June 29, 2006
Customer entropy partially to blame for poor customer service
Come to think about it, customer entropy (or customer apathy) is partly to blame for the state of customer service. The reason most companies deliver bad customer service is because they can - not enough customers complain or abandon brands after a bad customer service experience.
If more people were to talk back to companies or report customer service abuse to their local local consumer affairs departments, the overall state of customer service would improve.
What do you think? Is there a way to foster consumer activism so that we can finally get the service that we deserve, the right return on providing our personal information as part of buying transactions, and intelligent humans to interact with when facing post sale issues? Or is it like voting - enough people are generally happy enough so that the only thing we can expect is status-quo?
You would expect that a new entrant who delivers outstanding customer service would change the playing field in that sector - but is that really happening?
June 27, 2006
What happens when GoogleCorp acquires AmazonBay
June 26, 2006
Lessons learned from the gaming industry
Neuroscience tells us that games shape behavior by leveraging our "primal response patterns," which are deeply embedded in our psyche, and by engaging us in "flow" - that spot where skills and challenges are somewhat in balance.
Based on that, there are 5 game dynamics that can make an interactive game more fun, compelling and addictive. They are:
- Collecting - the ability for people to collect all kinds of stuff and brag about it - be they weapons or other artifacts in worlds like WoW or Runescape, or friends in MySpace
- Points - both social points given by other players as well as ratings given by the system
- Feedback - whether visual or auditory, a way to tell a person how well they are doing
- Exchanges - especially social interactions, whether explicit or implicit
- Customization - whether customization of your persona or your environment. After you invested time personalizing your world, you are less likely to leave
If you can embed some of those game mechanics into your traditional software service or software application, then those too will become more fun, compelling and even addictive. Some of the software applications that have successfully embedded those features include Flickr, MySpace and even eBay..
Other write-ups about the points made during the session include:
[Tags: gaming industry neuroscience software+development ]
Science Study: (Intercessory) Prayer Power is of little use
According to the latest issue of Seed Magazine, a recent study found that "praying for someone who is ill won't help them recover." The study tracked 1,800 patients who were undergoing heart surgery and looked for links between intercessory prayer and complication-free recovery.
Not only did the study find that there is no effect of prayers on post-surgery complications, it found that patients who were certain to receive intercessory prayer had higher rates of complications!
Another Seed Magazine article on Science & Religion is here.
June 25, 2006
The bar to deliver customer service "delight" is ridiculously low
In the last week I joined an army of people who recently had bad experiences with airlines. It is fascinating to see how low the bar to "delight" customers through customer service has gone in the airline industry (and many other industries) in North America.
My story started with a trip to the West Coast on American Airlines. Since I had ordered my ticket late and had no seat assignment, I went to the airport extra early to get a good seat. When I checked in they gave me a center seat and said that the gate agent would be able to switch me (customer service tip #1: pass the buck). Next I sat in an airport security line for 45 minutes. They had one security line servicing at least 30 gates. First class passengers had their own, and much shorter security line, which ticked off many passengers as TSA (Transportation Security Agency) employees who manage airport security are not American Airlines employees but government employees paid with our tax money. When I finally got to the gate, the agent did not even faint trying to help me - she rudely told me to take a seat as the flight was full (customer service tip #2: screw the customer).
What happened next is the best part. I boarded and realized that my seat was broken. I promptly informed the flight attendant of my problem - after all, who would want to be on a six hour full flight in a broken seat that cannot be locked in its upward position? The aggressive and non-friendly response from the agent was: "I am not sure that they can fix it, and because YOU now reported this problem they may have to take you off the plane and not fly you to California today!" So she was implying that it was my problem, since I had reported one of their defective seats (customer service tip #3: blame the customer). If only I would have sat up-straight and pretended that nothing was wrong with the damn seat, that would have been a much better solution for HER! I put up a stink and they reluctantly gave me another center seat so that I could make it to California.
Then came the weekend, when I had to fly United Airlines to Vancouver. 3 hours prior to my flight I get a call from one of their automated machines informing me that my flight segment from Chicago to Vancouver was cancelled and that perhaps other arrangements had been made for us. When selecting the option to speak with a representative I got a fast busy tone, so I called the main United 800#. After being in a queue for 35 minutes, during which I discovered that my flight was the last one out of Chicago to Vancouver that day and that there was another alternative flight route through Toronto, I finally got a "somewhat" live person on the phone:
United: may I help you?
Me: your automated service just called me to inform me that my flight segment from Chicago to Vancouver has been cancelled and that other arrangements may have been made
United: they did call you and told you that?
United: well, they tell you stuff before they tell us, I see no such thing in my record...
Me: well, can you at least see that the Chicago to Vancouver was canceled?
United: hold on...oh yes, you are right, the flight was canceled
Me: so what should I do?
United: fly to Chicago and see what they say
Me: but it is the last flight out of Chicago today, it makes no sense for me to go there...
United: hold on...oh, yes, it is the last flight out of Chicago
United: you should go to Chicago and they will help you there...
Me: there is an alternative through Toronto on Air Canada - your partner
United: oh I see...let me check
United: there is no flight out of Chicago to Toronto that will get you to Vancouver...
Me: no, but there is one out of Boston that will get me there
United: oh, I see...let me check...this was the last flight out of Chicago..
Me: yeah...but this is Boston...
United: oh I see...I can "protect' that flight for you
Me: great! So you are confirming that I know will fly from Boston to Toronto and then on to Vancouver
Me: do I just check in at United or do I go to Air Canada?
United: that I do not know...try both...
Me: thank you very much
This was not an exchange on Saturday Night Live or some other comedy channel...this was real (customer service tip #4: hire real cheap labor and try cutting cost on training and IT!
No wonder JetBlue has such high praises from customers. In a market where the bar is so low, it does not require much to delight customers!
June 22, 2006
MarketingSherpa Best Blog Award - please vote!
If you've tried to vote for the MarketingSherpa's Best Blog and Podcast awards and were kicked off the server, there is a new link that they sent out that should work (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=803032287919). They also extended the deadline for voting until Monday.
So if you have not done so, check it out and vote for your favorites. There are some terrific blogs that are part of the lineup (including this one)!
Marketing: The View from Silicon Valley vs. Madisson Avenue
After participating on a panel on customer conversations at SuperNova yesterday I was asked to prepare a thought for the open mic attendee round table - which, while not new and totally original, I thought would make sense to put up here as well...
Following the organization of our marketing innovation conference a few weeks ago, and after seeing sessions at WOMMA and SuperNova related to marketing, advertising and customer relationships, it dawned on me (probably late - I know that others, like Max Kalehoff, have already made that observation), that there is a huge chasm between the way Silicon Valley/Web 2.0 type people look at marketing and the way Madison Avenue looks at it.
There is more than one difference, but one that deserves particular focus is how Web 2.0-centric people look at "attention" vs. Madison Avenue advertising types focus on "engagement" - and the difference is deeper than just one of perspective - i.e., customer-centric view vs. a marketer-centric view of marketing.
We look at attention as the new scarcity in the marketing value chain - and we analyze how that impacts marketing, brands, and metrics. John Hagel talks about how attention scarcity forces us to shift from the current way of doing marketing, which he summarizes by the 3I's (intercept, insulate and inhibit), to a new way of doing marketing, which he captures in the 3A's (attract, assist, and affiliate). With attention scarcity, many people agree that we need to move from product/company-centric brands to customer-centric brands. And with all that comes a call for new metrics based on attention and customer information. Some, like the AttentionTrust, even call for better protection and customer control of their own attention data. All cool and cutting edge stuff when it comes to marketing...
Madison Avenue types on the other hand have finally realized that the eyeballs have gone, that their current metrics are worthless (impressions, CTR, reach, frequency, etc.), and that the new prime time is 9-5. In an effort to create new relevancy they have come up with a new, if somewhat vague, metric - "engagement" (defined by ARF as: "turning on a prospect to a brand idea enhanced by the surrounding context.")
Of course, there is no way to discount Madison Avenue just yet! While Larry Weber may be right when he says that spending money on traditional media is like pouring water into a sinking boat, instead of out of the boat, the reality is that many marketers are lazy and clueless and continue to operate in their comfort zone - increasing TV advertising in the face of declining viewership, just to name one example.
Remember - change hurts!
June 21, 2006
Nominated for MarketingSherpa's Best Marketing Blog Award - can we have your vote?
Wow – I cannot believe it – only one year after starting this blog (plus a few months), Emergence Marketing was nominated for Marketing Sherpa’s 3rd Annual Best Blog & Podcast Award.
Of course, this is only a nomination – one among many outstanding blogs, some of which have been on my favorites/daily read-list for a long time!
But if you like what we’re doing with Emergence Marketing, then please take the time to go to http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article.php?ident=28308 and vote for us as well as for some other great blogs and podcasts which were nominated there – voting stops this Friday at Midnight!
June 20, 2006
Conferences this week...
Today I am at WOMMA's 2nd WOMBAT (word of mouth marketing association). So far, and with few exceptions, the sessions have been pretty useful and interesting, and if you are interested in seeing live blogging from the sessions, check out Olivier Blanchard's blog, who is one of the few official bloggers for the conference.
Troubling was the fact that many people speak of WOM as if it were yet another department or function (some even look at it as a new medium ?) in the marketing department. Unless marketing becomes totally integrated and tied together with other company functions like sales and customer service, just to name a few, most marketing people will fail. The same is true for WOM if it is to succeed.
The metrics sessions left many people asking for more. Sure 92% of people consider wom as their best information source, and positive wom outperforms negative wom 6 to 1. And a great majority of wom happens offline instead of online. But we were not able to get an answer on how they actually measure online word of mouth. So for example, if Jeff Jarvis complains about his Dell, do they count that as one negative story, or do they count it as 100's of thousands of negative stories - which is probably the right number considering that this many people actually read the story (and continue to read it because it gets a high ranking in Google searches).
June 19, 2006
Hello Verizon, is anyone there?
This from the company whose motto is : We never stop working for you. Last week I, along with what must be thousands of other Verizon customers, got a direct mail piece offering to cut my phone bill by $17 a month with a new calling plan called Freedom Essentials. All I had to do was call 1-888-671-2466 today to switch. So foolish me, I call the number and instead of reaching an operator, or even being placed in a waiting queue, I get the following message: " Due to the overwhelming demand we are unable to take your call so please hang up and try again later." This is clearly not my idea of a company that never stops working for me. This is a company that simply stopped working. Since my first unsuccessful attempt at reaching Verizon I have tried nine more times. The last few attempts didn't even get me as far as the call-back-later message. I got a busy signal instead. So I wonder what, if any coordination, took place between the marketing geniuses who thought up this promotion, and the call center that was to handle the calls. This makes me think of Lilly Tomlin's Ernestine the phone operator, reminding me that when dealing with the phone company, they're the phone company, and I'm not. Hang up and call back later.
What business are you in?
This is not a new argument, but one that has been around for decades (requires subscription or can be purchased by copy) - and one that is still very much unresolved in most companies - including startups. John Hagel brought it up again at last week's marketing innovation conference - "what business are you really in?"
Most companies are made up of an "unnatural bundle" of businesses which really do not belong together and which require vastly different core competencies to manage successfully - product innovation, infrastructure, and customer relationship business. To be a product innovator you need to be fast, nimble, have really bright and passionate people in the field you are innovating in, and processes should be kept to a minimum to enable emergent behavior and creativity. In an infrastructure business, it all comes down to automation and operational excellency in the face of heavy investments, and process rules. The customer relationship business is very customer information-centric, and should be focused on customer life-cycle relationship economics. So all in all, it does not require an advanced degree in management to realize that companies need very different skill-sets in the executive suites as well as in their line management to turn those different businesses into successful endeavors.
So why are so many companies trying to do it all? Even when looking at new business models - such as ASP-based models (ASP= applications service provider), where one sells software as a service and thus incorporate part of the customer relationship piece of the business into the product - it makes sense to outsource the customer relationship part of the business to a company who's sole purpose it is to focus on managing customer relationships. Not only is there more to a customer relationship than purchasing and billing, but those companies that focus on customer relationship management only will develop economies of scope that will make it unpractical for small player to sell directly.
What business are you in? Are you still managing customer relationships as well as product innovation? If you do, chances are that you are looking at the customer call center as a cost center...which is one heck of a BAD idea...
June 16, 2006
Do you believe in CGM research?
Laurent over at the customer listening blog takes exception with the views of an old-guard marketing tweak on the importance of cgm research...and is hosting an interesting discussion on the subject.
Best practices are meaningless - but worst practices are to be avoided
Bryan Eisenberg said that best practices are often times achieved under very specific conditions and can therefore not always be generalized. Len Ellis said, give me emerging practices, best practices are so yesterday!
All this rings so true. If a practice becomes a best practice that is replicable across other companies or industries, you have to assume that most of your competitors will have adopted that practice - thus giving your company no competitive advantage from embracing it.
What companies really should do is to avoid replicating "worst practices" - a practice which if you were from another planet observing what earth companies do you might conclude they do on purpose:
- Screw customers after they purchase products by treating call centers as a cost centers instead of customer relationship based economical centers
- Continuously interrupt prospects with rude and mostly out-of-context messages
- Treat employees as disposable cost centers instead of valuable customer interfaces
- Insult customers' intelligence with stupid messaging or by blaming them for product failures.
- Grab a ton of information about prospects and customers and give them nothing in return - or worse - asking them for the same info over and over again
- ...and so much more
Let's ban the worst practices first, then let's worry about best and emerging practices!
June 15, 2006
$50M ad campaign for newspaper advertising...
Check out this new $50M advertising campaign by the Newspaper Association of America. Maybe I am missing something...but what does "in an opt-out world, consumers opt in to newspaper advertising" really mean? Would it get you to buy more newspaper ads?
Pitching cars to tweens - buy a virtual Toyota Scion online
The New York Times yesterday reported how Toyota is selling virtual Scions in an online game frequented by tweens and teens. Players can buy the car, modify it, pick up friends that don't have the cool car yet, and join a club - which was visited over 33K times so far!
Talk about influencing brand image early!
June 14, 2006
Is the need for higher customer transparency really new?
Many people talk about the increased need for customer and employee transparency, or about the fact that people do not trust what companies have to say "anymore." But are those really new? Or are they being hyped up by consultants who are trying to create the next hype-wave to ride on?
if you look at the most recent brain research, it would show that this trait has been with us forever. If the brain is hardwired to detect "errors," and when it finds them it turns our brain into a 2 year old child's brain who will resist anything coming from that source - then we should have been rejecting and mistrusting all "marketing hype" ever since it existed. People have always expected "error-free" (=true) messages! There is nothing new here, we are hardwired for it.
Maybe what happens is that with the exponential increase of phony sounding marketing messages, more people have started focusing on associating them with BS and have developed new subconscious neural pathways or mental maps to discard them all. Or maybe the messages have just become more phony and exaggerated in companies' quests to differentiate themselves within an increasingly cluttered marketplace.
And maybe the fact that some studies show that an increasing number of people distrust companies can be explained by the fact that it has become more socially acceptable and definitely more doable for consumers to fight back and publicly expose the "marketing untruths," - thus changing the collective (un)consciousness which associates corporate messages with mistrust or untruth. Or maybe it is just a cyclical anomaly, and two years from now we will be back up.
Another important consequence of all this is in the area of word of mouth recommendations and consumer generated content. As more and more companies start to "manage" that channel, often times without full disclosure, more and more "errors" will seep into the word of mouth recommendations - over time causing the effectiveness and trustworthiness of word of mouth to erode as well.
One thing is for sure - the customer has more ways to retaliate against a company than ever before - making the "customer is increasingly in charge" statement a true statement.
Expectations shape reality
Another interesting finding from recent neuroscience research is that "expectations shape reality."
The Booz Allen & Hamilton article mentioned yesterday says: "Cognitive scientists have found that people's mental maps, their theories, expectations and attitudes play more central role in human perceptions than we previously thought." Tell people that they have been administered a pain killer, even though they got a placebo (a sugar pill), and 28.4% of the people will feel a decrease in pain - rivaling the effect of an analgesic dose of morphine!
So what exactly happens? People repeatedly "focus" on the experience of pain relief, thus activating/creating new brain pain relief circuits/pathways - and decreasing the pain...
The fact that expectations shape reality and drive behavior can have far reaching implications. The article mentions the example of two customer service reps - one with a mental map of customers as troubled children would hear only complaints that needed to be allayed; another with seeing them as busy but intelligent professionals, would hear valuable suggestions for improving the product and service.
Since change is so hard, maybe employers should try discovering potential employees' mental maps during the interview process...
June 13, 2006
Webcast from "Beyond Blogging 2006" is up
Neuroscientists find: Change Hurts
A fascinating article in the most recent issue of Strategy + Business from Booz Allen & Hamilton, The Neuroscience of Leadership, describes how change hurts, how the carrot and stick approach to management does not work, and how people who focus on different things have physiological differences that prevent them from seeing the world the same way.
It's no secret that people resist change - even when their life depends on it! New advances in neuroscience found that the brain relegates routine tasks to a part of the brain that requires little energy - freeing up the more conscious part of the brain, and also the more energy-intensive part, to process new things. So say you have been driving a car for awhile, you will probably do it "without thinking," but if you get into a country where they drive on the other side of the road, that same activity will now become a very intensive and tiring experience. The same is true with organizational change. After a while people will sell ideas, go to meetings, and manage others unconsciously - and trying to change their routine will be tiring and uncomfortable.
But that is not all - there is another force at work in the brain that resists change. The brain is very much wired to detect "errors" in its environment - perceived differences between expectations and actuality. When an error is detected, it triggers the fear circuitry in our brain, which is one of the most primitive parts of our brain, and which basically hijacks our thinking. We become emotional and start acting impulsively - our animal instincts take over.
So try changing someones behavior and their brain will start sending powerful messages that something is wrong, thus decreasing their capacity for higher thought. Change results in discomfort and stress...
Another interesting finding of the study is that by focusing attention on something - a particular problem or process -, a person will develop new neural connections which if reinforced enough will become part of their subconscious. This has some interesting consequences. The first one is that if a person starts focusing on a "problem", he or she will start developing new connections (also known as reasons) for why the problem occurs. While they may be true, they will do little in support of change. That also means that the "carrot and stick" approach to changing people's behavior is flawed, as it focuses the person's attention to the problems that are causing the behavior that we want changed instead of the solutions.
Another consequence of this finding is that people who tend to specialize in certain fields - marketing, sales, finance, etc. - tend to develop brain connections to handle their job with the least amount of energy possible. That means that a long term finance person and an old engineering hacker have their brains wired differently - and they will never see the world the same way, even if the rest of their worldview were the same!
So what are we to do if we want to foster change? The study also found that if the brain has a "moment of insight" coming from within (coming to a solution/conclusion by yourself), that moment is associated with a sudden adrenaline-like burst of high energy that is conducive to creating new links (change) in the brain. So if you want to instill change, you have to focus people on solutions instead of problems, let them come to their own answers, and keep them focused on their insights. That simple!
Oh - and the next time you get in a argument with the finance guy - remember, his brain is wired differently than yours!!
Execs only read 9 blogs?
I just got an email from MarketingSherpa saying that: "According to 2006 study data, a typical business exec reads nine (9) blogs regularly."
Unfortunately, the source of the study is not revealed. But then again, the email was not announcing the results of some new study study - it was a call for nominations for your favorite marketing blog and podcast.
The deadline for nominations is Friday the 16th, and voting will start on the 20th.
June 12, 2006
Why is customer service at Starbucks consistently great - while the service at most other take-out joints sucks?
You go to Starbucks and the energy is positive, the service friendly, and experience somewhat consistent from store to store. You go to Bruegger's and there is no energy to speak of, the service is chaotic at best, and the consistency - let's say non-existent.
Now if you think that that is bad, and happen to live in a town like mine - try placing an order with Papa Gino's or Domino's - it will not only be the chaotic service and low energy or the "I don't care" attitude you will have to deal with - it's pure stupidity! Never do I know whether I will fall within their delivery zone or whether some new driver will decide that I am just outside of it, and usually I do not find out until well after I placed my order and have a house full of hungry/angry kids.
So what do you think makes up the difference between those outfits?
One theory, put forth by management consulting guru John Hagel says that too many companies focus on the transactional view of economics instead of the relationship view of economics. Makes sense! The fact that Starbucks employees get more benefits, stock options, and promotional opportunities not only makes them happier employees - it results in an energy that can be "experienced" by most customers who visit their stores.
Another reason is that the marketing execs at those companies who cut corners in customer service are probably not grokking marketing the way Burger King's CMO Russ Klein does - where every "out of home food dollar" is considered to have a "social component" to it!
Coverage from the 2006 Innovative marketing Conference
While wearing the many different hats of MC, coordinator, wifi guy, podcast traffic cop, and many others at the 2006 Innovative Marketing Conference, I was not able to take good notes of the great discussions that took place at the conference. Thankfully, many others did, and I will try to capture most of them here. I will also elaborate on specific sessions/discussions in future posts.
Overall I believe that we delivered against the promises that were made ahead of the Innovative Marketing Conference. We promised that it would be a conversation about the new marketing foundations that need to be built in the face of the ongoing breakdown of the old rules, and we delivered just that - few slides and one way presentations and many deeply insightful discussions. We also promised that this conference would be a conference about marketing as a whole – as one of the main premises for the event was that unless all aspects of marketing are tied together, marketers will fail! Here too, I believe we delivered against that promise - with many sessions focused on tying all the conversations together.
But enough bragging - here goes the summary and associated links to interesting posts from across the blogosphere.
Day 1 - CMO Summit
We started both days with a CMO telling us what it is like to be in the trenches. The first day's keynote, delivered by Russ Klein, CMO at Burger King, was insightful and surprising for its degree of innovation. He spoke of how they started looking at Burger King as a "social brand" in order to revive it, introduced their social currency strategy and much more. You can listen to a podcast interview with Russ here, and you can find some good summaries of the speech at:
- Chris Carfi's blog - the Social Customer Manifesto
- The product review site, which also has a good summary of the session - capturing a few of the "a-ha" moments
Next up was a discussion about the creation process of products and services, and the role of innovation, co-creation and many other new factors on that process. The discussion was led by David Sutherland and you can find some good summaries at:
- The Fast Company Blogjam, which has a number of entries on this session including this entry on co-creation, this one on the challenges of co-creation within and outside organizations, and this one reflecting one of the live discussion groups led by John Winsor
- Johnnie Moore's blog, where he has a great entry on the co-creation discussion
- David Weinberger's blog, Joho, where he has a good write-up on this session
John Hagel's fabulous session on attention scarcity and what that means to brands, marketing and metrics is summarized at:
- The Fast Company marketing BlogJam, which has a number of entries on this session, including the following summary posts this one, this one and this one, this one on choosing what business you are in, this one on what it is we can learn from evangelists, and this one on how companies have to change their marketing from the 3I's to the 3A's
- David Weinberger's blog, Joho, where he has an excellent write-up on the session
- Johnnie Moore's blog, where he has a great entry on moving from the 3I's to the 3 A's
- Mario Sundar's Marketing Nirvana, where he also has a good summary of John's session.
- Chris Carfi's Social Customer Manifesto, where he has a good summary of the session as well
- Jason Chen's Blog
Next came David Weinberger, who led a discussion on the future marketing department. Good summaries for that session can be found at:
- The Fast Company marketing BlogJam, which has a number of entries on it, including this summary, this post on whether the CEO should be the CMO, this one on the repair tools to fix the marketing department, and this one on whether a marketing department should manufacture demand
- Johnnie Moore's blog, where he summarizes one important point of David's session, how blogs are complexifying messages
Prof Bernd Schmitt wrapped up the day by summarizing what we discussed that day and by attempting to tie it all back together. We have recorded this session and will post the audio transcript online shortly. For now you can listen to a podcast interview with Bernd Schmitt here..
Day 2 - Marketer's Forum
The CMO who kicked off the second day was Deepak Advani, CMO at Lenovo. He spoke of the challenges to build a new brand across national and cultural barriers and also touched on what it means when your brand comes under attack by xenophobes. You can listen to a podcast interview with Deepak here, and you can find summaries of his speech at:
- The Fast Company Marketing BlogJam, which has a number of posts on it Including this summary of the session, this entry on innovation, and this post on where design should reside in a company
- Heath Row's Squidoo lens on a new marketing foundation
- Judy Breck's Golden Swam, where she has a good summary of that part of the speech where he talked about sponsoring a non-profit to help students with used computers
- Bill Tancer's blog at Hitwise, where he reports on the session and ads some Hitwise stats in the process
Next up was a panel discussion on models for innovation, where David Sutherland from the Launch Institute, Gwen Ishmael from Decision Analysts, Tony Ullwyck from Strategyn and Paul Zarookian from AIG debated all the different angles of innovation. You can find summaries of this discussion at:
- Joseph Jaffe's Jaffejuice, where he talks about the importance of the 1 percenters...
- Heath Row's Squidoo lens on models for innovation
- The Fast Company Marketing Blogjam, which has a post on this session here on innovation = creating things your customers will value
After that we had a great session on the new marketing tools that are available to marketers, which was ably moderated by Johnnie Moore, and included Kevin Lee from Did-it.com, Heidi Lehman from Third Screen Media, Max Lenderman from GMR Marketing, Bill Tancer from Hitwise and Diane Hessson from Communispace. You can find some summaries at:
- Joseph Jaffe's Jaffe Juice, which has some interesting snippets from the session here
- Heath Row's Squidoo lens on the new toolbox
- The fast Company Marketing BlogJam, which has multiple entries on it - here and here, here for an interesting quote from Dianne Hessan, and here on the role of trust.
A particularly hot topic - the pros and cons of online marketing in the context of consumer generated content - was debated in the next session. The session was moderated by David Rogers from the Center on Global Brand Leadership, and included John Hiler from Xanga, Craig Newmark from Craigslist.org, and Chris Tolles from Topix.net. Good summaries of that session can be found at:
- The Fast Company Marketing Blogjam
- Heath Row's Squidoo lens on CGM
- ClickZ News, which has a great entry on the discussion about where the money is in CGM, as well as an entry on Craig Newmark's plea on net neutrality
You can also listen to a Skypecast we did on the subject ahead of the conference
I was told that you could not have a marketing conference without a session on metrics and measurement, and so we put a great session together with Max Kalehoff from BuzzMetrics, Bryan Eisenberg of Future Now, and Ruth Stevens from eMarketing Strategy. Summaries of the session can be found here:
- Joseph Jaffe's JaffeJuice, where he has a summary of the session.
- Heath Row's Squidoo lens on what's working
- The Fast Company Marketing BlogJam
Kicking off the afternoon sessions were Larry Weber from the W2 Group and Lois Kelly from Foghound, talking about the future marketing department - a lively and provocative session to say the least - and which is summarized at:
- The Fast Company Marketing Blogjam, where there are a few articles on this session (here on compensation for spreading wom, here on contributing to communities, here and here from some great quotes from the conversationhere for the answers to the 10 questions that Lois asked him, and finally here for a rough transcript of the whole session)
- Heath Row's Squidoo lens on the changing face of marketing
After that we had a session on the future of advertising - led by Joseph Jaffe from Jaffejuice and including Chris Hoyt from 141 Marketing, Lee Johnson from McCann, Rick Klau from Feedburner and Len Ellis, most recently with Wonderman. A set of summaries for this session can be found at:
- The Fast Company BlogJam
- Heath Row's Squidoo lens on the changing face of advertising
- Johnnie Moore's blog, where he comments on the mood and energy level of the session.
The last session before the wrap-up was a discussion on the future of PR - which consisted of a lively panel with Neville Hobson from Nevon, Lois Kelly from FogHound, Shel Holtz from Holtz Communication + Technology, and John Moore from Brand Autopsy. A good summary for this session can be found at:
Professor Bernd Schmitt then closed it all up and you can find the summary of his closing remarks at:
- The Fast Company Marketing Blogjam site
Other, overall conference commentary can be found at
- John Moore's Brand Autopsy
- Max Kalehoff's blog - AttentionMax on how you can have great conversations without PowerPoint presentations.
- John Winsor's "under the radar" has some good things to say about the event in which he participated
- Max Lenderman's blog, where he talks about blogging for the sake of blogging
- Lois Kelly's blog, where she has a great post on the takeaways from the conference
A photo stream of the event can be found on Flickr.
You can also listen to tens of podcast interviews which Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson did during the event - including interviews with Craig Newmark from Criagslist.org, Dianne Hessan from Communispace, Max Lenderman from Axe fame, Johnnie Moore and John Winsor on co-creation, David Sutherland from the Launch Institute, Eric Mankin from the Center on Enterpreneurship at the Babson University, in addition to the ones listed above with Russ Klein, Deepak Advani, Bernd Schmitt and Larry Weber.
Keep checking the site as we will be adding additional edited audio versions of the sessions in the next few of days.
June 8, 2006
Conference feedback on many sites at this point
Unfortunately I have not have much time to report back from the first day of the 2006 Innovative Marketing Conference. The conversations so far have been unbelievable rich and at times intense. Fortunately you can read or listen to some of the things that happened here today on the Fast Company blog, David Weinberger's blog, Johnnie Moore's weblog, the social customer manifesto, and of course on the For Immediate Release report.
June 2, 2006
Another really interesting Skypecast on the future of marketing
I was lucky enough to host PR guru Larry Weber and interactive marketing pioneer Lois Kelly for a great conversation on the future of marketing. You can listen to the conversation by downloading the MP3 of the session here.
Some random snippets from the discussion include:
"...the first thing marketers should do is stop spending so much money on traditional media - it's like throwing water into the boat, and not out of the boat..."
"...many marketing departments embrace the new marketing platforms but it's amazing to see how they organize themselves like they did 25 years ago..."
"...I would organize marketing from the bottom up....innovation still never comes from the top down....I would look at things less in categories like PR, advertising, direct marketing....and start looking more in campaign orientation...."
"...the weaker the dialog the weaker the brand...the stronger the dialog the stronger the brand..."
"...Madison ave hijacked the browser in the last 10 years...we need to reclaim it..."
"...marketing should be at the center of everything...because the center of dialog will be at the center of a company's success..."
"...the "idiot of the month" award goes to the Disney Corporation..." talking about their TIVO proof technology.
I will publish a more thoughtfully digested version soon, but wanted to give you some snippets to entice you to listen to this great conversation asap. And don't forget that Lois and Larry will be having a live conversation at our marketing innovation conference next week - so make sure to join us there!
Pew: 35% of all internet users have posted content online
Pew Internet & American Life Project Report found that "35% of all Internet users have posted one or more of four types of content to the internet: having one's own blog; having one's own webpage; working on a blog or webpage for work or a group; or sharing self-created content such as a story, artwork, or video." If you only look at broadband internet users, that number becomes 42% (via ClickZNews - click here for PDF download of the report).
"Sharing a variety of creations online is among the most popular kinds of user generated content," says the report, in fact, 26% of internet users "have shared their own artwork, photos, stories, or videos on the internet." Younger people are more likely to do so, with 51% of the "under 30" home broadband users posting content online vs. 36% of older high-speed users.
Combine this with some other research - like the one that says that adults spend as much time online as watching TV - and you can start seeing, in quantifiable ways, the potential creative effects of the Internet as well as the already obvious enhanced social networking effects.
But considering that the study found a statistical correlation between broadband use and many of its other findings, it also goes to show that governments have a duty to ensure that a high-quality, high-speed Internet infrastructure is accessible to all its citizenry - not exactly a feat that many large western democracies can point to.
June 1, 2006
Don't miss tomorrow's Skypecast - Larry Weber & Lois Kelly on the future marketing department
Tomorrow at noon (EST) we will be having Larry Weber, PR Guru, author and founder of the W2 Group, and Lois Kelly, interactive marketing pioneer and partner at Foghound, discuss the future of the marketing department in a Skypecast.. You can find more information about the upcoming Skypecast here. To join - simply go the Skypecast url at noon and log in with your Skype account. If you do not have a Skype account, it's easy, sign up for a free account, it will take you less than 2 minutes.
If you missed some of the Skypecasts that we ran leading up to our Marketing Innovation conference next week, you can go to the event's home page and look for MP3 recordings in the sidebar (contact me at francois AT corante DOT com if you still want to get access to the physical conference next week - I will find a way to get you in!).