Brands on Social Media: “Start With Strategy, Not Listening”

exclamation-smallToday’s selection is my friend Dominique Lahaix’s piece on Ecairn’s blog. Ecairn is a leading social media influence measurement and management tool, primarily aimed at gauging influence and building networks of bloggers in a co-creation spirit. In that piece, it seems that Dominique is leaning towards my vision of Digital Media (and Social in particular) , and advises brands to start with Strategy (vs. listening, engagement and all the trappings which are only technical and therefore should only come second). As a reminder I have reposted the video of my presentation at Atlanta in 2009 in which I was explaining just that. Sometimes, being too much of  a visionary means that you have to wait for years for the mass to come to your conclusions; but this is a flaw which I am prepared to take like a man.

Why should Social Marketing restart with strategy | Influencers & Community Marketing (by Dominique Lahaix)

Wherever we look, we find evidence that Brands get limited value from Social Media:Here is an article mentioning that out of 5000 top Youtube Chanels, only 2% are brands.and here is Chris Heuer post:  Social Business is Deadand another excellent one from Augie Ray: What if everything you knew about social was wrong.

My 2009 SMBC presentation at SocialMedia.org on Vimeo.

The main thing is that most marketers approach Social as just an extra channel to promote products and services defined … when social media did not even exist and with the same techniques and metrics as before.But there is more into it, provided that marketers can challenge what used to know and really digest the paradigm shift that Social Media has brought to business, marketing and sales:

via Why should Social Marketing restart with strategy | Influencers & Community Marketing.

Gamification at Vlab: buzzword or real business driver? – #blogbus

eye-largeThe MIT Stanford lab was founded 22 years ago. Orange is a sponsor of VLAB and we attended a meeting on Sept 19 on the Stanford campus on the subject of gamification. Vlab had gathered a unique bunch of top international experts from Silicon Valley in order to debate this concept. Despite the fact that many think badly of Gamification, our users have explained that gamification isn’t about games but bringing gaming mechanism in business activities and this was all about rewarding and creating a great experience.

[this post was originally written on behalf of the live.orange.com blog]

1. Margaret Wallace(below)introduced the session. Margaret is the CEO and founder of Playmatics. She began her pitch by saying that games have been around for thousands of years. Her definition of gamification is “the application of games mechanisms in non gaming situations, it’s not about angry birds and such like” she said. Why bother gamification? there are a lot of detractors of gamification Margaret said; the Gartner hype cycle is placing gamification at the very top of the Gartner hype cycle “so you are here at the right moment” she added. There are many ways that games can be inserted in business, such as Nike running, Ford’s mobile app, energy orb (an orb which changes colour according to the status of the electricity grid) … even political groups are using gamification to recruit people Wallace said; Pdt Obama has a Foursquare account for instance. From then on she handed the floor to the other panellists.

image

Margaret Wallace (above)

image2. Courtney Guertin (above), Co-founder of Kiip was next on the stage and he presented the concept that he and his partner have designed. The idea was to reward users, through mobile apps and disrupt the mobile app space. In July 2010 they built a demo and started sharing this idea around them. They ended up raising $ 300 k. But “raising money is the easy part he said; the difficult thing is building the business”. They then built the platform for rewards (thanks & acknowledgements). They also wanted to avoid building something “intrusive or annoying”. The business model is simple. They charge brands and users are rewarded for their engagement. Among his advice were to understand that the team is everything, and to be prepared for difficult days too. He added that brands, at the outset, didn’t realise that people of all ages were playing games. Not just kids but middle aged mothers and even people above 50 he said. Brands are now, after a few years, very knowledgeable about that and this is why gamification has got a bad name. What you really need to do is how you can create a great experience like this company that decided to change an escalator which no-one wanted to use, by turning it into a living piano; instantly people started to use this escalator for the sake of the experience that it was providing.

image

3. Andrew Trader (above), venture partner at Maveron was next. He has been part of the gamification world on both side: as part of the family team at Zynga and from the investment side too.  The value of gamification in his mind starts with the value of relationship capital. This is what – in his mind – makes farmville so relevant. One has to try and incentivise users to engage more deeply; gamification mechanisms are similar in games like Farmville and business gamification he said.

image

4. Joshua Williams  (above) from Microsoft jumped in the conversation at that time. The idea of gamification according to Joshua is “how we can get a task done in a more engaging and fun way, and less painful. To him there are a lot of challenges with gamification which are overlooked. It’s a double-edged sword but he think that it’s worth looking into.

image

5. Amy Jo Kim (above), founder and CEO of Shufflebrain said that a lot of her practice recently has been to tune reputation systems to make them more engaging. “We could call that gamification” she said. Her perspective, is that what makes games compelling is in the design; people are getting smarter faster she said. You have to design systems which have the dynamics of games she said. You have to look at the “large word of zero sum gaming” she said. She predicted we would see a lot of innovation in that space in the future.

image

3. Rajat Pahsaria (above) was last. Rajat is the founder and chief officer of Bunchball. Beyond the buzzword he said there are values to gamification such as rewarding users, enhancing the experience etc. “We have a wealth of big data which is telling us what our users are doing” he said. And this is what gamification does” he said, using these techniques which have been going for years, i.e. rewarding users.

Gamification at Vlab: buzzword or real business driver? – #blogbus

eye-largeThe MIT Stanford lab was founded 22 years ago. Orange is a sponsor of VLAB and we attended a meeting on Sept 19 on the Stanford campus on the subject of gamification. Vlab had gathered a unique bunch of top international experts from Silicon Valley in order to debate this concept. Despite the fact that many think badly of Gamification, our users have explained that gamification isn’t about games but bringing gaming mechanism in business activities and this was all about rewarding and creating a great experience.

[this post was originally written on behalf of the live.orange.com blog]

1. Margaret Wallace(below)introduced the session. Margaret is the CEO and founder of Playmatics. She began her pitch by saying that games have been around for thousands of years. Her definition of gamification is “the application of games mechanisms in non gaming situations, it’s not about angry birds and such like” she said. Why bother gamification? there are a lot of detractors of gamification Margaret said; the Gartner hype cycle is placing gamification at the very top of the Gartner hype cycle “so you are here at the right moment” she added. There are many ways that games can be inserted in business, such as Nike running, Ford’s mobile app, energy orb (an orb which changes colour according to the status of the electricity grid) … even political groups are using gamification to recruit people Wallace said; Pdt Obama has a Foursquare account for instance. From then on she handed the floor to the other panellists.

image

Margaret Wallace (above)

image2. Courtney Guertin (above), Co-founder of Kiip was next on the stage and he presented the concept that he and his partner have designed. The idea was to reward users, through mobile apps and disrupt the mobile app space. In July 2010 they built a demo and started sharing this idea around them. They ended up raising $ 300 k. But “raising money is the easy part he said; the difficult thing is building the business”. They then built the platform for rewards (thanks & acknowledgements). They also wanted to avoid building something “intrusive or annoying”. The business model is simple. They charge brands and users are rewarded for their engagement. Among his advice were to understand that the team is everything, and to be prepared for difficult days too. He added that brands, at the outset, didn’t realise that people of all ages were playing games. Not just kids but middle aged mothers and even people above 50 he said. Brands are now, after a few years, very knowledgeable about that and this is why gamification has got a bad name. What you really need to do is how you can create a great experience like this company that decided to change an escalator which no-one wanted to use, by turning it into a living piano; instantly people started to use this escalator for the sake of the experience that it was providing.

image

3. Andrew Trader (above), venture partner at Maveron was next. He has been part of the gamification world on both side: as part of the family team at Zynga and from the investment side too.  The value of gamification in his mind starts with the value of relationship capital. This is what – in his mind – makes farmville so relevant. One has to try and incentivise users to engage more deeply; gamification mechanisms are similar in games like Farmville and business gamification he said.

image

4. Joshua Williams  (above) from Microsoft jumped in the conversation at that time. The idea of gamification according to Joshua is “how we can get a task done in a more engaging and fun way, and less painful. To him there are a lot of challenges with gamification which are overlooked. It’s a double-edged sword but he think that it’s worth looking into.

image

5. Amy Jo Kim (above), founder and CEO of Shufflebrain said that a lot of her practice recently has been to tune reputation systems to make them more engaging. “We could call that gamification” she said. Her perspective, is that what makes games compelling is in the design; people are getting smarter faster she said. You have to design systems which have the dynamics of games she said. You have to look at the “large word of zero sum gaming” she said. She predicted we would see a lot of innovation in that space in the future.

image

3. Rajat Pahsaria (above) was last. Rajat is the founder and chief officer of Bunchball. Beyond the buzzword he said there are values to gamification such as rewarding users, enhancing the experience etc. “We have a wealth of big data which is telling us what our users are doing” he said. And this is what gamification does” he said, using these techniques which have been going for years, i.e. rewarding users.

Dailymotion to bloggers: what if you earned money from others’ content?–#blogbus

tv-largeLuc Dumont, SVP international Business Development Manager, demoed the most recent developments at Dailymotion from their Redwood Calif. office on day 2 of our blog tour, in front of our blogger bus bloggers on the second day of the tour. Dailymotion is a video hosting platform which was created in 2005 in France. It can boast 100 million daily users per month and 25-30 million videos are hosted on the platform. There are 220 million unique viewers a month even though the company is only 113 employee big. It also now part of the France Telecom- Orange group (disclosure: I work for the Group). Dailymotion is the 2nd largest video platform behind Youtube and 80% of its audience is coming from outside France. Whereas the head-office is in Paris, US operations are based in NYC and International operations are managed from Redwood, Calif. [this post was originally composed on behalf of Orange for the http://live.orange.com blog]

the most exciting segment in digital

“This is the most exciting segment within the online business” Luc Dumont said by way of an introduction. The premium aspect of video is very visible in the US with very aggressive players like Netflix, Google and Amazon. “Increasingly, our business can be summarised by its player” Dumont said. This player runs on various platforms and works, obviously, with content. Dumont described all the developments initiated by Dailymotion and namely what they call the Dailymotion Publisher network. In essence, this is a service which enables content providers (websites/bloggers) to create video portals automatically or manually and earn money from other’s content. Applications are submitted directly to Dailymotion who screen them and validate them (in order to ensure that the platform is valid and compliant). Content can come from either other users or well established content providers like Reuters or the Wall Street Journal. Already 1,000 users and websites like msn or Starmedia (owned by Orange) are using the service. “There is still space for a second video platform player” Dumont said, and Dailymotion is determined to be that one. The Redwood office was opened in November 2011 and the California based headquarter is working on the international development of the French start-up which has already stopped being French.

image

Luc Dumont today at Dailymotion’s headquarter

Here are my notes (taken on the spot) from that meeting …

the various platforms that Dailymotion is running on:

  • Everything was built from the inside and it resulted in the Dailymotion.com. It’s a very large site now (see above numbers). Curators are preparing videos for users.
  • Social networks is the second platform. Social has been part of the DNA from day one and accounts for 1/3 of our traffic, Luc Dumont added. “It’s a great tool and there is space for a second or third player” he said. “People don’t care about who runs the video, they just consume video”
  • Dailymotion Publisher networks: is a new product whereby a special relationship is struck with publishers like Yahoo!, msn and the Huffington Post
  • mobiles and tablets (15-20% of traffic as of today)
  • connected TVs: partnerships with as many manufacturers as possible
  • consoles: ditto

Read more

learn from the savviest European social media practitioners … and save £ 100 on ticket price

I will be taking part in the oncoming Social Media B2C Marketing Summit due to take place in London, on June 25th and 26th and as I am preparing for the event, I took a few moments to dig my teeth into the programme and I realised it’s not a conference but the conference on European Social Media … absolutely packed with extremely high profile social media managers from some of the most prominent European brands. It was high time something was done to catch up with the likes of Blogwell in the USA, and here it is, right at our door, so it’s an event you shouldn’t miss.

the pitch

The Social Media Marketing Summit (25-26 June, London UK)
Social media represents a growing marketing opportunity for business to directly engage with their consumers. The phenomenal growth of social media activity has meant consumers are now interacting with their favourite brands and regularly checking for the latest updates online.

Orange, Heineken, Unilever and KLM are a selection of brands which have embedded social media throughout their marketing campaigns. Join these leading brands on the 25-26th June at the 2012 Social Media Marketing Summit, London.

Learn how to deliver engaging and interactive marketing tactics to entice your consumers to engage with your brand. O2, Honda, Tom Tom, Barclaycard and many more will share exclusive case studies, their everyday experiences and best practice, so you can improve your social media marketing efforts.

£100 off ticket price

Quote YG12 and save an £100 you register at http://bitly.com/Socialreg

about my presentation at the summit

Orange has been very active in the Social Media space since early 2008 and now has an online fanbase of over 3 million fans. With a presence on Twitter,
Google+ and Dailymotion – in which Orange has a stake – Orange has experience in using multiple networks – and insight on which networks are best for different kinds of marketing. Hear how this telecoms giant chooses different social platforms to engage with their community and meet marketing goals.

  • how to decide which tools work for you : hear how Orange decides which social network works best for them and how you can decide depending on your organisations goals.
  • learn which social platforms are most effective to market your brand and build brand awareness:  Orange will share which worked best for them and why
  • hear why Orange doesn’t just rely on Facebook and Twitter: discover which other social networks you should be using and how these can help your online marketing.