In a continued effort to showcase the best and brightest minds joining us at Converseon, we will highlight recent additions to the Converseon team through our blog. Our eclectic POV’s will be on display on a range of social media related topics. We’d like to introduce all of you to Mallory Dash, who authored the below post.
Some would say we’re transitioning to a new era in social media, as new sites and tools change the way we create and consume content, interact with our peers, and engage with brands. I often find myself comparing this change (along with most other aspects of my life) to Star Trek: The Next Generation, minus Geordi’s visor (but including Wil Wheaton).
A recent article from iMedia Connection discusses the opportunities and challenges brought about by social media, and goes through a slew of new tools and features available to marketers. To ignore these methods of reaching your consumers online is to forge some sort of attempt to defeat the Borg- simply put, “resistance is futile.”
But what does this mean for marketers and those trying to make a brand impact online? It can often seem overwhelming to keep track of all the tools made available to marketers in the online space, and as powerhouses like Facebook and Google continue to add more social features to external sites around the web (ie Google Buzz, Facebook Connect or their Open Graph initiative). However, it’s important to realize that these tools are still only as effective inasmuch as your brand’s key messages make sense and inspire your target audience to action. All the Holodecks in the world won’t change the reality that your brand is what consumers perceive it to be. How you use these tools will always make more of an impact than which tools you choose.
It’s all comes back to what Captain Picard would say to Riker… “Engage.”
Insight Address: “If You See Social Media on the Road… Kill It”
Social media is hot, but unfortunately most of the conversation continues to revolve around tactics, such as creating a Twitter account or producing a viral video. Fascinated by a dizzying array of tools and tactics, businesses and agencies tend to miss the right way of adopting social media that will capture the attention of the C-suite.
Paraphrasing a famous Zen saying, “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him,” this session will examine the deeper meaning of social media by looking beyond typical associations and into how it is transforming organizations. The value of social media is extending across the enterprise – from R&D to customer care, marketing/PR and beyond – to drive sustainable business advantage. As brands are increasingly discovering, this requires not just intelligent “listening” but also redesigning a more agile social business that extends across multiple use cases. This redesign poses both opportunities and challenges for agencies.
In this session, Rob Key will discuss examples of how social media is transforming businesses, and best practices on how some leading organizations are taking an enterprise approach to social media for competitive advantage. Key will also discuss why it may well be time to kill the term “social media” to gain better traction and success within the C-suite, and share what a post “social media” world may look like to brands and agencies.
After most of his young professional adulthood at Converseon, we’re very proud that our own very Paull Young has taken the position as Director of Digital Strategy at charity: water, a cause that has been a passion of his for some time. In that position, Paull will be helping to utilize social media to generate support for their efforts to provide clean drinking water in impoverished areas around the world.
It’s a noble cause and one we’re enthusiastic to support.
At Converseon, we have always believed that what we do transcends who we actually are. We hope the causes we nurture, the ideas we help spread, our role in helping to transform and inspire go far beyond our walls. We believe in this era, social purpose matters on many different levels.
We take great satisfaction in our people going on to do great things, even as they remain part of our family. Paull will continue to be part of Converseon spiritually and physically (and not just because of the lunch crumbs he left on his desk ). He has been named a Converseon Fellow, which is awarded to individuals who have made great contributions and represent the spirit and passion that we work hard to embody here and will continue to consult with us and clients.
We’re all quite excited for Paull since outside of Converseon (and the Australian Rugby League), charity: water is his great passion. I’m also proud that Converseon’s team can contribute to important causes greater than ourselves. His legacy of Australian slang, his passion for the business and to make a difference of the world is exactly the type of person we want at Converseon. And as Paull can attest, there’s great room here for the best and brightest to join the Converseon family and become a lifetime member of the tribe.
Today Converseon is pleased to announce the launch of CHORUS™, the first measurement solution designed to holistically track and measure the relationship between online and offline word-of-mouth.
At Converseon, will have long recognized the need to integrate other measurement approaches to capture not just an individual’s digital persona, but also their offline dimension. After all, Word of Mouth is an online and offline phenomena. It is incumbent on brands to understand both these worlds and the interplay. As such, we are proud today to announce another industry innovation that we have been working on for the last few months.
As a first in its field, CHORUS™ comprehensively fuses advanced social media listening and analysis together with offline word-of-mouth tracking, in partnership with WOM analytics company ChatThreads.
“Until now, online social media listening and offline word-of-mouth tracking have essentially been two parallel universes,” said Rob Key, CEO of Converseon. “While an increasing number of brands are measuring online conversation, there has been a significant void in the measurement of online’s impact in offline word-of-mouth, and vice versa. CHORUS™ solves the problem of how social media conversation impacts the proverbial offline kitchen table discussions. For the first time brands can clearly understand and measure word-of-mouth in all its forms.” Key notes that even with the growing proliferation of online social media conversation, an estimated 80 percent of word-of-mouth occurs offline.
Converseon’s proprietary Conversation Mining™ technology, together with the mobile-enabled touchpoint tracking developed by ChatThreads, bridge a long recognized chasm between what is put forth in multi-channel advertising and marketing campaigns, and what enhances brand affinity, stimulates word-of-mouth discussions, and drives purchasing decisions.
CHORUS™ combines, organizes and reports data gleaned via these two methodologies to create unique actionable insights to improve media and message optimization. This product now gives marketers a deeper understanding of what media fuels consumer discussions and decisions.
More details about the announcement are available at http://bit.ly/chorus-solution
Re:think, the prestigious Annual Convention and Expo of the Advertising Research Foundation, is back! Hosted at the Marriot Marquis in New York on March 21 to 24th, this year’s edition aims to provide the participants with ideas, insights and tools that will allow them to succeed in the “new normal.” We’re going to be there as well – with a both at the expo (look for “Social Media #1″) and a panel discussion on IBM’s use of social media (disclosure: IBM is a client). Hope to see you there!
Tuesday, March 23: Learning in the New Normal
3:30-5:00pm, Key Issue Forum Track #1, Social Media and Brand Opportunities
Ziegfeld Room, 4th Floor
Social Media Research: Accelerating Insight-Based Execution
Learn how IBM uses social media to create dynamic marketing execution enablement platforms that can transform the value of market research.
- Amy Laine – Principal Client Research Analyst – Market Trends and New Opportunities Program Lead, IBM
- Pauline Ores – Market Insights, Principal Consultant – Social Insights Practice, IBM
- Rob Key – CEO & Founder, Converseon
Converseon will be hosting a WOMMA Wine Wednesday on March 24 at our New York headquarters. The event aims to bring together word of mouth marketing enthusiasts, WOMMA supporters and wine appreciation, in a unique networking opportunity.
Under a view of the Empire State Building, guests will sample a selection of fine wine and cheese, whilst mingling in the good company of their online peers.
During the evening, remarks will be made by Dr. Walter Carl, founder and Chief Research Officer of ChatThreads Corp, and Converseon founder and CEO Rob Key on new developments in converging online and offline WOM. Their experiences in listening and engaging will offer some enlightening thoughts on where these two, traditionally separate conversations, are headed.
You can also find more information at our Facebook event page
Date: March 24
Time: 6PM – 8PM EST
Location: 53 w36th St. 8th Fl
New York, NY 10018
(212) 213-4297 x302
Parking is available for $26
Dr Carl and Rob Key will also come together next week in a separate event, the WOMMA Webinar ‘Listening 2.0: Social CRM and the Future of Social Listening’. They will also be joined by Jeff Zabin, CEO of Gleanster and Amy Laine, Principal Client Research Analyst from IBM.
The March 18 event will focus on the next generation of listening and how companies can apply this technique to drive business results and sustainable competitive advantage. In a digital environment where unprompted and unsolicited conversation is continuously expanding, listening has become the key tool to allow businesses to gain “deeper insights and actionable analysis”.
You can find more information on the Webinar here: http://bit.ly/dl5Zil
This week we are attending the iMedia Brand Summit in Brighton, UK, where our CEO Rob Key is leading, on March 9, two workshops focused on activating social media across the enterprise.
The iMedia Summit is a unique event where attendees network with senior industry practitioners and together, explore, challenge and build the future of digital media. The event will feature top-level speakers, innovative vendors, as well as top brands leading in the European digital space (including Dell, Unilever, Cisco, Yahoo! and L’Oreal).
Rob’s presentation will focus on how our clients are using Conversation Mining to drive insights and strategy across the business, along with the process we’ve developed to take brands through a social media evolution and tactical tips on how to apply social media with your brand today to drive business results.
Our CEO Rob Key and Chief Strategist Mike Moran will speak at the prestigious biannual OMMA Global super-conference in San Francisco, scheduled for March 17 and 18, 2010. Register today (it’s free with MediaPost membership) to attend an event with great panels and prestigious speakers that include -amongst others- TechCrunch‘s Michael Arrington and GigaOm‘s Om Malik.
Rob Key | Thursday March, 18, 2-2.45 pm | Social Media is the New Online Porn. Now Tell Me Something I Don’t Know
Social media has elected our president, become part of most companies’ marketing plan and overtaken porn as the number one activity on the web. And while most companies try to catch up, the landscape is changing faster than your Twitter followers are dropping you (okay, maybe not you). Social media is a quid pro quo game. Unless you’re Apple or Harley Davidson, companies can’t expect their customers to engage without getting them something in exchange. In this panel, 4 social media futurologists discuss how advertisers can take better advantage of this ever-changing space without being dismissed as, well, just advertising.
Mike Moran | Thursday March 18, 11.30 am – 12.15 pm | Is Your Company Spending Too Much on Search?
Search may be the last click for customers who are buying what you have to sell. But that click often comes at the end of the consumer’s online marketing journey — which includes exposure to banners, video ads, mobile messages and various other marketing techniques. Up to now, search has gotten much of the credit — and the budget — for making the sale. Smart search experts, however, recognize they don’t operate in a void, and more of them are studying and reporting how their discipline works in conjunction with other forms of marketing. They believe that by showing you the impact of marketing dollars spent “upstream,” they can accurately address if your company is spending too much or too little on search. Others, however, are not so sure. This panel will discuss the unpredictable effects of search’s evolving upstream approach. Could it be a minefield for the search industry or will search finally step into the role as your strategic adviser? Find out what you have to gain either way.
Every iMedia Brand Summit I attend I use the ‘One Minute Meet Up’ speed-networking sessions as an excuse to run a social media poll with a series of influential brand marketers.
Last year at the excellent Coronado Bay event I polled the brands on their personal social media usage and the importance of SM for their business. This year I focused on internal processes for policy and listening, and of course I couldn’t miss a Superbowl related question.
Survey questions were asked to 24 senior marketers from brands including Coca-Cola, Zappos, Western Union, Kasier Permanente, Kraft, Taco Bell and Olive Garden. The same questions were asked to all marketers:
1) Does your organization have a social media policy?
2) Does your brand undertake formal listening to the online conversation?
2 – i) (if yes): What department/business unit is responsible for this listening?
3) ‘Thumbs’ up or ‘Thumbs Down’ for the Google Superbowl ad?
- Question 1 Results – Does your organization have a social media policy?
Interesting to see that the savvy iMedia marketers have generally already put a formal policy into place. This flies in the face of the recent Manpower study showing only 29% of brands have social media policies, this is not surprising given the savvy brands attracted to iMedia. Interestingly, Zappos – a poster child for excellent social media engagement, was one of the few brands to say ‘no’ to a formal policy… though social media is deeply ingrained in their customer focused culture.
- Question 2 Results – Does your brand undertake formal listening to the online conversation?
As a leading provider of Conversation Mining it’s great to see that brands are clearly starting to understand that the ‘ostrich approach’ of sticking your head in the sand and not listening to the online conversation is no longer an option. Across the board brands are listening… but I’m sure the approaches and effectiveness of each brands efforts differs widely.
- Question 2, i Results – What department/business unit is responsible for this listening?
A wide variety of answers here as brands struggle to define who best ‘owns’ social media and listening within their organization. Interesting to see the different approaches in action here – in future I’d like to see some case studies of different brand approaches to organizing for smart listening.
- Question 3 Results – ‘Thumbs’ up or ‘Thumbs Down’ for the Google Superbowl ad?
Widespread approval for the Google Superbowl ad, and it was certainly the most discussed ad on the floor of the conference this week. Personally however, I must side with the minority that gave it the thumbs down. My feeling is that Google (and Facebook and others) will soon be fighting a push back from society on privacy, and the Google ad really came across to me as downright ‘creepy’ (and also quickly parodied).
How do these results line up with your organization or your assumptions about brand approaches to social media?
The big conversation at the iMedia Summit today has been focusing on the Superbowl advertisements – no surprise really given the event kicked off with a Superbowl party & Bob Garfield’s opening keynote was a deconstruction of the ads.
The biggest talking point with this crowd: Google’s ad. Most love it (in fact I just polled 24 brand marketers & 15 loved it while only 2 didn’t like it). Yesterday during the Superbowl my CEO Rob Key leant over to Craig Daitch & I seconds after the spot aired and said “how long until we see a parody of that online?”
Well, Slate didn’t disappoint with this satirical take on the ad seen through the eyes of Tiger Wood’s search history after that fateful day in November: