I was a sickly child, I come from what was then, the outskirts of 'Industrial' Manchester in the North West of the UK.
My family lived in 'Clayton', a working class Suburb of Greater Manchester, which in the early 60’s was like many other heavy Industrialised areas within the North West of England. “British Steel” played a significant part of people’s lives together with coal mines, and the long established traditional Textile Industries, 'Life oop North was grim' as they say.
Smog (mixture of ‘smoke, fog’ and ‘soot’) was a legacy of these Industries, it was produced as result of the pre/post war effort to re-build the economy, along with companies that were working with outdated technologies, clearly the environment was not the issue it is today.
Smog pervaded the air constantly throughout the industrialised regions. and areas like Clayton suffered heavily.
So, as a small child aged 7 I was sent off to a 'Children's Home' in Lancashire, I was told by my parents I had to stay there because I had really bad asthma due to the smog and other related industries, I didn't leave until I was 13......
'Health and Well being' are now a huge part of our lives, due in the main to improvements in medical care, education to parents, the fantastic work of our glorious NHS, and of course medical advancements in technology. So, it makes me wonder what some of the big companies would say to me and my parents if the same story outlined above would happen today.
I can't help but think that the ability for them to identify key areas of the world where heavy 'legacy industries' still operate must be a fertile area of opportunity.
I recently wrote an article about one of those big companies 'Philips' (you can find their 2019 quarterly corporate report here) whose competitors include GE Healthcare, Siemens, LG Electronics, Samsung and Fitbit. My article was mainly about the fact whilst I can evidence a social presence for the brand and its different divisions, I can only see content that talks about 'them', showcasing a variety of products, and how to use them, what they are used for, and many of the wonderful benefits they deliver, all this from from different divisions within numerous territories around the world.
Here's a snapshot from the most recent quarterly 2019 report;
"The desire for affordable and effective healthcare delivery, without compromising the future availability of natural resources, is driving the adoption of value-based care. This will first require a shift from volume to value, which Philips is driving through innovation, as well as by transforming the way we engage with customers and shape business models".
It comes with a great image of the 'full circle' life time care solutions they can deliver, all underpinned by a 'Value based Care' proposition that's got to be the way forward for you, me, our children, and the planet.
Sounds like a pretty awesome mission!
However, I have yet to see from 'Philips' (and any of their competitors) an initiative that puts you and me front and centre of the strategy to change the 'way we engage with customers' ,which is highlighted in the quarterly statement (link to the full report below).
Social Media is just that, 'Social', and being social means you engage, interact, inform, answer questions, and spark positive debate. It doesn't mean its a platform for to you constantly talk about YOU, your latest gadget that can clean my teeth better than the next guys fastest selling electronic tooth brush, and neither is it coming up with overly creative 'intrusive adverts' dreamed up by the ad agency whose only role is to keep you sweet. Why?
Because that just isn't what being 'social' is all about, and if you and your competitors are positioning yourselves as a key part of a world community for 'healthy living', then you need to do more than 'focus group' exercises to become an integral and accepted part of the 'community'.
It's a complete mindset change, it requires you to forget what you 'think' social media is about, and understand that its already changing how your current customers, and new potential prospects are seeing you.
If managed within the right 'Social Selling' framework you will see magic happen, you and your entire business will start to hear because you are truly listening, you and your employees will create conversations on social media that will make you think twice about traditional advertising.
You will develop advocates of what you do, because you will be involving them in the 'why' you do what you do, and listening to what they say.......
And maybe, just maybe, some small boy, or girls parents might have someone to turn to other than 'Google' to see what solutions you guys have that can really help them.
We know that 'Philips' are a innovative and progressive company, the same can be said for their competitors, which include GE Healthcare, Siemens, LG Electronics, Samsung and Fitbit.
We also know that there are some key 'Change Makers' in all those companies, and these are the people we would be more than happy to talk to.
We are active 'practitioners' of what we do, we already know and can evidence the ROI of a robust and internally aligned 'Social' strategy.
Part of that evidence it that you are reading this blog, just like many others - including your competitor!
We also don't do outbound pushy, salesy marketing, so if you would like to explore more, please contact the author of this blog.
Long gone are the days when consumers pressed an inhaler without knowing whether they received an accurate dose of medication.