This was the second panel at the useful social media conference and it was devoted to customer interaction. This is the report for part 1 in the panel with Lennart Boorsma who works for Heineken (Global Brand Team). The moderator was Mike McGrail from the SocialPenguinBlog
It was entitled “igniting conversations” preferably over a beer, Lennart said as part of his introduction. Heineken believe that it is social since 1873! Beer is social by definition (as long as you don’t have too much of it though). The idea is to turn digital into a true marketing tool and Lennart sees “social as a means to create engagement and deepen connections with the audience”. Heineken mainly started its social activity 2 years ago with the merger of the most important facebook page and decided to “have more stuff in place” which meant Youtube, Twitter and a few others like Pinterest and Iinstagram. “Nobody is interested in the back-office tools for managing social media” Lennart added. “If you say you implemented a new CMS for Facebook no one is going to be thrilled”. Yet, without it, nothing is possible he said. Nowadays, social has to be embedded in the brief from the start Lennart Boorsma went on.
“Old media used to be like a bowling alley and now it’s like pinball” Lennart said. Your messages are changed and bounce around. Likewise, content has to change and has to be fun and tell a story. It’s theory but it is hard and it takes a lot of time and requires luck too! The goal is to generate more engagement and conversations about the brand. Today a TV commercial isn’t sufficient, one has to provide a real-life experience.
This is why Heineken launched their star player dual screen app to enable football fans to score points as they answer questions wile watching football matches on their TV. It was launched on April 26th and was hugely successful. Yet there are challenges such as latency in the distribution of TV programmes, namely over cable, DSL or satellite, for users must be given a fair chance to answer all the questions in a reasonable timeframe.
Lennart also showed us a new experience around an enhanced TV commercial whereby real customers could “serenade their dates” and it provided more experience than just a classic commercial. 8 hours worth of streaming were delivered, people from 160 countries played, and 4.3 billion hits were achieved. Lennart concluded by saying that they are only at the beginning and that the work is paying off nicely with over 7 million fans now, up from above 2 millions 2 years ago and “one of the fastest growing pages worldwide”. When asked about cost, Lennart added that “when you have a great shareable idea, you don’t need to spend a lot of money”. I couldn’t agree more with that statement.