Archive for the ‘conversational marketing’ Category

Social Media elevator speech

August 31, 2008

I’m back from 2 great weeks in Turkey.

In my mail, there is a request from Kosta, the organizer of the new media event in Dubai, asking the speakers to produce a 2 minutes video about social media. Usually, I give speeches between 20 minutes and 2 hours (for workshops)… but I never had to make an “elevator speech” about social media.

So, since yesterday I wonder how I could summarize my belief about social media and (new) marketing in 2 minutes?

It could be something like this:

Social media is one of the ways the (advanced) internet population chose to engage with the possibilities offered by today’s technologies. In the social media era, every contributor is a media with more or less audience. Many people try to define social media but most definitions remain too vague (and could even be applied to very old technologies like forums or chat rooms).

Social media is over and under-rated at the same time.

Social Media is overrated because reach still matters for brands and social media isn’t the best way to achieve reach; Because nobody found the magic formula of virality yet; Because social media isn’t a massive collective force but a variety of more or less small tribes. Even if there are links between all the entities of social media, they are hard to identify and to activate; Because it’s difficult to measure its return; Because collective intelligence is sometimes collective dumbness (cf starwars kid); Because the head is more consistent than the tail; Because it has a scalability problem; Because most of the social media users have no (net)working class consciousness.

Social Media is underrated because social media changes the way we expect to use (any kind of) media; Because it’s an incredible accelerator; Because you can achieve great results with low budgets; Because every study show that word of mouth is by far the biggest sales driver; Because it’s the ultimate market intelligence tool; Because it raises engagement; Because it allows viral mechanisms on top/as a part of your display campaigns; Because that’s where your target group is and because that’s where you can talk with him…

As we speak, your brand can still survive without using the power of social media. Many brands advertise and communicate like they used to do 10 years ago. Not all of them are on the verge of bankrupcy. Nevertheless, as a brand, ignoring new media prevent you to maximize your marketing efficiency.

Anyway, I still have to transform this in a nice video…

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New media 2008

August 5, 2008

I accepted with great excitment to be one of the speakers at the New Media event 2008 organized mid december in Dubai. Among the speakers, I’ll have the pleasure to meet Robin Hamman, Magnus Nystedt, Philippe Borremans, David C Skul, Ammar Bakkar (MBC), Jonathan Woodier (Citi group) and acclaimed movie director Shekhar Kapur. Other speakers will soon be announced.

The headlines of my presentation as defined in the draft program are:

Engaging With Social Network To Maximise Your Reach But Also Manage Risks

  • Understanding the nature of networks
  • Recruit and unleash social network advocates
  • Assessing the potential return on using social networking website

The third bullet point is a tricky one, don’t you think? 🙂

Love anyone?

June 30, 2008

I have the honour to have admin rights on getinspiredhere, the collective blog related to the “inspiration anyone”-viral video (the sequel of Bring the love back)

I must say I’m pretty disappointed by the stats of the viral video (less than 5000 views so far on youtube versus 150.000 for bring the love back – and 3000 versus 180.000 on dailymotion). I don’t think it’s a question of seeding strategy. The seeding strategy of “Bring the love back” was minimal and the video became a success mainly thanks to the enthusiasm of David Armano.

Quality could be an issue. I still think that Inspiration anyone is a great vid but I agree on the fact that there are some minor flaws (mainly in editing).

Basically, I agree with Peter Kim  when he states that “(perhaps) it hits too close to home for agencies”. Besides, the video carries a message telling us that it’s not that simple. It confronted me with my own ignorance. Of course, we have to listen to the customer and I think we all know that; of course, balanced conversation is key; of course we have to rethink the way we make marketing; of course…. but how do we aknowledge the changes while maintaining the system? (major online players selling added value to the advertisers).That’s the whole point of getinspiredhere and that’s why we need you there 🙂

Demanding students

August 29, 2007

I accepted to be one of the 5 speakers for the annual congress of the “Fondation Marketing” annual students event of November 6th 2007 in the Bozar (probably Brussels most beautiful location). The theme will be Consumer centric Marketing (defined in the event desciption as user generated, participative marketing and targeted advertising)

I just received the briefing. I am totally free to define the approach and the content of my presentation and I’m expected to talk during approximatively 40 minutes. The briefing mail states that the audience is demanding (gasp!). 700 attendees are expected (gasp again).

I didn’t determined the details of my presentation but I’m currently reading blogs posts like “The dumbness of the crowds” or “Are you a giver?”nfor inspiration

If you had to propose me a link on your blog to inspire me for this future presentation, which one would it be?

No headquarters, no hierarchy

July 10, 2007

I had the chance today to hear a brilliant presentation by Charles Leadbeater. I wrote down a few key messages:
– Give people tools, see how they us them and only then, build your business model
– If you treat users as (just) consumers, you won’t be able to make them help you to innovate
– The most innovative organisations (based on free collaboration) today have no headquarters and no hierarchy, they are much quicker in innovation than any big fixed rigid organisation
– Succes may lead to conservatism. If you have a history of succes, you may tend to repeat what led you to succes.
– If you want to see your way into the future, act as you were a new entrant with low budgets

Listen and listen good

June 14, 2007

Next week, I’ll be flying to Cannes for the Cannes Lions week, one of the worldwide biggest advertising awards. I can’t wait to be there.

What’s an advertising award? Basically, it’s an award for the best talker. Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think there’s somewhere an award for the best listener and that’s a shame. So… Let’s launch this initiative from the blogosphere!

Here’s, in a nutshell, what I have in mind:

– Collect all your stories about brands that demonstrated an ability to listen and be responsive

– Create a separated blog to present the cases

– Make a little noise around the award (the concept is only viable if we receive a lot of cases)

– Make a monthly survey to present the listener of the month. In 12 months as from now, present the cases to a large audience (bloggers but also some non-bloggers) and elect the listener of the year.

Dear bloggers and friends, I would really like to read your feedback on this. What do you think about the idea? If you like it, what would be the best way to promote it? Do you already have cases in mind?

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This idea was inspired by Bring the love back and by Mack Collier’s blog checkup series. Thanks!

The (not that) global conversation

June 7, 2007

I stumbled upon an interesting post on Gaping Silence (great blog, by the way) and commented it before realizing the post was allmost one year old. I liked this provoking thought:

You get a myth which diverges radically from the reality. The myth is that this is where the Web-for-everyone comes into its own, where millions of users of what was built as a broadcast Web with walled-garden interactive features start talking back to the broadcasters and breaking out of their walled gardens. The reality is that the voices of the geeks are heard even more loudly – and even more disproportionately – than before

Phil, the author of this post also gives a few figures from a study conducted among american students (march 2006):

MySpace is huge, and Facebook’s even huger, but Web 2.0 as we know it? It’s not there. 1.9% use Flickr; 1.6% use Digg; 0.7% use del.icio.us. Answering a slightly different question, 1.5% have ever visited Boingboing, and 1% Technorati. By contrast, 62% have visited CNN.com and 21% bbc.co.uk. It’s still, very largely, a broadcast Web with walled-garden interactivity.

I had a look at the most recent worldwide comscore figures today and paid attention to some emblematic sites of web 2.0. Here are some of those figures:

  • Facebook is doing good with a global reach of 5.1%, 22 monthly visits per unique user and an excellent average of 10 minutes per visit
  • Social bookmarking remains very niche: Delicious has 0.5% of global reach, only 1.5 monthly visits per unique visitor and an average of 1 minute per visit (and a quiet limited growth on the last 6 months)
  • engadget.com, the technorati champion, has slightly better results than delicious with 0.5% reach (5 times more than boingboing), 1.9 monthly visits per unique visitor and 1.5 minutes per visit
  • Twitter is still tiny: less than 0.1% reach, 1,8 monthly visits per unique visitor and 2,7 minutes per visit (this doesn’t include usage on mobile devices)
  • Google, Microsoft properties and Yahoo are the only properties with more than 60% reach worldwide. Microsoft is by far the champion of the minutes spent on its network (overall and per user)

You also have some 2.0 big guys out there: like wikipedia (27% reach), youtube (22%) or myspace (14%) but I remain with the impression that our perception of the market is a little biased by our blogging and social networking own experiences.

Reach is not a central element of the new marketing but are the audiences of web 2.0 important enough for the major brands? I don’t think so.

I don’t want to say that the conversation doesn’t make sense. Au contraire! Nevertheless, many people haven’t joinded the global conversation yet. The web 2.0 will lead brands to redefine their marketing mix. This will be a matter of proportions (how much do I withdraw from TV to invest in conversational monitoring and marketing?), of marketing goals (Which marketing objective will be fulfilled thanks to conversational marketing?) and processes (How do I spread the consumer feedback in my company? How does it impact my value proposition?).

Don’t get me wrong. the reach of the social media is growing (not booming) and brands already need to consider this phenomenon but let’s remain realistic and face the facts: We are maybe overhyping the conversation…. or overhyping marketing through social networks.

Am I wrong? What is your interpretation of the web 2.0 figures?

Return on Conversation?

May 30, 2007

There a lot of conversations (cf the viral garden and My 2 cents) going on about the ROI of conversational marketing. Even if almost everybody agrees with the fact that conversational marketing requires an appropriate metric, there are very few concrete proposals. This inspires me a few thoughts:

– We are very demanding about our media: besides watching the evolution of your sales figures or setting up an ad hoc impact study, there are no means to evaluate any kind of above the line campaign. How would you calculate the ROI of a sponsoring action? How would you evaluate the return of giving away expensive goodies to your business partners?

– Conversational marketing shouldn’t be per se considered as advertising budget: It’s symptomatic to see the definition of advertising on wikipediaAdvertising is paid and/or sometimes free communication through a medium in which the sponsor is identified and the message is controlled”. This definition doesn’t really apply for the conversation. Couldn’t we regard conversational marketing as market intelligence and customer service?

– Let’s assume, we need to prove a direct return anyway: I would then use the Net Promoter Score (NPS) that gained a lot of popularity the last years. Even if it doesn’t measure the impact of conversation, this metric is full of learnings for the believers in conversational marketing. In an interview to CEO forum, Fred Reichheld (Bain & Company) stated about the NPS:

(The NPS) means customer feedback measures are used to drive internal priorities just as much as traditional profit and accounting measures. That’s a major change: in information systems, in the culture and behaviours of the company, and in the skills and training front-line employees need. It also has some very strategic implications, for example in how you segment your customer base and how you invest in serving those segments. It changes the whole rhythm of your business

In another interview, Fred Reichheld gives an example of the impact on a company profits:

high scores are a strong predictor of economic success. HomeBanc, a mortgage company in Atlanta, has a whopping NPS score of 84 percent. As might be expected from this score, HomeBanc’s productivity levels average 60 percent higher than industry standards. The firm’s growth exceeded 25% each year for the past decade – more than doubling the industry rate

This makes me believe that instead of trying to measure a direct return on the conversation, we should focus on proving that sound conversational marketing has an impact on customer satisfaction and that customer satisfaction impacts companies profits.

What do you expect from a great lover?

May 29, 2007

I just stumbled upon this wonderful way to compare marketing, advertising, PR and branding. Still, it should be completed.

adexpert.jpg

I add:

– Sales: If you become my lover, you receive a second lover for free (money back guarantee!). Call now!

– Conversational marketing:  What do you expect from a great lover?

– Viral marketing: Send this video showing the great lover I am to all your friends

Found via D-ring

The skinny blonde

May 26, 2007

le-mepris-21.jpg

There is this woman, a skinny blonde, mother of a child in the class of my son who is ignoring people like me. She doesn’t know me but must assume I’m not worthy of her conversation since I never wear a suit and I drive “only” an audi A3 (I’m just a middle class guy). Every morning, she parks her enormous SUV on the pavement obliging the kids to walk on the street. Even when we walk next to each other after we dropped our kids in the classroom, she pretends I’m not there. I don’t care that much, I’m not very into small talk but it’s not a nice sensation.

I didn’t made this blog to bitch about people. But this is the exact analogy of what I felt with the HP story. They are ignoring me and it’s somehow disturbing. OK, I’m a very modest blogger, I don’t claim to have any kind of influence (I’m just a middle class blogger). Nevertheless, I experience the fact that HP is not monitoring the blogosphere as a sign of contempt. It’s pretty new, but today I expect brands to listen and it’s an unpleasant feeling when they don’t.

Untill further notice, if I have to illustrate their brand personality, I would classify HP in the unfriendly arrogant skinny blonde category.

I don’t know anything (yet) about conversational marketing

May 25, 2007

ignorant1.jpgOf course, I understood the benefits of the conversation, I understood the value of the feedback, I understood that the conversation was not very risky and has a lot of potential benefits, I understood that the conversation monetizes itself

But there are so much things I didn’t figured out yet about conversational marketing:

– Can any brand enter conversational marketing? If I take myself as an example (I know you should never do that as a marketer), I can’t think about something to say to a household products brand or to a toilet paper brand (except maybe “be sweet”) or even clothing brands

– Should conversational marketing be part of the new marketing mix? this would mean that conversation would be managed by objectives which seems odd to me

– Is there an ideal balance between monitoring initiated conversation (monitor what is written about your brand on the participative web and join the conversation) and conversations initiated directly by the brands (ask a particular question to the surfers or invite them to join a previously defined conversation)?

– And of course, should you put a KPI in place for the conversations you have with your customers and target groups in order to evaluate the “efficiency” or the return of the conversation? If yes, which one?

I feel like I still don’t know very much about conversational marketing but Alfred North Whitehead once wrote “Not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance is the death of knowledge.”