social media is like pinball wizardry Heineken social media head says

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

Heineken presentation

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.

80% of apps are making less than 1,000 downloads – #istrategy

The second panel today at iStrategy, the title of which was “Engaging Your Audience with Mobile Apps”. The panellists were:

  • Moderator: Mark Curtis – CEO, Flirtomatic
  • Panellists: Alex Musil – EVP Product Marketing, Shazam,
  • Noah Everett – Founder, Twitpic
  • Konstantinos Papamilitiadis – Product & Engineering, Taptu
  • Mark Boerrigter – Digital Marketeer, Green Orange

Mark Curtis described his method at Flirtomatic named “the funnel” which starts with

there is nothing magical behind application marketing

Alex Musil from Shazam said that “it all starts with the value proposition of your app” and the next step is to ensure that the “people who are in the best position to promote your app, know about you”. Then Shazam works on Appstore optimisation (working on keywords). Partner promotion includes carriers he added, but that the most important thing is “word of mouth” which – he said – is the reason why Shazam is adding a million users a month thanks to Word of Mouth. This is what is going to pay out he concluded, in the long term.

“not everyone can get under Apple’s underpants!”

Yet not anyone is Shazam! Mark Boerrigter (Football Meister Dutch app) said that the death rate is high amongst applications. Mark Curtis agreed and said that this was an important statement. He also talked about “the death valley” which Mark is calling “the long tail of despair” and these are the apps which are never downloaded. 80% of apps are flops added K Papamiliatiadis, that is to say that they make less than 1000 downloads! He added that Taptu tested all sorts of things but the only thing that worked was the promotion ads on Android and Apple Appstore. Once you have convinced them, he commented, your adoption rate will be staggering. Yet, Mark Curtis stated that “very few people can get under Apple’s underpants” meaning that few of apps manufacturers can actually sell their business case to Apple.

is product design the new marketing?

“What we haven’t heard here” added Mark Curtis, is that there should be a huge reliance on advertising, which means that a lot of effort has to be put on product design and that “product design [might well become] the new marketing”.