Coco Chanel was responsible for popularizing the acceptance of a wearable, casual chic. She created iconic garments for women that were simple and elegant without the indulgent frills, fuss, and constraints of fashion in the pre-war era.
She may also have been a B2B marketing genius.
Believe it or not, B2B can learn a lot from Coco Chanel. Her philosophies about fashion are easily transferable ideologies in this modern era of social media and internet marketing.
"Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door."
- Coco Chanel
Ask yourself these questions: Why am I using Social Media? What value or benefit does it offer my business? A common answer to the first question is, “because I feel like I should.” or even, “because everyone else is doing it”. It is becoming increasingly difficult for many businesses to come up with an answer for the second question. That’s not to say that social media isn’t an effective marketing tool, it just may not be an effective marketing tool for every company. Coco Chanel would say, don’t spend time forcing a wall to become a door. In other words, be careful not to do social media for the sake of ‘doing social media’, there has to be a reason; a form and a function. If we continue to think of social media in terms of design principles, it is better to be more Bauhaus and less Baroque.
Show some restraint! Establish solutions that address the basic needs of your marketing efforts. Use social media as a practical asset of functionality, not a useless flourish for the sake of aesthetic. If Twitter isn’t generating any meaningful conversations or conversions, don’t waste the time it takes to type 140 characters. If your market isn’t using Pinterest to influence their decision-making, don’t bother pinning. Your social media strategy needs to take on a form that matches the function.
“Before you leave the house, take one thing off.”
– Coco Chanel
Coco would say that it’s better to be slightly under-dressed, than slightly overdressed. Every Tom, Dick and Harry is telling you to overdress your business with Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+, and blogs. Stop. Take one thing off your plate. Discover where your target buying demographic is hanging out and narrow your focus. Consider treating social media like a well-tailored suit.
If you think that you need to expand or broaden your reach using social media, determine which efforts will generate the best return. Your SEO partner may advise you to start a blog because frequent content generation will enhance your online authority, thus ranking you higher on search engines. Your ROI will take the form of more organic search traffic to your site, higher search engine rankings, and ultimately a greater number of online leads. You may find that by using Linkedin, you can start conversations that convert into new business relationships. Google+ might be the best way to distribute content segmented by industry or subject matter. In every case, you should employ a method of tracking conversions, participation and ROI so that you can start to ‘take off’ accessories that aren’t functional.
The Chanel B2B marketing theory is this: If it’s valuable, keep it on. If it’s just for show, take it off.