How to Craft a Kick-Butt Social
Media Marketing Strategy
By Eddie Reeves
Principal of Reeves Strategy Group
Peter Drucker. Mention that name to just about any senior corporate executive, and you are sure to get a slight smile, a reverent nod, and/or a wistful sigh.
Drucker is the most influential business thinker ever—the guru's guru. More than any other single person, he elevated the idea of business management from a tactic to a discipline, from a job to a profession. From the publication of his first book, The Concept of the Corporation, in 1946 until his death in 2005 at the ripe age of 95, Drucker basically institutionalized the concept of professional management—revolutionizing first United States commerce and then that of the world.
But Drucker's work was not only applicable to major corporations or to the large nonprofits to which he devoted most of his later life and thinking. His deceptively simple gems of genius apply to small businesses, governments, and social media marketers as well.
That's why I strongly recommend reading the wonderful little paperback The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization by Drucker, Jim Collins, Philip Kotler, et al (Leader to Leader Institute/Jossey-Bass, 2008). A scant 119 short pages, this book can be finished in a couple of hours, but its teachings will continue to instruct and enlighten for years.
Here's a basic rundown of the questions with some amplifying thoughts from Drucker:
- Question 1: What is our mission? As Drucker said, "The effective mission statement is short and sharply focused. It should fit on a T-shirt. The mission says why you do what you do, not the means by which you do it."
- Question 2: Who is our customer? According to Drucker, "The purpose of every business is to create a customer." Thus, answering this question provides the basis for "determining what customers value, defining your results, and developing the plan."
- Question 3: What does the customer value? Drucker: "The question 'What do customers value?'—what satisfies their needs, wants, and aspirations—is so complicated that it can only be answered by customers themselves. 'What does the customer value?' may be the most important question. Yet it is the one least often asked."
- Question 4: What are our results? In Drucker's words: "Progress and achievement can be appraised in qualitative and quantitative terms. These two types of measures are interwoven—they shed light on one another—and both are necessary to illuminate in what ways and to what extent lives are being changed."
- Question 5: What is our plan? As Drucker points out, "A plan... is a concise summation of the organization's purpose and future direction. The plan encompasses mission, vision, goals, objectives, action steps, a budget, and appraisal."
These five deceptively simple questions encapsulate the entirety of creating, launching, operating, and growing a successful business. So can you answer them?