Social Media and the Chop-O-Matic

Ronco Chop-O-Matic

I just finished reading  What The Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell – his latest book with a collection of his best articles from the New Yorker magazine.  It is a wonderful book that I will explain in a later post, but one of the articles on Ronco’s uber-pitchman Ron Popeil struck my social media chord.

While reading the story of how the chop-0-matic represented a different way of chopping onions and liver, I thought about the parallels of how social media is disrupting business.  The chop-o-matic required consumers to re-think the way they prepared food which is similar to how social media is causing companies to re-examine how they do business today.

So, how do you persuade people to disrupt their lives and adopt a disruptive technology?  As Malcolm Gladwell points out:

Not merely by ingratiation or sincerity and not be being famous or beautiful.  You have to explain the invention to customers – not once or twice but three or four times.

Just as Ron Popeil did in his informercials for the Chop-O-Matic, the best way to get enterprisewide social media adoption is to show people exactly how something works and why it works.  Then you have to tell them precisely how it fits into their routine and demonstrate that it is easy to do despite the notion that it is revolutionary.

The key takeaways for me are that social media practitioners must continue to:

  1. think like a pitchman (just like Ron Popeil)
  2. pound away with simple explanations and demonstrations of social media
  3. show that social media is easy to do while pointing out how and why it works
  4. maintain a “patient” passion for social media

Social Media Isn’t A Fad

.Social Media Isn't A Fad

I just ran across a great 4 minute video on YouTube  produced by Socialnomics that should convince just about anyone that social media is not going away.

Besides a great soundtrack (Right Here Right Now by Fatboy Slim), the video runs through seemingly random but very convincing factoids about the social media revolution.

The final conclusion is that “social media isn’t a fad, it’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate”.  In my mind, the shift is even broader as it is a fundamental shift in the way we market in the way we live

Eric Qualman is the brains behind Socialnomics and author of the best-selling Socialnomics The Book.  Enjoy the video!

Link to video on Social Media Revolution on YouTube.

Laying Out A Framework for Social Media Strategy

In my Social Media 101 presentation to a group of marketers from E&Y last week, I included the beginnings of a social media framework that has been on my mind recently.  This post explains how I will be using the framework to address social media strategy needs for my clients.

One more thing – the tables below are slanted toward a B2B social media strategy, but could easily be modified for a B2C or hybrid strategy.

The first table looks at the six primary social media functions.  I first saw this list of functions in a presentation by Marta Kagan and have been using  them to explain the different areas that social media can address.  Against the six social media functions, I mapped the key social media tools that can be used to address these functions.  I could have used generic categories such as blog, video, social networking and bookmarking and I omitted some categories for my audience such as wikis, user review sites and forums.

Once I plotted the intersections, it is interesting to see that not every tool addresses each function.  Some people may argue that if you make the bus big enough, you could probably justify any of the tools for any of the functions – but I have limited the intersections to their most typical usage.

Mapping Social Media Functions to Tools

After mapping the social media functions to tools, the next important step was to assign priority to each tool.  Along with the priority, it is also key to understand both the upfront effort and the ongoing effort for each tool.  For example, creating and maximizing your LinkedIn profile is a high priority that has moderate upfront effort and a low ongoing effort score.

There are better ways to to quantify effort, but they are difficult to document without further knowledge of the situation.  After spending some time doing discovery with a specific client, I would most likely assign hours or days of effort.  For now, the table below just identifies relative effort levels.

Social Media Tools - Priority and Effort

As you can see above, I would rank LinkedIn Profiles and Groups,  a blog and Slideshare as high priority implementations.  But each one comes with different levels of both upfront and ongoing effort.  And I would put blogging and managing a community in the high category for ongoing effort which explains why many companies choose not to implement these tools despite their relative priority.

The framework is also a work in progress so any comments are welcome.

Insights from Forrester’s Interactive Marketing Forecast for 2009 to 2014

Excerpt from my Omniture Email

I received an email from Omniture today with a link to the 22-page July 2009 Forrester report by Shar VanBoskirk (et.al.) titled “US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2009 to 2014”.  Since I am always intrigued by what the experts are forecasting (especially when it’s free), I clicked the link to get access to the report.   The basis for the report was a quantitative survey with 204 marketers and interviews with 16 vendor and user companies.

Since I couldn’t paraphrase the report’s summary any better than Forrester, here is their Executive Summary:

US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2009 to 2014

Other highlights of the study include:

  • Social media – Social media spending will see a 34% CAGR growth from $700 millinoto over $3 billion – the highest of any channel over the next 5 years
  • Search marketing – Search marketing (58% of total interactive spend) and display advertising (31% of total) still represent the lion’s share of total spend of $55 billion in 2014
  • Display ads – Advertisers continue to favor per-per-click (PPC) over impression-based ads – and 58% of display budgets are going to performance-based media mostly because of the easy measurement and immediacy
  • Email – Email continues to grow at the expense of direct mail (the ‘green’ marketing alternative) and as it becomes more inexpensive and smarter
  • Strategy – More than 40% of respondents say that marketing is become a strategic leader in their organization

I included the following chart because it addressed how marketers view the effectiveness of interactive vs. traditional marketing.

  • 75% of respondents will increase budget for interactive by shifting money away from traditional marketing (60%) or by keeping traditional marketing budgets flat (15%)
  • The big decreases in traditional marketing budgets will come from direct mail (40%), newspapers (35%) and magazines (28%)

Effectiveness of Interactive Marketing Tactics vs. Traditional Marketing Tactics

What’s interesting to me is that around 90% of the marketers believe that the effectiveness of “created social media” will increase over the next 3 years, compared to about 80% for online video and 75% for search engine optimization (SEO).  On the other hand, each of the traditional marketing tactics were forecast t o decrease by more than 50% of the respondents over the next next 3 years.  There’s no surprise in either interactive or traditional tactics and the disparity is easy to see if you focus on the medium dark blue bars above.   Marketers say that traditional methods are ineffective, but it still seems that they are spending large amounts of their budgets on this channel.

The report closes with some ways interactive trends will redefine the business of marketing:

  • Advertising budgets will decline in the next 5 years, but marketing investments will not
  • Traditional agencies that cannot nuture customer relationships will not make it
  • As media becomes more syndicated, media will be digested across devices instead of just sites – which gives an advantage to Microsoft, Apple and Google

You can purchase the full report report from Forrester or get it from Omniture as I did, however I did not see a link on the Omniture website for the report yet.  It’s definitely a great read if you can get your hands on a copy.

Social Media 101 Presentation for Ernst & Young

I gave a Social Media presentation for a group of marketing managers at Ernst & Young yesterday and want to share the presentation on my blog.  The particular team I presented to is primarily responsible for marketing and business development for the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year program in the Western US.  The presentation

Some interesting insights from this group include:

  • LinkedIn – Most members had a LinkedIn account, but were not using it effectively for business and only a few had joined any networking groups groups
  • Twitter – A couple had Twitter accounts, but didn’t really get it yet
  • Facebook – most people had a Facebook account that they used for personal use
  • Slideshare – no one heard of Slideshare, but were intrigued with what could be shared
  • Social bookmarking – no one had heard of Delicious or Digg, or had any idea how to use it
  • E&Y social media sites – most of the participants had not seen any of their own company’s social media sites

The last bullet brings up an interesting point.  As far as I could tell based on my limited research, E&Y is not doing very much in social media yet – which seems to be consistent with other similar firms in the auditing/consulting/tax services market.

For example, E&Y does have a popular Facebook page, but it is only used for recruiting college graduates.  They have a couple of Twitter accounts, but they are definitely underutilized and are not being used to set up E&Y as a knowledge leader or to promote their very popular Entrepreneur of the Year program.  There is an Ernst & Young LinkedIn group with 8,000 members.  Videos of the annual Entrepreneur of the Year awards are posted on a branded YouTube channel, but the videos are not promoted through any other social media outlets.  I also learned that E&Y created a Pandora Music Channel called EverybodY Rock, but the irony is that Pandora is blocked in E&Y offices.

There is so much great content from the Entrepreneur of the Year program that could be shared if E&Y did a better job with leveraging social media to promote and set up E&Y as the thought leader and champion for entrepreneurs.  At the end of my presentation, I came up with some recommendations for E&Y to consider which includes:

  • Start up a blog to disseminate information
  • Set up an Entrepreneur of the Year LinkedIn Group to promote and discuss the program
  • Create an Entrepreneur of the Year Twitter account to listen, find entrepreneurs and send out updates
  • Set up an E&Y Slideshare account to post and share information
  • Set up an Entrepreneur of the Year Facebook Fan page to attract and inform people about the program

Attention Ernst & Young Senior Management  I think you need me and I'm here to share my social media knowledge!  Just give me a call...

After that short ‘commercial’, here is the social media presentation I delivered yesterday:

Zoom Zooming with the 2011 Mazda2

I spent most of the day at the LA Auto Show today as a guest of David Harris, Group Manager of Digital and Alternative Marketing at MazdaUSA.  As part of Mazda’s social media outreach, David has created a group of 22 Mazda enthusiasts, Mazda owners and social media experts called Mazda “22” – and the first meeting of the group was at the LA Auto Show for the Mazda2 press conference and Reveal.

In addition to getting access to the LA Auto Show on press day, each member of Mazda 22 received a Flip minoHD recorder to record the events of the day.  David also arranged for the Mazda2 product manager, designer and lead engineer to brief the group on the business, design and technical details of the new auto.  I was most intrigued with the designer’s story about how the Mazda2 took shape and how the engineer talked about the big and little things they did to shave 10% of the weight off the previous model of the Mazda2.

Some details about the upcoming details about the 2011 Mazda2:

  • Mazda is referring to the Mazda2 as “Zoom Zoom Concentrated”
  • The Mazda2 fills a gap in the B-Car market for Mazda in North America as an entry point to the Mazda3 (and the B-Car market is forecast to double in the next 3-4 years)
  • The Mazda2 has already won World Car of the Year in 2008 and has also won Car of the Year in over 20 countries (i.e. Mazda already ‘owns’ the global B-Car market)
  • The primary goals for the Mazda2 is that it had to:
    • be fun to drive (consistent with Mazda’s Zoom Zoom culture)
    • be affordable
    • possess high QDR ratings (quality, durability and reliability)
  • The Mazda2 interior will likely be revealed at the Montreal Auto Show in mid-January
  • Pricing will likely be discussed at the Detroit Auto Show in late January
  • Mazda2 will likely be in the showrooms by Q3 2010

Besides the official Reveal, my highlight was being right in front of a new Mazda2 when Patrick Dempsey from Grey’s Anatomy and a Mazda racing driver “walked into my viewfinder”.  I’ve included a picture of Patrick and a short video clip below along with videos of MazdaUSA president James O’Sullivan at the press conference and in an interview.

Patrick Dempsey with 2011 Mazda2

MazdaUSA President James O’Sullivan reveals the new 2011 Mazda2:

And here is Patrick Dempsey, Dr. McDreamy from Grey’s Anatomy, walking into my video overview of the Mazda2.  Sometimes, it pays to be in the right place at the right time.

Finally, here is James O’Sullivan being interviewed by a member of the press:

All in all, I had a great time at the event – and it is an important baby step for Mazda to become more transparent and reach out to their very loyal customer base through social media.  Just with this simple step, Mazda has created a ton of user-generated content and increased the buzz factor for the Mazda2 launch.  Look for Mazda to leverage this experience into a bigger social media story.  Stay tuned for more…