Dogfooding, or, “eating your own dog food” is typically what happens when a company uses the products that it makes. Dogfooding in the context of marketing and communications, especially insofar as social media is concerned, is when an organization takes the time to leverage new age marketing technology to develop community, drive awareness and enhance the culture of its own organization before, as I always say to my audiences, “inflicting new media on their customers”.
So what, you say? Well, you may already know that digital and emerging media is outsourced far less than any other type of marketing activity. The reason is that any social media effort needs to be piloted by a true steward of the brand. The steward is someone who gets the convergence of the personal nature of social media and the cultural imperative for organizations who decide to truly engage with their stakeholders. That steward, and not the outside expert, needs to be steeped in the dog food that the organization is going to be shoveling out…
By dogfooding your digital and integrated marketing efforts, you not only become familiar with the tools and technology, but realize the desired effect of becoming a more approachable and conversational culture that drives business growth in the age of conversational marketing.
One caveat: You’re not the audience. Always keep your customer in mind. Dismissing something prematurely because it doesn’t work for you internally could just be a case of dogfooding myopia!
Are you dogfooding your marketing? Even if social media or geo-marketing efforts or that cool app you want to develop are far off, you need to be acclimating your organization today to embrace the challenges of tomorrow.