Here are all of the posts tagged ‘conferences’.
I was lucky enough to be invited to the brand-e conference ‘Brands, Bands and Social Media Savvy’, hosted at the IAB last week. Music and the social web have always enjoyed a strong and healthy relationship with each other (music is ‘social’ by nature), and with record sales on the decline, and music sharing platforms increasing in popularity, it makes sense that brands and bands will increasingly look at ways to marry their marketing efforts.
Some insightful commentary came from Jakob Lusensky (CEO of Heartbeats International) who explored the changing role of marketing. He pertinently pointed to the fact that the four Ps of traditional marketing – price, product, promotion and placement – are now being replaced with the four Es; emotions, experiences, engagement and exclusivity. This new model he defines as “The DNA of community branding”. This was supported by findings from Nokia’s Global Youth Exploration Study, highlighting the fact that young audiences are both “hungry for experiences” and “expect just rewards for their attentions”, presented by the panel’s opening speaker, Thinktanks’s Nick Roberts. He went on to reveal that, in return, young audiences are prepared to repay brands with “loyalty, advocacy and purchase.”
The formula is simple: you have to provide something of value to your audience in order to get value in return.
But what this means is a shift not only away from the traditional model of marketing, but also the traditional forms of measurement. A question we come up against time and time again as social practitioners; how do you measure the value of engagement? According to Simon Daglish, VP Commercial Director at MySpace, you need to “go beyond the click” and start instead to see success as “putting your brand at the heart of the experience.” You need to get creative with your brand.
Which leads me onto another formula… as defined by Fred Bolza from Sony Music UK. Creative marketing, he points out, is the product of two crucial inputs: insight into your audience and basic, human instinct (or to quote his muso reference: the “this is gonna be a hit!” factor). And I couldn’t agree more. You can’t offer something of true value until you understand the person you are trying to reach. While conversely, you have to layer this with an understanding that there will always be an element of uncertainty with any creative marketing experience. You have to be willing to take a risk with your brand and “let go”. Scary stuff for some, but the basis of stellar audience engagement practice for others. One such example was the Kasabian Football Hero case study Bolza presented:
And to summarise in an oh-so-social fashion, I leave you with one of my tweets from the event:
Monitoring Social Media 09 is taking place in London this coming Tuesday. The organiser, Luke Brynley-Jones, talks about the inspiration for the event and what it aims to achieve.
In the dying days of the summer, Asi Sharabi wrote a late night rant about the state of social media monitoring. He directed his anger squarely at the many social media monitoring services that have emerged in recent years, highlighting dodgy results, issues with data, limitations in sentiment detection and often somewhat overblown claims of what can be achieved.
As it turns out, Asi wasn’t alone in his frustration. His post struck a chord with people that resonated across the blogosphere. The debate began and is now up to 50 comments on his original post. Suppliers, agencies, brands, bloggers and data-heads: everyone seems to have chimed in with their views, gripes and come-backs. It was this frenzied discussion that led me to believe there was room for a conference that focuses squarely on social media monitoring, it’s goals, it’s potential, how it works, whether it works, it’s impact on organisations, it’s costs and how to gauge ROI.
Tuesday’s MSM09 will not be a typical social media conference. We won’t have a spew of incumbent-funded sales pitches. We aren’t beholden to any particular viewpoint. In our lead Panel discussion “What’s Wrong with Social Media Monitoring Services?”, Asi will be joined by Amelia Torode (of Compare the Meerkat renown) to debate the issues with the CEO’s of two leading monitoring services, Mark Rogers (Market Sentinel) and Nick Koudas (Sysomos). Equally we won’t have any long, self-obsessed presentations. Our speakers get just 20 mins to make clear points and recommendations before the mic is wrestled off them.
While our focus is on monitoring and measurement, we also plan to cover important related topics, such as: the truth about data (sources, quality and accuracy); monitoring for reputation management; and “beyond brand”, i.e. how to implement monitoring as a key business process. One of the things I heard repeatedly during my consultation process was the need for experience-sharing and case studies, so we will also have a number of “live” case studies on the day and be providing attendees with a pack of case studies to read through (or watch) afterwards.
One of our “live” case studies will be provided by We Are Social’s very own Robin Grant. He will be spilling the beans about their work with Skype – explaining how they helped Skype to set-up and run their own real-time social media listening and responding programme, which tools and methodologies they used and how this helped the world’s leading VoIP provider contain a major crisis. Other “live” case studies include, Chris Thomas from The Conversation Group – who will present a social media-driven competitive analysis of the launch of the first Google Android phone – and Celia Pronto, Marketing Director of STA Travel, who will demonstrate how her team embraced social media monitoring and reaped the benefits.
Lastly, we will have a bunch of tools for attendees to try out. Visible Technologies, Brandwatch and White Vector (to name a few) will be showing off their wares in the break-out room. Hopefully, at the very least, we’ll save a few people the tiresome process of beauty pageants by getting these guys in one room. Hope you can make it!
Luke has kindly offered We Are Social readers a 10% discount on the MSM09 £195 ticket price, by entering the discount code MSM0910 when buying a ticket direct from the MSM09 site.
After speaking at NMA Live’s Twitter for Brands, the IAB’s Travel Forum and Simon’s keynote on measuring online political behaviour, all in the last few weeks, it seems we have an even more relentless schedule of speaking engagements coming up over the next couple of months. On the off chance you might actually want to tag along, I thought it worth telling you about them in advance…
ad:tech, London, Tuesday 22nd September
I’m participating on an IAB hosted panel at ad:tech looking at “what to do when things go bad: the power of reactive social media” alongside Nick Jones, Director of Interactive Services at the COI and others. This is free to attend, so get yourself down to Olympia for 3pm tomorrow.
Drinks and Digital Marketing Summit, London, Tuesday 22nd September
The impact of social media on the drinks industry is up for discussion on a panel with wine bloggers and drinks marketers that I will be part of at the The Charlotte Street Hotel. It’s rumoured that Oz Clarke will be in the audience, so get yourself an invite and I’ll see you there at 6:30pm tomorrow.
IPA Social, London, Tuesday 6th October
Ok, so we’re not actually part of the line-up, but Nathan, Sandrine, Leila, Simon, Seb and myself will be there to contribute to the debate (as we were last time). The evening has the potential to go down in history as the moment adland woke up to social media. Whatever happens, you don’t want to miss it.
Silverpop EMEA Client Summit, London, Thursday 8th October
Silverpop’s Client Summit is invite only, if you are going along, I’ll be speaking in the afternoon
Social Media in Business, London, Friday 23rd October
I’ll be part of a panel debate on “The Future of Social Media” towards the end of the day, but the sessions they’ve got on beforehand look great – so grab a ticket now.
Media140, London, Monday 26th October
Gareth Jones, Revolution’s Editor and Mel Exon, Managing Partner of BBH Labs and I are on the opening panel, “Can you change a brand in 140 characters?” . If you can at all make it to this event, I’d advise you to – the previous Media140 conference was brilliant and this one looks even better.
Understanding Digital Creative, Dublin, Thursday 5th November
I’ll be heading to Dublin to speak at Understanding Digital Creative, an evening event that forms part of ICAD‘s Design Week, alongside the chaps from Agenda 21 and Folk Creative.
Monitoring Social Media 09, London, Tuesday 17th November
At Monitoring Social Media 09 I’ll be talking about how we helped Skype set-up and run their real-time social media listening and responding programme. This is the first conference in Europe dedicated to this topic – it will be good to delve deep into the issues…
Account Planning Group Sweden, Stockholm, Wednesday 18th November
The Swedish account planning community invited me to Stockholm for the evening to sprinkle a bit of the We Are Social fairy dust as part of their series of events on planning in a digital world.
Interactive Advertising Festival, Madrid, Wednesday 25th November
I’ll be in Madrid for IAB Spain‘s Interactive Advertising Festival, running a 100 person(!) workshop on Social Media (let’s hope their English is good, as my castellano is non-existent).
The Battle of Big Thinking, London, Thursday 26th November
Sandrine is a contestant in Campaign and the Account Planning Group‘s Battle of Big Thinking, up against people like Jonathan Mildenhall, Coca-Cola’s VP of global advertising strategy and creative excellence, Guy Murphy, JWT’s worldwide planning director, Rick Vlemmiks, British Gas’ marketing director, Robin Wight, chairman of the Engine Group and Will Harris, Nokia UK’s marketing director. As you can see, she’ll be up against some formidable opposition – however it pans out, you’re guaranteed “a year’s thinking in a day”.
Bubblino by Roo Reynolds
This Saturday, I joined many of London’s smartest geeks and creators and took a break from the Internet to attend the third annual Interesting 2009, convened by the tireless Russell Davies. While there was plenty of backchat on Twitter and photos on Flickr, it was also refreshingly un-digital in many respects – seeing what happens when the digerati apply the same enthusiasm, creativity, curiosity and gregariousness in their day jobs as elsewhere. Topics abounded: live biohacking of yoghurt, the colour violet, how to conduct a symphony orchestra, nuclear weapons in Indian mythology, photographing bullets at the top of their trajectory, ponies, why we say “cheers” and how to win at Monopoly – the best of the action is summed up by Roo Reynolds.
That’s it. No real deeper message about social media or the power of the web in bringing people together, but just a testament to the variety of hobbies, interests and obsessions that drive some of the people behind what’s so great about the social web today. I’ll leave you with this video for the new astrotags site for sharing astronomical photos:
In typical style, I submitted two panel ideas to SXSW Interactive and have been too busy to write a blog post to ask you to vote for them. As the deadline is Monday, I figured I better pull my finger out…
So, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I submit for your appreciation and possible affirmation, the following:
Think about what you’ve spent your time doing online in the past week. How many microsites did you visit? How many branded flash animations did you watch? Calculate the mean answer for the entire world and you’ll probably arrive at a figure close to zero. But it’s a fair bet that you’ll have spent a significant proportion of time in social media. In the places that people choose to spend their online lives, constant interaction is the norm. But where does this leave the traditional model of brand websites?
Europe is ahead of the US in terms of the consumer usage of social media, and yet little attention is often given to the nuances of what is on one hand is the world’s largest economy and on the other a collection of 48 countries with very different cultures. Find out why the blogging scene in Paris is 2 years ahead of the US, the Brits are all a Twitter, the Dutch prefer Hyves to Facebook and the Germans will take any chance to give brands a hostile reception in social media.
Click through to see more details, including who I’m intending to have on each of the panels, and if you feel they are worthy, give them the thumbs up. If you’re interested in other British panel submissions, Sam Michel has put together a comprehensive list, and while you’re in a voting mood, We Are Social could also do with your help in the the people’s choice of “Most Admired Agency”…
“You’ve had eleven reboots” – Bruce Sterling’s riff on the last Viridian note closed this year’s reboot conference. For over a decade it’s been a gathering of self-proclaimed practical visionaries; an un-conference if you like, but not without some of the trappings of a more traditional event.
The venue, the airy Kedelhallen (Kettle Hall) in leafy Frederiksberg, and the attendees, a breezy mix of mostly European web geeks, entrepreneurs, designers, engineers and communicators, make for an intellectually fulfilling experience. The presence of a crèche doesn’t preclude a decent afterparty (last year’s was disbanded by the police) and the haphazard nature of the programming doesn’t exclude sleb speakers like David Weinberger.
Winners – attendees, speakers included. There’s no differentiation between the two. Speakers speak at floor level, by and large. There’s no hands-up questioning, just an opportunity to move to a smaller space to carry on the conversation. And the bar opens at 9am.
Nevertheless, this year’s theme presented more of a challenge. Raising the bar for speakers meant fewer of them, and the quality wasn’t as consistent as last year. Matt Webb’s Scope and Lee Bryant’s session were, however, definite highlights, along with Bruce Sterling’s wake-up finale. Unlike last year, I didn’t speak this time around but I did manage to make an oven out of some cardboard, glue, polystyrene and aluminium foil. Will I go back next year? Yes.
The very final talk of Thinking Digital last Friday was by Tara Hunt, who was talking about social capital in networks as part of her new book ‘The Whuffie Factor’. ‘Whuffie’, a word originally from Cory Doctorow’s novel ‘Down & Out In The Magic Kingdom’, is used by Tara to mean what has been also been described as ‘social capital’ or ‘guanxi’ in discussions of intra-community relations.
Of course in many ways the word ‘capital’ is opposite to its normal usage – whereas financial capital is exhausted by being used, social capital is only exhausted if it’s not used. As Tara put it – “the more you give away, the more you gain”. Online communities tend to be gift economies – but gift economies are nothing new and it’s worth studying their history – an excellent and very readable anthropological and sociological view is Lewis Hyde’s ‘The Gift’ and should be required reading for anyone who thinks social capital only came about with social media.
Of course there’s a natural tension between gift economies and market economies. Giving away everything for free is not the soundest of business models (although Matt Mason, author of ‘The Pirate’s Dilemma’, had some thoughts on that earlier in the day). But gifting time, help and effort to communities and helping the conversations within them, to help everyone’s whuffie grow (not just your own) is the key to proper social media engagement.
There is one quibble I have with Tara’s philosophy on whuffie – and I suspect this may be stuffy Brit clashing with extroverted American – which is her emphasis on being light-hearted. While I’d agree that having a sense of humour is important, being human is more important. And there are many occasions when it’s not appropriate to be light-hearted, particularly dealing with experiences and conversations that are negative. It’s harder to convey emotion in text when online than in person, and you need to be sensitive and respectful as much as you need to be good-humoured in those situations.
Tara’s presentation is at the top of the post – do check it out – although her rapid-fire and engaging presentation style mean it was much better with her speaking over the top of it…
I spent a few days in Brighton last week attending the iMedia agency summit.
It was a great chance to mix with senior people from both media, above the line and digital agencies and discuss the challenges facing our industry (and, let’s be honest, get to know each other over a few beers).
We are an industry built around reaching out to a million people in order to affect a small proportion of them for our clients. It’s embedded in the language we use, the business models we’ve created, even some of the ideas we suggest and persist with.
However the opportunity exists to build conversations and relationships with the thousand people we originally wanted to affect in the first place… and if we create a great relationship between our clients and them, they will be more likely to be loyal, enthusiastic advocates of that company and their products.
Which is better for the company and the people. So I guess the big question is what role will the agency play in that world?
Of course, this is the question we setup We Are Social to help answer…