The surge of people engaging in social media continues. Everyone seems to use different processes for designing and distributing content. Individuals and brands try different products and they also try and create pull to their products. So the question is which is more important to the dynamics of social media, people. process or products?
A product doesn’t get produced, marketed, sold and delivered without people involved in the process. A process is only a method by which people leverage productivity (time) and create improved value (efficiency and engagement). So it would appear that the “people factor” is the dominant factors that influence processes and product. People are the “engagers” in products and process and neither can deliver to the expectation, or beyond the expectation, of the consumer, other people, without people standing behind the process and the product.
Is The KFC Campaign An Example?
KFC and Oprah created massive buzz and traffic with their viral offering of a coupon for a free lunch. Oprah’s role was the “marketing process“. Given her following and brand appeal all she had to do is make the offer to the marketplace.
KFC’s role was relative to their people delivering on the product by planning and deploying the relevant processes. By all measures they did not plan or anticipate the pull created by the campaign. They did not properly inform or train all their store managers and employees about the potential implications of the campaign or how to handle unexpected results. Several locations around the country ran out of chicken. Many limited the time frame for consumers to use their coupons. Few of the managers were trained on how to handle the press. When I asked the local manager if he know how powerful social media was in terms of this campaign he responded “what is social media?”.
The “internal people” simply were not prepared to handle the process or the product effectively. Subsequently, and less than one week into the campaign, KFC is scrambling to manage their people, the process and the product delivery for the remainder of the campaign.
The people who created the campaign simply did not think systemically as to the impact and requirements needed to successfully deliver (the process) the product in a way which the subsequent experience with the customers (people) would have created more brand equity and media buzz than just the campaign itself.
So the lesson learned ought to be “think about the people” first, then the process and the product will deliver on its promise. Otherwise your negative PR from not being properly prepared will reduce the “systemic gains” which could have been the results from using social media in a unique way. Additionally social currency ( the value created with your market) is not simply a marketing task rather it requires total integration of people, processes and products. The product engagement and performance processes cannot be improved without the people being properly engaged (trained).
Otherwise your currency is reduced to a bad experience with people, the most important part of any process or product. Get it?
What say you?