February 2010 Archives
There's no question that Toyota is in deep trouble with its current recall crisis. But could these issues actually be helping its brand? Shockingly, an analysis of Toyota shows that its Social Influence Marketing (SIM) Score shows this. Who'd have thought that a crisis of such significant magnitude could actually help a brand's perception? This seems to be true, at least in the short term, even though sales may be dropping. Let me explain how.
The SIM Score incorporates reach and like-ability using conversation data sourced from the major conversation monitoring vendors (in this case Radian6). In the month of January, Toyota saw an uptick in its SIM Score relative to its direct competitors. Counter intuitive? Yes, most certainly. And there are two explanations for this. Read my Mashable guest post that explains the SIM Score formula and why the graph looks the way it does.
Last week Razorfish launched the Razorfish 5: Five Technologies That Will Change Your Business. This is an exciting report as it explains the underlying engine that drives a lot of social media today - cloud computing and other related technologies that are going to drive digital marketing in the future.
I truly believe that every chief marketing officer is going to need to become more of a chief technology officer in tomorrow's world. Those that don't will struggle (as my CEO once said). Here's a deck created using Prezi (a novel cloud computing based presentation solution) highlighting some of the key take aways.
You can also view the report in its entirety. I co-authored the first piece titled, "Social Brands are Enabled through Cloud Services and Distributed Application Technologies" with the Razorfish CTO, Ray Velez.
Two weeks ago I was on a panel at Tony Perkin's AlwaysOn OnMedia 2010 summit held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in NYC. Below is the clip. I was invited to sit on my panel given my focus on social media and broad digital strategy.
Marketing via social media means marketing directly to influencers -- rather than just consumers. And social influence marketing (SIM) requires a whole new game plan. Establish your SIM campaign with these tips in mind:
- Develop social influence marketing (SIM) guidelines for your organization. It provides critical guidance for your employees as they practice social influence marketing.
- Establish clear objectives for your social influence marketing efforts. Don't experiment for the sake of experimenting. Make sure objectives are aligned with broader marketing and business ones.
- Create a roadmap for your social influence marketing efforts to help you plan resources, conduct research, coordinate marketing programs, and deploy new tactics. Don't try to do everything at once. You probably don't have the resources.
- Define your metrics for success up front before you execute your roadmap. And make sure that the metrics are also aligned with broader marketing and business metrics. These SIM metrics should neatly roll up into those.
- Recognize that SIM programs don't have neat end dates. Plan your resources and budget carefully to allow for continuous nurturing. This is the hardest and requires the most expectation setting.
- Make sure you understand your customer base -- who talks to each other and who influences who -- before launching any program. And also understand where they're talking and whether you have permission to participate there.
Others that you'd suggest? The complete game plan is explained in my book.
Marketing through social media platforms isn't quite the same as traditional marketing. Here are some golden rules from my book's cheat sheet that can help you conduct a successful social media marketing campaign:
- Make sure you give your customers something valuable because they'd much rather spend the time talking to each other about their passions than engaging with you.
- Recognize that different types of influencers play varying roles at different points in the marketing funnel. Do the research to know who is influencing your customers and where.
- Tie together all your strategies across the social media platforms. Think about how all your social programs can work together harmoniously.
- Make your customers brand advocates and partners in your business. Give them the opportunity to impact not just marketing but product development, customer service, and innovations, too.
- Develop your authentic social voice for the social media platforms. And make your brand a social brand.
Do you agree with these. Are there others that you'd like to add? The complete explanations along with the strategies and tactics for executing against these are explained in the book.
I absolutely love the new Ad Age 10 Most Tweeted Brands of the Week list. Now of course, there are risks that some brands may try to game the system but I think that's unlikely. They're so focused on getting tweeted among their consumers that they probably won't try too hard to game the rankings itself. This week the Super Bowl and Google Buzz led the pack though I'm certain next week it'll be someone else. What's nice about this list is it not only tells us which brands are talked about the most but gives us a pop culture snapshot too in a similar fashion to Twitter Trends.
The list uses a loose definition of brand to include Valentine's Day and movies like "MNIK" which stands for "My Name is Khan" (who knew!). For me most interesting would be the brands that do well even if they're not being launched that week whether as movies or products (Apple's iPad ranks high up there). Those are the brands that are succeeding on an ongoing basis. I suppose for them a deeper metric is the SIM Score which is the relative health of the brand versus its closest competitors across the social web.
I truly believe that we have social media and the emergence of social brands to thank for saving us from this scary future where every image in our towns and cities is a logo.
What do you think? Do you think this is a bad thing and do you feel that social media is saving us from it?
Special thanks to Jose Martinez for pointing me to this video clip.
With all due respect to Ad Age and Edelman, I feel the analysis of the Edelman Trust Barometer 2010 maybe a little misleading. The headline "In Age of Friending, Consumers Trust Their Friends Less" obviously implies that people are trusting their friends less when making decisions. While that makes great copy, when you click on the chart what you really see is that trust in all forms of media (the alternatives were TV News, Radio News, Newspapers and Friends/Peers) has dropped dramatically by approximately the same percentages. Trust in Friends/Peers hasn't dropped considerably more versus those other categories.
As we debate (again and again) the value of influence from friends and peers, lets keep two extremely important factors in mind.
- The subject being discussed makes a big difference. For example, I'm not going to trust my friends very much when I'm deciding whether to get open heart surgery. However, if I'm buying running shoes (as I did yesterday), advice from my friends will make all the difference. I'll of course be asking the friends who are runners for advice and not the ones who don't.
- And secondly, lets not confuse trust in companies with trust in products and services. They are two separate categories (with of course connections to one another). This research was about trust in companies versus trust in products. As we talk about friending and trusting peers, it matters most with products that people have experienced and less so with the companies behind them.
This is the paragraph that I'm struggling with the most -
If consumers stop believing what their friends and the "average Joes" appearing in testimonials say about a product or company, the implications could be significant not just for marketers but for the social networks and word-of-mouth platforms selling themselves as solutions to communicating in a jaded world. The influence of peers has been considered the leading rationale for brands' shifting marketing dollars to social media.
If the coverage focused just on information about the company, then that would be fine. But generalizing to products doesn't seem fair.
Disclaimers - I work for Razorfish and my company research shows that trust in peer recommendations around purchasing decisions is not dropping but rising. My analysis is also based on reading the Ad Age piece and the Edelman executive summary only. I do not have access to the whole research report
For a long time I believed that Facebook was moving too slowly in addressing the needs of marketers. The pages for brands was but a rudimentary step in the right direction and the analytics behind the pages were simplistic at best. I'm excited to see that it is changing now and I believe that marketers are going to flock to Facebook (and with their dollars) and not just because of the huge user base but increasingly because of the specific advertising products and analytics that the platform is offering. In a sense Facebook is truly entering the marketing world now.
One small example, of this is how they're testing the ability to show case impressions and clicks. This is hugely valuable for both marketers and individuals alike. Big brand and personal brands (meaning you as an individual) care about this and I believe it'll spur even greater use of the Facebook fan pages and the newsfeed. What is especially interesting is if this information is made completely transparent as the image above seems to imply. The next step to telling you the number of impressions and clicks that a post has gotten is to tell you the number of people that have purchased the product. As e-commerce rolls out across the Facebook landscape, I can see that being a metric included as well. And knowing the number of people who have purchased a product (as a percentage of impressions and clicks about it), will be a huge influencer for purchases. Photograph and inspiration for this post is courtesy Loic Le Meur.