50 Key Takeaways from the BCAMA VISION Marketing Conference

On May 19th, the British Columbia Chapter of the American Marketing Association held its’ annual flagship VISION Marketing Conference. This year, the focus was on the concept of ‘community’ and how the concept is reshaping our marketing landscape – as companies build deeper, more meaningful relationships with customers.

As I’m currently in Toronto, unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend VISION. However, I was paying close attention to the Twitter stream, enticed by a great speaker lineup and my affinity for the BCAMA – I volunteered with the association for over five years.

Thank you to VISION attendees, as well as the BCAMA’s social media team, for sharing what was being discussed. Here are the top 50 takeaways I was able to glean from Twitter!

Scott Stratten – Social Media Expert, Author of UnMarketing

  • rgerschman: #2011vision Marketing is not a task. Marketing is every time you choose to or choose not to engage with your market. It just is (S.Stratten)
  • wusnews: Online conversations are the most raw, passionate thoughts of your customers. #2011Vision
  • patrickmgill: #2011vision the best marketing is creating awesome customer experiences @unmarketing
  • rgerschman: #2011vision “When does the ‘we are experiencing an unusually high call volume’ = the usual high call volume? Think about Customer service!!
  • BCAMA: “Every time you create a QR code and it does not go to a mobile page… a puppy dies.” @unmarketing #2011Vision ^NT
  • kelsey_bar: People spread “awesome”. They don’t spread “meh…” Great stuff from @unmarketing at #2011Vision
  • GusF: By 2013 50% of web access will be done on mobile phones – get your website mobile #2011vision
  • GillianShaw: Create awesome content 1st then SEO. Create your content for your audience, not for Google. @unmarketing #2011Vision
  • rgerschman: #2011vision @unmarketing social media success doesn’t exist… It’s just amplification. If you suck offline, you’ll suck even more online!
  • shirleyweir: Reminder: we do business with people we know, like and trust. Live it #2011Vision @unmarketing

Kerry Munro – Technology leader and visionary

  • GillianShaw: 72% Internet users say they’re exposed to too much advertising (could you buy a @vancouverSun please : ) ) #2011Vision
  • nicolb: “Strategy. Insights. Automation. 3 areas that are the biggest level of challenge today. ” @kerrymunrois #2011Vision /via @bcama
  • GillianShaw: Your customers will create new customers, all you have to do is take care of your existing customers, sez Kerry Munro #2011Vision
  • GusF: A social media strategy should be inline with your business strategy. Many have that disconnect #2011vision
  • BCAMA: “FB user value: spend, loyalty, brand affinity, acquisition cost, propensity to recommend, media value” @kerrymunrois #2011Vision ^NT
  • GusF: Since the core of any business is to drive sales, it’s important to understand the value of your “fan”. #2011vision
  • rgerschman: #2011vision Consider this: Friends & family continue to be the biggest influencers in ppl making purchase decisions.
  • fburrows: #2011Vision Bing and Google change their analytics daily-impossible to keep up, just focus strategically on what works for you.
  • BCAMA: “It’s all about being in that moment and creating the most efficient and optimal connection w/ the consumer.” @kerrymunrois #2011Vision ^NT

Scott Bedbury – Author of A New Brand World and former Marketing Executive at Nike and Starbucks

  • rgerschman: #2011Vision “Consumers are not just that into you. Look past your product to the world your consumers live in.” – Scott Bedbury
  • asilhouette: Worlds best brands connect themselves to timeless human needs that are both physical and emotional #2011vision bcama
  • G_Speaking: Cool. Original brainstorm map of Starbuck’s ‘the third place’. #BCAMA #2011vision http://t.co/hzmovdW
  • rgerschman: #2011vision Stand for something more than your product. Humanize yourself. Consider value, ethics & style. Tell stories.
  • Ian_Cruickshank: It’s what you do beyond your core product that actually defines you. Scott B #2011vision love it.
  • SuburbiaRetail: “At the heart of a brand is it’s relationship with employees.” – Scott Bedbury @bcama #2011vision
  • rgerschman: #2011Vision Physical brand touch points can do more than digital bytes. Who is representing your brand offline? Train, inspire & motivate.
  • kelsey_bar: Scott Bedbury: “Be fully present in the moments that matter most.” As true in business as it is in life. #2011Vision
  • k8senkow: “Stay forever curious. Don’t ever think you have all the answers.” Scott Bedbury at BCAMA #2011Vision Conference

Nikki Heller – Director of Marketing, Future Shop

  • timr03: Social shopping isn’t just online #2011vision
  • misscheryltan: “Social Shopping is ANY purchase influenced by your personal network (i.e. community forums)” Nikki Kellyer #2011Vision (via @bcama)
  • GillianShaw: Listening to people in social networks flipped Future Shop marketing plans for back to school. #2011Vision
  • BCAMA: The funnel before: http://ow.ly/i/bMHC & the funnel after is a loop: http://ow.ly/i/bMHL #2011Vision
  • codias: #2011vision #authenticity #authenticity #authenticity #authenticity #authenticity
  • erinpongracz: #NikkiHellyer just used #BBC “groundhog Alan” vid as an ex. of mrkters shouting msg into the void & not knowing ur aud. #Amazing #2011vision
  • elliottchun: Online and offline retail is merging. And, evenings & wkeds are dead. – Hellyer #2011Vision #FutureShop

John Ounpuu, Strategy Director at Blast Radius and Sarah Dickinson, VP Strategy at Blast Radius

  • Ian_Cruickshank: Traditional models work in traditional media – outside of traditional you have to be more creative and break some rules – #2011vision
  • codias: When you transcend categories, you elevate yourself beyond your category into a superlative. #2011vision
  • GusF: 3 steps to build meaningful relations – Foundation, Role, and Culture. #2011vision
  • BCAMA: “Gamefication – leaderboard scores, badges – moving out of the realm of games and into other areas.” John Ounpuu #2011Vision ^NT
  • BCAMA: “Finding your shared ideal. Understand role & live it. Build on relevant cultural currents. Execute boldly.” Sarah Dickinson #2011Vision ^NT
  • petequily: Social media can be an incredible tool but it can’t fix an acute internal problem. It may only make it worst. #2011vision
  • robynmichelles: Great insights from Blast Radius – understand the foundation of your brand & it’s role, then live it. Be culturally relevant. #2011Vision

Tod Maffin – One of North America’s leading digital marketing experts, CBC Radio Host

  • BCAMA: “By deconstructing viral videos, you can find 6 “markers” that can increase the chance of going viral.” @todmaffin #2011Vision ^NT
  • BCAMA: “#1 Audience, Content, Call to Action Matching: content must match audience. CTA must match content.” @todmaffin #2011Vision ^NT
  • BCAMA: “2. Successful viral campaigns are stripped down to a simple, single concept. Double Rainbow.” @todmaffin #2011Vision ^NT
  • misscheryltan: Successful viral videos are one of the following: Silly, Serious, or Stunning. @todmaffin #2011Vision
  • BCAMA: “3. Sentiment Factor (silly, serious or stunning). Dove was seeded entirely online: http://bit.ly/lsvEdV@todmaffin #2011Vision ^NT
  • BCAMA: “4. Reward sharing. Ex. Doritos unidentified flavour campaign, winner sharing Doritos profits.” @todmaffin #2011vision ^NT
  • BCAMA: “5. Embrace the unofficials. Do not hate them. Ex. Diet Coke & Mentos” @todmaffin #2011vision ^N
  • BCAMA: “6. Deliberate successive rounds. Need a certain # of impressions for people to take action. Ex. Shreddies” @todmaffin #2011Vision ^NT

50 Key Takeaways from The Art of Marketing Conference

By all accounts, The Art of Marketing Conference held in Toronto on March 7th was a smashing success – as speakers provided the audience with cutting edge thoughts and insights on key marketing issues. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend, however thanks the willingness of a number of audience members to share what they were learning through Twitter, I did get a flavor of what was being discussed.

Here are the top 50 takeaways I was able to glean from the Twitter stream!

Avinash Kaushik – Brand Measurement: Metrics & Analytics

  • doomzto: “If people tell me that you can’t convert love to money over the Internet, then they’re wrong.” – @avinash #taom
  • KimMcWatt: Marketing can be orgasmic if you use data for insight #taom
  • amirad: People focus too much on the what and not enough on the how much #TAOM
  • GGFM: you have access to all your competitors data so use it says @avinash #taom
  • casiestewart: HITS = how idiots track success. Bounce rate = “I came, I puked, I left”. This guys is funny. #taom
  • luudiana: Are the metrics you’re using measuring people’s behaviours? Getting rid of the data puke is the first step @avinashkaushik #TAOM
  • SocialKamel: #taom @avinash you can’t improve something by 1000% but u can improve 1000 things by 1%
  • soniyamonga: Most websites aren’t effective because the purpose doesn’t overlap w/ customer intent. Therefore efficiencies are missed #taom #segmentation
  • KimMcWatt: Look at your site content, where are you spending your time, compare to where your customers are #taom
  • YouNxt: @avinash at #TAOM – use social media not just to add revenue but to build economic value to your company

Gary Vaynerchuk – Social Media & Word of Mouth Marketing

  • Debbie_h2o: #taom @garyvee when asked “what’s the roi of social media?” he responds what’s the roi of your mother? Your best friend? Your pet?
  • amirad: Everyone talks about content, but the focus should be on context #TAOM
  • SocialKamel: #taom social media has scaled caring, one on one marketing is here, that’s the thank you economy @garyvee
  • laurenonizzle: “I don’t care if you have 40,000 followers – if you have 17 that care, you have 17 followers” -@GaryVee #TAOM
  • write_mich: @garyvee: “it is totally unacceptable for companies to not respond to customers talking about their brands” Context matters. #TAOM
  • GGFM: according to @garyvee a social media campaign is a one night stand not a conversation which is what socia media is #taom
  • GraceMarketing: Run 3 less commercials and hire more people to actually respond to customers @garyvee #taom
  • JRiddall: Companies who mine data properly and execute on some form of humanization will be the winners @garyvee #taom
  • samantha_kwan: When you hit the emotional centre of your customer, you will never loose them as a customer, it’s human #TAOM @garyvee
  • lauralimawilson: Social has tremendous ROI ’cause it’s emotional @garyvee #TAOM so true

Jeffrey Hayzlett – Brand Strategy & Growth

  • JRiddall: Passion is not a substitute for planning @jeffreyhayzlett #taom
  • shamattygalle: You have 8 seconds to hook me and 110 seconds to sell me – @jeffreyhayzlett #TAOM
  • jdojc: “HR and Legal shouldn’t drag you backthey should keep you from falling down” @jeffreyhayzlett #taom
  • DebWeinstein: “A Social CMO’s job is to: set Conditions of Satisfaction; cause tension; be who you are; & be brave,” @JeffreyHayzlett #TAOM
  • JRiddall: Gotta be willing to take risks..no one is going to die @jeffreyhayzlett #taom
  • alinebadr: A brand is nothing more than a promise delivered #taom
  • JRiddall: Four E’s of social Engage Educate Excite Evangelize @jeffreyhayzlett #taom
  • amirad: The social game now is about hearts and minds not eyeball and ears #JeffreyHayzlett #TAOM
  • ACURASHERWAY: What’s ROI on social. “I don’t know tell me what ROI is on IGNORING” – @JeffreyHayzlett #TAOM
  • clickeric: What is your 118? People don’t take pictures they capture moments #taom #marketing

Dr. Sheena Iyengaar – Consumer Behaviour & the Psychology of Choice

  • YfactorInc: @taom Dr Iyengar “the Jam problem” too much consumer choice makes it harder to actually buy
  • Drafted_Boy: What happens when faced with too many choices: less commitment, poorer decision quality, lower satisfaction @Sheena_Iyengar #TAOM
  • melissa_very: #taom “How many choices can we handle? The magical number 7 (+/-2)” Dr. Sheena Iyengar
  • jdojc: Experts know enough to limit their choices to important criteria. Amateurs end up with paralysis when faced w\ too much choice #taom
  • thecellularguru: Cognitive overload is the 1st cause of Choice Overload #TAOM 2nd cause is indistinguishable options
  • thecellularguru: Everyone believes theyre more unique than others but everyone conforms to being just unique enough not too bizarre & not too boring #TAOM
  • KimMcWatt: Categorize choices to help the decision. Our brains can process more categories than choices. Dr. Iyengar #taom
  • KimMcWatt: Condition people for complexity. Help them learn their preferences. Dr. Iyengar #taom
  • djacob: “People may say what they want is more choices but what they really want is more control” #TAOM
  • shamattygalle: We are born with an innate desire to choose but we are not born knowing how. – @sheena_iyengar#TAOM

Guy Kawasaki – Creativity & Innovation

  • soniyamonga: The process of delighting and enchanting people; that’s @GuyKawasaki’s mission when it comes to building lasting influencers #taom
  • irwinliunews: @guykawasaki There are three steps to likeability: (1) Smile [preferably Duchenne] (2) Dress for a “tie” (3) Perfect handshake #taom #yam
  • clickeric: Become a bakery not an eater @GuyKawasaki #taom and u need to default to a yes attitude
  • amirad: Make the position of your product short, sweet and swallowable. No acronyms or industry term @guykawasaki #TAOM
  • samantha_kwan: When you create a product/service, do something DICEE: deep, intelligent, complete, empowering, elegant @guykawasaki #TAOM
  • soniyamonga: The change in mktg today is a direct result of the lack of understanding of the ‘A-listers.’ So plant many seeds, across all levels #taom
  • keridamen: @guykawasaki #Taom: The most innovative people will encounter the most resistance.
  • SocialKamel: @guykawasaki in all the negativity failure and resistance try to find the bright spot. For apple it was desktop publishing. #taom
  • YfactorInc: #taom Guy Kawasaki “Enchant all the Influencers” consider impact of families + friends + others in decision process
  • savvari: @GuyKawasaki says the best response to “Thank You” is “I know you would do the same for me” #taom


Challenges Companies Face in Truly Embracing Digital

Over 700 million people are now on social networks worldwide. Numerous companies are successfully engaging with these people, leveraging social media, technology and emerging platforms to engage with customers, generate demand and drive sales. They are also gaining valuable insights and data as a result of their efforts, paving the path for more intelligent business decisions and targeted marketing.

However, in spite of this, many companies have been slow in embracing the digital frontier. For these organizations, several concerns stand out.

Lack of attention and priority to digital

A digital mindset must involve all levels of an organization, starting at the top with senior management. In fact, many companies at the forefront of digital have senior managers who actively engage with customers, whether through corporate blogs, Twitter or other means. Peter Aceto, CEO of ING DIRECT Canada, openly shares a variety of insights on Twitter at @CEO_ingdirect. Without senior management support, as is the case with any strategy or initiative, it will be difficult for digital to permeate through an organization.

A tactical, and not strategic, focus

Related to the point above, a digital strategy must be highly integrated with the overall business objectives and marketing plan. Merely setting up a corporate Twitter account and Facebook Fan page, and regurgitating marketing and communications messages from other platforms, is not sufficient. A digitally strategy must be well thought out, with consideration given towards the needs of the target market and how each unique touch point can be leveraged to engage and create value.

Organizational education and alignment

To effectively build a strong digital presence, specific skills are required. Those people responsible for being the face of a company online must understand how to foster and build community and loyalty with customers. A sense of trust is of the utmost importance. Further, some organizations allow employees from departments other than marketing and communications to engage with customers. In such instances, it is critical that employees understand they are representing the brand, and that external departments buy into and support the effort.

Disparate consumer touch points

Companies are now able to connect with consumers in a variety of ways, through a variety of platforms, both online and offline. The number of different consumer touch points certainly makes it more challenging for companies to ensure that consumers are receiving positive, consistent experiences that are aligned with the brand. Well thought out digital strategies, including proper training and internal communication of brand values, will help ensure consistency.

Dated CRM strategies and research methodologies

While customer relationship management systems are still important, solely relying on them is not enough. Digital provides an opportunity to collect rich and relevant insights about customers, and how they want a brand to fit within the context of *their* lives. One new and evolving way to glean insights is through crowdsourcing, which enables a company to tap into the collective intelligence of a large group of people or community. Crowdsourcing could, for example, be used by a company to determine how it can improve its products and services, brainstorm products and services it should consider offering or, from a philanthropic standpoint, learn about causes its customers would like it to support.

So, how to get started with a digital strategy?  This is definitely a topic for another blog post, or a book (and there are many great ones out there!).  A good first step is for a company to figure out which social media platforms are most relevant for its brand. At minimum, consideration should be given towards cultivating a following on Twitter and a community on a Facebook Fan Page. Staff should get involved, engaging with customers on a daily basis, which will result in credibility and trust being built over the long term.

Ah yes, long term trust. Imagine the rewards that can be created, for both companies and consumers, through a forward-thinking digital mindset and well-conceived strategy.

Do any of the concerns mentioned above resonate with you? Has your company truly embraced digital?

Key Considerations for Launching a Social Media Strategy

More and more companies are embracing digital and social media as an opportunity to engage and deepen relationships with customers, augmenting or even replacing traditional marketing strategies. A recent example, rather move forward with a traditional Super Bowl TV spot, Pepsi launched the Pepsi Refresh Project. Through the $20 million crowdsourcing initiative, which will no doubt be a marketing case study, people are enticed to submit and vote on ideas that will have a positive impact on society. The best ideas will receive grants ranging from $5,000 to $250,000 each.

Pepsi is just one many companies endeavoring to be more innovative in an increasingly fragmented media landscape. Such innovation is now a necessity, as brands strive to break through and achieve relevancy in the mindset of modern consumers. However, before going full on in digital and social media, there are some very important questions companies must ask themselves.

1. Is the strategy aligned with the brand and overall marketing plan?

 

An interactive social media strategy should be created and executed in proper alignment with the overall brand strategy. Keeping in mind that social media is based on two-way dialogue, companies must ensure that the brand identity is upheld and in each and every interaction. Like any medium, desired messaging must be consistent with other components of the marketing plan.  Social media should not be a standalone strategy, where possible companies should consider integrating it with other mediums.  For example, a print ad could drive people to a Facebook fan page, with a proper incentive that consumers find to be of value.

2. How will the social media efforts be measured?

 

As with any marketing strategy, metrics are important. While it is always valuable to determine ROI on a given campaign, social media measurement should be considered a bit differently. Effective social media engagement strategies rely on word-of-mouth.  As such, companies need to monitor the conversation that is occurring. What is being discussed? What is their share of the conversation, for a particular market segment? How often is their product and/or service being recommended?

The 4Ps have evolved into the 4Cs – content, connections, community and conversations.

Here is an overview of online buzz generated from this year’s Super Bowl commercials, courtesy of Mashable.

3. Are the necessary resources available to execute?

 

Companies need to consider whether they have the knowledge and skills necessary to properly execute a social media strategy, either internally or with partner agencies. Social media is much, much more than possessing an understanding of Facebook and Twitter – companies that rely on that as a basis for “expertise” are only setting themselves up for failure.  As a side note, in May 2009 a search of Twitter profiles revealed that there are 4,487 self-proclaimed social media experts. As of December 2009, there were 15,740. This represents a three and a half fold increase, within just six months! Yikes! Drawing a parallel, I’ve been skiing most of my life, so I suppose I should be trying out for the World Cup circuit right now, shouldn’t I?

Of course, there are many top social media pros who stand out from the crowd, I am fortunate to know some of them. In building resources to execute social media program, an understanding of both social media and marketing fundamentals is important.

What are your thoughts? What should companies consider when developing a social media strategy?