May I introduce you to The Queen

Our newly found love – the two-way communication maybe pretty tricky in particular in a world where everyone thinks they have the answer to everything. (Don’t we love it when our opposition is a bit of a smarty pants 🙂 ) Nope, we don’t and I don’t think anyone does. People just chose to react in different ways when dealing with smarty pants such as ignoring them, arguing back, feeling resentful, thinking to oneself “God gave me two years” or just gently wander off…

But the main challenge is when people think they have the answer to everything is when we run into a pickle…Firstly – let’s be honest – why does anyone choose to spend time listening to you if you have nothing really interesting to say? No one will give you their time…only if they are super nice, your parents or forced and their life depends on it. 🙂 Secondly if you really want people to listen to you, don’t you think you need to be capable to listen to others as well? Because at the end of the conversation, if you are not listening, then you are not going to be hearing what people are interested in and why should they give you then time of the day to browse your Social platforms, websites, etc to listen to you then? Why should anyone listen to you if you have nothing to say and your just a cool brand with a pretty face ? I think you know the answer to this 🙂

Pfewh…like I said “two-way communication” can be quite tricky in particular if you need to listen to 1million fans on Facebook, 500k Followers on Twitter…oh and then there are 400k subscribers on YouTube, and then you are intending to launch Google Plus as well…sooo, going back to the above, if you want customers to listen to you, you have to have something to say…and then as I have mentioned it in my previous blogs before – you need content. And not only a few lines, some crappy picture and an anecdote…No, you need the creme de la creme so that people want to come back for more. Like with the Queen Of England – there is always another story that delivers more stories – so I decided, Content is not just King as I referred to in a previous blog, it is the Queen.

A great person, Roxane wrote not too long ago in a fun but very insightful piece (Content is Queen) that the communication characteristics needed today to be successful are typically “feminine.” (To all the women out there, does it not feel good to hear this and be proud to be a woman – give yourself a little tab on the back)

For example:
■ Good at sharing: Content needs to be available in ways that are easily shareable.

■ In relationships: Content is how people experience your brand so the content equivalent of a one-night stand won’t cut it for the long-term relationships. Brand need to thrive and brand essence is the heart and soul.

■ Perfect hostess: Brands need to help people share content, ideas, etc. with each other. Lets get together and have some fun !

■ Good listener: Brands need to track and learn from your customers’ digital “tracks,” from what they say to what they do. Listen and feedback !

Roxane, my I say “You rule” and yes, “Content is queen!”

Thank you!


Search engines are a more trusted source

According to a new Edelman study, search engines are a more trusted source than traditional media – but only by a small margin…so dear marketers, you need to reorient your assets. Brand managers need not reorient your bearings. See Graph below:

According to the study, it states that traditional media is more trusted for developed news events (51 versus 47 percent), where there is a consensus of interpretation,  where search engines are preferred for emerging news (71 versus 65 percent).

Social media, the leaders for word-of-mouth, is low on the list of trusted sources in these data.The bulk of studies show that word-of-mouth is far and above more trusted in terms of brand relevance and influence.

The Digital Wallet – Mega Trend ?

Mega-Trend Mobile Payment?

Big question ….but we can still lean back and rest – at least in 2013. For most customers the Digital Wallet is fairly unknown. Even in the US. Only every second customer knows what the term “Digital Wallet” refers to according to a study done by ComScore. And the study outlines: Those players that have a strong brand within the digital payment business are well positioned. The only difference is that these brands have different payment methods, complex technology and all sorts of different systems.

PayPal is still the top leader with a total of 72 percent being ahead of the awareness game among a fierce competition. A total of 48 percent has already used their solution. Every second is aware of Google Wallet. Unfortunately the number of users decrease, with all the other numbers diminishing to a one digit number for other providers.

Although the numbers don’t look glamorous, the Digital Wallet is an increasingly important topic. On the other side, there is still enough time left to do plenty of experiments. And this time is essential to get it right, so that brands have plenty of time to increase awareness, educate the market and position itself within the market as an expert, before it really kicks off. You don’t want to be late in this came. According to a recent eBay study, “The Future of Commerce”, every second consumer can imagine a future without cash.  More than half of the consumers can imagine the possibility to replace the wallet with their mobile.

Your Digital Thread

“12Buzzwords You’ll hear in 2013 – great article written by David Mielach from BusinessNewsDaily. There were a few buzzwords that I found catchy but one that links nicely with my previous post around Nike bringing their Social Media management in-house. …and this particular one requires a bit of New Year soapboxing

Twinternship“An internship where the student’s mission is to promote the company and its brands using social media such as Twitter and Facebook.” (David Mielach, Mashable, Dec 2012)

The digital thread

Nice marriage and it sounds great! You might just having a good chuckle about it right this very moment “Twinternship haha…” but you know what – I even believe it happens across many companies. And I like to tell “Please do not hire a Intern to look after your Social Media – bad bad bad idea” !!

If you are serious about Social Media, and you want to make a change and move from tactical to strategic implementation to see the impact, please understand the following and read it carefully : It (social media) becomes you !

The reason being – pretty simple – once you jumped on this ship, you need to stay on it and enjoy the journey and slightly direct it into a specific direction – each day my a millimeter. Again:  It becomes you! Even more than your website – as it presents you throughout – from top to toe from your values to your believes. And why ? Because it is persistence. It is a daily reminder of who you are expressing your likes and don’t likes, your preferences and possible dislikes (have you seen the recent Facebook scandal ?). And an intern who comes along for a few months doesn’t understand you inside out in a adequate way. How long does it take you to understand your wife or husband ? AGES – if ever !! It needs to be someone who intimately understands you – and this person should generate the content.  It takes a while to absorb the values, culture, passion and way of thinking and structure of a company. If the person crafting your social media does not have a solid understanding of these things, your social media efforts are in vain and isn’t doing what it exists to do – create the digital thread.

The importance of Social Media crafted by your believers

Great move ! Nike has finally decided to take management of its social media marketing in-house and away from its digital advertising agencies in an effort to get closer to its fans. It will be challenging to keep up the “standard” of its previous social media successes but it is a great effort to get closer to their followers and fans across social. I am a great believer in the importance of social media crafted by your believers (more about this in a later Blog post) and what better than taking it in-house to weave your values and believes throughout social…I am sure that we have more to look forward to…

It certainly is an interesting development because whoever Nike previously used for their social media campaigns were exceptionally good. If this is merely a cost cutting exercise it could prove to backfire as with most things in life you get what you pay for and social media is such a specialised area and to date Nike can’t complain about the results they have been receiving. One to watch for sure.

People who think this is all about saving pennies – I doubt Nike really needs to worry about their cash-flow too much –  miss the point : this is not about saving money, but tightening the relationship between the brand and its fans. On social media, response time and accuracy are key, especially on the 70% period of time when you are NOT running a Social Media campaign. Its’ not all about funny apps and Twitter-driven whatsoever ! It is also about understanding fans / customers and ability to push tailor-made answers / offers.
To me, the best mix is : keep agencies to invent state of the art, ahead of competition Social Media driven campaigns; and internalize all day-to-day relationship.

The interesting trend is that social media is now considered ‘core’ to a brand. Brands may still be relatively clueless on how to harness social media and avoid social gaffes, but it is considered important enough to take it in-house. Hurrah ! And you shall should feel excited about this! 

Social Media needs to be strategic and not only reactive.

Marketing Departments still haven’t grasped the importance of Social Media and actually weaving it into the overall Marketing Strategy of a Company. Being only responsive / reactive when customers talk about your brand is not going to cut it.  I appreciate that it is easy to say and difficult to implement and it is like shifting a huge ship to make a slight turn to the left. However, we – marketers – need to keep pushing and pursuing senior leaders that the key to succeed is to move away from tactical to strategic use of social media. And this fundamental change within an organisation, its culture etc is a challenge as much as a requirement if companies want to succeed in this space in the future. These changes inevitably take time and require cross-organisational collaboration – something that the marketing department often struggles to deliver.

The graph below outlines, the heaviest users of Social Media which is an interesting insight

Table 1

Public Sector, Food and Drink are heaviest users of Social Media

And as always, there is a lot of noise going on across all these challenges hence it is important to remember : Be clear about your objectives, be structured and organised and make sure you measure your activities !  Social Media is still the “new kid on the block”; however you need to onboard with the idea it is not going away but it is a fundamental shift in society and people’s behaviour. Facebook is not just to be connected with your friends – it is much more than that once you scratch the surface. And in order to get senior management on board and stop making them think it is just fashionable at the moment, you need to dig deeper and get to the bottom of how to measure activities on Social Media.

Enjoy your planning period – a new year, a new beginning, a new start to do it better than last year! 🙂


Who is turning you on ?