Sunday, November 21, 2010

Urban Influencer 360 Panel Series: Community Installment

This week was non-stop with events after-work, and one of the more interesting panels was the Urban Influencer 360 panel on 11/16. The main topic was how brands could engage urban culture to affect change and deliver impactful cause/community marketing programs.

I don't have all of the names but representatives were in attendance from the following organizations:

3) The Rush Philanthropic Foundation
6) Egami Consulting

Moderator: Jeff Johnson -Jeff Johnson is a Washington, DC based award-winning journalist, social activist and political commentator.

This was a timely and relvant discussion, considering the Pepsi Refresh project and how they have used Cause Marketing as a strategy in their Marketing and Advertising. Cause Marketing is becoming a bigger topic and some interesting stats and trends were shared including the following:

1) 85% of brands that have a cause marketing strategy saw a 15% lift in sales
2) 92% of Americans would switch to a brand that because it has a cause marketing campaign and affiliation
3) the lack of a Cause Marketing Campaign can be a brand differentiators in a negative way if a brand doesn't have an association with a cause
4) Brands are harnessing the power of Social Media to engage Consumers in their Cause Marketing initiatives

Of course, the key points in the discussion was about relevancy and how social media has been used to generate success in cause marketing campaigns, particularly when using FB and Twitter.

For example, how do brands choose a cause that is relevant to them and how do they then engage the consumers to get involved? The brand reps overall seemed to insist that there needs to be a hook that gets consumers involved via social media platforms. One idea was to identify the brand's emotional and functional point of difference and the brand's assets. They think consumers engage with the brand's cause because they want to feel like they are making the difference-ie. Pepsi Refresh. Social Media allows consumers to show their support for the brand and also for the cause the brand is associated with among their social network. It shows what consumers stand for.

They also discussed tactics such as crowd-sourcing and how to use it as a tactic to engage consumers. The overall commentary was to use it carefully, but it is a good idea to think about how the online component will feed into the offline component.

Digital Flash Event: Fireside Chat with Saul Colt

I haven't heard that much about Digital Flash before, and I don't even know how I received the invitation to attend the event. I think I may have signed up to their group on

I must say they are a small operation, but apparently, they have produced some quality events around the city due to their access to knowledgeable experts in digital media.

The panel on Thursday was a chat with Saul Colt of and Sarah Prevette from , a website/community for small business entrepreneurs.

Saul is the self-professed, "Smartest Man in the World" and is an award winning Word of Mouth Marketer. He's also known as a Social Media Expert and is based in Canada. He started the "Smartest Man in the World" blog about 5 years ago and has been gaining notoriety as an expert in the Social Media business community.

The most interesting part of the evening was the debate between Saul and Sarah when they discussed the impact of community managers and their impact on the brands that they represent. For instance, as we discussed in class, they addressed the issues of 1) what happens when a community manager leaves the brand and 2) Can 1 person represent more than on 1 brand as a community manager.

Sarah's opinion was that when a community manager with a large following on FB/Twitter leaves, i.e for instance, the company impact could be negative. However, Saul countered by saying its not so much that the company will suffer, it's just that relationships with people that matters. He didn't think that a person leaving the company would affect the relationship with the brand, but the next person that takes the role must go in and continue to deliver the brand promise. I happen to agree. Your own personal brand is what is also established in these roles -and I think if a customer likes Jet Blue or Zappos-they wouldn't discard their affinity for the brands because of a Community Manager leaving the company.

Additionally, the point was raised as to whether or not a Community Manager could represent more than one brand. Sarah's expressed that if someone were to manage multiple brands at once as a commnity manager, then they lose all credibility. Sal's didn't feel that was the case -because people can be passionate about more than one brand-unless its a competitor-which is a no-brainer, he didn't truly see a problem in it.

Other highlights of the evening was Saul's philosophy of really creating unique experiences through offline events that are then discussed online. In Essence, the real value of WOM (Word Of Mouth Marketing) is to create those unique experiences first-and then drive the conversation about those experiences via social media. He provided a case study on -a manufacturer of invoices-and how they stood out in a genuine, authentic and crafty way as a trade show by designing their booth to be a replica of the Banana Stand on the TV show Arrested Development. The conversation happened after people saw the display. The difference in getting people to talk after is just being proactive and giving them the tools in advance to talk about it.

To date, we've heard and seen quite a few case studies of online driving to offline experiences-this was a refreshing twist and example of executing in the opposite by producing events/experiences first and then the discussion happening online post event. The premise is that really people are still interested in establishing meaningful connections offline and we should use this to our advantage when creating online communities.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

iPhone Apps, Part 1 (10/11/10)-Really do we need all these apps?

iPhone Apps, Part 1 (10/11/10)

Call me a minimalist I guess. For the life of me, I don't understand the need for all of these apps. I guess I haven't fully become ensconced in a techie lifestyle.

The link above is an article/interview with Jimmy Fallon and the bit he did on his show poking fun on apps, such as the Axl Rose Relaxation App and the Stach-ify app. It really is satire on some of the completely useless phone apps that are out there; however, Jimmy does admit to using his iphone and apps more than he uses his computer/laptop.

I can see how the apps are incorporated into our everyday lifestyle, but I honestly feel like I can function without most of them. I do think technology improvements and design will enhance the functionality of many apps so much so that the NEED to use them will be created-because these apps will simplify our lives. I'm not at the point yet..I still Google directions, names, locations and places-go figure. The use of the apps for Entertainment-hasn't quite caught my attention.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Social Media Will be ‘Part of Virtually Everything’ - Audience Development @

I agree. The article notes that " Social Media will essentially fade into the background, in that it will be a part of virtually everything in the next few years."

Essentially Web 2.0 is really all about Social Media. It's the new means of communication, and it is just as organic and pervasive as email has become in our everyday lives.

While I don't think traditional media will altogether disappear, I do believe that the vast amount of communication that occurs between markets and consumers will occur via social media platforms. Particularly, in the case of the millennial generation. For instance, in the Forrester Social Technographics study, Internet or online users are segmented into six major groups-consisting of Critics, Creators, Joiners, Consumers, Collectors, Spectators and Inactives, the majority of the population tend to be spectators.
This article suggests that we are moving away from being spectators, but actually Joiners and Creators.

In this new Social Media era, the preferred means of communication will be primarily by dialog and content that is created by consumers for consumers.

Gatorade Mission Control & its use of Social Media

This is a great example of how a PepsiCo brand-Gatorade is using Twitter and Facebook to increase engagement for their Mission Control and G-Series brands. What is interesting to me is the concept of being engaged 24 hours both from an internal standpoint and the use of their agency partners to help with continuous monitoring as well. This reinforces the position that Social Media within companies has to be a total division all on its own and must utilize staffers to be dedicated to engaging & monitoring consumers' and their conversations about the brand. What I don't understand is what their real objectives are? Is this a pure PR push? Is it branding awareness? What are they really offering to their customers? Also, it still seems as if engagement measurement has no real standard, and it is totally arbitrary based on how the brand perceives the interaction with consumers is increasing.

However, as a media sales professional, it is refreshing to see that the pure metrics of CPM, CPA, CTR, Impressions etc., are not as important considering how consumers are interacting with brands in the digital space due to the advent of social media. In particular, for a niche brand that has not had the scale to compete purely based on delivering volume, we have always sold the uniqueness of our content and how it relates to our audience and how they consume the content.

The manner in which brands are evaluating engagement now, substantiates the point we have been making to agencies all along-its engagement with the brand that matters, and high engagement drives purchase.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Twitter to Facebook: 5 Ways to Post to Both

Twitter to Facebook: 5 Ways to Post to Both

I'm a bit of a Twitter newbie so I found this information. I still don' think I have the hang of it yet; however, I don't know if I feel the need to update my status as often as Twitter updates. It would be great if the tweets maybe just posted to the wall instead.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Experience.

On 9/30 I attended the Social Media, Publicity & Marketing Networking Reception -Meet-up hosted by Christan. It hardly lived up to its name. After a full day of Ad Week events and networking functions...this event was completely lackluster in comparison. There were basically a lot of unemployed people looking for jobs. It really wasn't very beneficial at all.

Advertising Week Events

ally, last week was a dizzying blur of social media/digital/networking events that kept me busy and on serious brain overload. Thank God I was able to 1) register as an NYU Student for Advertising Week and 2) Justify all my time as work because I am quickly being regarded as the one to ask regarding digital advertising, tactics and social media strategies at the office.
This degree is definitely going to pay off! With all the above said, I attended roughly 4 different panels/events all regarding digital advertising/strategy and social media tactics. Undoubtedly, the best event was the Location Based Services Panel that was sponsored by AWNY-the material was so in-depth and interesting, that it deserved a sole blog post and please read it if you haven't already! So -here's a list of some of the other events that I attended which were interesting-some more than others:
Thursday 9/30/10Advertising Week Events:
1) A Conversation About Music and Marketing, Presented by Superfly Marketing Group. Panelist-Fiona Morrison, Director of Brand Advertising , JET Blue
This was a great case study on how JET Blue has used Music Marketing to engender fans through its "Live from Terminal 5 Series." This didn't have much to do with Social Media, although this gives JET Blue great content for Twitter to make announcements to their followers to inspire them to fly on certain days and gives great content for FB. I attended because I'm a fan of JET Blue and their Marketing Tactics seem to be very cool and help to create brand loyalty and awareness. The brand continues to use "out-of-the box" thinking and with the exception of Virgin America, has really distinguished itself in the marketplace. It's really "cool" to fly JET Blue.
2) Digital Influencers: The New Media Network
Moderator, Jason Harris, President Mekanism
Panelists: iJustine, Digital Influencer/Web Celeb ; Mystery Guitar Man, Joe Penna; Ivy Ross, Chief Marketing Officer, Gap and Jill Fletcher, Social Media Manager, Virgin America
Some of the most salient points in this panel was from the influencers themselves -they said they work with brands they trust and they don't feel pressure to gain more fans/followers. Gap noted that they also pay attention to the influencer fan bases-numbers matter. Gap also understands that budgets are shifting $ to Social Media and they will have to adapt to less control. To that point, Virgin America gave away 120 free flights to bloggers with clout and told them they could say what they wanted -realizing they cant' control everything.
3) AT&T connects-Ad Week Networking Mixer
I met some interesting people from digital agencies. I can honestly say that this week's conference had more digital reps than any other medium

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

5 Elements of a Successful Facebook Fan Page

5 Elements of a Successful Facebook Fan Page

1) Networking with other platforms
2) Creating a resource
3) Creating contests that include participation
4) Empowering Pre-existing pages
5) Targeting the Proper Demographic

I think this was a great article with relevant tips. Not to be confused with strategy, the article lists tactics to make your Fan Page successful. These tactics should align with the overall business strategy, of which the communications strategy is included as noted in another article that was assigned to us about what is missing in social media strategy. ·

So apparently there is no secret sauce for creating a FB page, but the above tactics seem to be pretty basic rules that brands can live by.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What’s Facebook Announcing on Wednesday? [OPEN THREAD]

What’s Facebook Announcing on Wednesday? [OPEN THREAD]

Facebook is announcing something significant tomorrow morning. I think it may have something to do with Places as well.

Based on this week's assignment, here are some of my thoughts.

1) What are the main challenges for marketers on Facebook today? I think the main challenge is how do Marketers monetize engagement. The Fan pages are great, but what significance does user "likes" mean for the brands. I think incorporating location based services as mentioned in my previous post, can somehow drive purchase and help reward loyal consumers. I also think that Marketers do need to be careful about being too intrusive. FB is entertainment for most of us, and Brands participation in a manner that is visibly about selling product while we are in our "downtime" so to speak-can be an annoyance. Measurement also continues to be the main challenge, without purchase data-how does a brand determine its ROI or Return on Marketing and Advertising spend?

2) What is working well? I think sweepstakes, promotions and humor as a tactical approach are working well. When brands such as M&M's use their page to reinforce the brand's identity, I think "fans" appreciate the authenticity. They utilize their fan page in an engaging and fun way that keeps the brand personas alive by creating a fun, engaging user experience and this seems to be what works best. I also think the liquor brands really bring to life their offline experiences by showcasing them on their social networks, i.e Belvedere and Heineken -which tweet about their live events and posts pictures and films of the events on FB. This creates a "how can I be there" feeling in users and for those that attended, they feel as if they have had a VIP experience as they were "in the know" and part of the in-crowd. In effect, the brands create brand evangelists from regular users. Again, this begs the question, how do brands measures the impact-is it simply awareness that this most important and is gaining mindspace or keeping the brand forefront in the minds of the consumers the way to win?

3) As a customer/consumer - how do you feel about being a "fan" of a company or brand? How does this inform your thoughts about using such a page as part of a campaign strategy?

I actually am okay with being a fan. I consider myself an influencer in my social network and in my offline social circles. Being a fan does acknowledge my endorsement of a brand. I'm a True Blood fan for instance and I believe it's an awesome show. I like spreading the word about what I think is hot, what's next and new and by sharing my like's with my "social network" I actually am able to educate and inform them and as a result, they often seek my opinion. As a music lover for instance, I can be a fan on Maxwell and Sade's page and because I did respond to the 25 random things you don't know about me-most of my friends in my social graph know that Music is my passion. As such, I often use FB to inform and educate my friends on new bands and new music that I think is hot...I enjoy being able to be a brand evangelist and help expose new artists and their music. The same holds true for brands that I endorse such as Jet Blue-my good opinions or not so good -are 'heard" by my friends.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Location-Based Technology and Marketing

I attended the Location-Based Technology and Marketing panel sponsored by AWNY (Advertising Women of New York) during Advertising Week 2010. I attended many events during the week as part of the conference and I think this may have been one of the best regarding Social Media.

Moderator: Jennifer Preston, Social Media Editor, The New York Times
Panel: Eric Friedman, Director/Client Services, FourSquare
Chris Mahl, SVP/Chief Brand Alchemist, Scvngr
Seth Goldstein, Founder of Stickybits
Jaime Lefkowitz, Group Director, Wireless Strategy, Sprint Account, Mindshare

1) The first question was regarding how do clients best use these services as part of their social media strategy and according to Eric Friedman from FourSquare, the answer was to "Start with a core objective-no matter what your business is -regardless if your business is a restaurant chain or bar. I.e 1) Are you trying to drive new customers or 2) are you trying to award loyal customers"

In my opinion, I agree with Eric as the basis for any business planning that will guide Marketing directives starts of course with a defined strategy. Without the strategy, the tactical approach can be mis-guided.

Additionally, there has to be some sort of measurement to track the success of your tactics against the business objective. For example, according to Eric, "FourSqaure works with Google analysis and you can see data on where your customers are so clients can target individual deals" He also was able to provide a case study using Radio Shack as an example. For instance, 1) Clients can claime their place, 2) RadioShack cans see what their customers are doing and 3) The tracking results from their loyalty offer. Radio Shack was able to offer anyone that came in for the first time a 10-15% discount. The analytics that FourSquare was able to track included: time of day purchase, M/F breakdown, the most visited store, and average sale data such as Transaction amount.

Another great case study was Jimmy Choo "Catch a Shoe" campaign in London. FourSqaure set up an account as a shoe. The Shoe would check into places all over London. The first person to show up at the location would win a free pair of Jimmy Choos. As a result, the brand was able to 1) gain awareness for Jimmy Choo and their stores, 2) they claimed their stores as places and 3) 33% lift in sales during that period.

The above is a great example of how to effectively monetize location based tech marketing.

2) SCVNGR is an example of an online service that drives offline experiences. Similar to Some of their clients have included retail chains such as Journeys. By using social objects -such as images or pictures taken from cell phones-they were able to drive engagement in their stores.

By using QR codes in the checkout process-they were able to drive purchase. Teens came in and took pictures of their favorite back packs and then were able to get discounts at point of sale. According to Chris Mahl, this creates "Social Traffic" because the teens are taking pictures on thier phones and then they text and post them.

3) Mobile is extremely relevant in the context of this discussion because as Jaime Lefkowitz clarified.."Location services are tied to mobile phones." Currently, smartphone penetration is 25% according to Nielsen and it is projected to be 50% in the next 4 years. In regards to demographics, it is currently predominantly male, 25-34 who are college educated. They are the User/Influencer group.

The above is important because for Marketers, understanding which demos are using the technologies, can determine whether or not a brand should employ location services as part of their social media tactic. If your target audience isn't teens or young men then this tactic should probably not be employed.

4) Seth Goldstein offered insightful remarks about the technologies and the application of StickyBits. Seth noted "We are seeing with the rise of FourSquare that objects and places are being claimed as part of our digital network. StickyBits allows people with Smart Phones to attach content to objects with use of the bar code."

This is exciting for Marketers and relevant because Brands & Companies have already been using bar codes on their products. A great case study he gave is Campbell's Soups. By using the Sweeptakes Model, Customers were directed to download the Sticky Bits app from their FB page. Then they were driven to retail to take a picture and to scan the Campbell's Soup bar code. The brand was able to monetize this program by getting their customers to touch, engage and ultimately have trial of the product. This was more valuable to them then a Fan page.

The panel also discussed augmented reality and what it really means for the marketer. Essentially, Seth Goldstein said it was the "red herring" in the room. He stated that it's important to distinguish what makes a platform is when people can use it in ways that they didn't intend." At this point, most activity with scanning is revolving around getting rewards-the content should be applied in some way to reward the customer.

Overall, the applications can all work nicely with each other. Scvngr is creating social experiences and FourSquare allows people to share those experiences.

Overall, final comments are that scale is coming, particularly with further penetration of smartphones across markets.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Essence Music Fest - Belve Music Lounge - Day 1

This is a part of an integrated program I sold to Belvedere...Facebook and Twitter Elements were involved as part of their execution.