Episode 6: How to Drive Recommendations with Social featuring Paul Rand of Ketchum

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Welcome to the sixth episode of the Marketing Nation Podcast, presented by Marketo and hosted by Marketo’s Digital Marketing Evangelist, DJ Waldow.

Paul Rand, Chief Digital Officer of Ketchum, joins the podcast this week to discuss how brands can drive recommendations, the real value of social media, and how to use “agile amplification” to grow your brand’s voice.

Paul’s primary focus with his work in PR, social media, and word-of-mouth marketing is recommendations. After all, 90% of all consumers will tell you that the reason they purchased something was because someone they know or trust has recommended it to them.

Digital and social have become integral to the success of marketing and communications approaches because they allow brands to make personal connections and develop relationships with consumers. It’s important to use social media to find better ways to connect and relate to consumers, not blast your sales and traditional marketing messages. When consumers feel connected to your brand, they’re more likely to purchase from you when the time comes.

In order to do this, Paul recommends that brands adopt the 90/10 rule: 90% of you're your online conversations should be related to your consumers and what they want from your brand, and only 10% should be about actually selling your product or service. Use this rule to put together a “shareable story” and help your brand become the most talked about and recognized brand in your industry.

Paul and DJ continued their discussion with an interesting look at the evolution of community management, specifically about how it’s no longer as simple as finding an intern who knows how to use Facebook. True, effective community management requires a strong knowledge of social media, experience in customer service, and sophisticated communications skills.

Paul goes on to answer some important questions about B2B transparency and word of mouth marketing, two of his areas of expertise, followed by a plug for his new book, Highly Recommended.

Finally, you can find out what Paul really thinks about social media, email, and a cloudless sky in this week’s word association.


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Paul M. Rand is recognized as a visionary business strategist, entrepreneur, social and digital marketer, and public relations professional by a number of business and marketing publications. He is regularly quoted in leading business outlets and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. Paul is the past president and board member of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), and he currently serves on the board of the national Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB). He is an adjunct faculty member and Vice Chairman of the Dean’s Advisory Board of DePaul University’s Driehaus College of Business and The Charles H. Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. Paul, his wife, Diane, and their three children live in the north suburbs of Chicago.