Nick Westergaard

By Nick Westergaard on October 27, 2014

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The Bar Has Been Raised

the bar has been raised

There’s more to social media than just Facebook and Twitter. New networks are emerging left and right. You don’t just have to start that blog you’ve been pestered about. Now you have to be a full-blown content creator. I know what you’re thinking. When will we be caught up on all of this digital marketing stuff? How much is enough?

I hate to break it to you but you aren’t going to like my answer. The fact of the matter is that these aren’t simple boxes that you can check off of some arbitrary list. Technology is not only advancing and providing us with more marketing tools at a breakneck pace, it’s also changing consumer behavior and expectations.

The cold, hard truth is this: the bar has been raised.

More Than Just Planting a Flag

You may have set up outposts on every social network under the sun but what if a customer actually has a real problem? In real time? Last summer on our family vacation, we had made reservations at several Hilton properties on our way out East. Our first night was thrown a curve when our reservation was bumped (I remember making the reservation for Friday the 13th — one doesn’t forget this date).

Despite being Honors members, we were let down by poor customer service at the desk and on the phone. I took to Twitter and was direct messaged. An hour later. The social honeymoon ended quickly with an impersonal message to call their customer service 800-number, which we had already unsuccessfully done.

It isn’t enough to just fly the flag on social media. You have to create a timely and human experience there. Not just a redirect to your other channels.

More Than Just More Content

We are creating more content than ever before — blog posts, eBooks, videos, podcasts, webinars, and more. However, according to recent data from SiriusDecisions, as much as 50% of the content we create isn’t finding its intended audience.

It isn’t enough to just turn your content creation up to 11 (that’s for all of you Spinal Tap fans out there). You have to create better, more relevant content than ever before. Especially if you want your brand’s content to overcome what Mark W. Schaefer calls “content shock” or the challenge created by the increasing supply of content vs. the eventual waning of audience demand.

More Than Just Checking-In

“The mobile moment” described by Tim Hayden and Tom Webster in their new book The Mobile Commerce Revolution provides brands with unprecedented relevance. And yet many businesses’ mobile strategy is nothing more than encouraging people to check-in on Facebook, Foursquare, or Swarm. What are you offering them in this moment beyond a passive “cold check in”?

It isn’t enough to just ask someone to check in. You have to find some way of making this act worth your guests’ while. Is it their birthday? Have they been here before? How can you celebrate and seize this moment?

Nothing is slowing down. Nothing is getting any easier. The bar has indeed been raised. You have to commit more of your time, talent, and treasure, to more than just understanding these new digital tools. You have to rethink your marketing and how you provide a more meaningful, relevant, and timely experience.

How will you clear this new bar?




Nick Westergaard
Email Brand Driven Digital

is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, where he helps build better brands online. He also teaches at the University of Iowa and is host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.


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