Social Media Marketing Lesson #2 - "How To Get Your Web 2.0 Budget Approved"

A recent article with the title in quotes above discussed tips from a multi-billion dollar global banking company on how to help ensure proposals for Web 2.0 initiatives gain approval from top management. Their first strategy suggested 'selecting the right features' such as user-generated content, open software, rich Internet interactions such as guided selling, and digital interactions that included widgets and browser extensions. This was followed by advice to show the benefits of each feature and then to 'step carefully.'

No kidding. What the article failed to point out is that the first step toward gaining approval for anything called 'Web 2.0' is likely to start by not calling it that. Web 2.0 refers to a set of tools that all generally support advanced and more user-centered content creation, collaboration, and sharing, but all are only tools that enable social brand marketing and enhanced user interactions. The right strategy is to start by understanding the true needs and desires of all target audiences at each stage of the customer lifecycle, and what types of reach and engagement activities, socially shared/collaborated or not, will provide the best predictable ROI. Then the right set of available content and functionality can be offered through the best media mix and campaigns possible, including leveraging every so-called '2.0' tool that might be appropriate.

Show true ROI generated by getting and staying closer to customers and prospects so they beat a path to your brand versus the competitor - that's how to get budgets approved.