Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Neil Perkin’.

IPA Social: 10 conversation starters

by Robin Grant in News Google+

Social Media is a conversation. That seems to be one thing that we all agree on

Last week, Nathan, Sandrine, Leila, Simon, Seb and I went along to the launch of IPA Social, where Neil Perkin presented their 10 conversation starters:

You can read all 10 in full here (which I highly recommend doing):

  1. Mark EarlsPeople not consumers
  2. Le’Nise BrothersSocial agenda not business agenda
  3. John WillshireContinuous conversation not campaigning
  4. Faris YakobLong term impacts not quick fixes
  5. Katy LindemannMarketing with people not to people
  6. Neil PerkinBeing authentic not persuasive
  7. Jamie CoomberPerpetual beta
  8. Amelia TorodeTechnology changes, people don’t
  9. Graeme WoodChange will never be this slow again
  10. Asi SharabiMeasure and evaluate

As the IPA’s President, Rory Sutherland says:

At a time when the population of Facebook is now greater than all but three countries in the world, and when BT is delivering customer service via twitter, this is an area which forces us to question many of our ingrained assumptions about advertising, brands and intangible value.

and from Mark Earls’ scene setting essay:

For all the excitement today around the Twitters and Facebooks, the tougher problems for the advertising industry to get to grips with are all rooted in the way social media – the stuff that connects humans with other humans – changes the game for our clients and society at large.

IPA Social is an admirable initiative, one which we’ll continue to participate in, and their 10 principles are an excellent overview of how brands need to come to terms with social media, representing the thinking of some the greatest minds in modern advertising (all of whom are good friends of ours). The launch event was also a great evening, focused on starting conversations rather than presenting a revealed truth.

However, it still was very focused on traditional ‘advertising’, with a large proportion of time spent hearing about VCCP’s Compare the Meerkat campaign. We split out into groups towards the end of the event and in the group I led, we discussed whether campaigns like Compare the Meerkat are really social media campaigns. Although the campaign has rich presences in social media, we’re weren’t sure that was a factor in it’s success. We felt it was the strength of the creative idea and the media spend at work here – and the fact that Oasis’ Rubberduckzilla has substantially more fans than Aleksandr the Meerkat on Facebook, despite no attempts to engage with social media helps re-enforce this point. It was felt that real social media campaigns are ones where the conversation itself drives the success of the campaign (like our This is Now campaign for Ford).

I also couldn’t miss joining in the discussion about which types of agency were best suited for social media. The point I made was as follows. Over the last ten years digital agencies stole a march on above the line agencies by building bigger, better and more motivated specialist teams. This let them innovate faster and develop a critical mass of best practise that accelerated the skills gap between them and their above-the-line competitors. Specialist social media agencies will do the same to digital and other agencies. To use We Are Social as an example, who else has a team of twenty experienced practitioners, entirely focused on innovative, creative and effective social media marketing and communications? Each day and each new hire widens the gap between us and those in pursuit.

Overall, I left feeling comforted that the specialist agencies’ lead in social media was safe for some time to come…

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Stop campaigning and start committing

by Robin Grant in News Google+

We had great news last week when we got the go ahead from Ford to continue into next quarter with This is Now, one of the pan-European campaigns we’ve been working on with them, meaning it will reach its 1st year anniversary in September.

Aside from being an amazing achievement for the team here at We Are Social who have been working so hard on it all of this time, it made me reflect on a discussion Sandrine had with Neil Perkin and Asi Sharabi in the comments of a post Neil wrote about the campaign just after it had launched.

Both Neil and Asi referenced Paul Isakson’s presentation on modern brand building:

Which has this killer quote:

Start looking at your marketing as a progressive story instead of as quarterly campaigns

Now this is something that all of us who have drunk the social media Kool-Aid take as gospel (and rightly so), but it’s often hard for both agencies and clients alike to actually implement in practice.

Although we’re finding progressive clients at all sorts of brands who get this, there are others who are perhaps more nervous of such a wholesale change in their marketing practices.

Then there are the structural issues to be overcome – Brand Managers typically change roles internally every two years and Marketing Directors don’t hang around much longer, which it makes it hard for any real long term commitment (especially if people new to the roles are keen to make their mark with a break from the past).

There’s also the question of the client’s other marketing activity (and their other agencies). It’s important that all of their marketing, from their advertising campaigns to their PR and experiential activity, works in unison and makes up a coherent whole and do not sit as isolated strands. Social media should be no different.

We have our own thoughts on this on how to deal with this dichotomy (and I have to say, we also have plenty of great case studies of successful short term social media campaigns), but it’s always more convincing to hear it from others. Over to Forrester’s Josh Bernoff:

Social [media campaigns] take a while to build, but last a long time. Think about the effort it takes to get people reading your blog, following your Twitter feed, viewing your YouTube videos, joining your community, or friending your Facebook page. They all start with zero viewers, but the more they grow, the more powerful they become.

Ad campaigns move at a faster pace. More importantly, they have a beginning and an end. You rent a chance to get some attention for a few months, then you see whether you moved the needle.

Since advertising people often get responsibility for social elements of marketing, this creates a fundamental disconnect. Marketers who tap into these two forms of communication can get whipsawed – the social builds too slowly, and the campaign ends too quickly, to make it easy to synchronize them. Even when they do succeed, there’s huge waste. If you’ve assembled 100,000 customers into a community behind your brand, what happens when you’re done with them? Send them a thank you email and say good bye? That’s a tragic waste.

The answer, as my colleague, Sean Corcoran, discovered in the research behind his report “Using Social Applications In Ad Campaigns”, means thinking of social fans as an asset that you can build with a campaign and then tap over and over again. To do this, you must also make sure you connect with and feed them between campaigns, to keep them interested.

Read the rest of Josh’s post over at the Groundswell blog

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The Socialisation of Media

by Robin Grant in News Google+

Neil Perkin, Director of Marketing, Strategy & Digital at IPC Media and the auteur behind the seminal What’s Next in Media (above) has had his thinking cap on again. And it’s good stuff:

Conventional wisdom positions the website as the destination and focuses investment on search to ‘drive’ traffic to it. Think about the language we’re using here. Do we really think that people who are ‘driven’ to your website are going to stick around, interact with your stuff, click on your banners? Search is attractive because of it’s accountability, control and efficiency but ask yourself this: who would you rather have on your website – a person who is looking for a specific piece of information and is likely to leave as soon as they’ve got it, or a person who is passionate about what you do and has a desire to connect, interact, share, contribute. Both people count as a unique user. But only one of them will likely stick around, come back again and again, and be truly engaged. So I would argue that their value is very different.

There’s nothing wrong with investing in search, and it is an important tool, but it is not everything. Deploying search optimisation without social optimisation is only a partial solution. What do I mean by social optimisation? I mean participation in the conversation. I mean making the community elements in your own content as visible as possible (it has to feel like a community). And I mean creating tools and services to facilitate what that community is trying to do. This has pound notes attached to it – community facilitates repeat visits, engagement and interaction. Repeat visits, engagement and interaction facilitate subscription, transaction and advertising.

In a follow-up post, he goes on to say:

Aristotle defined three types of friendship – friendship based on utility (utility being an impermanent thing, changing according to circumstance, disolving when the utility is no more), friendship based on pleasure (of the moment, changing as pleasures change), and ‘perfect’ friendship which is based on goodness (mutual respect, nourishing, lasting, trusting). Friendship is not black and white, and ‘friend’ (or ‘fan’ or ‘follower’) is a very blunt term.

Think about participation. There are many forms of it, and a significant difference between simply reading, or commenting and actually contributing. Forrester’s Social Technographics ladder does a good job of reflecting the broad scope of such participation inequality.

I think one of the most useful ways of thinking about your audience is through the level of engagement and interaction they have with what you’re doing. The internet is a does medium. It’s not for passive consumption, it’s about interaction. So thinking of your audience in this way you immediately start to think differently about your content, and about the value you are delivering. Wary as I am about segmenting people into homogenous groups, I think it’s useful to put a simple framework around this:

In Tribes, Seth Godin talks about the fact that what people really want is the ability to connect to each other, not to companies, so services that facilitate connection, give people stories to tell and something to talk about, build permission. It flips the focus from looking for customers for your products, to seeking out products (and services) for the tribe.

This means that content owners need to reach out and engage their audiences wherever they are. When we think about online communities, it’s easy to slip back into old destination thinking about attempting to “build” an online community around your brand. But to paraphrase Mark Zuckerberg, communities already exist, so the job instead should be to think about how you can help that community do what it wants to do. Communities are fluid and ever changing. So a better model is to think about multiple assets (social objects or ideas if you like) each with their own levels of participation.


Anyway. My brain hurts now – you should go read his posts in full, and leave comments there…

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