Here are all of the posts tagged ‘David Armano’.
Mobile internet has grown immensely in 2009 and according to the latest TrendsSpotting report it will be at the heart of social media in 2010:
Mobile social media
In the report, David Armano says “mobile becomes a social media lifeline”: on the basis that nearly 70% of organisations ban social networking in the workplace, mobile internet will be a lifeline for addicted workers and what was once a cigarette break could turn into a social media break.
Dan Zarella predicts that with the rise of augmented reality, the border between the web and reality will become increasingly blurred.
As people trust other people online when it comes to forming an opinion about a product or service, the growth of the mobile internet will mean this increasingly occurs at the point of consumption. Imagine you’re in a shop, hesitating between two vacuum cleaners. What do you do? Do you ask the salesman or you check out independent consumer reviews via your mobile?
With the development of geolocation apps, this principle also applies to restaurants, bars, hotels, etc.. You’re travelling to Paris for business, you’ve just finished your meeting in a neighborhood that you’re not familiar with and you’re looking for a restaurant to have lunch? What do you do? Check out the reviews of the local brasseries on your mobile on Yelp, of course.
Social media goes up the agenda of organisations
The good news is that in 2010 companies seem to have plans to invest seriously in social media. According to BizReport, social media is a priority for marketers: more than half of respondents (56.3%) had planned to include social media in their marketing mix.
This is in line with the TrendsSpotting report where many social media players talk about the growing importance of social media for organisations.
According to Charlene Li, “social media will become part of everyday lexicon for business in 2010″ while for Adam Cohen, “Social media gets smarter”: companies will start using social media more strategically.
For Connie Benson, “social media will shift from being experimental to metrics and the loop will be closed so that social media monitoring is necessary and actionable”.
David Armano highlights that as of today, very few organisations have used social media beyond campaigns. He uses Best Buy as a benchmark of a company that has really managed to leverage social media strategically (Robin wrote about Best Buy and social media a few months ago).
David Armano goes further by predicting the mass adoption of social media policies in companies in 2010: specific rules of engagement across different social networks, rules on how employees’ participation in social media.
I agree with David. This year, companies will understand the importance of investing for the long term in social media rather than just on specific campaigns – as Robin put it, “stop campaigning and start committing”.
What was already important for brands in 2009 becomes crucial in 2010: listening to and participating in online conversations as they have a real impact on people’s opinions. Even more so now that Google and Microsoft have incorporated the real-time social web at the core of their search algorithms: Today, when researching a brand, you’ll surely find tweets about it.
Already this year Pepsi has dropped its Super Bowl advertising spend (after 23 consecutive years) to invest in social media in 2010, which implies these predictions may have some weight…
Forrester have just released a new research report called looking at how companies should organise to best deal with social media, which as well as giving the data above, answers the questions “Which roles do we need” and “Which department is in charge”.
They recommend that the best approach to organising for social media is for companies to form “a cross functional team that includes representatives from different departments and groups and is responsible for social media strategy and implementation” – which we agree with. Social media crosses all organisational boundaries, and as we said back in January, the most effective engagements tend to be when we’re working with a combination of the Marketing, PR, Customer Service and Research departments.
The biggest challenge brands often have to overcome isn’t technology but managing cultural change within the enterprise. With an ever-increasing number of brands engaging in social media marketing in recent years, companies need to not only be properly budgeted but also well organized. Once brands experiment with social activities, they must then organize from the inside out — or risk not properly staffing or responding to customers. Brands need to integrate social into their companies by developing a safe place for employees to experiment, creating a process to manage and measure these programs, and integrating social into other marketing and enterprise systems. Above all, brands must organize their companies in the hub-and-spoke model [a cross functional team], which allows business units to be flexible with their social programs — but provides a grounded center that enables the company to act efficiently.
Update: David Armano asks Is The Hub And Spoke Model Adaptable?
A very important part of what we do at We Are Social consists in helping brands engage in social media by having meaningful conversations with people and igniting positive word of mouth. So as I was watching Loïc Le Meur’s video on ‘How to launch a product using your community’, I thought it was a brilliant illustration of why word of mouth is so important. As it’s in French, I’ll try and recap some key learnings here.
According to Loïc, traditional advertising, PR and marketing are all still very valid but are nowhere near as important as the power of word of mouth. He illustrates this by saying that when you are about to buy a product, what you want is to know what your friends think about it before you purchase it. You want to know what your community has to say about that product.
And to be honest, in some ways, this has always been the case. In the past, we would probably have asked our neighbors, colleagues or ‘real’ friends what they thought about product X or Y. Nowadays, those conversations about products and brands alike are happening online. And rather than transiently involving two or three of your friends, these conversations can now potentially reach millions of people and are permanent (as they’ll appear in Google’s results for ever). This is good if the conversation is positive and not so good otherwise.
Loïc adds another interesting point about online conversations: the years 1993-2000 were about static media – i.e. the online environment was a reproduction of traditional media; since 2000, we’ve seen the explosion of what we refer to as ‘social media’ – i.e. people interacting with people but also brands, via blogs, social networks, etc. And now, as Loïc highlights, since the beginning of 2009, the web has entered a new area. People still want to interact with their community but they want to do so in real time, via Twitter or Facebook statuses for example. Which means that when people talk about products and brands, they also do it in real time.
Hence the importance of listening and responding in real time as Robin was highlighting in his interview with emarketer ‘Social Media: Joining the conversation’. And both Seesmic & Twhirl are a great examples of brands who have understood the importance of listening in real time to the community’s feedback, to get insights into what’s good, or not so good about their products. And Loïc is the first one to say that this means sometimes he’s checking Twitter Search at 3am to read about the community feedback and to reply to it. Because Loïc knows that if 1,000 of Seesmic’s fans are convinced about the product, they’ll tell another 10,000 of their friends about how great the product is.
It’s all about ‘micro interactions’ as David Armano calls them. It’s about turning your fans into brand advocates. And it works – this is how how he managed to get Seesmic Desktop application downloaded 1.5 million times in a few days. This is the power of word of mouth.
The Engagement Spectrum, a useful new diagram from our friend David Armano. A nice complement to Mike Troiano’s concept of concept of ‘scalable intimacy’.
Over the last few years, social media has had a huge impact on my life. From discovering blogs to meeting a tremendous amount of very interesting people through social networking (to the extent of quitting my last job to work in social media!). And the two days at the Marketing 2.0 conference were no different to this – it was a chance to meet in real life the people I was already connected to through social media; hence the very late night with @luckthelady, @branislavperic, @digitalizer, @armano and @fredcavazza which Robin kindly pointed out on Wednesday morning…
Photo: Luck the Lady
The second day of the Marketing 2.0 started on with a very interesting talk about Micro Interactions by David Armano. Ever experienced a Micro Interaction? Micro Interactions can take various forms. For example, you say something about a brand online and turns out the brand was listening to you and, even better, they respond, and you’re amazed?! Yes, as you can see, this is one of the things we do with Skype and, as David Armano was pointing out, because people would rather talk to people than brands, Twitter is a way to offer an alternative to annoying automated customer services and interact as a human with individuals. Still according to David, this is where you see the concept of ‘brandividuals’ appearing – take Scott Monty for example: on Twitter, in addition to being ‘a husband, dad and generally a nice guy’, @ScottMonty is the human face of Ford; he’s a brandividual, the individual who enables a direct engagement with the Ford brand.
But back to ‘micro interactions’. In some ways, the following speaker, Stephen Eric from Crispin Porter + Bogusky also touched on the ‘micro interactions’ subject with the concept of small [micro] ideas: ‘start small, experiment, explore multiple ideas, find a momentum’. A very inspiring talk in this area of economic recession: Stephen insisted that ‘small ideas [micro ideas] take the pressure of big ideas’ and he illustrated this with the whole ‘King’ idea for Burger King: it was supposed to be a one off, the client approved it because it was a small idea. Nowadays, the King is a success which has even featured in video games.
Another very interesting talk was the one of Jeremy Dumont, Strategy Planning Manager at Pourquoi Tu Cours, about 2009 trends like the concepts of open identity (your life is public online), co-construction identity (your friends take part in your identity through comments), acting identity (you are what you do – Twitter, Facebook statuses), but also with a new sense of proximity with people like us (they’re not your friends, you might have never met them but you share something, a passion, a subject and you engage with them through online networks).
I have to say I very much like the concept of ‘Acting Identity’: ‘You Are What You Do’ is probably the way I will explain Twitter nowadays!
Three years into its existence, the recent media frenzy around celebrity Twitterers, including Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross, and Barack Obama’s successful use of the medium in the run-up to the US election, has seen the popularity of the “microblogging” site increase 27-fold in 12 months.
Advertisers could learn a lot from celebrity Twitterers using the site to shape their personal branding, creating a close, one-on-one relationship with their fans without constantly filtering their thoughts through a PR sieve.
Robin Grant, the managing director of the social media agency We Are Social, which advises Fry on his use of Twitter, explains: “The advice we gave to Stephen centred on being himself and having genuine conversations with people. It’s the same for brands. It’s about being human, showing your real personality and allowing people to connect with you on an emotional level.”
The article then gets quite bizarre, with Flo Heiss, the creative partner at Dare giving this advice about who should sit behind a brand’s account:
It could be a real person, such as a receptionist, or character made up by yourself
How about an imaginary friend who’s a receptionist, Flo? On to David Bain, an ‘internet marketing consultant’:
it’s cleverer when you don’t anthropomorphise it. What if an inanimate object was to Tweet, for example?
Why is it cleverer David? And what would it say? Amelia Torode, managing partner at VCCP:
It has to be a friendly, chatty brand. A brand such as Coca-Cola would be too large in its entirety. You need to work less at a higher-brand level and go down to the actual campaigns or smaller brands under the umbrella in order to start up the conversation.
Not quite as unhinged as Flo and David admittedly, but I’d point to the examples of brands like Burger King, Southwest Airlines, Whole Foods, Starbucks, JetBlue and even VCCP’s client O2, who are having meaningful and useful conversations at the higher-brand level. As usual, our friend Faris Yakob talks sense:
Previously we had a model of buying attention from media companies. Now we’ve got direct relationships so we have to earn that attention – we have to earn it by being entertaining, useful and also nice.
To be honest, there is no ‘right approach’, but there are some general principles that apply (as expressed by myself and Faris above) and then there is the hard won experience at the coalface, learning what works and what doesn’t, that brands doing it themselves (and the agencies like ourselves helping them) have acquired. Most importantly your approach should be built around, yes, you guessed it again, the business objectives you’re trying to achieve.
This diagram from Fallon’s Aki Spicer of six different potential participation strategies brands could use is a useful thought starter (each of which of course might be used in combination or not at all), but even the approaches I deliberately ridiculed above could be valid in the right circumstances. Fictional characters can work really well as part of a campaign as VCCP’s own Compare the Meerkat work shows, and I’m sure at least one of Zappos’ receptionists is on Twitter. Even inanimate objects might have their place – in fact I’ve been trying to persuade Kew Gardens to get their plant life on Twitter for a while now.
But deciding on a strategy is only the first and easiest step. The hard work is the day after day of micro-interactions with real people, and striking the right balance between the opportunities and risks presented by having a real person as the voice of the brand, which I touched upon in the hotly debated post on learning to speak human. David Armano brilliantly investigates this dynamic in The Age of Brandividualism and his recent follow-up, Battle of the Brands (both of which are required reading here at We Are Social towers):
For each brand on Twitter, there’s an individual (or individuals) behind that effort. It’s both business and personal. The two have become one. The tactic comes from a fundamental truth when it comes to the social spaces on the Web. People want to talk to other people. They want transparency. They want to know who they are talking to.
The potential reward of course, is the ability to spread surprise and delight, turn negative word of mouth into positive and to really engage people with your brand at an emotional level. There is no greater prize…