You are Marketing, not Sales


I was trying to catch-up on some of my reading the other day when I came across this article from ASEA (American Society of Association Executives) talking about how We’re All in Sales Now. The article covers the changing roles of the Association staffer and how everyone is now a sales person.

Except we’re not.

We are all marketing. This may seem like a subtle difference, but it is a critical one that needs to be made. The end-game and objectives are different. They need to be measured differently.

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Yammer and Microsoft, a Win for Both Sides


There is going to be no shortage of analysis of Microsoft’s acquisition of Yammer. I’m not going to take time to parse it all. I do want to share some quick thoughts on the acquisition while everything is still fresh on my mind and the deal seems more likely to be completed.

Yammer Cashing Out

Yammer was one of the pioneers in the the Enterprise 2.0/Social Business space. The issue that over the years as the space has evolved, the amount of evolution coming from Yammer has been limited. Their product has gotten better but they remain, at their core, a micro blogging service.

imageThe space has been moving on though. People have been learning that all these Social Business tools work best when they are part of the business process, not when they are on their own. With Yammer, you may produce less email and generate greater visibility into what people are doing in the organization, but you also have a new inbox to check. It is just one more window to keep open.

Let’s face it. Chatter turned SalesForce into a social platform. Yammer has been stuck in tool mode.

Yammer was facing a stiff uphill battle to remain relevant over the next several years. They seem to have been heading in the right direction, but there were a lot of questions about whether or not they could evolve fast enough to keep up.

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It’s 2012 and We Are Still Working on Process


There are two great frustrations in my overall career. The first is that there is more unmanaged content now than there was when I started. The growth of Content Management just isn’t keeping pace with the growth of Content.

The second is the fact that we are still trying to automate the same types of processes now as we were when I first started in this industry in the 90s. My first project was a Correspondence Management System. Call it a mail room solution or whatever the latest slang dictates, the problem is the same one I was talking to a large agency about solving in January!

People are asking me to speak on Process and why projects go wrong. Cloud and mobile are dropping as stand-alone topics. They are becoming part of the discussion around how to solve the old problems with addition of these new tools.

Reinforcing the issue are a few fun facts from some recent AIIM research:

  • 45% of scanned documents are created digitally
  • 77% of invoices that arrive as PDF attachments get printed
  • 31% of faxed invoices get printed and scanned again

Depressed yet?

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Social Media, a Knowledge Management Tool


I was reading an article on the Harvard Business Review Blog Network on Social Media versus Knowledge Management. Written by Anthony J. Bradley and Mark P. McDonald of Gartner, I was interested because I’ve discussed the topic of Social Media and Knowledge Management a few times in the past and I was pleased that the topic was still getting attention.

Then I read it.

To be fair, it started badly and got better. Here are their two “definitions”.

“Knowledge management” is what company management tells me I need to know, based on what they think is important.

“Social media” is how my peers show me what they think is important, based on their experience and in a way that I can judge for myself.

The basic precept presented in the article was that Knowledge Management is about collecting, classifying, and distributing knowledge while Social Media is chaotic and a source of concern for organizations afraid of losing that control.

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