Category Archives: Social Media

Does B2B have to be boring?

I am currently staggered to see how B2B`s continue to find excuses on why not to change the status quo of their brand communication. Is B2B really that different from it`s more flashy but shadow throwing B2C brother? I don´t think so. B2B`s and B2C`s have one thing in common and that is a human being on at least one end of the table. In the case of most B2C`s, brands have evolved into personalities while a lot of B2B`s still hide behind datasheets and the fear of risk. But as the saying goes, no risk – no reward.

With that, I am particularly amazed to see how “Deadpool” (a 20th Century Fox production) manages, as a movie, to establish a personalised brand that not only grows on its trailer release closer to the red carpet date but a brand that capitalises on many Realtime Marketing (RTM) opportunities, such as the Australia Day message posted on (no, not TV…) YouTube. Almost any brand – no! Any brand – could have jumped on the Australia Day train to get a little free riding brand exposure and collect awesome brand interaction data (just saying) along the way. The same applies to the Deadpool clips about testicular / breast cancer. Morally, one could of course argue if the free riding on this topic to outreach to new potential cinema patrons is too far stretched to support, yet on the other hand, one could also argue about the goodwill of a brand with a strong voice to support these initiatives in cool way – the Deadpool way.

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Anyway, I believe that every B2B could have easily jumped on similar opportunities to build a voice that is worth listening too and one that doesn`t put your audience to sleep. Maybe not full Deadpool mode but the Australia Day or many other RTM opportunities lend themselves beautifully to associate your brand with outreach worthy topics to attract new fans, followers and eventually customers.

To add to this; the success in this example did set in. It`s the highest grossing R rated movie during its opening day (+ 40 M USD). Taking risks, at is turns out, can pay off. Deadpool box office record

To end this post – Deadpool is smart – be like Deadpool!

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My Social Media Marketing favourites of 2014

2014 has been a great year for advertising and marketing. With brands moving further into the digital space, newcomer social media like Vine or others started to see the first big campaign bang. I could probably call many campaigns great campaigns, yet a few stood out in terms of creativity, use of audience relevant media and, from could be gathered publicly, campaign ROI.

#emojiscience by GE

GE has made the transition from a global brand into a social brand some time ago. Yet the multifaceted giant still surprises by its creative tackle of various out of scope fields to position the GE brand in potential (future) customers`minds. For its latest stunt, GE has partnered with Bill Nye to create the emojiscience campaign, which runs on almost every thinkable social media channel, ranging from snapchat, vine to the bluechips of social like Facebook or Twitter. The heart of the campaign is however surely the campaign microsite, which details the science driven approach, howe to enter the campaign and be “revined” by GE. The cross-social approach deserves a virtual high five and surely boosts GE yet again to the top of brands I didn`t expect to be at the forefront of Vine or Snapchat. In my eyes, GE is doing a tremendous job to both experiment in these new social media spaces, while attracting new crowds of followers which eventually transform into GE customers, directly or indirectly in the future.

always #LikeAGirl 

always, a leading P&G female hygiene brand, managed to pull of a campaign during the soccer world cup earlier this year, which attracted almost 54million YouTube views, without starring any soccer players. Without going into further campaign details, that could lead much to a philosophical discussion as one can tell from the many YouTube comments, the campaign surely paid of and smartly capitalised on a less heavy targeted audience during the World Cup. It also shows, that touching stories can still create brand friction for the good.

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#ShareACoke Campaign

Coke`s 2014 summer campaign embraced what social media is all about: sharing. Replacing is brand presence on Coke bottles with the most popular names in various countries, coke animated its fans to share virtual coke bottles with friends on Facebook, instagram and twitter under the hashtag shareacoke. The campaign was supported with both online and offline media and resulted in much publicity and the hunt for name tagged bottles. According to the WSJ, coke sales spiked by a little over 2% during the campaign period. A good campaign performance in a very competitive and highly saturated space.

Samsung vs. Apple

For both consistency and bravery, Samsung deserves a spot in the top 4, too. Whilst Samsung`s aggressive anti-Apple campaigns also backfire by becoming a little to blunt, Samsung deserves to be mentioned by sticking to its uphill battle against the Apple fanboy community. Whilst the Apple vs. Samsung debate surely spikes religiously driven discussions, from a pure technology standpoint, it is fair to say the technological trajectory of the mobile space has long been surpassed by the strength of brand perception in the mobile community.

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2015 will surely be an interesting year for some brands to catchup, for others to still learn how to navigate in the social media space while a few will power ahead to occupy new media and boost brand engagement to new heights.

 

 

 

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#breaktheinternet for brands without big bu(dgets)

Kim Kardashian just came out with a cheeky headline in one of her latest front covers; suggesting her rear side could ‘break the internet‘. A surely ambitious endeavour, even for a celebrity of her status. Juicy photos of Kardashian`s most valuable asset surely helped to partly do the trick. More can be viewed on the celebrities social channels, e.g. Instagram. Side note, with a little over 21 million followers in Instagram alone, Kim Kardashian managed to build a solid social follower-ship, which amassed roughly 0.5 million views of below`s cover page in her Instagram feed alone. To contrast, some major global brands, e.g. Nike with an in-house social media team and a multimillion dollar social media budget, have a “mere” 7.8 million followers in Instagram. Microsoft`s official channel clocks in with 15K followers… this should really put Kardashian`s backend achievement into perspectives based on the free media coverage she (and her agency) managed to unlock.

Frontcover Kardashian #breaktheinternet

 

What can and should brands learn from this? Has Kim Kardashian`s attempt to #breaktheinternet failed?  Some websites discuss the success of Kardashian`s ambitious attempt to break the internet, such as the Wall Street Journal, comparing total #breaktheinternet tweets with #cometlanding.

I do argue, that despite the failed attempt to the break the internet, thanks to all forces involved, Kim Kardashian surely boosted herself into each major press outlet on this planet and made the headlines from the Time to countless others.

Without having Kardashian`s natural social media follower-ship, most brands will struggle to get the free media attention Kardashian assumed over the last couple of days.

Nevertheless, a few brands stood out by taking advantage of the Kardashian stunt to propel their brand into the discussion and surely score some new fans.

Advertising week listed a few top brand reactions, a few of which I believe are worthy to being mentioned again.

The most outstanding brand reactions are clearly shared amongst Nissan, JetBlue, Jolly Rancher, the Metropolitan Museum and Budweiser. Scroll down for some of examples – Nissan is my clear winner, followed by JetBlue and Jolly Rancher.

What all these brands however have in common is a to react timely with relevant content in the right media channel. If one wants to argue about the headline of this blog entry, one could of course say, that all brands mentioned will have a reasonably sized social media budget. Nevertheless, the above effort could very well be done on a budget. Social media monitoring tools are available on a paid and freemium basis, which allow brands to monitor for high engaging content.

The crux however will be to react timely upon this discovery. E.g. if MarCom needs to get sales, legal and or IR approval before being able to take any action, any endeavour of this sort is almost surely doomed to fail. Establishing brand guidelines for the social media follow up space might help to get stakeholders on board and assure a timely reaction and thus a ride along this freely available media attention.

Content and channel are almost self-explanatory. If Twitter goes crazy, no sane social media manager would attempt to shift the attention to another channel. So engage in Twitter, as all brands below did. Shoot for brand exposure and brand attention and not for channel conversion. This assures that your content is likely more relevant to the wider audience in reach and does not stir up an advertising aversion or even a messaging conflict in that matter.

Budweiser`s reaction to #breaktheinternet

 

Jolly Rancher`s reaction to #breaktheinternetNissan`s reaction to #breaktheinternet

JetBlue`s reaction to #breaktheinternet

JetBlue`s reaction to #breaktheinternet

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Milka out’squares’ the market with smart product centric campaign

Milka’s latest campaign set in France and Germany “Dare to be tender” exemplifies like no other campaign that it sometimes takes heart and a little bravery to really think outside the box.

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With over 10 million chocolate bars missing one square, Milka has put the edge back into the advertising game. The product centric campaign capitalises on its very product feature “tender” by giving consumers the choice to either claim the last square or to have it sent to a friend of their choice. The French agency Buzzman has apparently been working with Milka for roughly one year to setup the campaign, including alterations to Milka’s manufacturing process. The campaign leverages the product in a unique way, not only is the product message-medium but to some part, the message itself. Branding aspects have been neatly integrated, too.

In Germany, Milka has sent over 56.000 chocolate squares and received wide public attention. Social Marketing aspects, such as the crowd-gamified “tender o-meter” complete this campaign and give it incredible leverage.

Screenshot: Microsite Dare to be tender

Screenshot Microsite: Tender-O-Meter

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big is great but smart is better – a big data discussion

I have recently had the chance to listen to a presentation by Phil Winters at the CRM Expo in Stuttgart. Phil is an active advocate of big data theories and a very lively presenter (can only recommend to sit in if you have the chance). Anyway, one of Phil’s slides caught my attention particularly.  A slide about a very basic but yet, as it seems, mostly ignored principle about big data.

IF YOU CANNOT MAKE SENSE OF IT – WHAT IS IT WORTH TO YOU?

In other words, BIG DATA – NON-IDENTIFIABLE DATA SOURCES = SMART DATA. The grid used to present this is about as easy as it gets but holds all the value a smart marketer needs to step into the big data discussion.

1) Visualise your customers purchasing decision making process (or the funnel if you want)

2) Identify touchpoints (this alone is a great exercise for most marketers and even more for internal service providers – customer centricity is the key – not what you want)

3) Assess data availability per touchpoint (is data readily available, in which form, when, from whom etc)

4) Assess smart data options (can you make sense of the data or identify user groups or even single users out of a specific data set)

5) Identify the data creator (is it a customer, potential customer, noise etc)

6) Smart Data entry (can you make sense of underlying values, behaviours or motives – in other words, can you interpret the data gathered at this level)

More from Phil Winters here – enjoy the read and happy smart data mining (I am a big advocate of logical naming conventions and from that point of view, big data is a misleading term, we don’t need big data but smart data; think about it!)

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35% of offline researchers purchase offline – resulting in negative channel conversions

Multichannel marketing has been a buzz word for quite some while yet as it seems, for most stationary retailers, it still turns to the ugly side with negative channel conversions. According to a recent study by GFK and Accenture, about 35% of all online purchases made result in a prior stationary retail research (research offline, to take up Google) before a purchase is finally made online. With that, a stunning of 5.4 B EUR resulted in these negative channel conversions in 2009. In other words, 5.4 B EUR are most likely lost transactions for stationary retailers, as chances are that the online purchase is not done via their online shop (should they have one).

Think cross channel and not multichannel!

Cross channel marketing could be one solutions for retailers to look at. Instead of relying on multichannel marketing perspectives, which often result in channel centric marketing models and thus quite some linear conversion, cross-channel marketing aims to put the user in the centre of all action while using channels as supporting instruments to assist the user in the web 2.0 buying funnel. E.g. a retailer should not rely upon stationary offline (even offline rich media) initiatives but a dynamic channel conversion alongside the customers progression in the buying funnel. This is not a revolutionary idea but amazingly only a few large retailers have jumped upon that bandwagon.

 

 

 

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BA’s lost luggage fiasco is based on a $1000 twitter campaign

@hvsvn has taken his luggage complaints with BA to Twitter by creating, as @hvsvn just revealed, a $1000 Twitter campaign by buying a promoted tweet. With the campaign statistics attached, one can only imagine the type of flurry this is going to spark over the coming days.

@hvsvn twitter campaign

@hvsvn twitter campaign

@hvsvn twitter campaign

@hvsvn twitter campaign

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Brand’s watch out – consumers are getting on the social payback bus

Some call it a new trend, others just a lone payback story – yet a privately bought promoted tweet of a disgruntled passenger of British Airways proved the power a single consumer has gained with the help of Social Media (and granted – some budget to buy a promoted tweet). The customer using the Twitter name @hvsvn seemed to have been disgruntled by BA’s missing service mentality over his lost luggage and has taken his frustration online.

promoted Tweet against British Airways

promoted Tweet against British Airways

To quote one of his tweets “I was about to send them a telegram but then I realised Twitter was faster”, a new area of customer complaints has begun. What started years ago with a United Airlines breaks guitars song, has gone to a new level which should be ringing all alarm bells for brand managers and general managers to check upon their delivered market performance. It also shows how important a working social media crisis management is – besides the basic lesson that a top down communication approach is long gone. It took BA almost 4 hours to react on this tweet, long enough for Mashable to get wind of it and the tweet going viral and even being reported in the news (tv). Although the damage to the brand will be hard to quantify in real terms, it is indisputable that BA’s brand has taken its toll over the last 22 hours – more can only be expected to come.

hvsvn tweet

hvsvn tweet

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B2B customers are ready to be socialised

According to a new Forrester Research study, the majority ( I question the “all” in their report) can be reached via social media. As they claim, 98% of business decision makers can be reached on social channels these days.

Forrester B2B Report

Forrester B2B Report

 

 

It is even more staggering to then contrast the social media habits of B2B organisations who often fail to move beyond the publication stage (from print to electronic to social). Interactive marketing (meaningful, time and location sensitive and most importantly behaviourally induced) should be used to bridge the gap from publication to interaction. The start might be to build listening capabilities in online channels to not only learn about customers but to also develop a feel for all available channels. A further rollout should be well prepared and accompanied by enough resources to be able to react on potential pitfalls and market responses. After all, every journey is accompanied by great learnings and new insights – the jump into social media engagements is nothing else.

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If the sky isn’t the limit anymore… what is?

Redbull’s Stratos campaign has set a new dimension of campaign and social engagement with consumers around the world. It also sparked discussion about the terms paid, owned, earned and shared media, however seldom has somebody questioned if the reach for the stars and current campaign scopes are still in line with resource theories of the firm. I argue they are not, excess capital holdings allow certain organizations to device campaign stunts, driven by eager agencies to score the next big thing, without establishing a full campaign to business objective link.

Watch somebody jump from space vs. going to space yourself (Axe Apollo):

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Questions that should be raised by marketers and budget holders:

> Is the race for the most extreme campaign to gain a healthy and sustainable race?

> Is it just too easy to spend money on paid media to get audience attention through extreme campaigns vs. meaningful content stimulation throughout the customer journey?

> Are campaigns like Stratos and Axe Apollo really justifiable beyond the hype of press and bloggers? Shouldn’t we as marketers not look beyond total reach and claim target audience reach in meaningful numbers? What is it that we achieve with campaigns? Can we create meaningful links towards the bottom line? I argue big media allows us to do so but at the same time introduces campaign limits.

> As most marketing organisations are setup as cost-centres, don’t we have an obligation towards stakeholders and the firm to justify our spending even more so these days?

> Are we just making use of aggregated fluffy terms like earned or shared media to hide behind walls of agency influence and ego stipulation to have the biggest campaign? Does size really matter in that sense?

Paid, earned, owned and shared isn’t what is seems like – we need to dig deeper:

If we spend $20m on a campaign and estimate to reach x number of people on the premise of paid media, y number of people on the premise of owned and z number of people on the premise of earned and zz number of people on the premise of shared; do we really measure what is meaningful to the brand, to the bottom line and to our budget responsibility? Shouldn’t we segregate reach into current customer reach and potential customer reach, furthermore increase in sustainable purchase effects and short term campaign spikes? Furthermore, I argue that smart data allows us to construct a media model which assigns values to each theoretical nod, we can start to differentiate between dead-end reach, multiplication reach and bottom line effective reach.

Dead-end reach: non current and non-potential customers, low network degrees

Multiplication reach: non-current or non-potential customer with a value generation network degree, e.g. one or more nods are either customers or potential customers

Bottom line effect reach: the total of current and potential customers reached through the conglomeration of paid, owned and shared. This number should be in a healthy relation to both substitute media spendings (e.g. $ effort) and also the total number of people reached. If we assume our target reach is equal to a sample population, the sample to total population ratio becomes a statistical ratio and the marketer’s task is to find the sweet spot instead of trying to cover the entire population to also reach the target group by intersection effects.

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