Fire your marketing department; Social selling is here!

May 27 • Sales and Negotiations • 2504 Views • 1 Comment on Fire your marketing department; Social selling is here!

Fire your marketing department. Social selling is here

I FIRED MY MARKETING DEPARTMENT. In truth, I didn’t so much as fire them, as to not intentionally replace them. But that doesn’t mean that our marketing headcount is zero. Quite the contrary. Thanks to social selling, everyone at ClarkMorgan is now in the marketing department.

…everyone at ClarkMorgan is now in the marketing department.

Our switch to social selling occurred around the same time as the Global Financial Crisis. Our company was decimated by training and development freezes made by our key clients – Global 1000 firms operating across Asia. Consequently, our marketing department was the first to be downsized. Our team of eight became four, then two and finally just one – me.

But as the marketing team shrank, our marketing efforts increased. At the Spark09 ideas conference in Shanghai, one of our marketing initiatives, I learnt of the concept, “Constraint is the mother of invention”. This fitted perfectly with my belief that the bigger the budget, the less creative marketing departments become. And so with a marketing budget of zero, we had to be incredibly creative!

And that’s how we serendipitously embraced social selling. With a small investment into a digital SLR camera and equipment, we created ClarkMorgan Insights, a video interview series, that now boasts the advice of over 160 business leaders (and growing) from across China and Asia-Pacific. Each five-minute video includes valuable insights into doing business across the region, and has allowed ClarkMorgan to build key opinion leaders as well as personal relationships with CEOs, VPs and senior management from our clients.

LinkedIn has been a valuable platform on which we share these videos. It’s also a social selling tool in its own right. Search for ‘ClarkMorgan’ on LinkedIn, and you’ll see that every ClarkMorgan employee shares the same background graphic and a uniformed profile picture – creating consistency in our brand that few companies have managed. This consistency has allowed new staff to envelope themselves in the company’s existing reputation, giving them immediate kudos when socially selling on LinkedIn.

…every ClarkMorgan employee shares the same background and a uniformed profile picture.

We’re so serious about getting staff to socially sell on LinkedIn, that we created the ‘LinkedIn Worm’. Every Monday, when the sales teams from Beijing, Shanghai and Melbourne meet online, we each share our Social Selling Index (SSI) and overall number of LinkedIn connections. At the time of writing my SSI was 89 (see image header), and my ‘worm’ had wiggled its way up to 3,637 connections. These metrics currently put me in the top 1% of my industry – training and development.

Impressive, yes. But what’s most impressive is that these LinkedIn social selling metrics have led directly to sales. As evidence of this, back in November 2015, I gave a presentation in Shanghai titled ‘How to make 1,000,000 RMB from LinkedIn – a Case Study‘. Looking back on that title today, I could confidently add another ‘0’.

So while I am not actually saying you must fire your marketing department, what I am saying is that you shouldn’t let a limited budget get in the way of building your company’s brand and feeding your sales pipeline. Social media means that everyone, from CEO to receptionist, is part of the marketing department – whether they know it or not. All you need to do is leverage this dormant sales generator. Social Selling is here!

Fire your marketing department; Social selling is here!


Want to know more about social selling? Contact ClarkMorgan today!


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One Response to Fire your marketing department; Social selling is here!

  1. Gus McDonald says:

    Great article. So many non-millennials just don’t get social media.

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