Steven Van Belleghem

How to convince your management about social media? Don’t talk about it.

It must be one of the questions I get very often: "Steven, how can we convince our management team to invest more in social media?" My answer is very simple: "go to them with a plan that is not about social media." Of course, this...

Marketer, stop hiding behind your brand!

Who should be a brand's main ambassador? The main user of the brand? The first person to try a brand? Who do you think? I expect the brand manager him/herself to be the main ambassador. The brand manager represents the brand's values. He/she knows how...

The absurdity of a year plan

Pretty soon all marketing managers can draw up their year plans and budgets for 2013. It will be busy times! However I am more and more convinced that we should walk away from the traditional marketing planning. I am certain that speed and flexibility are...

Does your company suffer from “service schizophrenia”?

The majority of conversations about a brand are about its service and product quality. If your company manages to offer a decent product and an honest service to its customers, than you need not worry about what will be said about your company. The above...

The end of internal communication?

A few weeks ago the subject 'internal communication' surfaced during one of my workshops at a major company. The CEO's opinion on internal communication had changed shortly before; he now saw internal communication as being equal to external communication. Only operational issues to keep...

Fans as Conversation Managers

The number of online conversations about brands keeps growing. An increasing number of brands have the intention to manage these conversations. We perceive an increase in the number of job vacancies of companies looking for Conversation and / or Community Managers. And the number...

Markets will always be conversations, so I don’t fully agree with Jeremiah Owyang

I am a dedicated follower of the work of the Altimeter research group. I love to read the opinions and research reports of their analysts. So, you can imagine how curious I was when I saw the headline of the latest interview with Jeremiah...

We are not perfect

Do you know of a perfect company? Where all employees collaborate perfectly? Where nothing ever goes wrong? Where the customer satisfaction is astronomically high? Can you quote one such a company? Or five? Everybody probably agrees with me that there is not one or barely...

6 ways of thanking Facebook fans

It is becoming a sort of tradition, isn't it? When a brand reaches a given symbolic Facebook fan number, they look into original ways to thank these fans. Every brand tries to be as creative as possible in doing so. When checking out a...

Three methods used by Heinz to boost consumer involvement

Every company wants to reach as many people as possible. Theoretically, we all know what it takes to attain that goal: relevance. Building and maintaining relevance enables a company to reach growing numbers of people in the long term. The real problem is how...

Do companies use the 4Cs of the Conversation Company?

In the past few months we (InSites Consulting, sample and data collection partner SSI and translation agency No Problem!) collaborated on a survey on the integration of social media in the corporate world. The basis for this research was the 4 C model from...

Research: A minority is listening, a very small group is in on the conversation

In both my books, The Conversation Manager and The Conversation Company, I make a plea for listening to and conversing with clients. Two years after introducing the term I wonder how far companies got in the implementation of these ideas. That is why we...

Managing 4 C’s: Customer experience, Conversation, Content and Collaboration.

Today, I discuss the 4 C's that you can use to manage your Conversation Company. These pillars work perfectly in a culture as described a few weeks ago. It they allow you to fully use the power of the people and the opportunities social...

Conversation Management in a B2B setting: Is that an option?

It is the most frequently asked question before, during and after my workshops: "Steven, can this conversation vision also be applied in B2B companies?". As far as I am concerned, the answer is a clear YES! In this article I will try and explain...

The consumer as consultant

Usually I appreciate most marketing co-creation cases which I encounter as an excellent PR campaign. There is nothing wrong with that, of course, but consumers and the options of new media have more to offer. I recently realized some research with my colleague Tom...

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