May 2009 Archives

What am I writing about on Going Social Now?

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Blog coverage
Inspired by the what are people thinking about buying word cloud (a must read) at Social CRM, I created this one showing words used in my posts. It is quite telling. 

Social Advertising Best Practices. A Good Start

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iab1.gifThe Interactive Advertising Bureau just published Social Advertising Best Practices.  I'm glad the spotlight is being shone on social advertising and I think the best practices are a worthy effort. However, I'd love to see a little more out of these best practices. Here's what I'm looking for:

The definition of a social ad could be broader. It shouldn't just be about user interactions but also include social media beyond social graph related information. "Social Data" is defined a little too tightly for my liking. I would like to see the definition allowing for the inclusion of user generated content too. The best practices aren't clear on this. If it is going to be limited to just user interactions then don't call them social ads call them social graph ads.

Social Measurement. There's no myth here

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Here's a great deck on social measurement. Each time someone asks me whether social media can be measured I ask them whether the Internet can be measured. You can't talk about this in general terms - it has to be specific to the experience, platform or campaign. This wonderful ROI presentation makes that point quite nicely.

Big Ideas for Social Influence Marketing

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Here's the presentation that I gave at our 9th Annual Client Summit. This was presented to 600 odd senior marketers from industry leading companies. My key messages were that in the social realm one big idea is not enough, you need many little ideas that work in harmony with each other. I also pushed for the reorganization of the marketing department, a focus on what I referred to as Social CRM and the necessity in innovating with others. Take a look at the presentation and let me know your thoughts.

Pearls of Wisdom from Positively Paula

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Paula Drum, an innovative marketer at H&R Block (which has really been at the forefront of social influence marketing) is moving onto a new job. She posted some pearls of wisdom on her blog which I feel are an absolute must read. What makes her opinion matter is that its expressed from the first hand perspective in trying to make a large, consumer facing brand more social online. Here's an excerpt:

Companies can spend a lot of money trying to launch a social media program.  For the most part, I would really classify those efforts as an integrated marketing campaign. Your approach and funding of an integrated marketing campaign needs to be in line with the size and scope of your overall marketing budget.  Social media programs can be a lot more cost efficient from a media budget standpoint, but, you still need human capital to run them.  In many cases you may be trading media $ for the human capital needed to run a program.

And when talking about selling social influence marketing to the C suite she chooses to use a phrase that I first heard from her a year and a half ago and still love. She explains it in this excerpt.

One of the most popular questions that I get asked is how to build support at the C-level.  Having a clearly defined objective is critically important to gain support of any initiative.  However, everyone is always focused on the ROI or return on the investment.  I have defined ROI a little differently in this new and emerging space as Risk OIgnoring.  There is an absolute change occurring in how we communicate and seek information as a society.  The millennial generation is the first digital native generation with very different expectations of companies and marketing.  In the not so distant future the millennials will be a larger purchasing demographic than the boomers.  Not understanding this segment will be detrimental for future marketers. 

Read the 10 tips in their entirety on her blog, Positively Paula. Full disclosure - H&R Block has been a client of ours. We've done a lot of digital and social influence marketing work for them in the last year both directly and in partnership with other firms too. Best of luck with your new job, Paula!

How do you escape innovation hell? With Experiences

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At our 9th Annual Client Summit, Joe Crump a VP of Strategy & Planning asked an important question. How do you escape innovation hell? He explained that we recognize innovation when we see it but when it comes to innovating ourselves we fail 80% of the time. His reasons for the failure were:

  • We mistakenly equate innovation with creativity, which makes innovation feel more like serendipity

  • We don't really try to innovate. Most of us are just content making incremental improvements to our work

  • We measure the wrong things. We obsess with click-through rates instead of wowing the consumer with brilliant engagement.

  • We use the wrong tools. Focus groups are the enemy of innovation.

  • We rely on processes that kill innovation.

  • We equate innovation with advertising. As Joe put it, "If I were in the television ad business, I would assume the crash position."

His solution? "Stop obsessing on marketing messages, and start obsessing on better product experiences," Joe said. Then he gave a preview of the Razorfish Experience Wheel, a new process that Razorfish is developing to create fresh consumer experiences. In other words he believes (as I do) that it comes down to the experience.

While that may not be a new concept, what is continuously missing is the attention that's given to it. Everyone wants an Apple like experience for their product but don't have the guts to invest the time and resources to get one. And not just that we often aren't stubborn enough about the product vision. Without that, the product is destined not to be innovative. Watch the presentation and few coverage by David Deal as well.

Social media is not enough in a downturn

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social_madness.gifNow before you start slamming me for selling out, let me explain what I mean (and yes, I was inspired by this cartoon). As I've been discussing on this blog and in a series of papers over the last two years, social influence marketing is going mainstream. It is becoming fundamentally intertwined with the core of all things digital. As such it is getting more difficult to separate social media and social influence marketing from other digital activities. 

That's a good thing for two important reasons. Firstly, social is increasingly becoming core to the web as it should be. And secondly, no digital strategy is complete without a social component. It would be akin evaluating whether you need to layoff employees in a factory plant without looking for operating efficiencies at the same time. 

In the last two years, I've done more social strategy engagements in more industries than I ever thought I would. From the auto industry to insurance, technology and consumer packaged goods, large brands are wondering how to tackle social influence marketing. Along with some really smart folks at Razorfish, I've been helping them. What has it taught me?

25 Must Read Social Media Marketing Tips

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I quite enjoyed reading the 25 Must Read Social Media Marketing Tips post at Online Marketing Blog over this weekend. My favorite responses were those of Rohit Bhargava who when discussing ROI said,

If you don't have a clear picture of what you are aiming for, you're definitely not going to be able to measure it or track results against it. Once you have an answer to that question, then there are a whole host of specific metrics that you can align against it. For example, you can measure volume or tonality of conversation. Or link frequency and actual clicks. Or content generation and influencer engagement. We have been building a model that has dozens of these types of metrics, that we can customize for each client engagement.  

And also Jim Cuene, Director of General Mills who on being asked what some of the issues that large organizations face with social media said,

Efficiency is elusive/It's hard to execute social media efficiently- Large companies have made a science out of finding efficiencies in media, and have been pretty successful squeezing most of the fat out of production budgets. But, social media, in a lot of ways, is the exact opposite of mass: Labor intensive, highly involved, non-standardized.

By it's nature, social media is slower than Mass. The Blendtec guys were at it for a while, before "Will it Blend" went big. Viral hits like "elf-yourself" don't just happen overnight in most cases, even if it seems like it to us. Tv-centric companies are used to turning on the ad (or dropping the FSI, or starting the promotion) and seeing the results immediately. For companies that are used to the velocity of impact that comes from "mass" media, the slow, steady approach may be frustrating

Check out the article there are several other great pearls of wisdom.

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