Growth Insights for CEOs

Real People Don't Share Pictures of Their Cupcakes, Do They?

Posted by The Chief Outsider

In the last several weeks, I have done a series of workshops on social media with seasoned CEOs from different industries.  They have all heard of social media but many are essentially clueless about whether it is valuable. Even if they realize its value, they don't know where to start. Some of their comments were:Find out how social media can help your business.

“I can’t imagine sharing on Facebook what I ate for dinner.”

“Do people really take pictures of where they went for coffee and tweet it? It seems like such a waste of time.”

After one of my presentations, I sent the following video clip to an owner of a B2C company.  

Social Media is Sweet: A HootSuite Story from HootSuite on Vimeo.

He responded with the following:

  “I realize I may be out of touch and that I generally keep to myself, but please tell me the truth.  Can you imagine someone…an adult, not a child… sending you a picture of a cupcake and telling you how good it is?  Does this scenario or any like it actually exist in your world? It does not in mine, so it is hard for me to include it in a marketing discussion.”

His reply made me laugh out loud (LOL in text language). Whereas I personally understood it, it does bring to light one of the problems we deal with in developing marketing strategies. It  made me think of a quote by John Wooden, the famous basketball coach who died a couple of years ago at age 90. “It is what you learn after you know it all that counts.”

Think about that for a moment.

Today, many marketing strategies are still based on what the CEO or CMO thinks will work, what would work for them, what they would respond to in advertising or via word of mouth. (WOM). Companies still rely too much on the intuition of the decision makers rather than the hard data of what works for their customers.

It is not so important what we would respond to, unless people exactly like us are the target market. And that is not likely to always be the case.

To build revenue, CEOs need to identify who their target market is and what is important to that market. Then, test this with data. If it turns out that your prospective clients actually do take pictures of their cupcakes and tweet them, you need to utilize this to build your plan! (And if you don't believe real people take pictures of their cupcakes, go to and search for cupcakes. You will come away with a new appreciation of cupcake power.)

So tell me, are there things that appeal to your clients that wouldn't to you?? 

Topics: Customer Intimacy, CEO Marketing Strategy, CEO Perspectives, Social Marketing Strategies, Data Matters in Marketing

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