On October 4th I was invited to speak at the KBSA AGM to a room full of kitchen, bathroom bedroom retailers and specialists.
"The Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom Specialists Association (KBSA) brings together over 300 fully accredited, UK based independent, retailers. Each KBSA member provides all the expertise required to design and install your new or updated fitted kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or home office."
It was an interesting gig for me as the brief was pretty much to "whet the appetite" of the KBSA members into the business opportunites that social media affords. I say this is interesting because I've always viewed social media as far more than a twitter account and a facebook page. No, it is so much more than this, it is way beyond these platforms or any other singular platform for that matter. For me social media is about a cultural change within an organisation, it is about embracing a new model of business practice in order to build a community around a business, employees, its products or services and customers.
I tend to stay away from short agency style Twitter campaigns or Facebook advertising campaign projects and instead I tend to focus on what is required in order for a business to change its culture, to unshackle itself from the aging methods of communication and to embrace new forms, more effective ones, a joined-up multi-channel experience. For me social media is a slow-burn, it is an approach that needs top-level buy-in and cascading adoption, rather than quick short term blasts.
As well as my own talk Antony Taylor from John Lewis Partnerships gave a really good insight into their sales cyles and how they always look to reach-out to their customers every step of the way. My talk bolted-into Antony's rather well as I was also talking about the 5 step sales cycle of:
- Need/Want/Desire is Recognised
- After Purchase Evaluation
I was pushing the concept that in order for social media to work for a business there is a need to engage with potential customers in each of the 5 stages. Of course each stage needs a different approach too, just like any customer relationship management system.
I was pleased with the talk and I receieved some great feedback, the room was slightly agitated in the sense that feelings of "we need to be doing this and now" seemed to surface.
One quote from Graham Ball CEO of the KBSA was rather good:
"Just a short note to thank you for your presentation at the KBSA AGM on Tuesday. It showed us all that there's a whole new world out there in the ether that can be harnessed for some business opportunities, and I think that enough people were taking notes, and will be looking to exploit these in the future."
Left to right Antony Taylor John Lewis Partnerships, Graham Ball CEO KBSA, Chris Hambly CEO Social Media in Business