Here are all of the posts tagged ‘Scott Monty’.
Having worked client side for over 10 years before joining We Are Social, I totally get the ROI culture of most companies – this is how things work, especially in these recessionary times when every penny counts.
The frustrating thing is that measuring the ROI of social media is tricky (as Scott Monty, Ford’s head of social media famously said “What’s the ROI of putting your pants on in the morning?”). However, I joined a social media agency not only because I am passionate about social media but mostly because I am 100% convinced that social media 1) will become a core activity for businesses of all shapes and sizes and 2) it will transform the way companies operate. To me, social media is a long term commitment.
With that in mind, Chris Lake draws a very interesting parallel between social media and e-commerce:
We’re still hearing a lot of hype about something that is unproven, in ROI terms. That remains true, although some companies are generating ROI today, whereas others may take a hit before seeing a return. If you buy into the idea that this might work, then you need to be prepared to wait in order to see some positive results.
There are parallels with the great leaps into e-commerce a decade ago (amazingly some retailers have yet to dip their toes into the water). The cynics at the time doubted that selling things online would ever become a mass market no-brainer, as it is today. I wonder if the same applies to adopting social media?
There’s no doubt that the internet has done wonders for many companies. Tesco may pull in around £2bn of sales from its online operations this year, and perhaps £100m in clear profit. And John Lewis now counts its website as its biggest store, ahead of the huge ‘flagship store’ on Oxford Street. If that’s not progress, I don’t know what is. Not that it happened overnight. ROI obviously wasn’t generated immediately. Both Tesco and John Lewis needed to pony up a large wedge of development money in order to set up their websites, and to recruit appropriate people to run them. They had to pay to play, in order to transform their businesses.
The next decade will be the age of customer engagement and customer satisfaction. Don’t want to miss out on the next big revolution? Then start engaging with social media now.
It’s a question we get asked a lot, and despite the temptation to reply with Scott Monty’s (the head of social media for Ford) famed response – “What’s the ROI of putting your pants on in the morning?”, we usually say something more considered. We talk about how, despite the fact that we can measure the outcomes of the work that we do (and that we’re getting pretty good at it) and that we work with our clients to set meaningful KPIs at the beginning of engagements, it is still really hard to map those back to business metrics like ROI.
This is why we’re working closely with the rest of the IAB’s Social Media Council to get our research into the effectiveness of social media at a campaign level off the ground (you would not believe how hard it is to devise appropriate and affordable research methodologies to do so), and also one of the reasons we’re active participants at MeasurementCamp.
However, those that tell you can’t measure anything are wrong. If you’d like to know more, Jon ‘yongfook’ Cockle has a great presentation and accompanying blog post that outlines an approach to measurement that pretty much mirrors our own:
Understanding how to behave in social media is easy: be nice or leave.
A succinct, simple truth that applies to social situations, both on and offline. However it’s more than just a catchphrase. As background, Faris explains the interplay of relationships, trust and relevance:
Social media is centred on people talking to each other, one to one and one to many, establishing and reinforcing different kinds of relationships.
Advertising has clung to the idea that communication is about the transmission of messages, but most communication transmits little semantically. The function of the interaction is phatic — it establishes and reinforces relationships. Status updates don’t transmit data — they keep relationships alive.
Brands need to find a way to be relevant in social media. Research from Universal McCann has found that people are more likely to believe a random blog post than a TV commercial. As consumers spend more time consuming each other’s content, share of mainstream media will erode.
But thinking about social media with a media buying mindset isn’t going to help. As Russell Davies has observed:
Blogging is mostly a social thing, social norms apply, especially between bloggers. But, naturally enough, when brands want to engage with bloggers they act as though market norms apply; to most brands, blogs are just another media choice.
Social media isn’t media, it’s social, and as Faris remarks, people are both emotional and rational:
Economics has espoused the myth of homo economicus — a rational being, who makes cost-benefit analyses in every situation and will respond to a monetary incentive with an increased
propensity to perform an action. This is nonsense. You can test this: next time someone cooks you a meal, to show your appreciation and encourage this behaviour, leave a tip.
Social and commercial behaviour don’t mix. Acting commercially in social spaces can seem insulting, which is perhaps why corporations have found it difficult to act socially.
Or, as Russell Davies puts it:
When social exchanges and market exchanges are mixed up people get uncomfortable.
This is “an entirely different behavioural grammar for marketers,” so Faris outlines the approach brands should take, pointing out that “the media may be free, but building relationships takes huge amounts of time and attention” which is crucial advice we agree wholeheartedly with — consider the way you relate to your friends and family as you read Faris’ concluding quote from Scott Monty, head of social media at Ford:
It’s not about campaigns; it’s about commitment.
If you’ve got the time, you can listen to Faris talking about these issues in his presentation Be nice or leave: A guide to being social.
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!
Some of us weren’t lucky enough to get a chance to meet ‘la crème de la crème’ of social media at SXSW, but after my first day at the Marketing 2.0 Conference in Paris, I feel that I’ve had the chance to mingle with some of the top social media and marketing people. Shame the WiFi was non-existent once again at a French conference - I guess US folks must think WiFi hasn’t been invented yet in France!
But back to the conference, the impressive list of speakers and what this first day was all about. Much was said about the fact that people trust their peers more than they trust brands or advertising. Scott Monty at Ford, Alex Hunter at Virgin and Georges-Edouard Dias at L’Oreal all insisted on that notion and went into the details on what this meant for their company and the notion of ‘conversation’ was once again on everyone’s mind. For Scott Monty at Ford, conversation is indeed what it all comes down to: social media is an opportunity to prove to individuals that you’re listening to them; it’s about building a relationship with people and humanising the company. For Charlie Schick, at Nokia, the web is a conversation channel and brands must participate in conversations.
What’s interesting from our point of view at We Are Social is that the concept of conversation is clearly emerging – when Robin and Nathan set up We Are Social and established it as a ‘conversation agency’, it was in some way ‘groundbreaking’. It now looks like the Forrester Connected Agency report’s predictions that ‘facilitating conversations for its clients will become the new role of an agency’ is now a reality, which is great for us as a business as more and more brands will understand the importance of being conversational. And clearly when Charlie Schick at Nokia explains that social media is the voice of a brand, this really reflects what we do for Skype: not only do we help them with strategic consultancy and social media monitoring, but we are also the voice of Skype: my colleague Peter is Skype’s blogger and he’s also @PeteratSkype on Twitter, managing their reputation online through conversation. Similarly, the This is Now campaign for the Ford Fiesta we’ve been working on for the last 6 months has all been about the conversations we’ve created.
But back to my favourite word for 2009: ROI… If social media is about building relationships with people and engaging in conversations in social media, how, as a brand, you measure your ROI? As an agency we have a fairly advanced approach, but I guess I was interested to hear about how these brands approached it. I very much like Scott Monty’s answer: ROI is very much a campaign-based approach vs. a long term commitment and an opportunity to build a relationship with people. And he went further and added “What’s the ROI of putting your pants on in the morning?”, along with a joke about how campaign-based ROI can be measured through HITS: How Idiots Track Success. Nevertheless, in real life, and especially in this period of recession, we know that ROI is important to clients but it’s great to see brands are taking a longer term interest with building relationship with people. Olivier Hascoat at MySpace insisted on that concept again: ‘stop campaigning and make a long term commitment’.
All in all, a very promising first day! As I’m publishing this, Day 2 has started and it’s already looking as exciting…
“Corporate communications have radically changed” says Andy Sernovitz, chief executive of the Blog Council, an organisation for heads of social media at big companies. “It’s no longer just companies talking to the press, and customer service talking to customers. All these other people showed up in the -middle. They may not be press and they may not be customers, but suddenly their collective voice is bigger than the traditional channels.”
The essence of social media is conversation. Rather than a one-way stream of information, where companies make announcements to the press and customers, social media enables a great deal of interaction, where companies are in constant dialogue with the public. “We’ve seen a shift from doing things the old way to now having conversations with our customers,” says Jeanette Gibson, director of new media for Cisco Systems.
The above comes from an article in today’s FT, about as mainstream a business publication as you can get, a sign that perhaps Europe is beginning to hear the siren call of the changes that social media is bringing to business. Again, Twitter is on the agenda:
Companies are using Twitter to douse public relations fires before they erupt. Scott Monty, head of social media for Ford Motors, used Twitter to appease users who were angry after the carmaker sued an enthusiast website that was selling unauthorised Ford merchandise. When fans of the enthusiast site posted angry messages, Mr Monty “tweeted back” to explain the company’s position.
Bonin Bough, who was appointed director of social media for PepsiCo last year, also used Twitter to defuse a brewing crisis after the company released a series of advertisements depicting a cartoon calorie character committing suicide.
We’d not disagree with this – in fact we’ve been pioneering this approach on behalf of Skype since last year (and Scott Monty is a friend of the family, so to speak), but the focus should be on the overall conversation, of which Twitter is yet just a small part – forums and blogs are likely to remain the most significant venues for some appreciable time (this will vary, of course, depending on the sector you’re in – for example, if you’re Sony BMG, MySpace won’t have lost its significance just yet).
However, Melissa Bounoua’s article in Forbes earlier in the week makes a valid point:
Most European companies haven’t even heard of Twitter, and some might think it’s a time waster. A spokeswoman for energy firm Total says that Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie has no idea what Twitter is. British Telecom says it doesn’t have a Twitter account and doesn’t plan to open one. Nestle’s communications manager says using Twitter “just never came up within the group strategy.” In general, experts say Europeans don’t latch on to new social networking technologies as quickly as Americans.
I’d swap ‘Europeans’ with ‘European companies’ – as far as the general population is concerned, Europe is ahead of the US – with a higher proportion of the UK population using social networking and Twitter than the US (and the rest of Europe broadly comparable) and all of Europe but Germany and Austria way ahead in terms of blog readership.
However, despite the FT’s urging, her analysis is sadly correct when it comes to European companies. We are here to help…