Tag: Jackie Huba

WOMMA Summit 2012: Advocacy & Social Evolution

WOMMA Summit 2012: Advocacy & Social Evolution

Wednesday night, we closed the book on another WOMMA Summit (disclosure: Spredfast is a governing member and I serve on the board).   Having now had a few hours to reflect, there were some major themes.

Back to Advocacy – In session after session, we heard a focus from brands on meeting the needs not only of their X million fans, but creating content, experiences, and value for their hard core fans.  One of the greatest examples of of approaching this came from Jackie Huba’s preview of her forthcoming 2013 book Monster Business.  Lady Gaga’s marketing strategies focus on the 1% of her fans that want to have hyper-engaged relationships with her.  The 6 Lessons of Gaga’s loyalty strategy are a fantastic reminder that this advocate strategy needs to drive platform choices instead of the tail wagging the dog.

Big Businesses are Dissolving the Social Pillar –Nestle Digital & Social Global Head (and WOMMA co-founder) Pete Blackshaw,Greg Gerik of 3M, and “Turbo” Todd Watson of IBM all shared the communications pillars of their organizations – none of which include standalone “social”.  Instead of being a siloed initiative of a few trained marketers, social has permeated the way the company communicates on all fronts.  This is a beautiful thought, but paying off on it requires investment in socially empowering hundreds of brand managers and SMEs, measuring the results of their efforts, and getting engagement and feedback data to the right places in the organization in a way that energizes the organization.

The Paid/Owned/Earned (and sometimes Shared) media model is here to stay as a meaningful model.  No longer is there questioning about the validity or value of WOM that gets stimulated by ad dollars as the changing dynamics of what it takes for users of social platforms to actually see a connections’ recommendation.  What does differ is how people are handling the integration of paid. Whether it is a new skill being picked up by the brand, executed through specialist agency collaboration, etc. – it is a skill set that must be added to your integrated WOMM team’s arsenal molto pronto.

Measurement is becoming more sophisticated and scrutinized.  Many of the success metrics shared in sessions were about the “quick win”.  This seems to be a result of the continued ROI pressure that social initiatives, along with the entire marketing mix face (backed up by data shared in the IBM CMO study.  But elevating social activity to “business value” needs to incorporate the value of both the quick win and the long game for which social is so uniquely designed.  Dr. Walter Carl shared some great guidance on how to look at the full value picture of social in a more holistic way – giving social credit for some of the “long game” communications objectives it achieves instead of short term sales, coupon redemptions, etc alone.  We need to move beyond activity metrics and the “short game” and start thinking about how to give social credit for the more complex role it plays including soliciting feedback, cultivating offline WOM recommendations, and developing brand advocates who will spark to action in a crisis.

The Legal Socialpocalypse – The Summit closed with some amazing and well-timed reminders from lead legal counsel/cyberlawyers for Coca-Cola, American Express, and USAA.  Reminders included the need for a higher level of rigor in terms of sharing rights-protected material to basic security in the way that social accounts are being managed by individuals in the company (personal logins to control corporate Facebook, anyone?).  Above all, the guidance was to get legal involved early and often so they become involved in shaping a program instead of the late stage “no” guys.

It’s great to see so many companies that were early pioneers in social continuing to evolve and willing to share their lessons along the way for the benefit of the entire industry!  For more details and sharable nuggets, visit WOMMA’s curated tweet and photo highlights the summit sessions: Day 1Day 2Day 3. To see more of the WOM that took place at Summit, check out the Summit Social Hub powered by FeedMagnet.

Authority vs. Influence

Authority vs. Influence

Spurred on by a post from Mack Collier, Jackie Huba and Ben McConnell posted an interesting vlog post yesterday on the idea of authority.  I believe this concept of obsessively counting Twitter followers is the idea that touches off this debate.  For example, if you have 25.000, does that mean you are an authority?  I think Mack, Jackie, Ben and many other are all agreed that the answer is no.  Alone, Twitter followers doesn’t even necessarily mean you have great influence, it is only a  base brute measure of “reach” (you could also add in reach of the RTs for total reach) in the same way that media has measured reach for years.

There are some other interesting nuggets in the Ben/Jackie interplay in that video that piqued my interest.

Does a book indicate authority?: When Perez Hilton comes up, they reconsider whether or not he may be an “Authority” when the fact that he has a new book up gets mentioned.  Initially I chuckled at the idea of having a book giving you street cred in the church’s eyes, but then I reconsidered.  Writing a book usually indicates that the author has done a huge amount of research into a particular topic and (often) has some personal experience or connection to the topic that gives them further credibility.

Are authority and influence the same thing?: Jackie asks this as “Are the things that you say retweeted?” Ben by positing that “You are an authority if you have people who take your word and take action”.  I think both of these are less about authority and more about influence.   From the wikipedia entry on this authority: “What distinguishes authority, from coercion, force and power on the one hand and leadership, persuasion and influence on the other hand, is legitimacy.”  I do think that its possible for an authority to not have a large group of people listening to them.  Similarly many people can take action on what Britney Spears telegraphs, but I’m not sure this makes her an authority at anything other than influence.

Have online celebrities convinced themselves they are real celebrities? Ben and Jackie included some fun Twitterati mentions of folks that I really enjoy who really are caught up in their follower count.  Stay tuned for G4’s “Twitterati: Where are they now” series in 2014.

Thanks to Ben & Jackie for the inspiration this morning!

I came, I SWOM, I learned something

I came, I SWOM, I learned something

CoBrandit's Owen Mack as Pee Wee HermanSWOMFest was a blast from the 80’s themed preparty to Thriller dance recreation kickoff to the final case workshop.   Because of the extremely varied crowd that included authors, practitioners, and WOM newbies, my guess is that SWOMFest was a bit like a rorschach test with everyone taking away a little something different.

That being said, what follows are my takeaways from the event:

Six Sigma is the enemy of Word of Mouth. In Ben McConnell’s surprisingly practical kickoff presentation, he framed the reality that Word of Mouth is generated by radical value propositions – not incremental ones. Citing Zappos radical value proposition of removing any risk from purchasing shoes online, he noted that 10% cleaner, 50% faster, 20% cheaper, etc are value propositions that will never drive organic discussion or advocacy. For example, if someone were to now offer free OVERNIGHT shipping both ways on shoes instead of just free shipping, that incremental improvement would not be likely to drive a lot of WOM or out-Zappos Zappos. He did caveat that for manufacturing and surgery, Six Sigma is still a very important concept.

Storytelling may be the hardest element of WOM to master – I have to give screenwriter Yaphet Smith the prize for the best mindbending presentation of the day. I wasn’t sure why he would be on the agenda at such event, but he captivated newbies and crusty WOM pundits alike and challenged them to think about their stories in a structured way, while remembering that “seeking the Neat” is a part of that structure.

Even Credit Unions can be interesting. If you don’t believe me, check out TDECU’s Young & Free Texas competition here or Trey Reeme ongoing battle to Thwart Mediocrity.

WOM is in the small stuff. The setting (the Long Center in Austin, TX), the events, the food, the swag, the music (DJ Mel), and the audience were as important as the speakers. Some of my most interesting conversations was with a marketer whose mission is to bring young adults back to the catholic church.  Very different from my day to day work, but a fascinating challenge.

Everyone in Word of Mouth Marketing loves sharing ideas with entrepreneurs. I was a little grumpy at the idea of a case study breakout – sometimes they are frighteningly painful.  This one was amazing. The entrepreneur in question, Jacob Boone of local organic smoothie/frozen yogurt trailer Mamboberry, benefited from the enthusiasm of the crowd for his business.  Blue Avocado also traded their stylish, collapsible sustainable grocery bags for WOM ideas and a lot of Austin style love.

Click here for the rest of my pics from SWOMfest

Click here for all pics from SWOMfest

Click here for all of the Twitter coverage of the event

Meatball Marketing

Meatball Marketing

I’ll admit it. I have not yet read Meatball Sundae by Seth Godin. Frankly, I haven’t read a whole book with a title other than some variation of “How not to screw up your kid” for quite a while. I know I will read Meatball Sundae, however, because I am so sold on the concept of the book, Seth’s easily digested writing style, and by the fantastic marketing that has surrounded it.

For “something completely different”, check out Jackie Huba’s Meatball Sundae video review/demonstration live from Amy’s Ice Cream in Austin Texas, John Moore from Brand Autopsy’s Seth Godin-Action Figure pull quote art slides and the piece de resistance, Seth’s very own Will it Blend? video.

OpenSkies’ Collaborative Airline Design

OpenSkies’ Collaborative Airline Design

Open Skies

British Airways is taking a new, transparent, clutter free approach to launching their new subsidiary airline Open Skies. On the company website – consisting primarily of a blog and contact information – the request for collaborative product development seems quite sincere:

“We don’t want you to simply witness the creation of an airline, we want you to be part of it. That may sound like puffery, but it isn’t. We hope to prove that your contributions will help make OpenSkies a unique and, invariably, a better travelling experience.”

They are certainly off to a good start. Open Skies flights, starting this summer between New York London and Brussels will have only 82 passengers and feature seats that really recline. The 28 most expensive seats will recline completely flat into 6′ beds.

This type of collaborative product development is the type of thing Jackie Huba suggests in her amusing/disgusting “Meatball Sundae” video in her preventative measures of not having to market a “meatball” in the first place.

Open Skies is an exciting experiment. I hope that Open Skies will close the loop and let us know what elements of their customer experience are user designed. I wonder if they’ll filter input coming from real potential users of this limited service vs. suggestions coming from folks like me who are mainly curious about it as a case study. With only 6 months to go until their anticipated first flight, we won’t have to wait long to see.