From sales, then IT, to owning his own business and then venturing into the wild, wild West of social media, Spencer Smith has learned a thing or two on his mission to better calculate marketing ROI. On Wednesday, July 10th, Spencer Smith will share his expertise and findings featured in his new book, “A Better Way to Calculate Social Media ROI: ROTOMA” with the AMA Iowa Chapter. We asked Spencer a few questions on what we can expect, who should attend and the key lessons that will be shared at the July luncheon.
Can you give us a preview of your professional background and how you got to your position today?
My path to marketing is different than most because I’ve been both a business owner and in sales before — it’s only been the past few years that I’ve been in the direct marketing end. That stemmed from three different things. I started at IBM while I was in college and worked through Y2K. I then worked in IT and started a company which I sold in 2006. After that, I went into financial services and acquired licenses that allowed me to focus on the sales side, but there were limitations on how I could use social media.
So, I left that business and gave up my licenses in January of 2015 because I saw that social media was really at an intersection of sales and IT. Now that we’re a little more than four years into my company, AmpliPhi Social Media Strategies, we’ve been doing a lot of this work for more traditional industries such as banking and law firms. Ultimately, we look at social media from a sales standpoint. How do we get people to think about us more often and buy from us?
Your presentation topic is titled “A Better Way to Calculate Social Media”. What does this mean for today’s marketers and what should they expect from your presentation when they attend? Who should attend?
This is really me being empathetic with marketers. In the last decade, you’ve gone from being responsible for about five core areas like branding, events and sponsorships, traditional marketing, media or PR — to now 100 things that marketers need to own. One very small portion of that is social media on top of everything else.
What usually happens a person’s boss saying, “What’s my marketing ROI?” Back in the day, we really didn’t have a way to measure it. My goal is helping them understand what ROI technically means, but what that also means from a salesperson’s standpoint. People aren’t really asking for the ROI, they are asking for help to understand what they are doing, because they may not understand it. I’m being empathetic from both a salespersons’ standpoint and the marketers’ standpoint so they can best present their marketing activities and then go bat for themselves when determining budgets and initiatives.
Individuals that own the marketing at their company with a boss they have to report their activities to should attend, but it’s also really good for those who freelance or have an entrepreneurial mindset. This will help them understand what marketing means to those that they are selling ideas to and just as importantly how they support their efforts.
If there is just one key takeaway from your presentation for folks to learn, what would that be?
The acronym I created, which is the title of my book — ROTOMA. Instead of ROI, this means “return on top of mind awareness” which is helping marketers understand what salespeople want. What do salespeople want? They want their potential customers or clients to think about them more often than not, so when there is an opportunity, they are the ones that are top of mind for them. How do we quantify what we’re are doing in marketing to help deliver what to the sales team needed?
How has marketing changed throughout your career?
The general acceptance of it, especially with some of the stodgier industries that I mentioned before — banking, legal or financial services. I think about the guy with a big hub who finally decided that [social media] is not just a fad. They noticed that people started to direct a lot of time and attention to it, so they said, “We should probably start showing up here.” I’ve seen a massive shift, especially in those older industries, that started to figure out “how to use this stuff,” as opposed to having the obligatory Facebook page and not doing anything with it.