January 07, 2011
Milk and Nuts: A Cautionary Tale
Creative Director Chris shared an experience with Twitter that shows the value of monitoring your brand, and the cautions of uncensored opinions, online. We originally posted this on our company blog, but it's such a great example that I had to share it here as well. Enjoy!
I like Twitter. I like the random comments, opinions, links and rants.
I like that I feel I know interesting people who I’ve never met in the flesh nor probably ever will.
But it’s a dangerous place. It lulls you into a false sense of (social) security.
It presumes anonymity but in reality it’s fairly easy to identify someone in the ‘real’ world.
And because it’s full of people venting spleen about all kinds of topics, it encourages you to join in.
At least it did me.
I tweet on two occasions – when I’m bored and when I’m drunk.
Three if you count when I’m bored AND drunk.
So fuelled with Shiraz and following an hour and a half of X Factor, it was a perfect storm when the latest Cravendale milk ad came on in the ad break.
Now to be clear, I don’t much like the ads. They strike me as an idea applied to the product rather than one extracted from the product.
But they’re not the worst ads on TV by a long chalk and, in terms of my existence, don’t really make much difference.
However I took this particular airing as a chance to tweet (and I paraphrase) ‘Would love to meet the creative team behind the Cravendale ads. I would kick them in the knackers from now till Doomsday.’
And once the thought went out into the Twittersphere I thought no more about it.
However, the following morning there was a reply.
It was from Wieden & Kennedy, the agency behind the Cravendale advertising (actually from their MD Neil Christie) and arguably the most creative ad agency in the world today.
Neil helpfully told me whose knackers I should direct myself to and copied him in on my tweet (Chris Groom @groomster).
Now I’m 6’5” and 18 stone, so potential physical repercussions weren’t particularly the issue. I was incredibly ashamed to have been caught having a go at a fellow creative – particularly as I know how hard this game is without having colleagues turning on each other.
And as I’ve lectured on IPA events about how important creativity is and how to achieve great ideas we have to be prepared to fail with some but stick together.
So I immediately sent an apology.
Chris replied saying that he understood and that he didn’t take it personally.
But it still ate away at me – mainly for the fact I’d been an idiot and insulted someone I don’t even know, poor bloke.
So a couple of days later, as retribution for threatening his genitalia, I sent Chris a parcel with some plums, nuts and cheese balls. All potential substitutes in a Viz-style way.
He received it graciously.
This event has caused me to reconsider my relationship with Twitter. And to be considerably more circumspect before spouting my vitriol.
As I footnote, I confessed this to my wife who told me that she really liked the Cravendale ads.
So the David Ogilvy-ism was right ‘The consumer is not a moron, she is your wife.’
Except that my wife married me, so in this case the jury’s still out.
January 06, 2011
Working Social Media For Your Business
By now, we know that businesses are using social media. Some are doing so brilliantly. Some are just testing the waters. Some have no clue where to begin. All of these are great places to be. They all mean that businesses are getting involved in social media which is good because, if I was a betting woman, I would bet that social media isn't going anywhere but forward. Getting involved and growing understanding to think more strategically starting now can only be of benefit.
We have our own approach of the way businesses can use social media to engage audiences and have created a graphic representation of this process; it's the one we follow with ourselves and our clients.
It all essentially boils down to the C's - content (curate others or create your own), conversation (engaging not controlling) and connection (because, after all, we know that relationships drive business).The time to start planning out your C's is now.
What's your approach to strategic social media planning?
December 17, 2010
PeerIndex Tracks & Measures Social & Reputation CapitalI had an opportunity to chat with Azeem Azhar at LeWeb last week and get the latest demo of PeerIndex, which is a useful tool that tracks and measures people's social and reputation capital online. They look at social signals from social media platforms people are actively using online, the primary one being Twitter, with tools like LinkedIn, Facebook, and others in line.
What's interesting about their tool compared to others in the same category such as Klout for example, is their ability to drill down into specific areas of expertise. Focused on relevance, Azeem says, "it's about understanding your personal brand and whether it's developing in the right areas that matter to you. In other words, you could be increasing your score in one area, when your 'real' area of expertise is in something else."
It's a free tool today and since privacy matters to them, you can keep your PeerIndex profile private if you choose. Below is a short video clip of our exchange in the LeWeb Yahoo-sponsored blogger lounge.
December 16, 2010
Gary Vaynerchuck on Entrepreneurship & Passion in Paris
Gary Vaynerchuck in his typical form was on the LeWeb stage in Paris last week talking about entrepreneurship to an audience of largely European start-ups, venture capitalists, media and bloggers. As always, he exuded passion and broke all the rules, asking Loic Le Meur to pull down the Twitter board during his talk since he wanted to focus on the "people who showed up" first, suggesting that the board was only a distraction from being present to the "hear and now."
I couldn't help but agree since while having a back channel is useful, I was distracted by the energy on stage with a trailing stream of comments to my left and right as well. He encouraged people to rethink how we view our customers.....he views customers and 'interested fans' as equals and says he tries to respond to everyone. When someone asked about balance, he was 'all for family/work/life balance, yet at the same time, suggested we have to be always be available to respond to the people who give us life. (my words, not his). Translation - customers give us life. Fans give us life. Without those supporters, our voice can easily be lost in the noise.I've met Gary twice (it was in Paris in fact, a year ago at the Microsoft Biz Spark party -- and once at a Tony Robbins event in Vegas) and heard him speak a number of times, and while he is always inspiring, the most interesting response to a question about how to respond to clients who want the social media ROI was this: What's the value of your mother?
While corny on the surface, here's the gist of where he was going with the comment. How do you truly value the ROI of great customer relationships? How do you value a brand who has focused all of their attention on providing great service to customers, their primary attention on giving back, i.e., Zappos? Rather than focus all of our attention on numbers (which investors and the board always want), if you do NOT value time and effort spent on engaging customers, listening to customers and responding to customers, he says, "you shouldn't "fucking be in business."
While so damn simple, here's the sad thing about how I felt about his response - it's the way I was molded and frankly, it's in my DNA, yet it's NOT in the DNA of the majority of companies I've worked with or observed over the years. And as for the clients who have been a huge success, they have either gotten that at the core OR they were simply on a road to a quick exit and didn't really care about the longevity of the business anyway.
Once again, thanks for your most authentic share Gary. Below is the video I shot from the front of the room and it's also posted on our YouTube channel.
November 30, 2010
Gap Lovin' Foursquare as Part of New Ad Campaign
The ads — which are running on a wide variety of sites including Mashable, Gawker and Conde Nast properties — feature Gap holiday fashions and deals along with the Foursquare button, which when clicked, adds a Gap to-do and enables a 30% discount on one regular priced Gap item.
The ads are location-aware too; users will be able to associate the to-do with a nearby store and be reminded of it when they’re nearby and pull up “Places” within Foursquare. Gap will also be donating $1 for each add to Foursquare’s charity of choice — Camp Interactive — as part of the campaign. Full article here.
November 26, 2010
Management by Design Released
In this age of consumer-obsessed business, the experience of the worker is too often neglected. With our new knowledge economy, people have increasing freedom to choose where and when they work. The best and brightest are fighting for entry to those organizations with workplace experiences that are engaging, inviting, and motivating.
Timely and comprehensive, the book explores the premise that one of the best ways to attract and retain the most talented people—and their knowledge—is through designing environments that turn today's increasingly virtual workplace into an attractive place for people to do their work, regardless of their employment relationship, or where and when they work.
By applying balance, proportion, and simplicity, you can create a workplace that is efficient and effective, as well as intriguing and intellectually challenging. With sound advice for maintaining this crucial component of business, this seminal book explores:
- How focusing on employees' work experience brings unimaginable benefits
- Why great experiences can turn into long-term relationships, positive brand expression, and lasting stories that reflect back on the organization
- Tips for starting the design process, finessing it to fit specific needs, and putting plans into action
November 25, 2010
How Valuable Is A Degree?
There's an interesting debate going on, in Higher Education of course, centering on the value of a degree. It's a subject I did my best to be helpful about at a local school careers evening last week.
The question I always get asked is: 'should I do a marketing degree if I want to get into marketing?'
To which my honest response is no.
From my point of view, as an employer, I want people with good brains who have studied a subject which develops their thinking skills and knowledge of something broader than marketing. I know there are good marketing qualifications out there (somewhere) but as a first degree subject I can't see it helps if everyone in our industry has read the same books, studied the same case studies and is taught to think in the same way.
Surely our whole point is to come up with fresh ideas, challenge the status quo, martial our arguments, persuade our colleagues and measure our effectiveness - to name but a few of the things that marketing and agency people get up to.
I've canvassed my colleagues on the subject. Their qualifications range from the highly relevant (Honors in Graphic Design or Computer Science) to the useful (Economics, Phsychology, English) to the total wastes of time (Sociology, Film & Media Studies).
What do you think - are degrees valuable in the marketing sphere and if so, which ones?
November 23, 2010
Ford's Scott Monty: People Trust People Like ThemBelow, Ford's head of social media Scott Monty on the TWTRCON stage, says, "People don't change, they want you to think and feel and be just like them." Globally, trust is down year after year and less than 40% of people trust ads. "Who people trust are third party experts and people like themselves."
Transparency and authenticity are key when you're dealing with human emotions and rather than use robotic language that won't have an impact on people's emotions. He says, "we're training people to talk like humans again." He also emphasized the importance of relevance.
Google's Avinash Kaushik: HITS? Nothing More than a DatapukeSays Google's Avinash Kaushik at the recent TWTRCON Conference in San Francisco, don't get caught up in sheer numbers - whether it's followers or hits. He also says don't spend a ton of the time on positive, negative versus neutral sentiment, but focus moreso on people's emotions. He says with humor, "HITS stand for How Idiots Track Success." In other words, HITS alone equate to a 'glorious datapuke.'
What's even more critical, he says, is to understand the behavior behind tweet purchases & data links.
November 22, 2010
TWTRCON San Francisco: Biz Strategies in Real-Time
I've been meaning to attend TWTRCON since its first one now over a year ago, so was thrilled to discover I'd be in San Francisco when their second one hit the west coast last week.
TWTRCON is entirely focused on the business use of the real-time web with social media tools like Twitter a core part of the conversation.
They highlight case studies from leading brands, workshops led by social media practitioners and mini tutorials about real-time tools. They also collect and publish social media business case studies, statistics and videos on their site.
What I loved most about their event is how well it combined great networking and high quality speakers and sessions with "fun." They had beach balls on the tables and introduced a game at the start of the day as a way to meet others and tweet out a little love about the person you just met.
As a non-morning person, I was shocked that I managed to make it there for Laura Fitton's (aka @pistachio) early morning keynote which kicked off the day.
Her message focused around relevance - in other words, don't just go for numbers, go for engagement. And after you kick that into gear and are part of the conversation, remember to use the right analytics tools: links, click throughs, conversations AND context. All are important.
Kara Swisher interviewed Adam Bain on revenue models, digging for more data on how Twitter will make money. It's clearer that revenue is coming - what's the ole saying? Build an audience first and the money will follow and it's not as if they can't tout numbers - real numbers.
Adam says they plan to focus on the product plan in the next year and product growth will be key over revenue, at least in the next twelve months.
On future revenue models, he reminds the audience that with traditional display advertising, .5% engagement is considered a win and with Twitter, they're seeing single and double digit percentages in engagement.
Tons of major brands are already using Twitter and setting up campaigns to increase engagement and get customers on board - it's an organic movement that is only growing, not shrinking. Small businesses are seeing a tremendous benefit as well.
Then, Google's Avinash Kaushik talked analytics. Full of energy and passion, he zipped from left to right across the stage emphasizing all of his key points - with humor.....a lot of humor.
He talked about the whole notion of HITS and tracking hits alone, which he says stands for: (HITS = How Idiots Track Success). He referred to it as a glorious datapuke.
He reminded the audience not to get caught up in straight hits or simple analytics around positive, negative and neutral. Sentiment analysis is key - focusing on people's emotions and how they're feeling and thinking when they retweet or make a comment. It's important to understand the behavior behind tweets purchases and data links, he says.
"In social media, your reward is YOUR reward," she says. In other words, focus on what you care about and talk about that on Twitter and elsewhere on the web.
It can be as simple as helping ten kids out and having an impact on two of their lives in a way that can not only be life changing for them but for you in the journey you take along the way.
They had an interesting small business panel which included Nic Adler from The Roxy Theatre, Andrew Israel from AspenSpin, Akash Kapoor from Curry Up Now, and musician Zoe Keating.
Below, HootSuite's Ryan Holmes, Maksim Ovsyannikov from Zendesk, Sprinklr's Ragy Thomas, and Gigya's David Yovanno talked about real-time strategies and tools now and what's next.
Ford's Scott Monty showed up in a bow-tie and raised the bar for the local geeks who dressed in t-shirts, jeans and sneakers. He shared a few case studies and talked about some of the lessons he has learned through implementing social media campaigns over the last few years.
At the end of the day, people still care about the same things they have always cared about, he says. "People don't change, they want you to think and feel and be just like them." Globally, trust is down year after year and less than 40% of people trust ads. "Who people trust are third party experts and people like themselves," he says.
Transparency and authenticity are key when you're dealing with human emotions and rather than use robotic language that won't have an impact on people's emotions, "we're training people to talk like humans again." He also emphasized the importance of relevance.
Below are a few random shots.....I'd love to see them turn this into a two day event in the future. Kudos to Tonia Ries and her team for an incredibly well-executed event.
Above: Tonia Ries, Fusicology's Zsa-Zsa Rensch and James Bowyer
Thomson Reuters' Alastair Goldfisher, Marie Domingo, Harry McCracken, Renee Blodgett
Above - Marylene Delbourg-Delphis and Rachel Polish (taken by Harry McCracken)
And, unlike a lot of conferences, the sponsors actually made sense and were very relevant for the 'conversation.' You didn't feel pitched and the companies that showed up all had a solution for putting together real-time strategies and solutions in small businesses and corporations.
The "relevant" companies included folks like CoTweet, HootSuite, Objective Marketer, ThreadMarketing, tap 11, Foursquare, Sprinklr, ZenDesk, TweetReach, Fliptop and others.
November 22, 2010 in America The Free, Conference Highlights, Events, On Blogging, On Branding, On Social CRM, On Technology, PR & Marketing, San Francisco, Social Media, Videos, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack