#MAPmad = Marketing – Advertising - PR mad
I’m speaking at Social Collective ( #SoCol ) end September here in London. It’s at an event committed to raising the bar in SoMe designed for an audience of intermediate to advanced level industry types. The perfect audience for my #MAPmad debate.
Recently, while in Soho downing a few drinks with Darika Ahrens and Paul Armstrong I discovered I was not the only one frustrated with the SoMe situation. Darika had already been doing her part to clean up SoMe as it relates to PR. Paul had already been planning some sort of SoMe smack down – ok, less smack, more getting down to the core of it.
The three of us will be sharing a stage to take on the more dysfunctional SoMe. The M in MAPmad? that’s where I’ll be sounding off discussing the current landscape.
I struggle with the idea that SoMe is a tool that simply energizes, engages, and allows you to listen. Although I agree, all those things are important, (without them you are failing) I can’t help but want to roll my eyes when some SoMe superstar opens his gob and starts regurgitating the same thing over and over – you just know he doesn’t quite get it – he’s passionate though, bless him. (deep sigh)
We’re beyond energizing right? We’re all thinking in Social Life Cycles now, right?
Social Technology enables brands to create professional crushes between said brand and core audience, including:
1. Industry Stakeholders: <media, government, shareholders, talent>
2. Company Stakeholders: <employees, contractors, suppliers, customers>
Using Social Technology to lower the cost to serve or increase sales is the bare minimum you need to simply get a seat at the table. If you’re still touting that your Social ROI is all about soft attributes – then perhaps your clients can start paying you in soft attributes for your SoMe expertise?
I would argue that if your SoMe is not lowering the cost to serve or driving sales… you are not a SoMe expert or strategist ( or super star, or manager). Driving sales should really be the litmus test that separates the SoMe people who can actually do their job and the rest of them who are just making noise.
–> a digital campaign has it’s place – but it has it’s place within the Social Life Cycle. It’s not about retro fitting SoMe into some campaign so you can tick off a box. This is about basic marketing that starts with insights, is followed by a strategic plan that considers your social life cycle.
The real work starts post sale but must be planned for pre-sale. This isn’t marketing that sees you through awareness, acquisition, retention, and up/cross sell. It isn’t. This is the business of creating a social life cycle between brand and core audience that breeds professional crushes.
- If you’re shopping for SoMe support – take heart – there are plenty of good <real> ones out there. But do your homework.
- If you are working in SoMe but not yet delivering the bare minimum <meeting objectives: lowering cost to serve or driving sales> it’s never too late. Brush up on your marketing skills, understand the customer life cycle, identify the key moments of truth specific to your business (an MOT is every single time your customer touches your business/brand>, take a few steps back and look at the bigger picture. Start looking at the Social Life cycle.
If I have triggered any thoughts, ideas or differences of opinion – as usual, they are always welcome.
- What is the value of generalist and bigger than life communities?
- Is Facebook shimmying to the monopoly corner?
- The advertising model #AdMad is broken, what does the right one look like?
- What does this all mean to us 12 months from now?
The enemy of community is noise (some refer to this as a lack of quality)! It happens the moment the community loses its focus, its purpose. Typically wanting to be more to more people or by not keeping focus and quality at the forefront of all they do.
The social landscape has become so big <and fragmented> that I no longer consider myself informed on it all. I recognize that I have two choices: remain a generalist with a shallow knowledge of a whole lot, or pick a corner of the landscape and own it.
Generalist vs. Niche – there is a glaring <and I’d bet, welcome> opportunity here. Drop the 50 different RSS feeds, multiple social alerts and the constant monitoring mode and take five steps back. Scan both the social landscape and the market to find your niche. Is your portfolio diverse but your target customer specific? Or is your product or service niche and your customer base diverse?
If you are already finding your community with too much noise, then you need:
- a plan
- a collaborative approach
- to be OK with your community numbers dropping – giving you less noise and more quality
This year will see a significant increase in niche communities – what I can’t be sure of is how we will make use of the noisy generalist communities over the next 12 – 18 months.
It’s the title of a book I want to write. It’s also a question I regularly ask myself, about… – well, lots of things. And it happens to be a common phrase I use with my friends. I like the stance it takes. The challenge it insinuates and the reaction it usually gets - Yeah! Why not?
Not that long ago, I asked myself a question. “What if you set up shop and worked for yourself?” I immediately dismissed the idea. What, who, how, why, when, – there were far too many questions flooding in and no one to square off, look me in the eye and say – “no seriously, why the hell not?” And I know I definitely wasn’t getting round to that question any time soon.
It wasn’t a week if it was a day that I nipped into Waterstone’s <England’s answer to Chapters> to get my regular fix of non-fiction. Coffee in hand, I wandered the business section skimming the business books. It struck me then and there – the profile of an entrepreneur and the profile of an employee are two very different things. Two different mindsets – I quickly calculated the summary for each… it was clear. I wore the entrepreneur hat.
So, what if I started my own gig and opened up shop? – I could instantly hear my usual, “why the hell not?” response, and the rest is history! HAH!
I’m very excited and hard at work behind the scenes to bring the dream to life – a socially responsible media group… effecting positive change in real world situations… or something like that :P
I’m actively looking to connect with other brilliant minds in the industry to refer to, forge an alliance with or work alongside – if you know me, then you know I only ever engage in a win-win offer. Interested? Start the conversation with me here: linkedin, twitter or email@example.com
What is Google Wave? Glad you asked. There is a link to an hour, 20 minute video on you tube if you’re so inclined… or you can just have a peak at a brief summary here:
So what does Google’s Wave, (founded by the two who brought you Google maps, brothers who founded start up – Where 2 Tech that Google quickly sucked up) mean for us 12 months from now? In two words: crazy fast. But let’s see how I came up with that.
1. First and foremost I believe conversation to be king. Some would argue content. It doesn’t matter. They’re both important but conversation is more important! HAH!
2. We are in an evolution that allows us to use GPS and Google Maps instead of buying a paper map. We use email, e-cards, e-invites, and e-grams instead of snail mail. We skype (video, phone and screen sharing all in one conversation) instead of picking up the ol’ rotary phone. We use wikis, blogs, and podcasts to disseminate thoughts to the masses. We enable socially inclined tools to allow our audience to engage us, agree with us, disagree with us or just tell us about the train that stopped running out of Boston!
3. Today’s statistics about market trends, emerging media and the evolution of consumer behavior are staggering. This new online space is controlled and shaped by consumers. Marketers can participate in this space but the rules are very different.
4. Bite size pieces please: Our chicken comes in popcorn size. Blogging has gone micro. Music has gone nano. Movies went from VHS to DVD to MP3 to streamed on your laptop. We tweet/ txt/SMS in 140 characters. We eat 100 calorie type chocolate bars and we read Glamour in hand bag size. <ok. that is not new to us… but it supports my point so I’m keeping it>. For whatever reason, we are more inclined to process information in bite size pieces knowing full well that any one of those bite size morsels can lead to truck loads more information.
5. Co-llab-or-a-tion. People are powerful in groups. They know it. We know it. I’ve been to more seminars and read more books about how this social space shifts the power to the people – heck I’ve even suggested it takes the power from your boardroom and places it into the hands of your consumers. Don’t buy it? Google Wholesale foods. Oh! or the Nissan Cube. oh! or Dove anything. My point is this… People want to connect with people who are like them. they want to buy from them. Sell to them. Refer them. Hang out with them. Create with them. This absolutely translates online. Flash mobs are another fun, yet powerful effect that all stems from like minded people collaborating.
Alright – Google Wave. Let’s pretend you agree with me: Conversation is king. We are evolving at unprecedented rates. We prefer to process <certain content> in pieces. And finally we is better than me. Google Wave is feverishly working on it’s very beta’d version of Wave to bring conversation and collaboration together. Period. They are convinced that communication is the future. They have figured out how to enable people without the traditional barriers of email, wikis, and the rest of it so that multitudes of people can organize, create, share and evolve.
So what does this all mean 12months from now? Yikes! Crazy Fast!
1. Crazy Fast answers to your questions. Imagine kicking off a project with all key stakeholders sat around your wave with the ability to add, edit, share, create and all traceable back to author. Hmmm. heaven – non?
2. Crazy Fast good quality ideas be it for business or dealing with a terrible two year old at your finger tips.
3. Crazy Fast timing for people to bring things to market. Product, Service or Start Up.
4. Crazy Fast and efficient communication means geography will really and truly be irrelevant. sort of.
5. Crazy Fast organizing of groups to support causes.
6. Crazy Fast travel for news. Yes. Faster than it is now.
7. Crazy Fast mobilizing of consumer groups to take action against something you just did that thoroughly pissed them off.
8. Crazy Fast abilities to work with your group on a school project.
Time will tell of course. But I can’t help but imagine that more efficient tools that mobilize like mined individuals, virtually, will only contribute to the evolution and the speed at which things happen.
Teens tweet. Teens don’t tweet. Sobering Twitter stats. Great Twitter stats. How to make money. How to auto tweet. How to be a chump and get unfollowed immediately.
These are just a few of the many posts I’ve seen recently talking about Twitter. But so what? Here’s my ten cents on all things Twitter. I’d welcome your thoughts, ideas even your disagreements.
1. To enable face to face conversations. Sounds like industry jargon to you? Don’t buy it? Too bad. Thanks to the search functions (and my ability to precision stalk) I have been able to find, follow, make brilliant connections for others as well as develop relationships with some of the smartest, brightest minds in my industry. I’d even say that I’ve made a couple of really good industry friends, thanks to twitter.
2. You don’t have to search for it. It can find you. I used to monitor content, conversations and topics by simply using the search function or # tag function within Twitter. That works but isn’t nearly as effective as using the search function on TweetDeck – A great friend of mine @KeithBurtis <yes. we did discover each other via twitter. Yes we are great mates. Yes we have face 2 face convos, and even meet for drinks when we can> pointed this out to me recently. I’ve never looked back. Looking for a job? Imagine if every tweet that has the word “Job” in it came directly to your Tweet Deck section?
3. Change the world! Yes - I am crazy enough to believe that I can change the world for the better. I do it in a lot of ways, but I also do it through twitter. My @kilos4kids project raised awareness for Rodney Stafford. It was an experiment where I could only control one variable. @dannybrown <Yes. I met him on twitter. Yes he is a great friend. Yes we have had several face to face convos and even meet for drinks when we can. PS! He lives 15 minutes drive from me too!> Anyway, @DannyBrown has been featured in Marketing Profs for his brilliant mind that is helping to change the planet for the better. Check out @12for12k
4. Follow me or else! What a load of bollocks! This is such a chumpy thing to say, tweet about or do. Honest to goodness people! I follow a lot of people that don’t follow me back but I don’t get my knickers in a knot over it. Why? Because they’re smart people and I get value from their thought process, links, tweets, or conflicting opinions on something. Furthermore, did you ever consider why they haven’t followed you back? It’s not always about you my friend. Mind you, if you’re tweeting up a storm threatening to unfollow those who don’t follow you back… well…
5. Listening in on live events. Hashtags people! Get to know them. Get to love them. Make them your friend.
6. Spammers! MLMers! Affiliate Marketers and any other chumps on twitter broadcasting your crap all over the place. Stop it! Stop it! STOP! The Successful people in this space all live by the law of sewing and reaping. <this rule doesn’t apply to celebrites… and I’m pretty sure there may be another exception out there> PS – @Spam finds the spammers and other chumps annoying the rest of us on twitter and disables their accounts. If you come across a twitter handle that needs to be outed… do us all a favor and tweet an introduction to @Spam. Eg. “@spam – meet @Spammer”
We will respond if we think you actually give a damn. I am one of those people who absolutely gets the law of sewing and reaping. I live by it. I work by it. It’s manifest in all that I do. I think I have a tendency to expect the same in return. My friend @keithBurtis has articulated a golden rule for this space. Wanna know what it is? Check it out here.
7. Auto Tweeting! (sigh) there are definitely two trains of thought here. I clearly support only one of these. Here we go – I believe this space is successful because it’s real. It’s human. Therefore, I do not auto anything on twitter. I don’t autofollow because I don’t know if your tweets are going to just stream me garbage or not. So I’ll go to your profile and check three things: 1. You have a profile pic. 2. Scan your last five or so tweets to get a sense of who you are. 3. Your profile/ web link / blog link etc. This all takes time. When I do follow you… it’s because I think you’re smart and that we are likeminded and perhaps that I could somehow support your effort, work, profile. If I don’t follow you… and you choose to unfollow me. Great! I’m not in it for the numbers. @BrandBuilder and @kethBurtis we’re tweeting about this very thing. It’s quality not quantity. 30,000 chumpy followers means squat. 1,000 smart, good quality followers is far more valuable. If you follow someone and want to get on their radar faster? DM them. @ them or go to their links and read up on them… show them why they should stop everything and get to know you better. Some lousy affiliate marketing message broadcast or MLM scheme is not going to cut it!
8. Teens don’t tweet! So what? First of all the leading authority here is @Carol_phillips and her site www.millennialmarketing.com is brilliant. Teens use social to further bond their friendships. That’s why facebook is ideal for them. Twitter has a lot to do with promotion, networking, making connections and business. There are exceptions… and I personally follow a ridiculously smart group of children on Twitter. @PencilBugs is a smartypants.
9. Pareto’s Law! 80/20 people! Why does this surprise everyone… 80% of people on twitter may not be for you. So what!? 20% are. I don’t feel like I need to belabour this but seriously. My 20% on Twitter? I’ve been able to get them jobs, introduce them to business partners who have since gone on to do great things. Helped someone set up his own gig. Found a publisher in San Fran for my mate in England – guess what I got a few months later? A copy of his published book… although not with original publisher. But my point is this. You don’t need 30,000 chumpy followers to be able to achieve great things. My modest 1000 and some followers allows me to change the worlds of many of my twitter connections which by default – enables me to change my world. HAH! You see how I just brought that round?
10. I get to learn! Lots! This space is in the midst of a massive evolution. I learn loads from the people I follow, their shared links, their thought processes and profiles… but I also continue to learn about technology, social everything and more. If you can make a point of following the virtual cookie crumb trails you can discover worlds you never knew existed.
Twitter is valuable if you know how to use it! I leave you with this visual I first discovered in a ZigZiglar book – I believe it was called… See You At The Top. A gentlemen gets a brand new car but no key. He is later seen cruising through the town sittig on top of the roof of his car… being pulled by multiple horses. The point is this… the car works fine. He just didn’t have the key to turn it on.
Special thanks to the lovely Avery Swartz for sending this my way!
It just donned on me – well, life just donned on me. I have been flapping at the beak about Social Media tools sort of at random; Celebrity iGoogle, Google Wave, FriendFeed, Facebook to name 4 of the 789,000 of ‘em out there !
When we look at each of these tools individually, we can get caught up in the details, the specifics of that tool. Instead of taking a step back – or four, we analyze the tool before us and our perspective falls into tunnel vision. Alright well, at least I’m guilty of this.
But what do we see when we take four steps back? Picture a big plastic bag full of stuff <it doesn’t matter what’s in the clear bag> Let’s say it is a 500 gallon clear plastic bag – it contains 50 pieces of lego. Now imagine that something was slowly sucking the air out of that bag… voila! Shrink Wrapped Lego. My point is this… We’re getting closer to each other. We’re getting easier to find, easier to engage, we’re getting closer to each other with the evolution of social media technology. The blue lego hooks up with the yellow lego. Then after a while the yellow falls over to the purple then the red, orange and green find their way over to the blue… and round and round it goes.
Is it still 6 degrees? I’m pretty sure it’s 4 degrees now. <I digress>.
We are witnessing the effects of what can happen when good ol’ fashioned networking and cuting edge technology, merge - albeit on a global scale. The online tools that are thriving today are tools that:
1. Enable you to better define or carve out your book cover. your brand. your packaging.
2. Organize, file, store the online information that’s important to you in maintaining these connections.
3. Help you continue to connect with likeminded individuals or communities through sharing and collaboration.
If small is the new big, if we are witnessing an economy that embraces entrepreneurial, virtual, mobile work force – far more splintered then what we have today… then where should we be looking to create our income? Read June 2009′s Wired. Great article in there about the Auto Industry – Detroit and the big three. But a few more thoughts… Affiliate Marketing? Someone I have a lot of time and respect for, Keith Burtis, is writing a white paper on this very thing. When it’s ready. I’ll post it here. In the mean time, it may be worth doing some of your own homework.
If you are involved in affiliate marketing, direct selling or something that utilizes these trends… reach out to me. I’m always happy to explore new things. Shannon@TheRenaissanceEffect.com And perhaps post some information on it here.
Alright. That’s me. Out!