Hey CEOs!!! Get Your Head Out of Your Ass
I spend a good amount of my speaking time with Vistage groups across the country.
One of the things they recognize in their members is they do not, in fact, know everything. So they bring speakers in every month on different topics: Leadership, communication, financials, HR, unions, law, etc.
My topic is doing business on the web through marketing, communication, advertising, HR, sales and customer service.
The Ostrich Syndrome
One would think by now, people would understand that doing business on the web is inevitable. Three years ago everyone told me it was a fad. Now they begrudgingly say “they get it”, but they still don’t want to be there.
I always begin these presentations with:
Let’s put all our baggage out there. Why aren’t you using the web for business growth?
They all think they’re so smart and no one else has their baggage. But I hear the following things in every single speech I give:
- I don’t want people to say negative things about me or the company
- If my employees are using social media, they won’t get their jobs done
- This is for the kids and they aren’t in my business yet
- My customer isn’t online (seriously, I STILL hear this)
- I have no control over what is said online
- It just takes too much time and I don’t understand the ROI
- Is there an ROI? It seems like just a bunch of what you’re having for lunch
- You can’t build relationships online
You know what all of this is?
Fear of change. Fear of loss of control. Fear of being in a committed relationship with your clients.
It’s sad, really.
The fact of the matter is that if people are going to say something negative about you online, they’re doing it offline too. If your employees aren’t getting their jobs done, it’s an operational issue not a social media challenge.
Get Over It
The past two and a half years have been rough. Everyone cut their marketing budgets, and now they’re scrambling because business is still down. What do you expect? You stop communicating; people forget about you.
But not only that, the game has changed. No longer can you just throw stuff out there and see which 50 percent sticks. People want to be talked with, not talked at. They expect it.
And for those of you who are afraid people are going to say negative things about you, or that you can’t control the conversation, you’re going to be left behind.
Which company would you rather be?
The one that sticks its proverbial head in the sand and waits to see how all this digital stuff shakes out? Or the one that takes the bull by the horns, experiments with one or two technologies, deals with the negative conversations and leaves its competition in the dust?
Seems like a no-brainer to me.
More from Gini:
- The 12 Traits of Managers and of Leaders
- Why Brogan’s Bigger Ear Marketing Is Wrong
- Your Mom Tells You What You Want to Hear