Why You Need to Create a Digital Crisis: A Quick Reference Guide

Marketing in Rx/Dx companies have a problem. 
There currently is far too little focus on digital marketing and social media. The shift from traditional to digital has been very gradual and the customer is becoming harder to reach.  

There are entire consulting practices focused on change management alone.
Change management is a structured approach to transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations from a current state to a desired future state. It is an organizational process aimed at empowering employees to accept and embrace changes in their current business environment.[1]. In project management, change management refers to a project management process where changes to a project are formally introduced and approved.
In order to understand why change is so hard in organizations you have to understand that everyone is essentially resistant to change in some way and are motivated to change for only two reasons:
1. Consequence.
If I do this, something good/bad will happen. 
2. To Identify  
With a group and find commonality in some way; essentially to not be different.

Knowing this little bit of sociology, you have to create a situation that shows some consequence action (good or bad) and/or will make the person identify with your proposal.
So how do you create a crisis? 
1. Know Your Customer
You need to know your customer and understand in what quantity they spend their time online in digital environments and in social networks. Hopefully your customer is there in quantity and is spending a measurable amount of time using online media (20%+) If so, proceed to Step 2. 
2.  The Status Quo Must be Scary
You have to make the status quo more dangerous than the change you are proposing. Doing nothing is never a strategy. This is the greatest change to marketing is a generation, do we want to be on the sidelines? Proceed to Step 3. 
3.  Hope is Not a Strategy
You have to articulate that hope is not a strategy, as in "I hope social media goes away." Doing nothing will put your company/brand/product, etc. at a competitive disadvantage and a struggle to survive. It has to pretty dire to get attention. Make it realistic but don't pull punches. 
4.  The Trend is Your Friend
You have to show market research and trends that demonstrate that your customers are online and will continue to go online in droves for the foreseeable future. Compare and contrast your customer media time in offline channels versus online channels. Use examples that are easy to understand such as, instead of a print ad in Health magazine with a circulation of 100,000* that perhaps 1,000 act on I can guarantee you that 25,000 people will see my digital ad, I only have to pay for the people that click on it and I can do it for less money and provide direct measurement of what we get for it. Compelling, no? 
5.  Hit Home With a Customer Story (can be allegorical)
Make it real by telling a customer story and draw comparisons to those who are doing it well. Using a listening platform (hopefully you have a listening platform by now) find customers, find customers tweets, posts, etc. and share examples. Indicate that there is a conversation taking place online and that conversation will take place whether we like or not. Do we want to be involved or like an ostrich do we want to put our head in the sand? Your punch line will be, if we put our head in the sand we will get kicked in the butt. 
5a.  Look to the Leaders
Reference what leading companies are doing. I typically refer to leading CPG companies such as Proctor & Gamble and Unilever since they often are out front in driving change. That provides a comfort level because if the leading companies are doing it, then that must be where things are going…But also be prepared to answer how Unilever applies to your business. This is where you'll want to have a stat handy such as, Age 55+ is the fastest growing demographic on Facebook to allay any immediate objections that may come up about the difference between laundry detergent buyers and Rx/Dx customers. 
5b.  You Would Rather Ride the Wave Than Be Under It.
Make sure that it is well understood that this is the first wave and that the bigger waves are coming right behind it, because they are….so action is required now or the risk is getting further behind.

6. Beat the Drum. Frequently.
Hit the message as often as possible. We train sales people that you have to hit the same message 8 times before it sticks. Same applies here. 
Creating a crisis is a skill that every two year old masters in an attempt to get their way. In many cases when competing for time, resources and attention within an organization you have to elevate the issue to a crisis in order to get attention. IMHO, digital and social media falls into that category if you find yourself struggling to get organizational focus on digital marketing. Because today digital and social is the rule and you want to be Winston Wolf of your organization and be the person to solve problems. 

*Numbers are illustrative

| www.jlefevere.com | www.thedigitalstrategist.com | If you liked this post consider adding a comment or subscribing to the feed for frequent updates.

  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes