The Prophets of Profit: Becoming a Social Media Master With Stephen Monaco by Brian CalifanoBrian and Scott were glad to speak with Stephen Monaco, pioneer in digital strategy and recognized as one of the first to engage consumers via online communities. Stephen’s creative marketing prowess was the driving force behind the world’s best-selling PC data communications software of all time. He used social media marketing to turn ProComm into a global success story. In the conversation that follows, Stephen provides usable business strategies to build your organization’s brand.

Click here to listen to Brian and Scott’s entire conversation with Stephen Monaco.

Global Branding Through the Years

Stephen has worked with small and medium-sized businesses for many years—pre- and post-social media—on increasing their market presence. He explained how dramatically the work has changed throughout the years.

Social media is the first and obvious reason for the drastic change in how we communicate to consumers. There are many different types of marketing technology software and platforms to help marketers reach their audiences. Stephen says if you’re able to stay up to date on these different things, you have a competitive advantage—or you at least have the opportunity to have that advantage. You need to take the opportunity and work with it. Stephen warns not to lament that it’s “unfair” things aren’t the way they used to be. This isn’t Mad Men. To stay afloat, you must learn and adapt.

The Invaluable Personal Touch

With social media being the main source of marketing, Brian and Scott wondered how important personal touch is nowadays. Stephen responded that it’s every bit important as it ever has been, and that today’s technology makes it easier to achieve. It just requires strategy, discipline, and time. And you need to figure out which platforms your consumers are on.

Digital Marketing Strategies with B2B and B2C

Stephen explained that the strategies of B2B and B2C are pretty much the same in terms of what their goals are. The big difference comes into play when you’re dealing with Content Marketing.

With B2C, you want to entertain. You want to make your consumers laugh and feel good. Whether it’s funny, emotional, or thought-provoking, you want your customer to feel good about your branding.

With B2B, you want to inform. The content needs to be informative and useful. Provide helpful tips on using your product. Explain how their business life will be different with your product. Stephen hears pushback from some B2B businesses, saying, “We don’t have a lot of content.” Stephen insists that it’s not true and that they’re just not creative enough. He illustrated this by telling the story of a client of his that sells chemicals. This company has over 550 pieces of canned content that is helping their customers. It doesn’t matter how “dry” you may think your content is. If a business needs your product, they’re going to be interested.

Digital Marketing ROI It’s Not What You Think It Is (and That’s Okay)

Stephen explained that measuring ROI for B2B is not easy. He says that the return is your customer’s engagement. In his book Insightful Knowledge, Stephen talks about ROE instead of ROI. Engagement gets back to the personal touch every company should strive to achieve. Even with B2B, you’re still dealing with a person. There’s always a person or group of people making decisions. LinkedIn is a great place to advertise and publish content, but Stephen warns not to lock in on that alone. Twitter is also good. Facebook is not as good for B2B; it’s better for B2C. Stephen advises to utilize blogs and podcasts. Put your content on every platform that makes sense for your business.

Giving a Good Interview

There was a question from the audience asking for tips on how to give a good interview.

Stephen advises that you need to know the angle the interviewer is going with. If you know that, you can steer your answers into the direction of what they’re trying to convey to their audience. Stephen says that there’s always a spin, so make sure you know what it is.

There was another question from the audience about how to be ready to enter into a new market. How do you assess the health of the market? How do you know market size? Is the market growing or shrinking?

Stephen, Brian, and Scott all agreed that you need to know your customer. A good place to start is to get to know the salespeople of the industry. What are they doing?

From a digital marketing standpoint, there’s a lot of research that can be conducted, particularly if the company is publicly traded.

Get a macro view of the niche to get a clear understanding of who the dominant market leaders are and who the challenger brands are. Identify the differentiators to help you position yourself in a way for you to cut through the noise. You can’t just jump in and say, “I have this product also.” You need to differentiate yourself.

Click here to listen to Brian and Scott’s entire conversation with Stephen Monaco.

Find Stephen online to learn more.

Brian Califano & Scott MargolinBrian Califano

Scott Margolin

Co-founders & Managing Partners


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