Toronto - New York
Author of: Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage and Measure Brand Influencers | Partner, Sensei Marketing | Moderator #Bizforum Twitter Debate
@Howie Goldfarb The hashtag used for the campaign is #BabyCakeSmash. Regarding results, the campaign just started so it's difficult to say.
1 week, 1 day ago on Johnson’s Baby Capitalizes on Prince George’s Birthday – Real-Time Marketing
@Ike I'm with ya. It was sheer genius...and original. Original is once. Anyone else doing it would have to top its geniusnessnessness.
1 week, 5 days ago on Vote: Should Brands Use YouTube Hoaxes In Marketing Mix?
@mr_mcfly "copycatism" - can I use that?
1 week, 5 days ago on #FiveTipsFriday Getting the Most Out of Your Marketing Material
Scottish poet? Woah. Powerful story - been trying to embrace it for the last few years.
1 week, 5 days ago on The Ballad of Safe, Potential and Already There
@Danny Brown Sadly, this not an isolated case in this or similar industries. The demand to be "wired" (television, Internet, mobile, etc.) has been so strong by consumers, and the industry's government lobby so powerful, that they've been able to get away with it. We often pick the best of the worst and consider ourselves lucky to be able to pick at all. What's worse to me is the lack of respect they have for true loyal customers. Worse worse is the fact that they completely ignore the customers they make the most money from (soaking up the profits) until the customer can't take it anymore and leaves (well, tries to leave).
2 weeks ago on Comcast Customer Recovery Strategy – Too Much, Too Late.
@BHSMITH "Nutty business" is putting mildly. In fact, it's almost criminal what they do. Check out John Oliver's take on it.
@GregOrtbach Yes, I squirmed uncomfortably while listening to it. Made me angry in the end, especially when the solution is not rocket science.
@Frank_Strong There's a playbook out there, comprised of top 10 blog lists by social media marketers and vendor white papers that teach (brainwashes) marketers "how to market in social media."
One of the plays in that book is "being witty/funny/entertaining" in order to "go viral." One look at the success of satire as news (Colbert Report) and social-media powered late night shows (Kimmel, Fallon) and you can understand why this is a trend.
The other rule is real-time marketing (and content marketing in general) is required to cut through the clutter and attract/build an audience.
They neglect to educate marketers on the fact that these are just tactics and void of a formal marketing/brand strategy, they will - more often than not - fail.
3 weeks ago on Content Marketing: You’re Trying Too Hard
@Danny Brown Heh, good point. Or the photographer?
Thanks to your posts, I feel like I knew Shadow. Whenever I'm sitting on my porch, I can envision him lounging over there on yours. It made me want to get a lab of my own. In the meantime, I've been borrowing my friend's chocolate lab to see how the better half lives. I'm sorry for your loss.
3 weeks, 2 days ago on Saying Goodbye to a Trusted Friend
@Howie Goldfarb Agreed, and why reading articles like that posted by eMarketer is so infuriating. I know eMarketer's modus operandi is to showcase statistics but when they add commentary that's so behind the curve, I get really annoyed. It does not serve the business community.
Of course the fact that the majority of marketers are still measuring "likes" as a success measure just makes me want to quit the business.
4 weeks, 1 day ago on Ipsos Study: 80% of Marketers Still Tied to “Soft Metrics” as Social Success Measurement
@tessbabee :) Exactly. That's the perfect example of what @dannybrown and I outlined in Influence Marketing. Social media (as a channel) and those who have large followings in it, can drive awareness of a product but it's the closer personal relationships we have in and out of these channels that actually affect - more often than not - the final purchase decision. Thanks for sharing.
1 month ago on Gallup Poll is Correct: Social Media DOES NOT Influence Purchases
@b_WEST Sure...advertising affects a person's awareness of a brand or recall of the brand when at point of purchase. To say that the impression of a brand, logo, or ad has no effect - however intangible or difficult to measure - is uneducated.The point of the study was to determine if purchase decisions were influenced by social media channels but the entire premise (questions, framework, number of questions, etc.) was flawed.
@dbvickery What strikes me as well is that whatever project manager or researcher that was assigned this job must have seen the "only 5 percent report that social media influences purchases" and said what?
"Yeah, that's right...let's publish this!"
Seriously? Forget empirical evidence, there's enough anecdotal evidence around that should have made this person stop and say "hold on, we need to rethink how we asked the questions" or something before posting the results.
@BilalJaffery Sad. True.
@danielghebert Agreed but, for me, it's more than just a poor question. I'm giving Gallup the benefit of the doubt (as a leading surveying firm) and assuming they know how to ask questions for such studies. I'd say it's a lack of understanding or insights on the subject matter that made them not realize the question was being asked incorrectly.
@dannybrown and I went into great detail on this subject in our book, and (frankly) it's not rocket-science. Purchase decisions are - and have always been - influenced by the people we're in relationships with.
@AmyMccTobin Heh, didn't see the "guns kill people" comparison coming. Thanks for sharing.
@JayBaer Stop! You're making me blush.
@ragtag1 Yes, that's what I find frustrating...many businesses kill for such fan loyalty and advocacy and here's an example of one that has it and is essentially throwing it away because they can't see past the narrow view of "brand"
1 month, 1 week ago on IKEA Hacks IkeaHacker Community, Cuts Off Nose To Spite Face
@markkolier Funny isn't it? The bigger the corporation the less they seem to adapt to the way today's consumers wish to communicate. Given than their target audience is today's Millennials, you'd think they'd have a better handle on this. Their agency should be held to account (although their ideas may have been squashed by execs and lawyers who often get in the way).
@geoff hewko Agreed. There's an entire community of advocates on this site, which could be made even bigger. Had they worked to support and grow the site instead of limiting it, they could have nurtured those relationships, understood which drove more awareness and sales to their local Ikea stores, and built influence marketing programs around those people. Imagine the effect on customer life time value when such a group is engaged and measured instead of threatened? This is a goldmine for marketers and executives, yet lawyers and those same executives fear social media and the potential loss of brand control (which is exactly what they're causing here). For a company that portrays itself as "hip," they're acting more like a stuffy old department store. Lost opportunity for sure.
@Mark Cirillo Long live the cyber-shills!
2 months ago on Online Customer Reviews – Are They Worth The Trouble?
@Vinay Bhagat Thanks for sharing the information. Star reviews are simple and effective. We're visual people. And yes, any sort of one-click recommendation can be gamed and thus, faulty and/or suspect. As many have said, authentication is the key; however, I'm not sure that authenticating the user profile is enough. Ensuring the person making the review is a real person vs. a bot is a good start, great start even. However, as seen in the case study illustrated, real people often post reviews for a variety reasons including bandwagonism, vendettas, etc. Verifying the reviewer is an actual customer is the end-goal is my mind.
@PeterJ42 You're right. My description was limited, but not incorrect. While the concept of such products is, as you say, "immersible computing where the computer is part of the user experience, augmenting everything they see with additional, useful information," what we're seeing most advocates doing with gGlass is broadcasting their lives. Thus the term "glassholes." As I've said often: Sadly we marketers ruin everything.(and yes, i did read a lot of spy novels as a kid...still do).
@Wayne Spivak "...as long as they spell your name right," huh?
@berkson0 Good point, and please don't give @Danny Brown any more props...I can't control his ego as it is. ;)
I agree that authentication will be the future of review sites and despite the controls that Yelp and others have invested in, owned review sites like those set up and verified by hospitality chains (eg. ICG Hotel chain) and time share networks like RCI will slowly take over. There's definitely an opportunity for a start up that will aggregate all those verified and owned review sites. Hmm....
@invinciblesaad the concept of "social proof" is a valid today as it's ever been; however, the authenticity of that social proof is in question. We've all become a little more cynical thanks to stories emerging about cybershills, buying Likes, trading for book reviews, etc., etc.
@Yorick3 The opposite has been the case for me. I've left a poor review for a hotel and when I made another booking, they went out of their way to accommodate me and delivered a truly outstanding experience. The key for businesses is how they use the system.
@IanGordon Fair enough. I agree that marketers have ruined much of the good in social media by converting an open social platform into a sales pitch vehicle. Platforms like Facebook are no better but in their case you can at least argue that it's a business and they're offering a free platform, so we can't complain that it has evolved into a marketing platform vs. a social network.
Ratings (stars, etc.) are not bad for the purposes of reviews...it's a simple to digest and use mechanism. There is a future however for a comment/rating engine that offers only "verified" user/customer commentary across an industry.
@Danny Brown Yes, Glassholes is my new favorite word, will try to use it in a sentence at least once per day. :) On a more serious note, too bad a cool tech has been ruined by self-important people who would rather obsess on themselves instead of seeking ways to apply the tech in ways that improve our world.
(funny, your comment was marked as spam by Livefyre...they're trying to tell me something).
@philgerb the Holiday Inn properties are doing a good job with this. They send an email invite to review your stay, which is connected to a folio number to verify that you actually stayed at the hotel being reviewed. This way, the experience review can be added to customer experience map - and, of course, be a 'verified' review.
@dbvickery I worked with a few hospitals in NY State where we discovered that "influencers" are often paramedics/EMTs. They decide which hospital to take a patient to based on their impression of which hospital will provide the best care. We gauged that impression, in part, using social listening tools.
In the end, we sought to present a full package of care (beyond just the medicine) to this group in order to differentiate the chain of hospitals...be more than just a hospital. It made quite a difference within just a year.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Business Strategy: Reinventing the Rules of the Game
@Kathy_Salaman "Some of the rules are simply begging to be broken!" @AlisonWordsmith did you hear this?! Next typo I make is really a rule just begging to be broken! Yeah, that's it. Ms. Salaman said so!
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Does Poor Grammar Affect a Business’s Bottom-Line?
@AmyVernon Notd. Ill be; more care4ll in ftr.
@Mamacita1 Good point.
@annelizhannan The conundrum is that blogs are essentially free and open for anyone to create/use. Not everyone can afford an editor but we advocate that businesses must have a presence in social media and that blogs are key communication vehicles. Yet most small businesses cannot afford editors. Social media growing pains I guess.
@karensd Karen - you are officially added to my personal grammar police task force. It's about time Alison (my editor) gets it too! :)
@Milaspage I know what proper grammar is if I'm tested. Yet, more often than not, I don't use it when writing. I type almost 100 words/minute, which causes many mistakes. I also don't plan an article so it's often a stream of consciousness...again, creates tons of errors. Lastly, I'm a horrible proof reader, so without an editor my posts would be riddled with little mistakes.
So I'd have to agree that good content wins out over good grammar. That being said, I have to admit that I discount the quality of an article when I see more than one mistake in spelling/grammar. I know, hypocrite.
@Elliot Davies Google as an arbitrator of acceptable grammar? My editor is losing it right now (which sorta makes me happy!). I agree that transformation grammar is the future. cc @AlisonWordsmith
@Mark Cirillo Yikes! Salt on the wound is right. On the positive side, when someone congratulates me for my new job, when all I did was update a spelling error or add new duties to my description, I can delete them. It's a good way to cull my contacts. ;) Going public means they have to constantly push for higher engagement, sales, and profits. We're seeing the results of that strategy now.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on What the New LinkedIn Updates Say about LinkedIn and Your Online Relationships
@PeterJ42 I've always thought that LinkedIn had the potential to become an excellent business collaboration tool. Imagine a business or strategy wiki of sorts where professionals from across different disciplines could debate the pros and cons of various ideas, strategies, etc. Alas, even that would turn into another platform for self-promotion gratuitous advertising. But I guess that's the nature of social media.The potential is there...not sure they (or their shareholders) have the courage to pursue it.
@tamcdonald Ah, fair enough. Makes a great case for "influence marketing" strategies. Someone should write a book about that. :) Speaking of which, my concern with the 1% - from practice - is that most tend to rank the 1% by the largest following or the most vocal within the community.
My experience is that in most cases, those who drive real action (purchases, etc.) are based on relationships within the community as specific time periods. These are often those in the 10% (or 20% even) that spend less time blasting messages to increase scores, personal agendas or other factors but those who focus on relationship nurturing.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Community Management: The 90-9-1 Rule is Dead
@Tinu Definitely murky waters. If a tree falls in the forest and there's no one there to hear it...did it make a noise? The fact that someone shares a link (without reading or vetting it first) just because they admire or trust the author, does that mean that those who see his/her share don't read it? No.
I can tell you that within seconds of my publishing this post (literally) I say 5 shares on Twitter. There's no way anyone could have read it and shared it in that time frame. Just seconds! I also get a lot of shares via Triberr and others within the first 30 minutes of the post that I know they sharer did not read.
However, I've been tracking the unique visitors, bounce rate, and length of time on the site immediately after I post and the results would seem to indicate that there are people opening and reading the post from these "blind shares." Are they creating noise? Yes. Most definitely. But, does that mean that it doesn't reverberate someplace useful? Dunno.
@tamcdonald I have to disagree with you Tim. While I agree that the online audience (for many businesses) is smaller than its offline audience, I believe it's much greater than 1% today...remembering that online is more than just social media networks but blogs, new sites, comment engines, etc. Further, those online tend to be the more active of the entire audience population, and so they're more likely to influence those offline through their word of mouth, etc.
@MarkKhoder Yes, those are excellent examples of how true influence marketing works - personal and relevant relationships are more apt to drive a purchase decision or change buying habits than mass, broad amplification by those with big followings. I suspect in your case #2 the customer saw the video on a mobile device and proximity had a lot do with his arrival in 10 mins. If he were encouraged to share his onsite experience via check-in or other social media activity, I suspect the resulting ripples would have had an even greater impact on purchases. thanks for stopping by and adding to the conversation.
4 months ago on SoLoMo – Disruptions and Opportunities in Customer Acquisition
@bryankramer Yeah, that's the thing...sadly, today's marketers are too quick to jump on pithy, tweetable one-liners and hashtags to increase their Klout score, stir the pot or just to be seen as relevant in the current social conversation. Few stop to consider what lies beneath, which was I hoped to convey in the article. I guess they can't all be as old as us huh Bryan? (Now get off my lawn!)
4 months ago on Trust, Humanizing, and Other Social Marketing Myths
@jaypalter I would like to hope we're entering a "very disruptive phase." Not so sure. I believe that smaller players in financial services will innovate, take risks...and attempt more human-like engagement. We've seen it for years.
Then, they become successful. And then their shareholders force them into a position of more and more profit, which means less and less, well, human-like engagement. Or they get bought out by larger corporations and assimilated into the Borg.
Been here before. Sad, but true.
4 months, 4 weeks ago on Trust, Humanizing, and Other Social Marketing Myths
@mpace101 I like "guru talk." I'm going to be stealing and re-purposing that line. :) Tweetable marketing is a by-product of the Klout-era, where marketers have sought higher engagement (tweets, retweets, fans/followers, likes/favorited tweets, etc.) in order to increase their ranking and ego.
And that, in turn, has created the buzzword bingo game, where we call each other out for using works that we see too often in those pithy one-liners.
Using buzzwords or one-liners is not a problem - when they're used right. And therein lies the problem. The desire to be retweeted has created improper use of words and distracts from those who use it right. Similarly, discussions and observations such as those shared by @bryankramer in his eBook get derailed because we can't see beyond those buzzwords.
@jaypalter The financial services industry is another great example of brands that enjoy little goodwill or "trust" from consumers, yet (well here in Canada anyway) are making record-breaking profits year in and year out. Purchase decisions are made based on convenience mostly (closest location to home/work in the case of personal banking) or low rates (in the case of credit cards/mortgages, etc. )
Using bank managers, financial advisers, etc. to create the human relationship with customers is a great strategy, yet few empower those employees to do so. Those that do find their employees resistant because of the punitive nature of their social media policies and guidelines. A client of mine is one of the largest financial institutions in the world and in this case, financial and mortgage/lending advisers are independent, which makes humanizing the brand through staff next to impossible (the subject of my next post).
The reality is that the financial services industry has spent the last 20+ years divesting themselves of the personal touch by introducing online banking, automated teller machines, mobile banking, etc. There's less and less actual human-to-human touch points, which makes the need for social and digital communications that much more important.
I agree that using employees better is an excellent H2H strategy; however I'm not convinced that the stakeholders will invest it in given their actions the past 20 years.