIn also allows you to set up email alerts to 10 so that you can track this in almost real time and react accordingly.  To understand how you can do that, watch this short video.

Finally, this is the first post that I have dictated using Microsoft Word, as you can see below, there is a little bit of work to be done. Maybe it’s because this is the first time, I have done this, so it needs to learn and understand my voice and language, notwithstanding I will have a stinking cold!

The unedited dictated version! No idea who Barry is….

Newport inside your micro network

Will 590000000 members on LinkedIn sometimes social media account being a little bit daunting and you don’t know where to start. This is where the power of your micronet were can really come to the forefront in helping you understand where the next Tuesday. What do I mean by the micro network?This is your network which will be nice to you but based on school clubs new vestes colleges even your previous employer you can use LinkedIn to track your micro network and to work out when the next door to use you might be for example

Think about your University days and have you connected with everyone he went to University word for those that you would want to connect with that said LinkedIn data shows using your college so even those people who you are not at college at the same time they showed that United away in to get a phone Barry porn

So this is where you would search for example I want to text you that I will use LinkedIn to filter out anybody that went to Exeter University in the UK and within my network there are around 100 1000 people I can then start narrow this down to be relevant to job title roll length of time in role would ever U are you want if you had self navigate to you can take this evening then you can take this one step further you search on previous employer calllinkedin.com which means you can then find your in London so people that used to work in your organisation and understand where they have moved onto so same principle applies you might connect with them you might contact them even if you don’t know them if there’s no luck with your network or you work in a similar type role in could welbni why don’t we don’t know each other however could you introduce me to would you be comfortable in helping me find out who is the head of sales head of marketing head of legal whatever the job title might be that you’re looking for this could be nice route into helping unlock call a referral rather than aproching out loud cold The great thing is that LinkedIn also allows you to set up email to 10 so that you can track this in almost time and react accordingly to understand how you can do that short video

Find post that I have dictated Microsoft Word how do you say no little bit of work to be done but maybe its because this is the first time I have done this so it needs to learn understand my voice language on someone no standing I will have a stinking cold

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Mark Zuckerberg, Cambridge Analytica…and YOU!

Mark Zuckerberg, Cambridge Analytica…and YOU!

by Adam Gray | @AGSocialMedia | LinkedIn

I’m sure you have heard the comment “You’re not the customer…you’re the product” and I think this needs exploring once again in light of recent revelations in the press about Facebook data being “harvested” by Cambridge Analytica to “hack” elections (Trump and Brexit).

I do not profess to have answers…or even particularly good questions to ask about this but a few things seem to be very obvious to me but not so to people who are shouting so loud about what’s happened.

  1. Facebook is a business. Zuckerberg created the company to be a platform for people to share their experiences and bring them closer together, probably without any clear understanding of how he could monetise this. For over a decade we (everyone) has used Facebook to keep in contact with friends, to share content, to promote ourselves and we haven’t paid for the privilege of doing to. Facebook is a business and NOT a charity…
  2. People are talking about how these elections have been hacked. Yes, we feel dirty. Yes, we feel manipulated…would we have voted differently if this hadn’t happened? Perhaps, perhaps not…but I’m not sure that people can have a fundamental belief system shifted with an algorithm. If you’re a Catholic (to pick a religion at random) you are unlikely to change to being a Sikh (to pick another at random) because I show you some things about Catholicism that aren’t very nice because…because it’s a belief and this is very deeply ingrained in you. You argue that yours is the one true religion, as every other religious person argues that theirs is. Politics is the same, you have an affinity based on your own values and beliefs (or perhaps your upbringing)…NOT based on facts. So can I change this? Perhaps, but I doubt it…
  3. What they did was against the law. No it wasn’t. In the same way that I share things that resonate with me (which I hope are true, but nonetheless) reflect MY view of the world rather than facts. Read a left wing newspaper’s view of the news, then a right wing newspaper’s view of the news. You may think that sharing things that aren’t true (or perhaps aren’t balanced isn’t nice/right/good)…but it isn’t against the law…

So, what should we, or what could we, do about this?

I can’t help thinking that we, the public, need to take more responsibility for fact checking things before we believe them. Some people believe that The Office is in fact a documentary, I cannot legislate for the gullibility of those people and more than I can legislate for the gullibility of people who make the “wrong” decision at election time.

I think that this is more about how we, humankind, need to think about how the world around us has changed and we as a species haven’t. We need to educate ourselves and our children to be able to fact-check things before we just believe them.

The world of social media is still in its infancy and it is perhaps outgrowing our understanding of it…it’s certainly outgrowing our ability to see some of the consequences of things that happen on there but, for better or for worse, it is what it is. Facebook however is going nowhere. 2,400,000,000 subscribers/users and the mainstay of communication in many people’s lives it is a constant for us all for the foreseeable future.

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What is AI in Sales & Marketing?

What is AI in Sales & Marketing?

by Alex Low | @Alexander_Low | LinkedIn

There is much hype around AI in Sales & Marketing. Having witnessed this in the Legal Sector for the last 2 years where every headline, practically every week talks about another law firm embracing AI for Legal Service delivery. Law firms have in fact been using AI for the last decade. E-Discovery, dictating their emails for their PAs to send and so on. Yet we are now at the top of the hype cycle on how AI is going to revolutionise Law. Now Sales & Marketing, and I fear that we are now entering the same phase as legal did. 

Let’s get one thing clear, unless you work for any of the major cloud providers , Facebook or WeChat or Tesla etc, you are not really using AI in the sense that they are. You are using a computer programme to execute on a set of commands (algorithms) pre-determined by a human “expert” – would you call it AI when your car lights come on when it’s dark? Or the Wipers start when it rains? Or street lights illuminate when it’s dark? Probably not, it’s just a software programme executing a predetermined command. In other words, it is just doing what it is meant to do. We don’t even give it a 2nd thought. Not that sophisticated. 

Even self driving cars, whilst technically very complex in terms of the algorithms, are very narrow, or narrow AI in what they do, powered by a computer programme to execute the commands. Clever indeed, but not really that different from your lights turning on automatically. 

So AI in Sales and Marketing is actually nothing to do with AI, in fact AI generally is nothing to do with the computer programme, it is all about the data that it needs to process to generate the output created. So what we need to be thinking about is the data, not the AI. Every AI programme starts as an empty box which you need to feed and teach constantly. 

What this means for Sales & Marketing is where is their current data and can they extract it. And they probably have it in CRM, Marketing Databases, spreadsheets and so on. It then comes down to design led thinking, what output are you trying achieve, what questions are being asked and why. You are now moving into a world of data led insight. 

“I think” no longer cuts. It needs to be “I know” and based on this we now need to do this. This is based on your human intuition based on what was previously untameable data which  is now being made available, the question is what do you now do with it? How do react to it? What does this output mean and how will it infer your next decision? Red pill or the Blue pill. 

What is evident is, unlike in legal, which primarily relies on precedent data, which is now being processed in a different way, Sales & Marketing Data is now social data. Intent and Sentiment Data. Which can be processed in real time. Right down to the actual person who is tweeting, commenting, sharing. You will teach it on what intent means to you, what sentiment is important. Remember all it is, is a computer programme (AI) following a set of rules (algorithms) written by Humans (you).

So the next time you hear someone talking about AI, or your hear yourself talk about AI, pose this question. Are you talking about a computer programme or are you actually referring to data led insight which is the output of a computer programme executing a predetermined set of rules. 

I would suggest it is the latter. So let’s stop talking about AI and focus on the data. 

Inspired by following Alex Smith  / @alexgsmith

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Social Selling and Machine Learning

Social Selling and Machine Learning

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

Right before we start, I want you to know that this isn’t a blog that you need to be a data scientist or an egg-head to read. I’m writing this for somebody like myself, the average salesperson, who is interested in reading about how maybe, just maybe, I can sell more than my competition.

If you are looking for some deep artificial intelligence article, this isn’t for you, I’m not a MIT lecturer.

Before we jump in and talk about a simple example of using machine learning to sell, a quick update on what the heck machine learning is.

Machine learning is software that can learn access, analyse data without being programmed and find patterns in that data.

The technology is being used in a wide range of industries for use cases including fraud prevention, predicting crop yields, preventing and mitigating natural disasters, predictive maintenance of enterprise assets, and improving supply chain efficiencies.

The concept of machine learning is not new; in fact, some machine learning algorithms have been around for decades, and machine learning algorithms are often used in predictive analytics.

Technical bit over, honest.

One of the changes that the internet and social media has made to the world is that people can (of course) and they do, research products and services like yours. One of the changes is that we ask questions of our networks as well as share information about ourselves.

In my book “Social Selling – Techniques to Influence Buyers and Changemakers” I quote some Google research which quotes the fact that text messaging had a revolutionary impact on society. People who grew up with text messaging, found that as it is such a quick, easy and cheap way of asking questions. They got used to asking questions of their network.

For example, “Our telephone system is rubbish and my boss has asked me to look for a replacement, any ideas?” We use Uberconferance for conference calls and collaborating, because I asked my network for advice.

Coupled with the fact many people are sharing their lives on social media. For example, if you get up to go to work and your car has a flat battery, the first thing you will do is go on social media and make a comment about it, before even fixing it.

Let’s call this “intent data”.

If people are asking for advice on telephone systems, conference call software or are saying their day has been ruined because they have a flat battery. There is probably an intent to buy? You might want to buy a new car battery after all.

You maybe thinking that this is all very good, but there must be a lot of noise out there. Totally. Which is where the machine learning comes in.

If like many people I speak to you are thinking that your customers are over 40 (please go with me on this and let me use that as a metaphor) and they don’t use the internet or social media. Totally understand. The Google research said that the people using social media in this way are between 28 and 35, they are trusted in organisations as they understand social and have business acumen. They have influence in an organisation but no authority.

The people “over 40” don’t do the searching they delegate it to this band of people. It is these people that are drawing up the short list. So selecting the short list as well as deselecting.

(Your clients may not be active on social, but the people who work for them (the next generation of business leaders, are.)

The Solution

There is a tool by Microsoft as part of the Dynamics 365 range that you get it to listen for the terms and the criteria you set up. For example, “flat battery” and then it presents these to you in batches of 10.

Here is the clever bit, you can accept and reject the “leads” and the system learns based on the accessions and rejections. So if there is a “noise” out there on social, the system will get better and better.

Better still there is no rekeying, the “leads” will drop into Dynamics 365 CRM as MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads).

Each salesperson can do this, so you can listen to something for your industry or product and do it and be self-sufficient in terms of your lead generation.

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It’s not about AI. It’s about Data & Data Science 

It’s not about AI. It’s about Data & Data Science 

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

If you are thinking about investing in “AI” as the new shiny tool that will save your pipeline, close rate, customer acquisition – I implore you, don’t. 

AI is not going to solve your issue. Data is going to solve your issue. More importantly Data led insight is going to not only solve the issue, but move the conversation to a completely different place. 

AI, or more aptly, a computer programme, is the agent which will process the data you provide it. Remember, these are really dumb machines until you teach them. Much like you wouldn’t expect a baby to read and interpret Shakespeare, why you would you expect AI to do the same? You have to give it Data to learn from and direction on what it’s doing right or wrong. Just look at early versions of the self driving car….not good if you were a pedestrian. 

The chances are that your already have the AI technology in place you need and the data source :

  • CRM Data either in a system or excel
  • Marketing Data as above
  • Some kind of website analytics
  • You may have some marketing automation 
  • LinkedIn or the supercharged version Sales Navigator 

This is more than enough to get you going. There is technology available which is now solving the technology you bought to solve the problem of the problem. This is bordering on insanity. You need to start following the lead of agile

You have access to more than enough data and access to data to shake a stick at. CRM, Marketing, Website analytics, client listening/ feedback – this is the bare minimum. If you don’t have this, well, either give up and go home, or sort it now. These processes I was implementing 10 years ago, there is zero excuse to not being executing the basics today. 

It comes down to this. What problem are you trying to answer for the customer? To solve that problem what questions do you need to be asking of the data? Which then will lead to what input do you need to give you the data to answer the question. Only then do you start to look at how and where technology can support you in finding these answers. 

Inspired by Alex Smith

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TimTalks: Artificial intelligence and consumer choice

TimTalks: Artificial intelligence and consumer choice

by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes | LinkedIn

In this #TimTalk, Katie King joins DLA co-founder Tim Hughes to talk to Steven Struhl about his book “Artificial Intelligence Marketing and Predicting Consumer Choice: An Overview of Tools and Techniques“. Published by Kogan Page.

Digital Leadership Associates: We are a Social Media Agency. We do three things: Social Media StrategySocial Selling and Social Media Management. Drop us an email and let’s talk about how we can make an impact on your organisation.