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My quote of the year 2011

Every year, you create a quote that you use either to explain your business, to justify what you are doing or to establish some kind of heritage for those that you think are interested in what you are saying.

Last year my quote was “Talking is online, silence is print!”. Although, I have had many tweets and many likes on this, there was also some critics coming with it… which is good. It shows that people think about the value and impact of the quote… and they start conversations. That’s what we want to initiate in business… not only with our social media activity.

For this year the quote will be about social media strategy…

“Community Strategy and Social Media is NOT a discipline. It IS an attitude to strategy in business.”

And before you start asking… By “discipline” I mean departments (like marketing, sales, customer service, HR, or other) that are responsible for using, handling, organizing and planning the business tactics around the brand, product line or service offering of business relevance.

… and now start discussing!

Evolution by Revolution – a phrase or a case?

CFalk / pixelio.de

Yesterday, I came across a good post by Adam Singer that inspired me (as well as his comment to my comment) to finally explore a bit on the phrase: “evolution by revolution”. I don’t know whether this phrase is new, or invented by me but I would love to claim it as my invention. And as Google did not have any results on the phrase for me, I herewith put my trademark behind the phrase – maybe to make a case… “evolution by revolution”.

The phrase is one of these thesis I use for educational courses to discuss and leverage a modern social web world approach with C-level management teams in Europe. I have used it in many seminar or webinars when I was talking about the change management challenges that the Social Web, Social Networks and Social Media bring to live these days.

In the past of human kind, revolutions were often a way for the lower class or segments/departments in an organization to state their case. For them, the challenge to be heard, to get access to the higher education, to have enough food or to benefit from any other kind of wellness or upper (business) lifestyle was often only accessable by a revolution. Revolutions cost money. Revolutions are tough. Revolutions sometimes make sacrifices. Revolutions change habits, perspectives and … business objectives. And revolutions always happened publicly – via newspapers, magazines or even flyers in the streets.

Today revolutions spread faster. In our social web world today, the traditional print media opportunities are added (or replaced?) by new media formats that every individual can use to state their case. And sometimes it “pisses people off” as Adam would have put it. But it makes the case of the unhappy, unsatisfied and underdogs. Suddenly, somebody writes something that is not mainstream, not the evolution strategy of the leadership but becomes the new revolutionary fruits of growth for the management if these people listen, communicate and collaborate, if they pay attention – whether it be the clients, the partners or even employees that start the revolution.

Their voice might be found on all kinds of platforms, in a tiny revolutionary statement in a blog post, a comment in a LinkedIn group (think about the impact for B2B business) or in a Facebook fanpage. Think about it! No! Think about it! Rest…

Some companies put all their PR & marketing budgets in the effciency of search marketing but then forget about the power of blog posts, and what it could do to them. They don’t think of it as negative cases. Think positive! Think ahead! Think about how to leverage the power of social options!

Spot On!
This modern world of communication is all about humans – the past, the present and the future. Evolution follows every revolution (…in my eyes). Consumer or end user buzz for positive and negative business impact always starts an evolution whilst being embraced as revolution first. It changes the mindset. And evolutions can be positive and negative. It needs to be seen as a turn around opportunity, as a business review option, and as a way to think ahead to prevent revolutions.

“Evolution by Revolution” is a (business) challenge – not a phrase! C-level management should forget that… That’s my case!

What’s yours on this topic…?

News Update – Best of the Day

The latest market outlook by Deloitte predicts that in 2011 social networks are likely to surpass one billion unique members and may deliver over 2 trillion advertisements. Although this sounds impressive, it is modest compared to other media, the CPM remains low and the market share remains at only 1% of the global online ad spend. The per member annual advertising revenue is approximately $4 which implies total 2011 advertising revenues of about $5 billion.

Will the publishing industry see a revival of print again? Everybody says social media is challening the print publishing industry. All of a sudden, the Content Marketing Institute has launched a media that is in some way a spin-off of the modern social web development, Chief Content Officer. The circulation is 20,000 marketers, with additional digital distribution. Yes, obviously there is a “digital spin” off as well…

Nike signed a big sponsoring agreement with the national football association of France (FFF). After years with Adidas, France signed a contract with Nike for their national football dress. And then they did this fantastic commercial with reference to my most admired work and poem from “Cyrano de Bergerac”, ending with the famous words “J’ai touche!”. Let’s wait and see what the French team will touch us in EURO 2012

PS: At Starbucks mobile payment becomes reality. At least in the US where you can swipe your phone in front of a scanner that is checking your Starbucks account.

Absatzwirtschaft über "führende Werbeblogger" in Deutschland

Das Marketing-Magazin Absatzwirtschaft, eines der deutschen Top Marketingblätter, hat vor ein paar Wochen für seine Printausgabe die “führenden Werbeblogger” Deutschlands interviewt. Für mich war die Tatsache eine Ehre, das man neben “Indiskretion Ehrensache” und “Off the Record” auch The Strategy Web zu einem der “führenden Werbeblogs” in Deutschland zählt, sowie zum Interview bittet.

Natürlich hätte ich gerne mehr über die Bloggosphäre gesagt, aber eine grundsätzlich diskussionwürdige Stellungsnahme ist sicherlich das Zitat:
“Es ist ziemlich verworren, was zurzeit im Bereich der Webstrategien abgeht! Markenverantwortliche träumen von Bloggern und Followern in ihren Diensten, doch die modernen Socialmedians verhalten sich anders.” Es verdeutlicht, was derzeit die Marketiers wollen, aber die Bloggosphäre meiner Ansicht nach, oft noch nicht bereit ist zu vollfüllen.

In den nächsten Tagen werde ich das ein wenig mehr ausführen, wenn ich meine dreiteiligen Reihe “Insights 2010” veröffentliche. Der Beitrag “Spaßgetrieben” kann im PDF-Format nachgelesen werden…

Book Review – Marketing in the Age of Google

When somebody used to work for Google there is a lot of knowedge to be shared. And I thought, I could learn more about SEO techniques and tactics. Vanessa Fox did work for Google (apart from inventing Webmaster Central), and so I thought, I need to read the book Marketing in the Age of Google. As a web-strategist I should know the secrets of ranking high on Google for my clients.

Getting Vanessa’s inside view on how Google and their search technology operates, gives an aggregated insight on the evolution of search topics. It is saving time and presumingly more efficient than following or reading many SEO experts thoughts. And then let’s help clients to optimize their site fropm a SEO point of view.

To write a review is a challenge. As I follow some of the most interesting SEO cracks, I knew some content topics already. But there is much more quality thoughts and knowledge in it that makes the book worth reading. If companies want to optimize their top rankings, the book offers good tactical approaches and a clear structure how to start and evolve your content strategy as well as how to conquer the top positions in Google. 

Having said this, the book is based on the theory of having a web-strategy in place that is aligned to the company’s business strategy. If your company has the consumer approach understanding the needs, desires and motivation why consumers go online to evaluate products and services, then the book is a must read.

The way people used search engines has changed in the last years as the web has become mature from an information platform to a consumer generated content base. It is not about what the company spreads but what the users are looking for and the content they share and create. People hear something about a person, a brand or a campaign and instandly start going to search for more information. Not seldomly they are finding consumer input. And often the initial search entry point starts with offline marketing, PR or customer service conversation – in print ads, TV commercials or an wallpapers.

Business that know how to connect offline and online efforts will succeed in the future. Happy that this was my main claim when I started this blog and thus gets now backed up by a Google specialist… Thanks Vanessa!
 
Spot On!
The amount of input the book Marketing in the Age of Google offers is probably only handable for a SEO specialist. And this person has to have the buy in from the C-level to manage the online strategy accordingly. A lot of the strategy is based on content creation and content framework which is a PR, marketing, HR, R&D and Customer Service topic in the future in my eyes. These departments need to learn how to place content effectively in the search world. It will affect the way peope perceive the business strategy of a company and the way the companies and brands interact with their clients, partners and employees. What I missed was the effect taxonomies and social tagging might have on search in the future but maybe this comes with the next update. 

Offlinewelt 1.0: Die Wireless-Kampagne

Manchmal liebe ich die um die Ecke gedachte Welt der Kreativen. Und wer hat gesagt, dass Print nicht wirkt? Print wirkt. Wenn man die richtigen Ideen hat… Manche nutzen das sogar, um mal wieder Wireless zu arbeiten.

The way to the real-time future of marketing mix

When you hear the term “marketing mix”, what do you think…? Pause! Think… Pause!

Does that sound familiar to you? For some of you it might. To others it blurs as they follow the hypes as new marketing topics that are shouting at them. Or did you listen to their silent tones? Isn’t it better to varify and understand the client before start creating a new marketing-mix.

Watching the latest videos on your Youtube channel, talking to “friends” on Facebook or following the latest conversations on Twitter is one thing. Drawing conclusions out of these conversations on the social web world is another. And taking actions like evaluating adwords versus email versus social network marketing or blogs versus micro-blogs) for your marketing mix afterwards is a third step.

Conclusions might also be that marketers realize that B2B people still read print preferably to online or love real face-to-face conversations. They might find out that these business decision makers think twice before they engage in conversations. Reasons might be social media guidelines or policies. Steps are needed (like social media monitoring) before you start understanding your own marketing mix could pay out (i.e. online and offline focus groups).

Other marketing opportunities have never died although social media still hypes. And there is a reason why the “marketing mix” phrase was created by Neil Borden some years ago. Not only as it is an easy to understand phrase. More as we use it in our daily business as marketers without even noticing anymore. It is in our DNA. It is a necessity. Will it ever be removed? I doubt it…

Isn’t it interesting that we never had something like “The ultimate approach to market your products and services”?

Obviously, there is none. In over 50 years nobody found one. Why that is? Well, the world is driven by human beings and their attitudes to become familiar and aware of new things is a dynamic process. Some people adapt quick, other slower. They prefer to get informed via paper. Some like online (via publisher platforms, social networks or blogs). Some still stay offline (as they are often on planes or trains). Others record TV news programs and watch them on-demand with their iPads. And then others use mobile readers or apps to stay up to date with their favorite brands.

Seeing the social hypes in our business world from an outside perspective, I sometimes get the feeling that marketers have to refocus on where users are in their “adaption of technology evolution”. And not invest all their money in one horse race. Or to use another business anology from a tactical HR point of view: Never let the whole sales team be on the same flight.

Where is the difference in marketing?
Is there one? If all your marketing budget goes on airport billboards and then an oil crisis comes up, the invest equals zero in terms of earn out. Or if you buy just one ad in a service provider catalogue on the web but the world uses Google and cannot find the provider in the first ten results, the budget might be wasted.

Some companies think investing in Twitter or Facebook saves their brands awareness in the future but forget that these sites go down once in a while. And then the data is gone or not accessible. Lucky are those who can be approached from other access points then – be it via a phone call (at most companies I am searching hours for a phone number), at an event promoted with social media maybe, at their corporate website, or the self-hosted community that is not on the popular social networks.

The cocktail of having different access points available, and those interacting with each other, is the marketing mix of the future. Although they might have a single target or focus the are aiming at, the marketing mix should be aligned to one common strategy: Engage the client.

Spot on!
As we are automizing our marketing more and more, we always have to keep an eye open which tools and trends are coming up. As technology evolves quite quickly, human beings tend to forget that they need to adapt their marketing mix accordingly. Having said that it does not mean they have to switch their marketing mix approach immediately. Watch out for the tipping point when your power buyers, your brand vangelists, start using different technology. This is the time when the “adaption of technology evolution” happens…

News Update – Best of the Day

The new report Social Media and Online PR Report 2010 by Econsultancy and bigmouthmedia shows that 95% of companies have tried Social Media and 40% didn’t really get it. The main findings on tactical use can be taked in this picture…: Facebook. Twitter an Youtube rule.

Marketers and PR people often ask what are the mian pitfalls in B2B blogging. Jeremy Victor has put together a 10-point list which I do fully support…

In the morning I was talking of the revival of the print ad if used with social or mobile elements. AXA insurance just brought it to life the idea with the ned of an iPhone.

News Update – Best of the Day

Every marketer is looking for the key to Facebook success. A study by Vitrue, a social media marketing agency, reveales a secret… which is not a secret in my eyes anymore. As we know it from the email marketing era: Couponing and savings are driving engagement. Images and photos outperformed video and text by 22% and 54% in terms of engagement. Text received 63% more engagement than video when it came to Vitrue’s consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands. On quick serve restaurant (QSR) brands images got 136% more engagement than video and 182% more than text.

How are books looking like in the future? This is defintely a neat idea on how the future of massive text work could be looking like…

The Future of the Book. from IDEO on Vimeo.

Social Media is about fans. Football as well. Just look at the power of fans in the stadium. Not virtual! Real! In paper and print!

News Update – Best of the Day

Have you ever though on the impact of your logo and your web design? Why do they matter? If you haven’t, read Jennifer Schiff’s post on this topic and profit from great storytelling – and it is also a nice piece of content for enterprise brand managers.

PS: The story of the logo creation for The Strategy Web can be found here.

Every brand manager wants to know what is the ultimate Facebook fan page success code. The answer is, there is no blue print for it. It is driven by humanity and the humanization of brands. Now, Altimeter’s Jeremiah Owyang published 8 success factors that make your Facebook strategy more powerful. Interested on your views…

Though the football world cup is over, the spirit of the game is still alive. Managers took their learnings with them. And those football freaks that have to wait for the next season to be kicked off, they can enjoy this great commercial…