Toronto - New York
Author of: Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage and Measure Brand Influencers | Partner, Sensei Marketing | Moderator #Bizforum Twitter Debate
@Jason Stone My point of view is that major decisions such as the abandonment of the original Coke recipe based on crowdsourced data - however it was undertaken - was a mistake. Regardless of how the questions were posed, the fact is they underestimated the public's love of tradition and their emotional connection to brand. Coke's representatives themselves have admitted to that.
2 weeks, 4 days ago on Crowdsourcing: Customers Don’t Always Know Best
Will it involve a green man-thong? Inquiring minds want to know.
2 weeks, 5 days ago on BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: November 3, 2014
3 weeks ago on Crowdsourcing: Customers Don’t Always Know Best
@SMSJOE You know how much I hate "it depends" answers. I prefer people take a stand and explain why - or explain the pros/cons as they see it.
I believe there's value in crowdsourced information; however, too many businesses fall into the trap of using it as the basis for their decision making (especially marketers!)
3 weeks, 1 day ago on Crowdsourcing: Customers Don’t Always Know Best
@jack_mattr Thanks for the kind words! I'm glad you like this first in a weekly series. There are few reasons for the shift IMO:
- Sbux is expanding heavily outside of the US. International operations are becoming more and more important to the long-term health of this company. Clearly, they can't do a Frappucino commercial when products aren't consistent around the world. I think this campaign creates a brand consistency that may be lost as they expand internationally.
- They've tapped into a growing sentiment: We're too connected digitally and relying too much on social media to maintain friendships. They're positioning themselves - very cleverly - in this cultural shift.
3 weeks, 1 day ago on The Friday Trifecta: Starbucks, Coke, and Southwest Airlines [Case Study]
Belief in yourself/your views and having a point of view resonated with me here. Great tips.
For my blog, I found having an editor (to help with content calendars and actual editing) is a key to success. She helps improve the overall quality of end product, which has helped attract the right audience.
3 weeks, 3 days ago on The Three Core Tenets Every Successful Blogger Needs to Have
@jack_mattr Thanks Jack. No, these tactics were not highlighted in our book, which was more focused on identifying decision-makers in the purchase life cycle and how they make decisions. We're now expanding on tactics and some best practices within this blog. Stay tuned for more!!
4 weeks, 1 day ago on The Principle of Reciprocity and Influence Marketing
So, here's the thing...I've learned (the hard way) that in social media, there really is no separation between the personal and professional self. What you say in personal channels becomes inextricably linked to your professional persona - and vice versa.
As a result, while we should speak our minds, challenge the status quo, etc. as we try to educate ourselves and those around us, it's not always possible. To do so, we'd have to, as you say, not give a crap. Not giving a crap isn't limited to what others think about us, but not giving a crap about the repercussions of the reactions to what we've said on our professional careers, our spouses/children, etc.
As you know, I'm a big fan of public debate and often argue opposing views just for the sake of pushing our understanding of an topic further; however, I've also become keenly aware that those views can negatively affect my ability to earn an income. Often it's not about what I've said or whether I care what others think (I don't), it's the effect of the reaction to that comment - justified or not - that can have negative implications.
This isn't a black 'n white issue.
1 month ago on The Beautiful Freedom of Not Giving a Crap
Without these sayings, I'd have nothing to say?!
1 month, 1 week ago on 12 Most Trendy Clichés on Social Media
@jrcorke Same could be said about all social media marketing. Good point.
1 month, 1 week ago on – Debate – Final Round <br />Crowdsourcing: Good or Evil?
@Sam ODaniel Ha! Yes, exactly. It's easy to say that crowdsourcing is the way to go...until we really think about it. Then the caveats start to appear. :)
@AmyVernon Therein lies the problem with most social media marketing/communication efforts. It's not a catch-all solution and it does not solve every business or charity's challenges. Whatever side of the debate one falls on, I hope that this dialogue will get people to THINK about crowdsourcing and not just turn to it without first considering how the pros and cons will affect their businesses.
@MerlinUWard Good point. I think we have to draw differences between how crowdsourcing is used: As a marketing/engagement campaign, as a funding source, or to acquire ideas/labor. Even then, there are pro and con considerations that businesses must weigh before embarking on a crowdsourcing effort. This is what we hope to explore in the next few rounds.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on – Debate – Final Round <br />Crowdsourcing: Good or Evil?
@dbvickery I don't believe people want or understand the concept of more personalized user and advertising experiences via more access to personal data in apps/social, etc.
Those of us "in the industry" do, but the general population just wants the latest and coolest, and to be able to be part of the convo with their friends. And that's what's worrisome. The reality of potential risks has not set in.
2 months ago on Is our addiction to the utility of mobile apps blinding us to potential security issues?
@AmyMccTobin speak for yourself. I'm unique..."special" even. ;)
2 months, 1 week ago on Sony Finds Influencers Among Friends, Not Social Celebrities
@AmyMccTobin No doubt that Millennials are big crowdsourcers. We also know they distrust corporate mouthpieces be they shills or the advertising published. So yes, this is a good lead acquisition strategy for Millennials; however, I've seen this be as effective with other cohorts as well.
@AmyMccTobin Was that a "beer tank"? ;)
2 months, 1 week ago on Bud Light Embraces Content Marketing, Builds Millennial Audience
@AmyMccTobin Another interesting factoid.
The Boston Consulting group did some research on Millennials and shared this:
·Millennials love craft beer.
·Millennials love encouraging others in their
·Millennials trust friends over corporate
·Millennial beer drinkers (like other age groups)
can be subject to groupthink.Add that up and you can understand the strategy behind the "Up For Whatever" campaign.
@AmyMccTobin Bud Light - like many "big beer" companies, have lost a lot of market share among millennials who have embraced craft brews. There's a cultural shift happening: Craft breweries are on the rise, wine is regaining popularity (no longer for stuffy wine-sniffing snobs), and finer spirits are being embraced by more people, etc.
Anheuser-Bush InBev (who brew/market Bud Light) have budgeted $150 million this year to create a new, 16-ounce, resealable light metal bottle in hopes of appealing to a younger-hipper audience that want more than just light beer. Taste, image, innovation, community, and environmental factors are all at play now among this audience and the old brands are trying to play catch up.
Some are doing so by introducing flavored beers or touting ciders as the next big thing. These changes, including the introduction of Bud Light Platinum, Budweiser Black Crown, Lime-A-Rita, Cran-Brrr-Rita and all the other Ritas coming your way (raspberry, mango), are geared toward young beer drinkers. We know this because as the largest segment of craft beer drinkers, the best way for AB InBev to boost sales is to get more Bud or Bud Light into the hands of Millennials (born between 1980 and 1995) as much as possible.
Along side of new flavors, they're spending on innovation and content marketing to rebuild awareness and community among this audience. Their research indicates that Millennials are attracted to the "party-lifestyle" and that was part of the motivation for linking the brand to that motivation through the party campaign.
Congrats to both of you! Daniel's a great guy and a smart thinker. I expect big things from this pairing.
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Embracing New Possibilities by following a Passion for Change!
@Howie Goldfarb The hashtag used for the campaign is #BabyCakeSmash. Regarding results, the campaign just started so it's difficult to say.
3 months 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.
3 months, 1 week ago on Vote: Should Brands Use YouTube Hoaxes In Marketing Mix?
@mr_mcfly "copycatism" - can I use that?
3 months, 1 week 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.
3 months, 1 week 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).
3 months, 1 week 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 months, 2 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 months, 2 weeks 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.
3 months, 3 weeks 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.
4 months 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"
4 months, 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!
4 months, 4 weeks 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.
5 months ago on Online Customer Reviews – Are They Worth The Trouble?
@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.