Leadership Skills – Adapting and Implementing Social Marketing / Technologies

It’s interesting to watch the evolving process of incorporating Social Media and Internet / Digital Marketing into the larger established businesses and organizations, and translating this to the opportunities and learnings that exist for Small to Medium size companies.

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McKinsey just published their latest Global Survey Results, which shows increased adoption of the new social technologies but with some initial benefits beginning to plateau.

“…..the use of social tools and technologies has grown from limited experimentation at the edge of corporate practice to what’s now the mainstream. But after this strong initial uptake, many companies find themselves at a crossroads: if they want to capture a new wave of benefits, they’ll need to change the ways they manage and organize themselves.”

The main concerns continue to be:

a) how to measure the tangible benefits

b) security risk of leaking confidential information

As usual it takes the quality leadership skills to identify the most effective Social Media / Digital Marketing solutions applicable for individual company needs, those that become “networked organizations” are expected to reap the rewards and benefits of the new technologies.

potential benefits

McKinsey also lists “Six Social Media Skills every leader needs” from research with General Electric (can’t get much bigger).

1. The leader as the producer: Creating compelling content

– i.e. being out front with an open minded attitude / willing to take calculated risks, being more transparent in approach and making a more “socially visible” contribution

2. The leader as distributor: Leveraging dissemination dynamics

– i.e. identifying the difference between information and knowledge, and realizing its no longer under their total control

3. The leader as recipient: Managing communication overflow

– i.e. set up the filters to capture knowledge and minimize the waste involved with too much information, just for the sake of information……gaining knowledge and sharing it

4. The leader as adviser and orchestrator: Driving strategic social-media utilization

– i.e. leading the adoption of Social Media by improving the organization’s ability in the new media literacy, management either “adapt and adopt” or change will be required

5. The leader as architect: Creating an enabling organizational infrastructure

– i.e. the tough balance of capitalizing on social media’s “free exchange” within the established organization parameters of accountability

6. The leader as analyst: Staying ahead of the curve

– i.e. the digital age is only beginning, so it is imperative for management to keep up to date experimenting with new technologies and  media opportunities.


Overall these leadership skills are not new, but leaders need to adapt  them to the new business environment of collaboration that challenge the organization’s social and political inter action.


The underlying dilemma for large organizations is that Social Media challenges the current power pockets and business processes in the company organization.

This will take time to evolve, which is all good news for the smaller / medium size company competitors, to capitalize on the “adoption gap” that exists between small and large organizations.

Small to Medium size companies still have a significant opportunity to realize the benefits of social technologies quicker than the large organizations which are constrained by the existing structures, processes and mind set / culture.




About John Cullen

Experienced marketing professional, with over 25 years experience in global brand marketing, focused on Internet Marketing for last 10 years.
Living in Cincinnati, Ohio and working with Clients in USA and UK.

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