Notes from Marketing Now! Melbourne: Day 2

Sitting in middle in the second row from the front with David Park I had a suspicion I may need to switch my face onto ‘auto-interest’ for the benefit of the presenters. This, however, was not required for the knowledgeable, learned and entertaining David Armano who presented an enthralled audience with valuable information, case studies and videos. Here is a small selection of points:

  • Engage people based on behaviours as the customer, producers, participants, user and community, not just as consumers e.g. Trader Joe’s – this is a fantastic YouTube ‘non-ad’ (beware, the tune gets stuck in your head) shot on iPhone camera
  • Network economy – portable content for sharing
  • Brands / companies need to create a space and facilitate conversation – ask customers what they want to change
  • Twitter is teaching us to value and appreciate effortless communication e.g. Re-Tweets where the community passes on information without having to create new data – ripples of influence
  • People create social systems based around themselves – feed the ego and ask what do I get out of this?
  • ‘Tradigital Marketing’ – traditional + social engagement online  —-> business functions
  • Crowd source via online social networks for insights, not solutions – create a virtual water cooler where people share ideas
  • Blurring of divide between marketing and customer service in online social media – e.g. Hyatt on Twitter: virtual concierge monitors behaviour and can interact in real time: Armano ‘About to have dinner at the Hyatt’ / Hyatt ‘did you enjoy the steak’ (NB: not his exact words but similar!)
  • Social media allows human to human interaction virtually – real time but with human aspect; best to give avatars a face and person or people behind the profiles
  • Social media is not about technology, it’s about what people do with technology
  • ‘Ambient intimacy’ – great terminology for communities that work because they just get it and supported by strong leadership / someone to conduct the flow of conversation; give people a space to express themselves BUT you do need someone to manage these expressions; ambient technology – always switched on
  • To introduce social media into a resistant / hesitant company, start with a pilot that is scalable
  • ‘Social Business By Design’ – culture of hoarders to collaborators; static to dynamic; strategy needs to be adapted to be maintained; design content so it is accessible and allow functionality to create behaviour
  • Need content to feed the community and encourage conversation
  • Change is pushing business to be m0re social

Stephen Johnson was the last presenter before the panel discussion and spoke about the use of social media for his projects including the sponsored ‘Thank You Water‘. Here are some of his points:

  • Listen, be inspired, reflect this in your next course of action; embrace change
  • Make your brand a gathering place for inspiration
  • Never lose sight of the essence of your brand / business, what niche does it fill, what is your positioning in the market; needs to be about others – collaborate
  • 5 Rule Framework – use connections, keep it simple, mimic user experience in your features, deliver value exchange, involve users the whole was through
  • Create optimism and empower people with social media participation and collaboration of ideas and action
  • Case study: Groundswell – identified 5 influential environment bloggers and invited them to participate in project and be ambassadors; commitment to blog about the project on their own terms – all did result in favourable comment —-> blogs picked up by traditional media

The panel discussion raised some questions from the audience and highlighted the following:

  • Online social networking allows us to work together collaboratively as a human race – move away from tight knit community
  • PRs must engage in social media and include social media training for clients when you do traditional media training
  • Higher level C-Suite needs to understand and even participate in social media
  • Corporates need to re-engage their employees to be passionate about their company so this comes through in their online conversations and activity – these people will be the best candidates for participating in social media for the brand / company
  • Don’t ‘set and forget’ social media activity, need to be involved to ‘sense and respond’ – service dominant logic

There have been some great posts about the event which was, I feel, for many people one of the most successful, insightful and formatted social media conferences yet. Check out PR Warrior Trevor Young’s blog for more valuable information from the two day treat.

PS – since this event I have created my own Posterous account and checked out many of the tools mentioned during the two days. The more I learn about social media, the more I want to learn and the more I value the opportunities for communication – I hope you will find some value too.

Social Media Insight, Information, Inspiration – Day 1: Marketing Now! Melbourne

Marketing Now! 22, 23 September 2009: How to use Social Media and Online Marketing to reach customers directly, and keep them (#mktgnow)

Day 11 as a Melbourne local and I was the second arrival after David Park at 8am registration for a conference I committed to before I knew I was moving; and obviously I’m still working out how long it takes me to walk from my apartment (from hereon The Apartment) to everywhere else. This is the first free conference I have been to where attendees were asked to donate a minimum $100 that would go to Thank You Water and the Starlight Foundation, a very small price to pay to two worthy causes for such a rich and full presentation schedule. Just how full of insight and knowledge the speakers were only became apparent post event and the priceless value of their experiences with social media was greatly appreciated and absorbed by the crowd like a bucket full of Shamwows.

Speakers in order of appearance on Day 1 were Simon Young, Gavin Heaton, Laurel Papworth, Darren Rowse, Jim Stewart. Day 2 saw David Armano in two parts, Stephen Johnson and a panel discussion with all speakers excepting Darren Rowse. In these two days, I will be as bold to proclaim that I learned more and met more people than I have at all similar events I’ve attended previously; allegedly (note disclaimer – it may be that I paid more attention at this gig as I did not have have tasks of paid employment occupying my mind).

In no particular order and not attributed to any particular speaker, here are some of the more pertinent points from the two days. Should you desire notes taken from each presenter, I could provide pages and pages should you wish to decipher my handwritten scrawl*:

  • Customer service and experience can shape / define a brand when shared in social media
  • 75% of the Australian and NZ population online are participating in social media
  • Increasing curiosity for seeing a brand behind the scenes and getting to know the faces behind the brands —> co-creation of products / services / brands / values with customers —-> customers become partners
  • Connections and links via recommendations, reviews can shape a brand – online info translates to offline decision making; brands to consider what people do offline with the info they found online
  • Consider different audiences and roles of different online social networks; look at different attitudes and behaviours, needs of consumers and markets to create conversation; what tools do different communities want to use?; roles and life cycles of social networks
  • Social media not just social, there are also cultural, political, legal aspects
  • Questions of identity online and new languages (lol, lmao, woot, wtf, ftw (for the win – I learned this from Mr Buzzle)) —-> new terminology for tech/geek+marketing speak?!
  • Twitter for relationship building in real time conversation
  • Difference in characteristics between Bloggers = OCD and Journalists = ADD
  • Build thought leadership and tell your story via blogging; good during crisis communication
  • Social media is not a campaign, it is a commitment (S. M. – Ford) for insight and encouraging loyalty —> brand advocacy, partnerships
  • Personal branding: increasingly important, be transparent, be yourself, set boundaries
  • Social media should be scalable and measurable; consider costs of NOT participating / COI – Cost of Inaction when thinking about ROI; map what works and what doesn’t
  • Monitor, measure, monetize (Laurel); ROI: loyalty, brand, acquisition, support, offline
  • ‘User generated context’ – build trust; personalised content, audiences will filter content and context in search of trustworthy sources (conceptual gold from Gavin)
  • Social capital – be a value-add for networks
  • Gavin suggested the creation of a listening post to hear what is being said about a brand/company by using different and many search tools available online and different key words – organise these using a feed reader
  • Not enough to just find what people like, find out what they like about the things they like
  • You don’t always have to solves a problem, some people just want to be heard – facilitate space for this conversation to happen; emotionally engage people
  • PLAY credibility = Power, Learning and curiosity, Adventure, Yelp of surprise and delight (Gavin)
  • Build conversation around an existing event – piggyback on related occurrences
  • Assess negative content – do you really need to respond or just take note and monitor? Correct situation?
  • ‘Weblebrity’ = celebrity + web (I love this term, thanks Gavin)
  • Host conversations with people already talking about you; get people to have conversations for you – provide the facts and they will create judgements; get your brand into the storytelling; provide content, not opinion
  • ‘Fat value’ (Gavin) – social capital, trust, spread conversation
  • Share the message, own the destination – provide base camp such as a website or blog that other social networks/tools come back to; connect online and facilitate formation of subgroups
  • How do influencers get to this position?
  • Reputation management cycles – similar to offline processes but documented online on a broader spectrum
  • On corporate blogs, embed links to other content + engage outside community
  • Persistence and commitment in blogging will bring results; find something you are passionate about when deciding on a blog topic
  • Be useful is online social networks – add value for audiences; build community and grow trust – success will grow organically, people will just want to belong; be personal and add pics and video; be relatable; tell stories and offer case studies; be unique and cut through the noise; ask questions and show results visually e.g. through graphs; be playful and self promote but not too much; send same message out in different ways
  • Social proof – people able to comment; add comments from readers into new posts; RSS and email subscription available to readers
  • Darren re blogging: Be consistent – guest bloggers / autopost while away; user generated posts to fill in content; monetize your blog from day 1 / early on – get readers used to it; ask for sponsorship, e.g. sell an e-book for $2
  • Jim Stewart re Vlog: YouTube is second largest search engine; show your point of difference via video – build trust by showing who you are; be yourself, not a talking scripted head; no more than 10 minute video; have a reason to go live e.g limited offer or interaction; light from above and have a separate microphone; no script – know your material and tell your story; SEO for vlog title and description; Google page ranks – embed YouTube more effective; get involved in YouTube community

‘Watch and learn the culture’ (Darren Rowse). All speakers emphasised and reiterated the importance of listening before participating which is not new advice but clearly still reigns one of the most important aspects when deciding to jump into the cesspool of glittering opportunity that is online social media. So I listened and now, via this blog, I am participating.

Social media tools, sites and useful information mentioned:

  • Google Alerts
  • RSS feeds
  • Cluetrain Manifesto
  • Technorati
  • Pageflakes
  • Google Ad Planner
  • Web 2.0 world tube map
  • PeopleBrowsr
  • Michael Wesch – The Machine is Us/ing Us
  • Google+[your name here] – NB: an example was made out of me thank you very much, Servant Of Chaos for a ‘vanity search’
  • Radian6
  • Measurement Camp
  • Leader boards e.g. AdAge Power 150 Bloggers, top X bloggers etc
  • Twitter Grader
  • Dialogix
  • Offline tweet-ups e.g. #socialmelb, #coffeemornings, #twums, #shtbox
  • Google Insights
  • Howcast
  • TubeMogul

Here are some useful resources for finding out what went on inside the room at the Sofitel on Collins St:

Marketing Now panel discussion

L-R: Laurel Papworth, Simon Young, Stephen Johnson, David Armano, Jim Stewart, Gavin Heaton

I will update with Day 2 notes shortly…

*Handwritten scrawl was due to size of MacBook Pro in comparison to size of attached desk to chair or size of lap for said laptop. Some may also claim that one pays more attention when taking handwritten notes due to lack of online distraction.