Hanson Dodge Creative Partner and President of Strategy & Growth, Sara Meaney featured in the Biz Times. Read the article at biztimes.com.
Take the next step into the digital age
By Alysha Schertz
Published January 23, 2012
This year, it won’t be enough for businesses to just attend the party. While 2011 was about making sure your business was social and that you started participating in the conversation, 2012 will be focused on creating valuable online content and assets that will contribute to opportunities for business growth and commerce.
It won’t be enough just to show up to the social media party anymore, said Sara Meaney, partner and vice president of Milwaukee-based Hanson Dodge Creative.
“Social Media is no longer new,” said Meaney, who was a panelist at the Northern Trust Economic Trends Breakfast presented by BizTimes on Jan. 20. “Being effective through online conversation will be of the utmost importance. Companies will be a lot better at being focused on what we can accomplish digitally. Many companies will need to rethink their online opportunities.”
According to Meaney, businesses will need to adapt to what she’s calling the Digital Commerce Revolution: the shift from traditional online conversation and word of mouth to a more sophisticated conversion of those interactions to commerce opportunities.
“The increased availability of smartphones has changed the way people consume and access information as well as what they do with that information,” Meaney said. “This trend will significantly impact the way businesses continue to develop their online presences.”
Social media and the need to enhance online presence are not just important for the consumer-based business, Meaney said.
“B2B owners and executives have to learn and adapt from the consumer space,” Meaney said. “Every individual is a consumer of information. The consumer marketplace has raised the expectations of an online experience, and business brands and companies will need to take the lead from the consumer space in order to meet or exceed the expectations of the consumer’s digital experience.”
The media platform convergence has transformed social media into simply “media,” according to Meaney. It has become an integrated part of the way we do business.
“It is reasonable to think that a lot of B2B companies have dismissed the importance of an online experience because they think they can’t sell their product or service over the Internet,” Meaney said. “People and relationships shouldn’t be lost in a business model but many companies can think about how to operationalize online. What can they do to better enable a digital experience for the people they could potentially do business with?”
In the consumer marketplace, people are buying things online they never would have thought about doing a few years ago, Meaney said.
Shoes, technology and even cars are being purchased online without even seeing them in person first, she said.
“Companies in the business-to-business world need to stop pretending their company doesn’t need or can’t sell their product or service online,” Meaney said.