- My 11 Takeaways from Social Media Nite at JWT #SoMeNite - A Kitchen Table Chat of Peers
- The Mismatch Between Company Motive and Customer Want
- The Mo Style Breakdown - Social Media Rankings
- Maslow's Hierarchy of MO
- 30 Mos, 30 Days, 30 Headlines - The Myriad Number of Movember Stories
- The Movember Digital Challenge - Start Your Mos!
- The Engagement Octopus of Movember
- The iPhone4 vs. Blackberry Torch Challenge - the "I"s Have It!
- The Top 30 Group Buying Deal Programs - Rated
- The 16 Things I Learned Writing Wikibrands
- The League of Kickass and F*^k Cancer - 7 Questions with Founder Yael Cohen
- Listening is Paramount and The 4 Elements of a Good Listening Organization
- Your Social Media Personality - Are you Cotton Candy, Librarian, Guitar or Treasure Chest?
- The Three Headed Digital Business - The Corporate Website, The Online Community and The Social Networks
- Social Media is a Dirty Word and the 5 Reasons Why
- Social Influence Marketing - The Big Picture
- The CMO League - An Executive Network of Marketing Chiefs
- The Arcs of Community - Affiliated vs. Built Communities - which path to take?
- 15 Minutes and 15 Ways that GeoTagging will be 2010's Social Media Wonder King
- Who Owns the Social Web for their Clients - The Advertising Agency - Analysis, Strengths and Blindspots
I had the privilege of joining an illustrious group of some of Toronto's best digital folk last night for a "kitchen table"/salon chat on what makes social media tick in Canada (#SoMeNite if following on Twitter) . Big kudos to Laurie Dillon-Schalk @ldillonschalk and Melanie Reiffenstein @MelanieReiff of JWT @JWTCanada for ringleading such an intelligent and diverse group and an equal thumbs up to Rick Wolfe @rickwolfe of Poststone for moderating the serendipitous discussion so effectively. Very tough to corral an audience that included: 1 media planner, 1 anthropologist, 1 analytics guru, 1 print agency, 1 software dudes, 2 media boutiques, 1 social media producer, 1 creative, 1 PR flack, 2 big agency gurus, 2 entrepreneurs, 2 strat planners and 1 HR consultant. Not only did the diversity improve the discussion but also underscored how difficult it is for a client to assuage all these competing social interests. In fact, the melting pot (or is that a Canadian mosaic) motivated me enough to kick my personal blog out of it's slumber and provide a summary of the discourse. Beyond a smart roadmap for social media implementation in the enterprise (the key 6 steps below) here are my 11 takeaways from the discussion: 1) BRIDGING CHASMS IS NEEDED - we don't need as many visionaries in the business of social anymore. As David Jones @doctorjones of Proximity WW mused - CMOs pretty much appreciate by now the impact of social for their business -it's no longer "the why", it's more "the how" and "the what" that are the stumbling blocks. And as Sara Chi @infosara indicated the biggest social hurdle and what we really need are "crusaders" that can bridge the distances between customer and companies, experts and the mainstream, the grassroots and the top ranks. Donna Papacosta @donnapapacosta mentioned one of her most effective meetings was having a simple "lifting of the veil" discussion with a CEO to educate and subsequently push social initiatives forward. 2) SOCIAL MEDIA AS A DISCIPLINE AND BEHAVIOUR VS. A TOOL/TACTIC - David Jones @doctorjones and David Bradfield @dbradfield of Sapient Nitro emphasized too much effort is spent on how social media can be bought, traded and commerced vs. treating it as a core practice in companies that's inescapable to avoid in a connected economy. Hessie Jones @hessiejones of Due North mentioned the difficulty to accept this paradigm within the media planning and buying industry who have historically viewed media as transactional. 3) THE EXPERTS ARE THE COBBLER'S CHILDREN - the intellectual horsepower in the room was genuinely digital MENSA-level. They get it, and I'm sure could do great work for all their clients if given the full chance to roam. But as Jill Fagan @jillpfagan mentioned, as an industry we are horrible internal communicators and sellers. Bigger effort and thinking needs to be made on how to get clients to "yes" , appreciate the value of what social brings overall to their business and establishing some paradigm on who gets to work on what as agencies, startups, software companies and consultants stumble over each other fighting for digital nickels. Wise cautions by @johnsaydam - this is not free and @ldillonschalk - don't pitch until they are ready. 4) TENSION BETWEEN EMOTION/CREATIVE AND ANALYTICS - the credibility to push social media forward exists on two opposite poles - as John Saydam @johnsaydam mentioned through his RIM example - the best stuff in social resonates emotionally but as David Bradfield @dbradfield supported - the institutionalization of social media as a practice requires sound analytics. I guess the perfect mind for social media is an equally balanced left brain/right brain. 5) IS SOCIAL MEDIA THE NEW CRM OR NEW DOT.COM? - Rick Wolfe @rickwolfe and John Reeves of Kyp interjected their years of experience and wisdom by pointing to the slow and steady progression and eventual maturation of the CRM industry from the '90s frontier mentality to the now well-established multi-billion dollar collossus. I'm of two minds here - _On the yes side " it does have CRM-esque similarities"_ - - the progression of technology has been swift - it's moving toward essentialness - a small group of experts exists within a slower-to-adopt mainstream marketplace - a lot of bad money is being spent in its early heydays - each has and/or will go through Gartner's Hype Cycle -the glossary and behaviour is difficult to understand for the traditional world (sometimes intentionally so) and - it's potential to build business value and operationalize business processes is huge. _On the no side "this social thing is a much different beast than we've seen before" _- - the pace of change is so swift here and continues to progress that as Jill Rosenberg @girlfrommars mentioned "current digital will always be this fast moving, somewhat awkward, teenager" and that a full social eveolution here may only be 5-10 years here before we move onto the next big thing (most guesses were mobile) - norms are more difficult to establish in order to standardize industry given multiple players, mutiple technology interests and swifter-moving environment - the power of socializing business has much more far reaching implications than the CRMing of business and - whereas previously web building and CRM programs could be compartmentalized, social business is a cultural corporate, operational and branding concern. So which side of this fence are you on? 6) DON'T OVERREACH AND BE TOO EAGER - as evidenced by Nicole McKinney @bcadgroup and David Bradfield's @dbradfield examples - a comfort zone needs to be established with a client before they are willing to fry bigger fish. Most digital people are quick decison makers and early adopters by instinct, they have less regard for the "large cruise ship" ecosystem that exists within a corporation to get them to take even a few degrees of turn in the right direction. 7) LISTENING AND BEING AWARE IS THE FIRST STEP - I'm not too sure if social media adoption is a 6-step program (as proposed below) or a 12 step one akin to Alcoholics Anonymous but there is general agreement that one of the best things agencies can do for their clients is make them aware of what's happening in the digital world at large and their immediate industry. Perhaps not the best reason to move, but I think there was some consensus (with a notable exception by @sarasepehri)that competitive steps forward also lead to reappraisal and steps forward on the client front. 8) WHAT OF CANADA? - David Jones @doctorjones made a great point of the lack of dynamic Canadian client personalities that are lightning rods and role models for their peers. Whereas Scott Monty (Ford), @scottmonty , Lionel Mencacha (Dell) @lionelatdell and Shiv Singh (Pepsi) @shivsingh are passionate flagbearers for US corporate adoption and senior-level understanding of social media, who speaks for Canada? 9) THE LAG EFFECT IN CANADA - there was some noise about Canada's reticence to use digital and social media. There are two key distinctions here. On a user/cosnumer front, Canada is the #1 user of technology and digital media in the world (for proof here is one of my recent Wikibrands' posts "Canada Rules the Roost When It Comes to Digital"). Perhaps we use the web more as a life appliance then the sexy accessory in our wardrobe, but average Canadians have flocked to digital based on high education levels, technology appetite, high urbanization and quite frankly winter (what else you going to do when it's -30 in Winnipeg?). What is the bigger travesty and almost a crime is the risk aversion, branch plant mentality that local corporations have employed who happily operate 2-3 years behind their customers (sins put forward - lack of executive awareness of even the simple stuff, only 17% of Canadian companies measuring and non-mobile friendly sites) ? Maybe it's Rick Wolfe's humble Canadian-ness that stops us from promoting our successes in bright lights. A great idea for a future Social Media Nite is how the industry pushes the credibility and acceleration of its efforts as a whole forward (e.g. government leadership, petition, comprehensive training, CEOs for Social Club, putting teeth into a NxNe summit, inviting top 10 most popular twitterers to a TedXNorthTweets?). 10) SIMPLE, SIMPLE, SIMPLE - as Melanie Reiffenstein @melaniereiff , Daniel Berkal @danielberkal of Palmerston Group and Noel Geer of Ngage Media emphasized - the best stuff that comes out of the web is basic, with very few moving parts and a core central focus. Data junkies, consultants, planners and pitch people need to stop debating the nuances, creating unnecessary noise and the feeling amongst their less tech-adept stakeholders that somehow they are the disgrace of the industry by not wading into the deep thickets of digital game. Let's agree on the fundamentals (don't worry - yes, you can charge for the additional features) and start embracing the needs that really count - the customer (as Laurie Dillon-Schalk @ldillonschalk so eloquently reiterated). 11) IF IT WASN'T TOUGH, EVERYBODY WOULD BE DOING IT - when you get together with any digital posse, it's tempting to have a gripe session and we had a bit of that last night. And that's okay. It's tribal and creates a social bond between people with like experiences and a "we vs. them" zeal to change the world. But staying crabby is a dead end street. To end on a positive outtake from discussion, I'll lean on Jill Fagan's soliloquy - this is an incredible time to be a buisness person, change agent and digital expert. The shifts in business value, methods of operation and opportunities for innovation are larger than they've ever been. And as people who live and breathe this work, we are most poised to benefit disproportionately from this evolution to digitizing business, socializing culture and changing the way people live, work and play. So chill out, enjoy the ride and remember every time an executive utters "what's Twitter?" that's secretly an extra premium in your pocket. Without giving any secrets away - the 6 steps to Social Media Maturity put forward: Step 1 - Look & Listen Step 2- Establish a Social Footprint Step 3 - Engage Step 4 - Increase Your Social Currency Step 5 - Build Your Community Step 6 - Aim for Social Sophistication And the Three Star tweets of the night, _le troisieme etoile/the third star - @dbradfield "For true success in social, companies need to move away from control models to release models"..._ _le deuxieme etoile/the second star - @doctorjones "My sister from another mother @hessiejones is depressing me" - I have no idea what this means but interesting_ _le premiere etoile/the first star - @dbradfield (what can I say he had his iPad open all night) "When social becomes a discipline, it's shared across an organization and not the domain of an individual"_ Thanks again to the folks at JWT Canada, Laurie Dillon-Schalk, Rick Wolfe, Melanie Reiffenstein, Hessie Jones, Dainel Berkal, Noel Geer, 'Sarah Sephera, Jill Rosenberg, John Saydam, Sarah Chi, Bruce Runyan, John Reeves, Jill Fagan, Nicole Mckinney, David Bradfield, Donna Pappacosta, David Jones for the discussion. I look forward to the sequel . Sean Moffitt @seanmoffitt
From IBM's Institute of Business Value, some interesting paradoxes between the two players in this dance of communities and social. On one hand, a company that believes customers want to get more closer to them, maybe grab some info and do some minimal engagement and the customer who desperately wants the freebie. The caveat here is the people that do want to join a community and feel a deeper sense of connection are like gold and ideally should be the minority - I wouldn't concern myself with their percentage being so low. The necessity here is that we should be mindful that - good feelings and soft lullabies are only so good in creating lasting social brand currency, the people want stuff too. Don't underestimate the power of an unexpected piece of swag or exclusive offer and proposal. We talk about the 27 different incentives people have in deciding whether they want to join a community, cause or brand-sponsored effort in our book Wikibrands - have a look in chapter 8.
Performed a social media tally from the last week on what people are growing based on Movember's sanctioned 10 styles: * Trucker Mo 47% * Wispy 14% * Undercover Brother 12% * Rock Star 7% * Connoisseur 5% * Box Car 4% * Regent 4% * Businessman 3% * Abrakadabra 2% * After Eight 2% _What Mo will you Grow?_
For those 400,000+ people who become Mo Bros and MoSistas this year and the millions more that follow them, you may pass through the 8 stages of MO to become a truly self-actualized Mo. Where are you on this scale... STAGE 1 - AWARE - 100% of us, you know about and you revel in knowing what Movember is all about STAGE 2 - PARTICIPATING - 70% - you have advocated the cause at some point over the 30 days STAGE 3 - INVOLVED - 50% - you have publicly declared interest with your profile and wallet STAGE 4 - COMMITTED - 35% - you`re not on the sidelines, you`ve publicly shown your advocacy by growing a handsome or not so handsome Mo (or supported others madly who did - MoSistas) STAGE 5 - ENGAGED -20% - you`ve built a team, became a change agent and enthusiastically rallied to troops to follow you into the cauldron of Mo-dom STAGE 6 - CHAMPION - 10% -it wasn`t enough to build a fundraising sect, you`ve gone out of your comfort zone and hosted an event, stunt or something beyond your known circle of friends STAGE 7 - CAPTAIN - 3% - your passion has been recognized and you`ve become a bit of a local cause celebré for your Mo creativity, conviction and commitment STAGE 8 - FANATIC - 1% - consider this your full time job - likely you have a `stache tattooed permanently and have devoted 20+ hours per week to the Mo Cause before, during and after these 30 days Wherever it is you are on this scale, we salute you!
The number "30" has a special place in the genesis of Movember into well-loved global charity supporting men's health : - the Mo growing season is _30 days long_ - it started with _30 Melbournites_ in November 2003 - we've created_ 30 stats_ on why Movember Rules - one of our blogging brethren ThirtyMag.com pulled a smart list of _30 things _you likely didn't know about men's health There is a story born every minute when it comes to Movember. If you're planning on writing or blogging about one of them, we've provided our list of _30 interesting Movember headlines_ below (or create your own): MO CULTURE 1) THE RETURN OF THE MO – the increasing popularity and rebound of the Mo in pop culture - fascinating the rollercoaster acceptance of the Mo in North America vs. the steady acceptance of the Mo in Europe 2) CATEGORIES OF MONESS – as we all start growing differently shaped and sized Mos – the anatomy of the Mo must be considered – Lame Mo, Bushy Mo, redhead Mo and perhaps more nichely, the female MO – a noble study. 3) THE HIERARCHY OF MO – how to get deeper and more deeply involved in Movember – if you go to MoChampions Facebook page – I talk about the 8 levels of Mo-ness – it’s like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Self-actualization just gone Mo. The more you MO, the more you grow, the more you know, the more you row. 4) THE IMPORTANCE OF MOSISTAS – they are the key to “word of MO” – get a MoSista on your side, and I will show you 8 MoBros willing to grow. For an excuse note, click here. For a well-deserved gift tolerating your ticklish lip sweater, click here. 5) GRASSROOTS CHARITY AT ITS BEST – not driven by celebrity or a rich steward, Movember is total grassroots- because people simply care and want to get involved to the point they are willing to change their appearance. What started as 30 people in 2003, reached 130,000 in 2007 and now will be over 400,000 in 2010 (our number sits at 381,000 as we write). 6) ENGAGED MO EMPLOYEES, HAPPY COMPANIES – look at the top 50 respected companies in Canada – a lot of them are Mo growing – coincidence, I think not. Forget Stephen Covey in the workplace, just get your stafff to grow Mos. 7) THE IMPORTANCE OF RITUALS – we have our own Mo Culture – gala parties, the 5 rules of Movember, the 10 Mo styles, Mo language – face it, we love being part of this big happy Mo tribe. What's your fave Mo ritual? PROSTATE CANCER 8) THE UNDER REPRESENTATION OF MEN’S HEALTH AND HOW IT NEEDS TO GET ON THE FRONT PAGE – remember 1 in 6 men will get prostate cancer and 1 in 2 will get cancer, get the facts. 9) MEN ARE LAZY IN TREATING THEMSELVES, WE NEED TO GET THEM DIAGNOSING EARLY WITH PROSTATE CANCER- 90% of prostate cancer is treatable if detected early enough, let’s start some conversations before it’s too late. Importantly, among Movember participants, 62% of them talked about men's health with friends, family and work colleagues. 10) RESEARCH HAPPENING HERE IN CANADA – key developments happening right in our own backyard on prostate cancer research, take a bow. See-funded research by Robert Bristow at the Princess Margaret Hospital. 11) PROSTATE CANCER BY THE NUMBERS – refer here for all the facts and stats http://ca.mediaroom.movember.com/ the big ones - 25,000 men will be diagnosed in Canada this year for prostate cancer and 4,400 will die. 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with any form of cancer, still regrettably high but only 1 in 3 for women. CANADA 12) THE POPULARITY OF MOING IN CANADA – what is it about Canadians and their love of the Mo? With Canada just about to crest above 100,000 MoBros and MoSistsas, you are 16.6x more likely to grand support a MO in Canada vs. the US. Let's get some cross border Moing going. 13) THE BEST HOCKEY MOS – for your votes, go here – http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/movemberhockeypoll In looking at a full list of Movember NHL hockey players, click here. 14) MAYORS OF MO-ING – we’ve seen mayors in Vancouver, Halifax and Waterloo get involved – why not all of them? – heck if Mayor McCheese had one, why not our crop of new mayors? And good Mayor Mo-ness, means good mayoral approval ratings. 15) WHO GROWS A MO ? – at least in Canada, there seems to be no boundary, NDP, Liberal and Conservative, corporate suit and artistic t-shirt, city and rural, morning DJs and afternoon drive guys. The United Nations of MO - we'll solve prostate cancer now, perhaps global peace and the world economy in the future. 16) MOVEMBER DIGITAL CHAMPIONS – how we are excelling at getting the word out through social and digital media. See our Engagement Octopus and Twitter page for influential champions. 17) WHICH CANADIAN WOULD YOU LIKE TO MO? – build your top list of Canuck Mo Wanteds or take our poll of 12 famous Canucks WACKY STUFF 18) MOCUPCAKES – our quest to find the manliest cupcake in Canada - a mashup of feminine and masculine for the ages - website MoCupcakes.com and Twitter: MoCupcakes 19) MOUSTACHE RIDES – great video of MovemberBubba riding a skateboard of Mo and other fundraising tips http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xfxgpQfJrl 20) THE 10 STYLES OF MO – what’s the stylistic breakdown everybody is growing? Trucker Mo, Boxcar, Undercover Brother or 7 other styles – what’s the collective Mo flava? in early returns, based on tweets - 47% of Mos are destined to be Trucker Mos - for the full option of 10 sanctioned styles, click here 21) THE SHAVE OFF – where to go to shave off your Mos locally come December 1 -our guide of the Top 50 places to Shave Off Your Mo to follow. 22) SEXIEST MOSISTAS – self-explanatory, consult AskMen (whose staff are all growing MOs) for your top 99 celebrity candidates 23) THE REVERSE MO – some Canadians have gone the other way and have had to shave off their moustache and beards – how does the reverse Mo feel? Check out the new look of our Vancouver MoBro Gus Fosarolli (@gusf ) 24) THE FLASH STACHE – how does Halifax get 700-1000 people together in Halifax common to make a human Mo, stay tuned! 25) YOUR FATHER’S ‘STACHE – a pictoral display of your father’s moustachioed achievements, developed by our Vancouver team, some great 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s MOments. SOCIAL MEDIA 26) THE ENGAGEMENT OCTOPUS – the 32 ways to get Involved in Movember http://buzzcanuck.typepad.com/agentwildfire/2010/10/the-engagement-octopus-of-movember.html 27) THE TWEET BREAKDOWN – when people tweet about Movember – what do they tweet about? 28) TRENDING MOVEMBER – the cause that just doesn’t quit – how each day we flare up online (in a good way) and trend for yet another reason? 29) DIGITAL MOCAPTAINS – what’s it like being the focus of digital buzz and goodwill in your local city? An autobiography of a MoCaptain. 30) THE POWER OF A SMALL GROUP – how Movember started as a small group of 30 Melbournites and has continued to be all about small tribes of people rallying other people – remember Margaret Mead’s powerful quote _“NEVER DOUBT THAT A SMALL GROUP OF THOUGHTFUL, COMMITTED CITIZENS CAN CHANGE THE WORLD; INDEED, IT’S THE ONLY THING THAT EVER DOES”_ _So go forth, blog, shoot, flick (steal our headlines) and spread the Baskin Robbins never ending flavours of MO._
Tackle prostate cancer globally, but Mo locally. That's our motto for this year's runup to the highly buzzable and causeworthy Movember 2010 campaign. We've had the privilege of pulling together a rag tag crew of passionate Movember digital team captains and assistant captains from across Canada. Their mission is to spread the good word about Movember (it would appear their efforts are already working as we are well ahead of our fundraising goals and Movember was trending for a number of hours yesterday) and involve themselves in a little Mo-opetition, fundraising through their various local, digital and social media outlets. They are the front row of a much larger crew of 2,000 digital influencers we are engaging across Canada. So if you are looking for a team of digital peeps? and want to join our cause - here's where you can find us: @MOVEMBERVIC - VICTORIA B.C. Team Link: http://ca.movember.com/mospace/582742/ Captain - Chris Burdge @b_West Assistant Captains - Rod Phillips @rod_phillips and Juhli Selby @JUHLiSELBy @MOVEMBERYVR - VANCOUVER, B.C. Team YVR Link: http://ca.movember.com/mospace/619810/ Captain James Sherrett @sherrett Assistant Captains - Darren Barefoot @dbarefoot Monique Trottier @somisguided Adrian Eden @adrianeden @MOVEMBERYEG - EDMONTON Team YEG Link : http://ca.movember.com/mospace/558020/ Alberta Captain - Jason Darrah @jasdarrah Assistant Captains -Jerry Aulenbach @zoomjer and Brittney Leblanc @britl @MOVEMBERYYC - CALGARY,ALBERTA Team YYC Link: http://ca.movember.com/mospace/539136/ Captain - Sarah Blue @superblue Assistant Captains - James Bull @jimbones @MOVEMBERYQR - REGINA, SASKATCHEWAN TEAM YQR Link: http://ca.movember.com/mospace/516288/ Captain - David Bellerive @stupidinregina Assistant Captains - Lisa merle @lisamerle and Jeff Maystruck @fraserstrategy @MOVEMBERLDN - LONDON, ONTARIO TEAM LDN Link: http://ca.movember.com/mospace/745714/ Co-Captains - Matt Bergmann @creativematt and Ali Webb @ali_webb Assistant Captains - Andrew Amos @andrew-amos and Karl Allen-Muncey @cutegecko @MOVEMBERTO - TORONTO, ONTARIO Team TO Link: http://ca.movember.com/mospace/533546/ Captain - Jeremy Wright @jeremywright Assistant Captains - Melissa Smich @smichm Michael Nus @michaelnus @MOVEMBERYOW - OTTAWA, ONTARIO Team YOW Link: http://ca.movember.com/mospace/515608/ Captain - Allan Isfan @isfan Assistant Captains - Claudia Petrilli @claudiapetrilli and Dave Hale @davechale @MOVEMBERYUL - MONTREAL, QUEBEC Team YUL Link: http://ca.movember.com/mospace/525926/ Co-Captains - Eric Robillard @clownonfire and Sara Lomas @drawnin Assistant Captains - Colleen Gainey @ColleenTG JS Chouinard @jschouinard @MOVEMBERYHZ - HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA Team YHZ link: http://ca.movember.com/mospace/391178/ Captain: Ryan Joseph @famousfolks Assistant Captains - Matt Whitman @matlantivex Emily Mong @emilymong and @Daniel Couto @coutodaniel @MOCHAMPIONS _- Canada's digital Mo Ambassadors _ MOChampions Team Link: http://ca.movember.com/mospace/157367/ Sean Moffitt @MovemberSean and Nadia Rushdi @MovemberNad @MOCUPCAKES_ - The Quest for the Manliest Cupcakes_ Bakers in crime: Marie Chidiac @mareechidiac Sandra Brunner @wallabina Tiffy @tiffykt Julia Cameron @juliacameron Adjea Duncan @prettysweetlife Sophie Biefield @sophiebifield OUR US CONTINGENT: Benevolent US Ringleader Mike Schneider @schneidermike (located in Boston) TeamAUS - Austin, Texas - Aaron Strout @aaronstrout TeamBOS - Boston, Mass. - Graham Nelson @grahamnelson TeamDFW - Dallas, Texas - Kris Morrison@KMO_Chirp TeamLAX - Los Angeles, California - Brian Aucoin TeamSLC - Salt Lake City, Utah - DJ Waldow @djwaldow TeamNYC - New York City, NY - Lisa Kolodny @kolodsoffun TeamSEA - Seattle, Wash. - Damon Cortesi @dacort TeamSAN - San Diego, Calfornia - BJ Cook @bj TeamRDU - Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina - Gregory Ng @gregoryng Movember and this A-team of Mos are ready, are you?
_Graphic credit to Brandon Home and Threadless_ A good chunk of what has obsessed our office over the last few weeks is the launch of Movember, christened last week by a moustache-inspired art gallery Movember launch event in Toronto. This is my third year as a committed, albeit scant blonde, MoBro (@movembersean) . Part of the success of the Movember movement to change the face of men's health, has been in extending out well beyond the traditional circles of fundraising, in order to deliver attention, buzz and engagement. It's open armed approach is embedded in its history - from 30 Australians having a dream (and perhaps one too many lagers), Movember has grown to a cause supported by 620,000 Mo Bros and Mo Sistas worldwide raising millions of dollars for the treatment and detection of prostate cancer worldwide. The success of Movember has not been driven by celebrity, a wealthy steward or a crisis moment; it's more been driven by word of mouth and getting people to care about and change their appearance for a cause, where they live, work and play. HERE'S THE IMPRESSIVE ARRAY OF PLACES YOU'LL FIND MOVEMBER THIS YEAR, CONSIDER THE MOVEMBER ENGAGEMENT OCTOPUS MORE THAN 30 TENTACLES WIDE: ON THE WEBSITE FRONT: 1) Movember.com - a GQ-meets-Trucker Mo designed website whose key mission to to spread news, orchestrate fundraising and share member involvement with 6 country-based offshoots. 2) Movember Registration Area - where all the fundraising begins - sign up as team captains, join a network challenge and integrate all your fundraising onto Twitter and other social arenas. 3) The Movember 5-Plex - five things you can do while on Movember.com - update on news, see how you rank across other fundraisers, get some merchandise, build out your social pages and visit a swanky and flash-based The Lodge - and amidst the stag heads and other clasically male trinkets, check out the Style Guide, some tips and facts and 5 basic Movember rules. 4) The MOSCARS - a MO-sourcing, video based competition built by Meme Labs to aggregate all the videos that flag why Mo Bros and Mo Sissas are participating in 2010, the three top videos get suited up with Movember swag. ON THE SOCIAL EXTENSIONS FRONT: 5-8) MO SOCIAL - Movember has keenly taken advantage of digital word of mouth by inhabiting the top 4 networks: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr with many country and city specific handles - next year perhaps we'll add LinkedIn - but perhaps that would make us less cool? 9) MOVEMBER DIGITAL CHALLENGE AND CAPTAINS - we've localized and created a focus for our web interests through passioante city-based captains and assistant captains in 20 cities across North America. 10) MOVEMBER DIGITAL CHAMPIONS - the recruitment of concentric circles of 2,000 digital ambassadors in Canada - who are connected, influential and ready to MO Up who will all congregrate at @MoChampions. 11) MOVEMBER NETWORK CHALLENGES - the ability to compete against peer companies, agencies and teams by activating a multi-team leaderboard within Movember.com and starting some Mo smack talk. 12) MOVEMBER MOPHONE - check out iPhone apps and get your iMo on with Movember MoPhone and monitor, scrutinize and share your 30 days of follicle growth. ON THE SPONSOR, PR AND MERCHANDISE FRONT: 13) Movember Threadless Challenge - one of my favourite causes meets one of my favourite crowdsourced websites - check out over 400 of the best Movember T-shirts you'd ever want to see, vote on and buy. 14) Movember Hockey Mos - the use of Lanny McDonald and Wendel Clark as front men is as Canadiana as maple syrup and Kraft Dinner, also take our recent poll on your picks for the best historical and current hockey Mos and which team logo derserves a MO. 15) Movember Cufflinks - grow a Mo with style with Arbitrage cufflinks . 16) Movember Shoes - get a pair of limited edition shoes from Tom's and have the coolest slicks on the block. 17) Movember T-Shirts - get some groovin' T-shirts and badge your self publicly http://www.zazzle.com/movember+tshirts or http://www.palmercash.com/search.aspx?x=0&y=0&SearchTerm=movember. 18) Movember Mercedes-Benz Sponsorship - Mercedes-Benz is a lead sponsor for the effort and is offering up some Smart Cars for promotion and some Mercedes-Benz prizing for the key fundraisers. 19) Movember Schick Sponsorship - check out the Schick manscaping swag available from Australia and North America in this year's effort as well as an effort to tailor your Mo at SchickMoPic.ca. 20) Movember Moo Cards - those lovable stationary cards do it again - this time get your ready made Mo Business cards and MiniCards - just ordered mine. 21) Movember Sector9 Longboards - forget the grizzly November weather - bump and grind down your local 'hood with an official Movember 'board. 22) Movember Demitasse Jewellery - attention Mo Sistas, attention Mo Sistas - get your moustache inspired jewellery and become the fashion diva of Movember. 23) Movember Canadian Club Cocktails - move over Mad Men, your season may be over but ours is just beginning - look for official and some unofficial Canadian Club cocktails inspired by Movember - having drank all of them at the Toronto launch, I highly approve. 24) Movember NHL Players - it's anticpated more than 15 NHLers will be donning a jersey and growing a Mo this Movember, as much as playoff beards are important, mid-season MOs are even more important - have a read on the Minnesota Wild's effort and it's link to the NHL effort of Hockey Fights Cancer. 25) Movember NBA Involvement - talk about a home season opener, NBA fans got their dose of Movember recently in Vancouver 26) Movember Corporate Challenges - who says bankers, lawyers and investment people don't have fun, one of the more successful efforts in Movember is getting prominent companies to raise funds as a company with an automatic company match 27) Movember Prostate Cancer and Livestrong affiliations - establishing strong ties to the representative bodies for Movember in Canada and the U.S. leaves a trail of a lot of positive goodwill and also the raison d'etre for undertaking the campaign. ON THE EVENTS/EXPERIENCE FRONT: 28) MOVEMBER LOCAL COMMITTEES- it's amazing what happens when local people embedded in their communities rally their own business, organizational, trade and neighborhood groups around the Mo flag. 28) Movember Gala Parties - commune and celebrate with your MoBros and MoSistas by fundraising and joining us at the 7 Canadian gala parties and 14 US gala parties from Aspen to Victoria. 29) Movember Moustache-Inspired Art Exhibitions - the moustache has had a long and storied tradition among the elite and bourgeosie of society - why not launch our effort this year by celebrating the aesthetic of the Mo ? 30) Movember Barber Shop Shave Offs - November 1 straight edge clean shaves, remember follow Movember's five golden rules and you can't go wrong. 31) MoCupcakes - the quest to find the manliest cupcake in Canada - join our effort as a cupcaker, amateur baker or cupcake enthusiast @MoCupcakes . 32) Movember Event Space -why wait for a gala event to pop up in your 'hood? Organize and post your own events and order a Movember party in a box . 32) MOVEMBER PRIZING - compete for one of fourteen Mo grand prizes - vie for the title of Man of Movember, Miss Movember, Lame Mo, best Mo Combo, best Mo team, best Mo fundraiser and many others http://ca.movember.com/prizes/.
With my "life choice" having been made last week to become a gadget-carrying member of iPhone nation and my appearance on national TV last night touting my new conversion, I thought it be prudent to lay out my argument in a little more detail than a 5 minute news soundbyte. Trust me when I say that I have invested a good amount of time before changing mobile religions. I've avoided including Android (I have been told Samsung's Galaxy S is the best here) or Windows 7 (which my Microsoft moles have become genuinely excited about the future reinvention of Windows Mobile) in this discussion as I have never owned either, but I recognize there is no shortage of enthusiastic friends wanting to demo these for me. This is more a duel between the current flagship titans of the smartphone business - the iPhone4 that just launched in Canada July 30th and the Blackberry Torch just launched yesterday August 3rd. Here is my point by point breakdown: THE WRAPPER (OUT OF 10 PTS) - as mentioned in my interview above, I likely was asked a handful of times in the 6 year history of owning my Blackberries to gawk at its features and hold it, but in just 4 days, I have been asked 15 times with my iPhone - the iPhone4 is plain cooler - it is brighter, thinner, easy to hold, shaped sleekly - it has a 3.5" screen vs. Blackberry's new Torch at 3.2" and its thickness is 9.3mm vs. the new Torch at above 14mm - much more pocket friendly - what I will give Blackberry is its ability to take a licking, as much as iPhone4 has encased itself in airplane glass, Blackberry is a UFC meets mobile warrior - overall though the verdict is IPHONE4 10 - BLACKBERRY TORCH 7 VISUALS (10 PTS) - when compared to an iPhone3 -it feels like two layers of clouds have been lifted, iPhone's 640 x 960 pixel resolution display is industry leading, they have crossed over 300 pixels per inch which makes all images appear continuous to the human eye, its IPS technology is the same stuff they put in iPad and allows for a wider angle of screen resolution so even if you peer from the side, you still get a pristine image - the Torch has a 360x480 screen resolution - ouch, not even up to premium standard -IPHONE 10 - BLACKBERRY TORCH 5 THE KEYBOARD (10 PTS) - here's where the iPhone4 comes back to the field - Blackberry slider pull out keyboard is plain easier to type and now they have added touch screen capabilities - Apple's touch keyboard is surprisingly intuitive and my learning curve was not horrible but for a guy like me who played too much rugby as a kid and have bricklayer fingers because of it - the QWERTY two-thumbs keyboard wins hands down - STILL BLACKBERRY TORCH 9 - APPLE IPHONE4 - 6 APPLICATIONS (10 PTS) - Apple has 225,000 applications vs. Blackberry's 5,000 applications - I'm sure you can cover off the main needs in your life fairly evenly (maps, compass, news sites) - but given my own 60 app downloads already, I can testify that I know Blackberry users are missing out on the Long Tail of downloads that really get at their niche interests and enhance their enjoyment and use of their device, and heck, even nascent Android has over 38,000 applications - APPLE IPHONE4 - 10, BLACKBERRY TORCH - 4 USER EXPERIENCE (10 PTS) - I love being in one Apple environment and seamlessly being able to move around to another, I feel about 30% faster with an iPhone now - Blackberry's user experience is likely improved with touch screen capabilities but the multitasking abilities that allow iPhone4 to do stuff in the background while you're working on stuff in the foreground without apparently sucking battery power is ...ahem...way cool - IPHONE4 - 9 BLACKBERRY TORCH 7 SOCIALNESS (10 PTS) - as much as we still rely on email and texting - we are living in a social network universe of Twitter, YouTube and Facebook (double the time of any other online activity is now spent here) ...beyond app availability, it appears that the iPhone4 is always just one touch away from posting on social sites - I took a video this morning and posted to YouTube almost seamlessly - now I also hear one of the advances with Blackberry Torch is it's socialness on top of its historical strengths in email and messenger - willing to consider this a saw off -Blackberry best on old world social (text/email) and Apple superior on new world social (social/video/GPS local) IPHONE4 - 8, BLACKBERRY TORCH - 8 MULTIMEDIA (10 PTS) - both have 5 megapixel cameras with flashes and autofocus, where it all changes in favour of iPhone4 is improved microphones and speakers (the iPhone4 is roughly 40% louder than the iPhone3), HD video (vs. Torch's standard video), two way camera (great for Twitterian "look at me" self portraits) and Face Time videocalling (you may have seen the ads -a truly disruptive innovation) IPHONE4 -9 BLACKBERRY TOUCH - 6 CALLING (10 PTS) - haven't had a dropped call yet on the iPhone4 but it has had well documented antenna issues, since I'm guessing the Torch's visual interface allows for touch dialing - I'll consider contact lists and the prospect and experience of phoning dead even (Torch's universal search might even make this better), and since they are all carried by the same carriers, there are no network differences - until Facetime calling takes off (available only in wi-fi mode and with other iPhone4 users) for the time being, it's a dead heat - IPHONE4 - 8 AND BLACKBERRY TORCH 8 BATTERY LIFE (5 PTS) - iPhone4 - 7 hours talk time, 40 hours of audio playback and 10 hours of video playback, Blackberry Torch - 5.8 hours talk time, 30 hours of audio playback, 6 hours of video playback - comparable and I will say based on the superior multimedia uses of the iPhone - it may run out earlier not based on inferior battery but based on proportionately more time spent on apps that battery hog - APPLE IPHONE4 -4 , BLACKBERRY TORCH - 3. EMOTIONAL ALLURE (5 PTS) - even my avowed Blackberry loyalist in the above video April Dunford claims the emotional tug of the Apple can be too appealing to resist - part of this social "tidal pull" toward the iPhone has been created organically by its users, part of it by its mastery of the user experience from consideration to retail to packaging to the tech and software and part of it, by the launch of stuff and features, months sometimes years, before other competitors, it's a tough one for BB to compete against (I hear a Blackberry iPad will launch in November, once again 8 months after Apple)- I think one competitive wedge could be Blackberry opening up to social networks in a big way as Apple has resisted, but BB has invested its external operations in customer service and less about building online community, too bad - APPLE IPHONE4 5, BLACKBERRY TORCH 3 THE EXTRAS (10 PTS) - let's see - iPhone4 has a pretty cool 3 axis gyroscope, a built in compass, 16 or 32GB of built in memory vs. Blackberry's 4GB install (that can open up to 32GB) and some other barely used but good to brag about bling....most of Blackberry Torch's features from first appearances seem like a catch up to Apple iPhone's world - beyond being cheaper and having the slider already mentioned, there doesn't seem to be remarkably different stuff on the Blackberry - IPHONE4 - 8, BLACKBERRY TORCH 5 THE FINAL VERDICT - Apple iPhone's Score of 87 beats Blackberry Torch's score of 65 Here are the tech specs - Apple iPhone4 vs. Blackberry Torch
From the ashes of the meltdown of the 2008 and 2009 world economy comes a number of group and local deal services targeting local-based retailers and the people that shop there. It is truly the marriage between three rising trends - e-commerce, localization and social networking - wrapped up in a discount envelope. I've had no fewer than ten people ask me about the comparative strength of these services - apparently many of their sales teams are pitching superiority in their proposals. I'm of two minds here. On one side, this is a heck of a lot better than targeting discounts and coupons through newspaper from an effectiveness, from a tracking and from a pay-for-performance standpoint. As a client interested in ROI or a retailer counting their pennies, this type of service gets a lot closer to knowing which part of your marketing spend is effective. On the other side, I see a nation of retailers, from high end boutiques to low end discounters, training their clientele to shop based on price and ceding over their customer lists to others in the process. Is this just a better more contemporary, socialized version of the coupon that allows more real estate to promote your offering or is this the Walmartization of local merchant economy? That economic and moral question aside, we have reviewed and rated 30 of the top deal services based on the following criteria: - User Experience (20 pts) - Quality of Deal (20 pts) - Differentiation of Offering (15 pts) - Design (15 pts) - Socialness (10 pts) - Breadth of Deals (10 pts) - Number of Cities/Places (10 pts) We'll release our ratings next week but hopefully give their founders and executive staff a chance to provide additional thoughts and highlight their strengths on their group wares. I'll individually evaluate each site in follow up posts. In the interim, here is our preliminary rating of their Twitter presence. Twitter IQ scores were given based on number of followers, quality and frequency of posts, depth of engagement and smart Twitter behaviour (response/promote ratios, central and city-based pages):
Twitter IQ Score
Red Flag Deals
My Daily Thread
Mountain View, CA
Congrats Gilt Groupe, Living Social, Team Buy and ScoutMob for passing our Twitter test with flying colours. Unfortunately Twitter socialness likely only counts for 3% of our total evaluation. For those who work at these companies, we'd love to evaluate your strengths firsthand, so drop us a line or leave a comment below.
We've also left 8 spots open for additions, so please provide us your best other group buying networks/websites for our total evaluation. Happy deals.
Some of you may know, we have happily finished authoring 85,000+ words of customer engagement magic entitled "Wikibrands - Reinventing Your Business in a Customer-Controlled Marketplace (McGraw-Hill)" . It's due out in the late Fall - just in time for your holiday business stockings. Of course I'm biased, but it really is good, almost gift worthy. The shorthand I've been using to describe it is: Wikinomics, just written four years later and deeper inside business. Of course, another distinction is that we're more about providing a roadmap for engaged business and a recipe for reinvention than an academic study. In truth, as a post-modern author, the toughest work has now just begun. For a heads up, on our central arguments, content, business cases and where we go from here, have a glimpse. Debuting as an author with a just finished manuscript, many revelations appear and crystallize just now after the long period spent interviewing, researching and writing. Perhaps grizzled veteran writers know the vicissitudes of publishing but you've caught me fresh. In the wake of writing over late nights, during short flights and between bites, clarity has eventually come. One of my favourite authors Hemingway once mused, "if a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water." If that's true, my fellow writer Mike Dover and myself have left a virtual Northwest Passage of insight below the surface and left out of the finished book. Look forward to a "chockful of content" on our associated Wikibrands blog and wiki later this summer. We not only have in-depth learnings about our study of interest - customer participation, online community, brand collaboration, social influence, word of mouth and grassroots marketing, but also about the process of publishing itself. When you spend three years thinking seriously about a book, studying over 200 individual subjects of interest and interviewing just as many experts, patterns emerge and insights, perhaps after a short period of confusion and dissonance, become entrenched. Take advantage of my literary-induced sleep deprivation, here are the top sixteen things I learned about the process of putting my soul into this publishing exercise, hopefully you can apply them to your own efforts: 1) You're never more informed about your subject of interest than THE DAY YOU HAND IN YOUR MANUSCRIPT. Like training for a marathon, your peak performance happens right before the race. Celebrate now and prepare yourself for the long slow decline out of the giddy discovery phase and deep content sifting phase and enter the "career and life getting in the way" phase. 2) Most of your interviews will provide some level of new insight or validation - tEN PERCENT WILL PROVIDE GOLD, know which one is which wherever it comes, from and make sure they get in the book. 3) Thinking up a concept is so much EASIER THAN WRITING ABOUT IT; the actual seed idea or kernel thought takes twenty times less time than validating, supporting, writing and providing evidence for it. 4) Continue to ask yourself - is what I'm writing here valuable to readers? will it make them think differently? will it broaden perspectives? will it help them change their environments? will it provide practicality to their day jobs? In a connected content-driven world, to earn $20 plus dollars out of someone's pocket, you NEED TO PROVIDE UTILITY against what is generally already available. 5) Genuinely stretching new ideas are tough to find - MOST NEW IDEAS HAVE SUBTLETY AND NUANCE; finding different lenses into existing ideas is a majority of what good books do. 6) When you invite people to contribute - some will be important for advancing your argument, some will be important for connecting to others, some will be important for being your advocates when the book eventually comes out. KEEP ALL THOSE RELATIONSHIPS GOING and provide reciprocal benefits 7) POSITIONING IS KEY - try to appeal to as broad an audience as possible, but no broader. In our case, marketers are traditionally "book resistors" - we've taken the idea of "brand" as a key business value driver and thus, we're intending to appeal to the broader business audience, from entrepreneurs to the C-suite. 8) Supporting point #7, PEOPLE DO JUDGE BOOKS BY THEIR COVERS - do not compromise on merely an acceptable cover, hold out for something that is iconic that explains your concept perfectly and achieves shelf impact (note: cover on Amazon and in this post are draft cover versions). 9) INVOLVE AND ASK YOUR AUDIENCE - it's amazing what they know and how they can steer you away from publishing potholes. It also supports our central argument that when you get people involved at even a basic level, when listened to and treated well, they will over time become referral engines, advocates and evangelists. 10) Practitioners provide CREDIBILITY AND STORIES; experts provide sOPHISTICATED UNDERSTANDING AND QUOTABLE QUOTE. Include both. One of our peer books had absolutely no endnotes, it was merely personal opinion and not surprisingly, read unbelievably shallow and pompous. People want to hear the truth well told rather than just your expert musings. 11) Be prepared for LONG WAITS ON INTERVIEWS - the larger the company and the more senior you get, the longer you wait. Some will pleasantly surprise based on their speed of getting back to you and candour, others will massively disappoint. 12) Twitter may be a great way to get in touch with people you don't know but horrible for setting up meetings (Twitter are you listening?); on balance, GOOD OLD FASHIONED EMAIL AND LINKEDIN provide much better traction for connecting with people important to your content. 13) Never underestimate THE SELFLESSNESS OF PEOPLE who love their jobs, embrace your thesis and want to help you out (thank you all that provided your valuable time with us). 14) It's an EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER. There will be moments in time that you won't want to finish, there will be other times when you're ready for a second book. 15) For a business book, you need to BALANCE SUBSTANCE WITH STYLe. Too much of the former, makes it boring; too much of the latter, makes it puffery. 16) As alluded to, most modern authors understand that ACTUAL WRITING IS LESS THAN HALF THE BATTLE - the pre-writing pitch effort and the post-writing promotion effort is just as time consuming and requires a different and much more extroverted skillset. Relish your role as a personal brand brandishing your self-made arguments. If you're thinking about writing a book,go into it with eyes open. It requires a lot of effort but at some point you need to get off the couch and just do it. The windfall in reputation, connections and speaker fees can be large; the money made on the book itself may be one of your lesser revenue lines. We are fortunate to have such great editorial and publicity staff at McGraw-Hill but plenty of self-publishing sites exist, Lulu.com and Blurb are popular faves to do-it-yourself. Look forward to seeing you on our road trip of pre-promotion in the Fall. To be sure, Wikibrands will be jam-packed with promotion, speaking, recruiting a universe of ambassadors, creating extended content, building an awards program and involving our readers. Join our advance Facebook group and Twitter page. I'm looking forward to the outreach, critique and exposing what we think is a valuable addition to the fabric of the conversation about engaged business. We hope you'll join us too.
We're excited about our 23rd and most collaborative LOKBP event yet, happening in Vancouver this week. One of the big reasons why is the theme "Socializing for Social Good". We are teaming up with fresh upstart and refreshingly candid "F+ck Cancer" to collaborate on their future business needs. I had a chance to chat with Yael Cohen, change agent and founder of F+ck Cancer last week and get the lowdown about what it's all about: _Buzz Canuck: I love coming across new causes or movements that feel fresh or different, when we were introduced to F*ck cancer weeks ago, it got me excited, what's it all about?_ Yael Cohen: It started pretty simply. My mom got cancer and as she was going through treatment, we made up these shirts "F*ck Cancer". The reactions were unbelievable. She would walk around the block, and people were openly hugging and expressing support. What has developed here was very organic stretching from one personal experience to a global movement that gives patients the power to standup against cancer. _BC: Now that it is up and running, what's the bigger cause d'etre here?_ YC: As much as we need funding for treatment, we really need to switch the focus of where the majority of our charity funds go. Simple early detection and prevention needs to get on everybody's agenda. Sure you're going to live your life but it is becoming so much more easy to profile the risks and tackle cancer at a more treatable stage. We also want it easier for patients who have cancer or doctors that cover it to create a much better dialogue to know how best to tackle cancer together - too many bad experiences have happened to not tackle the questions a patient should ask when they get diagnosed. The reality is most of the money you raise currently goes to finding a cure, we would like to rebalance that. _BC: You've taken a cheeky page of French Connections (FCUK) and Ontario energy's (Flick off) book , by using the brazen F-word - why?_ YC: First, I think we have to realize that unlike how more than a few charities and care staff work "it's the pat you on the head" approach and provide some empathy. The reality is that it sucks getting cancer. It can be violent in how it attacks your body and we're saying, you know what "it's alright to be angry", "it's alright to feel singled out". But we want to empower people to take back control of their cancer. The F-word is a very powerful word. People are ready for this now. I work in investor relations for a mining company and although I might not wear the T-shirt front and centre to work everyday, it's part of our conversation, let's be honest. _BC: Is there a danger people will feel that this is too negative or too politically incorrect?_ YC: We are very careful to ensure people realize that F*ck cancer is all about taking smart measures to diagnose, prevent and fight cancer. We have developed cue cards and body maps that help people understand their risks. We are not all style, there is a lot of substance behind our message that is not getting through. If using a collections of words that gets more people to share their stories, we're alright with that. _BC: So what's next?_ YC: I never knew what this would become. I work in investor relations and have a degree in political science at UBC and have no background in not-for-profit. Heck, we're using social media to spread the word and I just learned twitter 3 weeks ago. But we've now produced 2,000 shirts and are encouraging people to send their pictures in wearing the T-shirt and telling their really powerful experiences. We also want to be an advocacy movement and are working at extending geographically to LA, NYC, UK, France, Spain, Australia and Germany. We're working with Cancer Schmancer to extend our message out. What we'd like everybody to do is just like our website tells "say it, share it ,wear it and do it". _BC: We are bringing our world to yours on Thurs, April 29th - what would you like to get from our League of Kickass business people audience?_ YC: Hopefully we'll get some new outlooks, ways to get the message further out, a tagline and a call to action. We'd really also like to try to find out how we get university age people extending this important message to their parents and older audiences that are at elevated cancer risks. It should be fun, it will be interesting to see how people see what we're doing.
I know, I know - as a traditional age marketer, the concept of "listening" may sound all motherhood-y and granola, but you must know by now it's so critically important to an engaged business. In fact, the toplines of our Buzz Report suggest that of 16 different elements "LISTENING - NOT STAYING TUNED AND RESPONDING TO WHAT MEMBERS/CUSTOMERS WANT QUICKLY" was considered the biggest sin of not building an engaged, collaborative business. I didn't expect this - I would have thought the measurement advocates, technology gurus or strategy folks would have dominated our poll results. But more than 53% of our panel ranked the seemingly simple act of "listening" the top ingredient for doing well in "social business". In interviewing a cadre of experts for our book Wikibrands, we've begun to realize the "art and science" of listening perhaps isn't that simple and has many dimensions: CUSTOMER MONITORING - KNOWING WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT YOU - this is perhaps the most obvious one, it involves the least investment of time for the most benefit. Whether it is for marketing, customer service or research motivations, 68% of companies have a system in place to perform this listening function. Whether it's done by UHU glue and masking tape (Technorati, Twitter search, Hootsuite, manual audit and search) or one of the reputable social media monitoring vendors (Radian6, Visible), the call of the "connected age" is just do it. CUSTOMER CULTURE - KNOWING WHAT YOUR CUSTOMER AND INFLUENCERS ARE DOING - businesses need to meet their customers on their own soil - we no longer can broadcast our messages through the key traditional 6 channels (TV, radio, outdoor, prints, newspaper, direct) - we have to be "every place" and also be well behaved when we get there by understanding the rules and motivations of what people want from us there. It is a mandate that engaged business should be devoting resources for Brailling the culture of their marketplace (see Community Manager role) CUSTOMER CENTRICITY - CUSTOMERS RECOGNIZE YOU ARE ACTIVELY LISTENING - it's not enough just to know the social environment of your product and customer universe, you need to participate...and show your customers that you are listening. Consider the majority of Whole Food's social media activity is responding to customers nationally, on an interest and local-specific basis. The fact thatthey are the 52nd most popular Twitter page (ahead of Paris Hilton at #55) and you'll realize that is no coincidence. You need to provide the real genuine face and ear of your company to the community at large to fully recognize the benefits of listening. CUSTOMER-DRIVEN - CUSTOMERS RECOGNIZE YOU ARE CHANGING BASED ON FEEDBACK -so you're happy that you are listening and participating, your customers are happy that they feel listened to, what more could there be? Showing them you've changed, that's what. Any community, no matter how solidly entrenched, will get bored over time, if they don't feel their contributions to your business are causing things to change. You must change based on customer feedback, highlight the credit to your audience and communicate to others that they too can change the colossus that is your business.
Social media is like an ice cream shop of personalities. And just like Baskin Robbins serves 31 flavours, there usually are endless sub-flavours with different sprinkles and mouth feels but generally group up into main camps, for frozen treats, you can have ice cream, gelato, sorbet or frozen yogurt. 'Tis true with social media as well - typically when I surf a person's blog, Facebook page and Twitter profile, I make judgments, like most of us, in a span of less than 3 seconds. Most of the time, these are almost sub-conscious attributions I'm making but when I really think about it, these people collect in 4 different camps of social media personalities segmented in my brain as I've described below - the Cotton Candy type , The Librarian type, The Guitar type and The Treasure Chest type. It may be shallow, but in a world of finite time and unlimited digital directions, finding effective shorthands to navigate the social web is almost essential. Like ice cream, we all have our faves - I love Italian gelato and chocolate chip, meanwhile, I have tough time wondering why anybody would love Tiger Tail or Neapolitan, but strangely enough they do. So here are the key traits for our 4 social media personality camps (bias is included): I) COTTON CANDY SOCIAL MEDIA PERSONALITIES - uni-dimensional, style>substance PERSONALITY - typically narcissistic, anti-everything except themselves and their cliques, spontaneous, of the moment ULTIMATE GOAL - to be noticed, talked about...for practically any reason _Twitter_ * a high number of "!!!" or ":)))" and "lol" in tweets * messages that are intended for one person going out to everybody * twitpics of person doing stuff in A-listing places or overly-personal situations _Blog_ * short, short posts - usually one liners with some type of arresting picture * lifestreaming - no holds barred * bearing all - shallow introspective thoughts that masquerade as art or insight _Facebook_ * the costumed or over-the-top profile photo/avatar * over 500 friends and 500 photos for sometimes reasons unexplained * long list of bands, books or quotes in profile that nobody has ever heard or would want to repeat II) LIBRARIAN SOCIAL MEDIA PERSONALITIES - uni-dimensional, substance>style PERSONALITY - arrogant, pseudo-authoritative, elitist, boring except to their audience ULTIMATE GOAL - to be recognized for their smarts and ideas _Twitter_ * self promotional tweets of rank, status on lists, upcoming conferences, awards * links to their content on their own blog or those mentioned by others * only retweet A-lister people with big followings, books or positional status _Blog_ * long, long posts - usually 1,000+ words, frequently drifting in and out of main theme * opinionated with "full kitchen sink" arguments for one "enlightened" point of view with impeccable long form grammar * devoid of personality - very limited "letting their hair down" and sharing personally revealing insight _Facebook_ * usually an air-brushed photo of them in front of desk, on-stage, at a book signing or shaking a pope/president's hand * very few friends and infrequent posting ('cause heck this is Facebook, no one is smart there) * many, many cross-posted blog posts from a social media API - lazy, broadcasty, Facebooking III) THE GUITAR SOCIAL MEDIA PERSONALITIES - well-rounded, style>substance PERSONALITY - hopelessly brilliant, artistic, many interests, shared personal and social voice ULTIMATE GOAL - to connect to like minds, to create/design new stuff, on a noble-minded mission, ideas _Twitter_ * thought provoking 140 character quote or insight with links * novel Twitter background that could be replicated into a poster * good looking content from under-the-radar places with a personal charm and tone of voice _Blog_ * beautiful looking, design-friendly content * well-considered posts, mainly original but with credits to others * zinger headlines in a relatively consistent look, feel and tone of voice _Facebook_ * use Facebook for more personal insight and what's going on * well-stocked photo wall, Slideshare and obscure social network links * interesting multi-dimensional lives - food, art, music, culture, travel - not related to profession IV) THE TREASURE CHEST SOCIAL MEDIA PERSONALITIES - multi-dimensional, substance>style PERSONALITY - engaged with culture, exciting and excitable, big span of interests, intellectually curious, see the forest through the trees ULTIMATE GOAL - to turn information into insight, to discover interesting new stuff, to build original content _Twitter_ * a high percentage of retweeted content with links and high number of lists * asks as many questions as they do answers * show a balance between insight from social media, traditional media and the real world _Blog_ * think what people think, but write what nobody has written before - in a word, original * heavily researched, investigated and thought about - not just personal opinion stuff * longevity of impact - content transcends "flavour of the day", creates reader impact _Facebook_ * many likes, interests and groups/pages joined * modulate tone of voice for Facebook audience - let personal dimension show * shine light on great content from other "treasure chest" friends "the guild society of social media" - highlight their substance with personal commentary? So which type are you? And will I know it in 3 seconds or less..
_I came to a fork in the road, so I took it._ _Yogi Berra_ A topic of much rancorous debate over the last few weeks in the office and on a few pitches has been the comparative appeal, need for and roles of these three very different e-beasts: - the corporate site - the online brand community and - the social network extensions (we could add blog if we wanted a fourth). Some late adopting companies have questioned whether they need to even open themselves to the latter two more socially-oriented digital arenas. I liken them to the sentries trying to hold onto the last outskirts of the Roman Empire; I hope they have a better fate, but I fear not Other aloof companies believe a bit of social media monitoring and a Facebook page is all you need to be social. I have a great deal on "pork belly" futures for you too if you subscribe to this school of thought. Meanwhile, a number of high profile Cluetrain advocates have suggested that leading companies in the future may not even need to own their own hubs and that there business will be taken care of ably by their Facebook platforms, Twitter profiles, Google apps and iPhone apps. Calling all patrol cars, we're looking for the web insane - they've escaped their cells again. All of these positions are horribly wrong and missing the key axiom on the role of web in building value for business - BE EVERYWHERE, TO ALL PEOPLE WITH A BALANCE OF ENVIRONMENTS, CONTENT, BENEFIT AND CONTROL. In an effort to presumedly control costs and complexity, companies are hunkering down and believing they need to choose one direction and stick to it. This is a cardinal sin - unfortunately also one being furthered by self-interested groups: boutique agencies who favour gorgeous looking standalone sites, ecommerce/technology companies pushing security tight enterprise infrastructures, Silicon Valley who are pushing white label, company-owned collaborative environments and ad platforms and social nets who are peddling third party platforms. _Why choose?_ After all, each serves a valuable purpose and if you look at the best engaged brands - they have a healthy participation and integration in all camps. The chart below suggests why each has a role to play and how chopping a head off, eliminates access to a big part of the digital value chain. So as much as you'd like to cut off the some of the limbs, arms and noggins from the three headed digital hydra - you'd be foolish to. You might be able to control your assets better but as a wise manager once told me "you can always manage failure, much tougher to manage success."
SOCIAL MEDIA IS A DIRTY WORD. There I said it. I wish the term had never been invented, never mind taken off in the minds of business, media and everyday people. It should be extricated from the records. So you say _"Calm down, Sean - it doesn't matter what you call something, they're only words"._ Wrong. Words do matter. Shorthand categories and slogans have power. What's your reaction when I say "Glasnost", "Apartheid"or "War on Terror"? More specifically, why do we call TV "T.V."? Why has CRM taken off as a practice? Who defined the box of "search engine" and allowed Google to dominate it? See, people like to define concepts and ideas into boxes - that's why we wax poetic and really like knowing and debating whether somebody is into rap music, rock music, country music or jazz. It defines their values and who they are (and we subsequently struggle when an artist comes along that throws the regimented distinctions up in the air). And it seems like wherever the conversation turns to engaged, more progressive marketing it gets labeled "social media". In fact,the draft toplines of our Buzz Report suggest "social media is the darling of the professional set" lexicon. 60% of professionals use it to define our cool, interesting space that my company and many other credible companies deal in. It dwarfs any other term. Here's my 5 issues with the term "social media"'s rise to prominence: 1) IT'S SO MUCH MORE THAN MEDIA- by calling it a media, it really demeans its ability to build value for a company - there are a tonne of benefits "social media" provides (generating insight, user-generated content and enlisting peer-to-peer support to name a few) that other media don't come close to delivering on. Consequently and unfortunately, when the same people that have performed so well through mass media, are encharged with social media - they try to transport the same rules, measures and practices of the previous mediums to this one. They miss out on the subtlety of how dialogue develops, how content is king, how organizations can change based on the exchange and how real customer engagement is better than transitory eyeballs and fans. It plain doesn't work. 2) IT'S UBIQUITOUS TO THE POINT OF MEANINGLESSNESS - as we speak, there are 28,000+ people on Twitter who consider themselves experts or gurus of "social media". I'm sure there are many that are very good, but many have perhaps found themselves in mid career stress, Gen Y career ceilings or downsized from organizations and believe given low start up costs, fast learning curve and isolated examples of "instant celebrity" that they can become a "somebody" in this social media playground too. It's a liberating thought but unfortunately an incorrect one. One of the big reasons companies aren't jumping on the Klondike Gold Rush is the absence of rigourous, intensive study or practice in how to drive this list of diverse tactics for business value. There is a feeding frenzy that is starting to starve itself and are clouding how to easily to determine the best in the business to rise to the top. 3) SOCIAL MEDIA IS THE TOOL AND ONLY ONE OF THEM - Social media is one sliver of the customer engagement pie. If we want to label it all as "social media" we create very little distinction between very different strategies and tactics. What of online communities? What of word of mouth? What of experiential marketing? What of influencer outreach and blogger seeding programs? What of user generated content/collaboration? These sub-segments operate under very different rules and guidelines. By being "vanilla" and calling it all social media, you easily lose the nuance. 4) SOCIAL MEDIA IS WHAT PEOPLE DO - it will be almost impossible for business people to catch up. In fact, more than 70% of marketers believe their customer knows just as much as they do in the realm of social media. Face reality, how are you supposed to compete in knowledge and experience with customers and prospects that could be spending 20-25 hours per week on Facebook, Twitter and other social appendages. For most of us that have other duties and a day job, you can't. Whereas you can be a pro at customer engagement or social influence marketing, you'll never be able to catch up to your audience in social media prowess. Stop trying and leave this term to the customer's domain. 5) SOCIAL MEDIA IS FADDISHLY SILO - RIM's VP of Digital marketing said it best “2 years from now- if I still have a Director of Social Media - I should be fired!". By categorizing it, you allow it to be siloed into some department's job. I might agree with the notion there should be some executive accountability for it, but social media is everyone's job. Over the next few years, we'll see social media become part of what we do everyday across the company. My belief is the wheels will come off the cart and similar to how email and database marketing got subsumed into direct marketing, social media will start to take root in companies across customer service, marketing, media, research and innovation, that calling it something different will lose relevance over time. What do you think? Is social media a curse word in your life as detestable as its predecessors "web 2.0" or "dot.com" or is it the lovable, huggable teddy bear that you embrace everyday?
We have scored a virtual coup. That's right a coup. Here's what I'm talking about. Next Monday, we are hosting our first boutique event inviting some senior Canadian marketers for a league of their own. They've expressed a need - we're filling it. Even more exciting is who's appearing, check this roster: GRANT MCCRACKEN is making a Toronto appearance - he's been one of my favourite bloggers since 2004 - his postsactually make you think. He is launching his book "Chief Culture Officer" - recommended by Business Week as one of the best books of 2009...and an idea and subject that marketers need to wrap their minds around...NOW. In our second half, we will have TED GRAHAM from Interbrand present their Top Brands report - I was invited to an executive breakfast a couple of months ago where they presented the findings and I found the valuation interesting, summary brilliant and implications clear and provocative. Great influential company, a great venue (the Spoke Club) and a copy of the book and report. If you are a head of a client marketing group, don't pass up the opportunity to get connected, informed and excited about 2010. If you are a CMO or our a change agent who want to influence their CMO to change their culture and approach to their customers, come join us on Monday, January 11th.
Hopefully once and for all, we can put the age-old 2.0 argument to rest - "do you build your own online community or connect on others?". The essential need is to do both - if you hear advice to the contrary, the people you are talking to really don't know what they are talking about. Think about a bike wheel - the built community is your hub - you control it and host the conversation inviting the world into your party, it powers what your business does...the affiliated communities (and there potentially many - see our social media octopus) are the spokes - extending your good stuff into the microcosms of the web and getting your content unchained, loose and fancy free. Here's the key reason why you need the hub and spokes to your community bike - if you look at the 6 key requirements of building effective community (there are a few others - but these are the day to day operating essentials), a built community (i.e. Dell Ideastorm) vs. an affiliated community (i.e. a user forum or a Facebook page) perform much differently on these steps. OUTREACH - for most prospective communities - the people you need to find and recruit are "out there" not "in here" - last time I checked finding 1.1 billion people in social networks, 350 million people on Facebook, 50 million LinkedIners and 20 million early adopting Twitterites then dropping a phone call to your very best friends - ADVANTAGE- AFFILIATED COMMUNITIES SEEDING - identifying the right group of users to be your front row of testers, collaborators, users and ambassadors - takes a mix of scale - having a lot of people enter the candidate funnel and knowing what they are doing and saying in the world out there but on the other side, also understanding intimately the people that are already related to you and their intensity of commitment and interest - ADVANTAGE - A TIE ENGAGEMENT - competing with 150,000 Facebook pages and 100,000 iPhone apps are way too difficult, to create any type of meaningful engagement, the user experience in these arenas is to graze and sip not to settle into one space and go deep - on top of that, all of the meaningful metrics, insights and opportunity to build a relationship belong to the platform not the sponsoring party - you are at their whim - finally, any customization requirements are the mercy of what the social network platform or user forum allows you to do...it simply pays to build your own community to engage people on a deeper basis ADVANTAGE - BUILT COMMUNITIES COLLABORATION - oftentimes in a community you want to hive off a discussion, a project, an idea, a group and get a subset of engaged and informed people to rally around it away from your general mainstream group - once again, tough as nails to create that interaction on the popular social networks - you are just another subway stop on a user's very long train tracks of their web social and content life - creating this sense of commitment, affinity and collective interest happens in built communities enhanced by the ability to control and design your world your way consistent with community user's core needs ADVANTAGE - BUILT COMMUNITIES AFFILIATION - people join and buy into communities for three reasons - intrinsically - they buy into the values of what you're doing, extrinsically - they will appear better to their peers and explicitly - they get something for their time and effort - whereas built communities may reinforce a sense of intrinsic "we're all in this together" value better, affiliated communities allow for an expanded broadcast of your reputation driving extrinsic value - then it's a battle between the built communities ability to reward anybody at any time more easily vs. affiliated communities ease of effort and ability to recruit and be noticed be others doing good stuff ADVANTAGE - TIE REBROADCAST - good content usually rises to level of its quality - and the good stuff usually goes "viral" in social networks and user forums not within the confines of the built community itself, check out the New York Times as well as most established media and grassroots blogs and the majority of their web traffic comes through links from affiliated networks (i.e. Twitter feeds) than specific destination visitors - their good content gets marginalized if not for the eyes of the affiliated community worlds this also supports search engine rankings ADVANTAGE - AFFILIATED COMMUNITIES The short argument is that AFFILIATED COMMUNITIES HELP BUILD SCALE and the BUILT COMMUNITIES HELP BUILD ENGAGEMENT. Worth further exploration as a future blog post...but in the interim, when two online communities fork in the woods - take both paths.
It's 8:18am, I have until 8:33 to define the 15 ways geo tagging will spread its wings in productive and interesting ways in 2010. 1) URBAN TRANSIT - transit shelters will increasingly be equipped with presence devices - telling people when next buses are coming, who's on the bus and how crowded it is 2) DATING SITES - imagine understanding everybody in a crowd's appetite for romance - from hot to trot to totally off limits 3) URBAN GAMES - playing iPhone enabled location-specific games - Amazing Race for the City meets Scavenger Hunt meets Capture the Flag 4) SOCIAL UNIVERSE DASHBOARD- having a live map of your top 30 friends and where they are on your city grid - it's like a stock market of friendships 5) THE PARTY AND HAPPY HOUR TRACKER - knowing where the action is in a given city, by popularity of geo tagged location - avoid the lineups, find the after hours lounges and drink specials 6) THE CONCERT CHECK - having a just-in-time readout of where the best music is playing at what venue 7) SHOPPING MALL RED LIGHT SPECIALS - receiving time specific and lifestyle specific offers and sales tagged within a shopping mall environment 8) TOURISM CHECKPOINTS - tagging the 500 must see sites in different cities, having time-alotted tours based on mode of travel 9) TAXI CAB FLEET MAP - being able to phone the closest spotted geo-tagged taxis to arrive at your place of pickup 10) GEO-SPECIFIC EVENTBRITE/MEETUP - find out where call your relevant clubs are meeting in the city on a map 11) GAWKER STALKER - the paparazzi are alive and well - find out where the celebs are hanging out in the city- TMZ culture lives locally 12) RED VELVET CLUB - an exclusive club of influencers and VIPs getting securee app access to backstage entrance to the best restaurants and clubs in the city 13) SAMPLE SALE - find out where inventory sales, overstocks and end of season stuff is being thrown over the side of the retail ship 14) MUNICIPAL SERVICES - at any one time, find out where the nearest police, garbage truck, snow plow, ambulance and other essential services are - sleep in bed longer knowing you haven't missed your garbage pickup 15) WHO ARE THE PEOPLE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD? - find out the interests, professions and habits of people living around the corner from you and establish some new connections with your local community again - the idea of town hall comes fulls circle Now add yours?
As a follow up to my Un-Agency post back in June, I thought I would provide a scouting report on the 12 different types of firms trying to command the high ground on the social media/community space and what I perceive to be their strengths and weaknesses amongst the 18 competencies an engaged outsourced firm should have. In part, I've done it to help clients understand the pros and cons to each agency choice they make here. Dial back 5 years, and as a client not living in social media or the grassroots on a daily basis - I would be confused and potentially charmed out of the best decision. Also in part, to make some sense of this "cattle drive" of new firms now entering and multiplying in the space given the media, technology and cultural shifts happening around them. In full disclosure, two caveats: - I run a specialist grassroots marketing services firm and likely have some biases that a focused firm with a strong specialization is a favoured method in most scenarios for social media success - although I have worked with many partner firms and colleagues, I have by no means seen them all - what I am painting is the typical firm in each space, exceptions do exist but are rare So, the 12 types of firms making a beeline for social media are: - the Ad Agency - the Brand/Design Agency - the Strategic Consultancy - the Innovation/Research Shop - The CRM Firm - the Social Media Hothouse - the Grassroots Specialist - the Digital Agency - the PR Agency - the Media Firm - The Technology Vendor - the Promotion/Sponsorship Firm Let's tackle the first one - THE AD AGENCY - and why not, they still own the lion's share of dollars being spent on creative and communications. They are the award-winning All Stars of the communication space. See chart above - legend: the darker the shade - the better the competency and the lighter the shade - the poorer the competency. As noted by the chart above, their obvious strengths are ideas, creative and content. They are the Mad Men of 2010. When I was head of marketing at Guinness, some of the work that was created by the ad people and their producers made most movies pale and drab by comparison. They had a really special talent to force you to pay attention and feel prouder, more intelligent for consuming the black stuff. In a world of scoreboard watching and bean counting, it's refreshing they actually think about and produce stuff that is enormously entertaining and creative and thus, when done well, build one of the biggest currencies in this attention-starved marketplace - getting noticed. What personal rankles me, as well as a number of my colleagues, is their lack of ability to play well in the schoolyard with other partner firms when we're not talking TV, radio, print or billboard. Historically, they have always sat at the adult's strategy and planning table with the client, allowing other firms to fight over the execution and funding scraps that fell on the floor. Unfortunately, in the social media space, most have been reticent to acknowledge that they don't operate nearly as effectively in the grassroots engagement, dialogue or measurement facets of the business. In fact, given monetization issues, staffing talent, siloed departments, pace of business and competing priorities, most would acknowledge behind closed doors that they are horrible at the grassroots engagement side of the business. At worst, some are downright hostile to opening up the brand to the customer for content, insight or advocacy purposes. Despite all the hurdles inside their firms, they are reactionary to letting any other firm drive the social media car. We just had a pitch where one of the competing firms, having no competency or pedigree in the social media space, claimed rightful ownership to execution based on the "Integration of the idea". For our own selfish benefit as well as the client's, hopefully they don't get politicked into this way of thinking. Integration is an over-used word by any large firms including ad agencies, particularly when there is an absence of any other substance there. Convergence didn't work in the media world, nor does the "everything under one roof" concept fly in agency land. The truth is most agencies have a competing fiefdoms that operate just as dysfunctionally, if not more then two different organizations would. Usually there is a hierarchy of creative talent that based on history, the money trail and awards, looks at broadcast first before looking at how an idea travels in social media, word of mouth and community . One only needs to look at the turnover of online creative directors at large agencies to understand the web frustration from within. From my point of view, here's the AD AGENCY SCOUTING REPORT : STRENGTHS _1) Creative Ideas_ - ad agencies can legitimately lay claim to owning a brand idea that needs to then be parsed out in a number of different directions- within social media, they have a role in defining and providing colour to the brand idea and positioning so other people can then get excited and execute against it _2) Program Execution_ - what clients are craving, is somebody to take all the execution off their hands, a good ad agency director and team can be an extremely valued integrating force amongst a number of partner firms that deliver a "whole campaign/community" that is greater than the sum of its parts _3) Brand Positioning, Identity and Design_ - establishing a parent look and feel to any brand initiative is a key need to ensure initiatives don't look like orphan children from a different parent - being the brand cop and counsellor could be a valued ad agency role _4) Content Development_ - ad agencies forte is producing extremely good looking stuff on video and print, harnessing those elements and pieces to work on the web can be a lynchpin to social media success _5) Media Awareness_ - usually the ad agency is in the best position to integrate the efforts with their partner media houses and deliver scalable conversations through paid media - they can act as effective middleman and solution brokers with the media planning/buying firms BLIND SPOTS _1) Technical Infrastructure_ - one look at most flash-based agency websites will quickly tell you that integrating web platforms, database architecture, information security and privacy, and hosting is nearly the last thing on large agency agendas - they would be wise to seek third party managed host vendors with customer service capabilities _2) Research/Analytics_ - a weak link with ad agencies and one now under scrutiny given the need for ROI - ad agencies do not have the talent or the motivation to equip a truly helpful and now just-in-time system of monitoring and evaluating performance - they would be wise to work with a dedicated research house that understands the social media space or at minimum, work with an outsourced vendor like Radian6 or Visible than outfit it themselves _3) Influencer Outreach_ - I've asked agencies before who they're top 10, top 50, top 150 social media influencers are - most haven't an idea nor really care on a day-to-day basis - involving a firm like ourselves, or a seeding firm or media partner would alleviate most concerns here for agency and client _4) Social Media/Community Development_ - many agencies can pull off an iPhone app. or Facebook page - some are very clever and creative - unfortunately, this is not "living in the social media space" and create very little longevity of impact - the web is littered with these experiments that launched with great fanfare may have got initial traction and then traffic fell off a cliff when people realized their enthusiasm wasn't being rewarded, curated or responded to - community management is the key here, whether it be inside an agency, the client or an outsourced firm, somebody needs to keep the light on as the account executive tries to traffic the print ad that's two days late for Vogue _5) Customer Experience Focus_ - how people are using online properties on an ongoing basis?, how different marketing touchpoints are affecting the brand delivery of a positive customer experience? how customer insight may informs how a company runs their business better? Although agencies certainly have special access to a client and their executive, they rarely believe that the customer experience is their area of concern in these forums. Companies would be wise to hire online analytics specialists to dive deep on how their web stuff is being used and researchers/anthropologists to understand how this is being reflected and used in the real world. What are your thoughts? Is this consistent with your experience, or do you have a different point of view. Let's discuss. Next week - we'll cover off a much different scouting report - THE PR FIRMS.