News Update – Best of the Day

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In the US, almost 80% of children between the ages of 0 and 5 use the Internet on (at least) a weekly basis. This is the results from a report by Joan Ganz Cooney Center and Sesame Workshop. The report, assembling data of seven studies, also illustrates the increasing parallel consumption of different formats of media at the same time. Some key findings: 60% of kids under the age three watch video online, 47% is the amount television accounts for those using all formats of media and 36% of kids between 2 and 11 use internet and TV simultaneously. It is also interesting to see how the use of mobile phones is on the rise in the young age target group. Of children ages 6 to 11, 20% own cell phones,
compared with less than 12% five years ago.

Stop talking to your mobile, talk to me! This could be the message that arises from a post that Rohit Bargava posted under the title “Overtweeting: Are We Becoming Socially Antisocial?”. And I think this is a valid question to ask ourselves these days: Is social media becoming a conversation killer and going against the odds of the Cluetrain Manifesto? I would say: No! It will just take some time to find the right balance. Let the hype period move on. Let people understand that the world is changing. Then we are becoming Socially Social. It is just a matter of accepting that the world is changing, that technology will become our bred and butter, and that we see how much more we could participate in information around people we know. Agree?

Old school versus new school. This was the motto when Mike Ferry met Matthew Ferrara at the Coldwell Banker Generation Blue Conference where they had an intense debate if “social media is stupid”…

News Update – Best of the Day

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Every social media expert out there loves talking about The Cluetrain Manifesto and it’s impact on the future of our marketplaces. Now that the Cluetrain is more than 10 years old, I am trying to follow it’s creators in order to see how their views have changed. One of the founders Doc Searls -after Christopher Locke and david Weinberger some weeks ago- was writing last week about the main drivers of the open marketplace transaction, conversation and relationship. “Marketing is now all gaga over “social media” as well, in part because many believe that Cluetrain was all about “social” markets”, he says, and I have to admit sometimes I do see it that way, too. Having agreed with him, I do have to add: Technology changes quickly but it is difficult to change a market situation – no matter if social or open. Why? In the first place, it is driven by human beings. And it takes them a long time to adapt new culture. Haven’t we seen this 10-15 years ago when all this internet hype started? In some way, we seem to be on this learning curve again. Don’t you agree?

There are many valuable Twitter tool lists. Vadim Lavrusik created one of the (in my eyes) best Twitter tools top 20 lists that will help you improve your Twitter experience.

Adbands has become a classic event in the last years. And the commercial which was produced for the event tells us why. No more to say…

My Starbucks Case Study – Connecting Offline and Online

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One of the famous examples we all hear when we join webinars and seminars on how to leverage your brand with social media is Starbucks. Starbucks is using Facebook and Twitter for customer care and yes, we can say that to increase sales. Case studies are a lot on the web and I often talk about them in my presentations. Asking my self if there is way to improve for Starbucks when connecting offline and online…

Now, sometimes you become part of a learning curve for brands as a prosumer. It happens quicker than you want or expect. And it happened to me at my last Starbucks visit.

When I was paying my bill, the friendly women at the counter started talking about my nice netbook. She was actually getting me inside of a comfortable small talk that was obviously intended already before I accessed their coffee shop. It is a part of their customer care strategy which connects offline and online in an interesting way.

When the cash desk threw out my receipe, the woman gets a smile on her face. She cut in our conversation with a “Hey, Congratulations! You have just been selected to take part in our customer online survey“. She hands over the recipe and explains that I have to answer some question and then will get a coupon for a free tall drink. I thought for myself “Nice idea!”, let’s see if they connect it with their social media efforts.

Now, obviously they were lucky in some way that I am a (business) blogger and always pay attention to such efforts of companies to look after their customers. I do not know whether she saw that I have logged in on that Starbucks shop via Foursquare while standing at the cash point. That would show how well trained the people at Starbucks are. She definitely knew that I will be working and going online during my stay in their shop. If the cash maschine has a customer care survey button, I don’t know. Anyway…

So, I took the survey and thus can interpret from their questions that there is an intention to get customers into a conversation. “Cluetrain in the offline world” comes to my mind. The survey itself is a normal five minutes multiple choice research. Nothing special. In the end, I get the code for my free drink, write it on the coupon and get my drink. Their customer care process works!

Spot On!
Now, why do I write about this experience? Starbucks is said to have a good social media approach -some might call it strategy- to work with their customers. But when the survey was done, I was surprised that I did not find a button to become their “fan” on Facebook. Which actually would lead me a step further in their process to think about their customer care card (see their app promotion). Or to become a follower of their Twitter account, so I can spread the word about my free drink and praise their cool customer service approach. And now, I am asking myself, is it better that they don’t ask for too much brand commitment. Or is it normal to give when you get? Maybe you can help my find an answer…

Futuristic agency visions – In Memoriam Advertising

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Whenever there is an advertising festival, we see a promotion video which shall illustrate the future of the advertising business. Some weeks ago, I wrote about the end of the future of advertising agencies which refers to the FITC in Toronto and envisions what could have happened to the last agency on earth.

Yesterday night, I came across another wonderful commercial which Young & Rubican Argentina produced for the Lapiz de Platino Festival. It is directed to those ad agencies with creative ideas that annoy customers (and consumers) with non-authentic, unrealistic and non-engaging productions that are not-yet or no longer familiar with reality.

It is probably not intended to visualize that advertising does not work anymore. And I can already hear some of the evangelists shout out now. But all evangelists out there should rethink their futuristic web visions. Even the founders of the Cluetrain Manifesto did so. They admitted after 10 years in an interview with Simon Owens that the thesis 74 “”We are immune to advertising. Just forget it” might be wrong.

“Advertising isn’t going to work? Yes, it can. Google is the biggest brand and company going and they’ve made it completely on Internet advertising, and so checkmate.” Christopher Locke

And co-founder Weinberger explains…

“Because though advertising has changed, the kind of advertising that appeals to the lizard part of our brain, that does work.” David Weinberger

The challenge for advertising agencies is to elaborate these parts of our resistant brain. Otherwise they will inhume advertising, forget that companies are still looking to acknowledge social media ROI, and continue to create ads that might seem heavenly – but from those who are no longer with us: In Memoriam Advertising.

News Update – Best of the Day

11.05.2010 von  
Kategorie Daily Top 3

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Can social media have a psychological influence on your customers? According to Dr. Rachna Jain it can if we see it from a perspective of spreading content the viral way. This, she shows seven strategies companies can employ to help their content succeed.

Ever wondered how search results (SEO) and your input in the social web support your web-strategy? Adam Singer explains 10 reasons why social should enforce your future SEO strategy… and he underlines his theory with a nice and convincing graphic.

Twitter is on an all-time high at the moment. Nobody can see the end of this hype. But don’t forget that Twitter is not everything in your life, your content strategy, and for your web-strategy. Lean back and enjoy a collection of 40 funny Twitter comics that Yogesh Mankani collected. My favorite is this one as it tells us not to mix up offline and online situations. The Cluetrain manifest should not get access to your personal life…

Die Zeit der Manifeste – Manie, Hype oder Faszination?

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Vor ein paar Wochen habe ich in einem Interview mit dem Internet World Magazin von einem Kulturwandel gesprochen, der mit der Evolution des (oder Revolution durch das) Social Web einhergeht. In der Vergangenheit gingen zahlreichen Kulturwandeln tiefgreifende Manifeste voran, die die Ziele und Absichten einer Gesellschaft im Wandel in sich tragen.

Nun ist ein Manifest kein Blog-Post, kein Whitepaper und keine Strategie-Abhandlung. Oder im Social Web Zeitalter dann doch? Manifeste entstehen in schwierigen Zeiten ideologischer und kultureller Umbruchstimmung in der Gesellschaft. Jeder in der Gesellschaft spürt die Umbruchstimmung. Jeder nimmt die Unruhe im Geiste wahr. Kluge Köpfe formulieren die Wünsche sowie die zukünftige Wegbereitung in Thesen. Die Absicht: Der Masse Orientierung und Antworten zu geben.

Der derzeitige Kulturwandel findet in schriftlicher Form eine kreative Energie, die sich in diversen Manifesten niederschlägt – publiziert zumeist von (Social) Web-Experten. Allein im Jahr 2010 sind inzwischen 3! Internet-Manifeste erschienen.

Manie, Hype oder Faszination? Es wirkt fast so, als schafften sich manche (Social) Web Professionals mit einem Internet-Manifest ein Denkmal. Was mit dem Cluetrain Manifest begann, findet euphorische, motivierte Nachahmer, die ebenfalls Manifeste in die soziale Web Diskussion einfließen lassen.

Eine Übersicht…

Cluetrain Manifest
Autoren: Chris Locke, Doc Searls, David Weinberger, Rick Levine
April, 1999

Tom’s Re-imagine Manifesto!
Ten Good Reasons to “Get Up in the Morning”
Autor: Tom Peters
Juli 2005

The Happy at Work Manifesto
Autor: Alexander Kjerulf
Juli 2007

Das Internet-Manifest
Wie Journalismus heute funktioniert. 17 Behauptungen.
Autoren: Zahlreiche Journalisten
September 2009

Slow Media Manifest
Autoren: Sabria David, Jörg Blumtritt und Benedikt Köhler
Januar 2010

Media Manifest
12 Thesen zur künftigen Media-Messung
Autor: David Eicher/Webguerillas
Feburar 2010

Rubicon Manfest
Principles of a REVVOLUTION or, the ad server is dead
Autor: Rubicon Project
Februar 2010

In der Ära des Social Web sprechen alle von Nachhaltigkeit, was das Cluetrain Manifest definitiv bewiesen hat. Und wie sieht es mit den anderen Manifesten aus? Wie denken Social Web Professionals über diese neuen Manifeste? Was bringen solche Manifeste? Welche Art von Manifesten brauchen Unternehmen für die Zukunft? Ein paar akademische Meinungen habe ich vorab schonmal angefragt. Und freue mich auf Eure Kommentare…

Lest selbst…

Prof. Harald Eichsteller, Hochschule der Medien (HdM)
“Ein Manifest symbolisiert, dass das schwelende Gefühl einer großen Gruppe oder Bewegung sich materialisiert, aufgeschrieben und schließlich publiziert wird – ob als Anschlag an einer Kirchentür, als Buch oder im World Wide Web. Nach Luther und Marx haben sich rechtzeitig vor Ende des Jahrtausend führende Köpfe im Cluetrain Manifest zusammengetan, um der Tradition mit 95 Thesen neuen Schwung zu geben – und das wurde dann in immer kürzeren Zeitabschnitten dankbar von einigen aufgegriffen.

Erwähnenswert das 15-thesige Slow Media Manifest, das auf den ersten Blick die Tradition des intellektuellen Anspruchs der Manifestierer der letzten Jahrhunderte fortsetzt und sicherlich das schwelende Gefühl einer beachtlich großen Gruppe im digitalen Alltags-Dschungel Gehetzter widerspiegelt. Das Media-Manifest kommt mit 12 Thesen aus und lehnt sich optisch stark an die historischen Vorbilder an; es bleibt allerdings nicht verborgen, dass es sich um das Akquisitionstool einer Agentur handelt, auch wenn inhaltlich die grundsätzlichen Marketing-Tendenzen des neuen Jahrzehnts trefflich skizziert sind.

Bleiben einige Fragen: Brauchen wir jetzt in immer kürzer werden Abständen ständig neue Internet-Manifeste? Ist es legal, die von Luther und Cluetrain vorgegebene Zahl von fünfundneunzig auf ein Dutzend oder wenig mehr zu reduzieren? Ist ein Manifest nicht immer non-profit? Oder: Ist nach dem Cluetrain Manifest jetzt nicht wieder Ruhe angesagt und wir beschäftigen uns jetzt 100 Jahre mit den Konsequenzen und der Verarbeitung dessen, was da so schwelte, uns alle überrumpelte und wir nun eine ganze Zeitlang brauchen werden, um uns freizustrampeln und unsere eigene Linie zu finden?”

Prof. Dr. Klemens Skibicki, Deutsches Institut für Kommunikation und Recht im Internet (DIKRI)
“Karl Marx und Friedrich Engels beschrieben in ihrem Kommunistischen Manifest 1848 diese Unruhe als „ein Gespenst geht um in Europa…“ Damals konnte zwar jeder den gesellschaftlichen Umbruch der industriellen Revolution mit dem Wachsen der Städte, industrieller Massenproduktionsweisen und dem Entstehen der Arbeiterschicht als einer neuen gesellschaftlichen Schicht sehen und den neuen Geist spüren – die Macht und die Auswirkungen waren jedoch kaum zu überblicken. Jahre später führten die einst verfassten Grundlagen zu neuen Machtorganisationen wie den sozialdemokratischen Parteien und andernorts sogar zu blutigen Revolutionen wie in Russland.

Die Autoren der „95 Thesen des Cluetrain Manifests“ von 1999 waren ihrer Zeit genauso voraus als sie die Basisthese „Märkte sind Gespräche“ formulierten. Geschichtsbewusst drückten sie die Kraft dieser Aussagen durch die Anlehnung der Titelwahl an die 95 Thesen von Martin Luther und das Marx`sche Kommunistische Manifest an – elegant, aber nur für eine kleine Elite verständlich. Ein Jahrzehnt später wird die mächtige Veränderung durch die neuen Kräfte von Facebook, YouTube, Twitter & Co auch von der Masse abseits der Vordenker gespürt. So wie sich bürgerliche Schichten im 19. Jahrhundert sich teilweise durch die neuen Kräfte bedroht fühlten, werden heute langsam alle Branchen erfasst und viele fürchten um ihre Geschäftsmodelle, so dass sie Orientierung und neue Leitlinien für die Social Media Revolution suchen. Diese Suche mündet in der Formulierung solcher Manifeste als Antwortmöglichkeiten – wobei ich unsicher bin, ob den meisten der historische Kontext der Wortwahl geläufig ist ;-)

Die Frage der Notwendigkeit solcher Manifeste zu diesem Zeitpunkt ist für diejenigen, die schon seit Jahren bewusster Teil des Ganzen sind, zu verneinen – das Erwartete ist eingetreten. Die Masse ist aber bekanntlich träge und braucht länger, um die Welt um sie herum zu verstehen – wenn die Formulierungen Ihnen helfen und sie die richtigen Schlüsse für ihr Business ziehen können – warum dann nicht?”

Richard Joerges, Becker.Joerges.agile communication.
“Manifest ist ein großes Wort für große politische Ziele und Programme, vom Kommunistischen Manifest, bis zum Manifest der 2.000 Worte im Prager Frühling. Da mitzuhalten wird für so manches neue so genannte Manifest schwierig. Cluetrain Manifesto, ok. Das schlug ein wie eine Bombe und letztendlich zehrt unser Berufsstand immer noch davon. Aber jede noch so gute neue Idee gleich in ein Manifest packen? Sind Programm, Absichtserklärung, Verhaltenskodex nicht meistens die adäquateren Worte?

Die Bereitschaft im Mitmach-Web, Erfahrungswerte und Vorstellungen via eines Manifestes in ein gemeinsames Verständnis und bestimmte Zielsetzungen mit Blickrichtung Zukunft fließen zu lassen, sind unschätzbare Momente der Kulturentwicklung durch Kommunikation und Diskussion. Jedoch sollten sie angesichts der wachsenden Zahl von Veröffentlichungen nicht überbewertet werden. Gerade bei Ideen, die wichtige Zusammenhänge oft verkürzen oder zugespitzt Außenwirkung und Verbreitung anpeilen, laufen Gefahr, inhaltlicher Breite und qualitative Tiefenschärfe zu vernachlässigen. Einer Idee folgt die nächste, doch an Optionen für eine realitätsnahe Einordnung mangelt es. Häufig folgt prompt die nächste Veröffentlichung zum Thema – auf Kosten fokussierter Aufmerksamkeit.

Bestenfalls bleiben Ideensammlungen hilfreiche Anregungen, um Diskussionen zu fördern und Alltagssituationen einzuschätzen. Zu Manifesten geraten sie dadurch jedoch nicht. Denn auch zuviel Pathos macht manchmal verwechselbar.”

Stefan Pfeiffer, IBM Deutschland
“Derzeit nehme ich sehr viel Negativberichterstattung zum Netz wahr. Es wird gewarnt, gewarnt, gewarnt … Und die positiven Möglichkeiten fallen hinten runter. Ich glaube wir brauchen vor allem Aufklärung und Ausbildung für die Anwender im Umgang mit dem Netz. Im Unternehmen können hier Social Media Guidelines helfen. Nicht im Sinne von Vorschriften sondern Hilfestellung.”

Gerald Hensel, Neue Digitale / Razorfish
“Ich persönlich mag ja Definitionen. Eigentlich könnte man meinen, dass ich deshalb auch Manifeste mag, aber tatsächlich glaube ich, dass es sich hier fast immer um PR-Vehikel dreht. Ausnahmen bestätigen bekanntlich auch hier die Regel: Das Cluetrain Manifesto ist ein inhaltlicher Meilenstein in der Industrie und sollte von jedem gelesen werden. Dass aber Hinz und Kunz 10 unbelegte und normalerweise mässig argumentierte Thesen neu übertiteln und das dann ein Manifest nennen, finde ich eher ziemlich peinlich. ”

Spot On!
Manifeste können initiieren, revolutionieren und zum Umdenken anregen. Ja, ich unterschreibe “Slow Media” – erscheint notwendig ohne Personal Web Manager. Ja, “Cost-Per-Thousand Dialogues” klingt spannend. Doch kommt nicht “Cost-Per-Unique User” zuerst? Ja, Publisher brauchen eine effizientere Vermarktung, aber gleich ein Manifest kreieren und dann als Selbstzweck zu vermarkten? Ich weiß nicht…

Natürlich interessiert mich Eure Meinung! Lasst Eurem Geist freien Lauf zum diesem Thema Manifeste. Vielleicht entsteht ja so ein neues z.B. Social Web Manifest, mit Nachhaltigkeit – welches auch in 10 Jahren noch so glänzt, wie das Cluetrain Manifest heute.

News Update – Best of the Day

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“Markets are conversations” tells us the Cluetrain Manifesto. Let’s check some Facebook fan pages from well-known watch brands. The engagement of the audience is interesting to compare. While some manufaturers seem to have a PR channel like Tissot with less conversation happening, Omega gets the tone right and can really pick up a lot of ideas and thoughts for their marketing. And Baume & Mercier speaks in a French marketing language to their audience – a reason why not many people are talking to each other?

UK SMB companies obviously don’t embrace Twitter for their business strategy. A new study suggests that only 26% have a Twitter presence.

The old becomes new? Funny commercial from a brand that is associated with an old generation in my eyes – Old Spice.

Top Strategy Consultants: What is your Twitter strategy?

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They are said to be the ‘strategy elite': top strategy consulting companies. They explain other companies how to define business targets, engage their core value in a tactical manner and improve revenue growth with a strategic vision. Taking this from a communication perspective, it is fair to say that these companies should be aware of what is the latest ‘trend of communication’.

In fast moving times like these a short process of decision making is becoming more and more important. So does communication turn around the word-of-mouth quicker than companies could ever have imagined. And some companies are overwhelmed by the new quick communication trend called micro-blogging.

Top strategy and IT consulting companies are ‘best-of-breed’ business thinkers and first-time movers shaping the future for companies. Their web 2.0 activities can be seen everywhere. Accenture blogs a lot around technology and career topics, the McKinsey blogs can even be explored via a wiki format and Booz Allen Hamilton offers an interesting whitepaper on ‘New Models of Online Consumer Behavior Demand Changes in Corporate Strategy’.

So, why not asking these strategy companies ‘What is your present Twitter strategy?’ The Strategy Web did it… Sending those companies a brief email has opened up a world of ‘light and shadow’ which shall be shared with you. What can companies learn from top consultants around Twitter? Do these companies run their brand account? What does the account tell us about the intention to run it?

So let’s see how far they are with Twitter. Today, we will start with the top strategy consultants – the view on top IT consultants will follow tomorrow…

Top strategy consultants (in alphabetical order)
The questions that The Strategy Web asked these companies were like… Do you have a branded corporate Twitter account (brand account), how do you use it and what is your strategy behind it? Please find the answers, some were translated into English by The Strategy Web …

Company Account

The manager behind the Accenture account is Antonio Altamirano, an internet marketing expert who drives Accenture’s social media programs. The expected answer came from him when asked on Accenture’s social media strategy: “…we are not commenting on the strategy around social media (…) at some point Accenture will be ready to share but not at this point.” It did not come as a surprise, did it? Strategy consulting companies always keep their secrets around their know-how and capabilities. Fair enough…

Their Twitter conversation is open, natural and business like, Accenture publishes PR messages around their testimonial Tiger Woods, promotes their co-operations with strategic partners and shares their research reports. This company Twitter stream is informative, interesting and educating. A real must ‘following’ for corporate strategists…

Company Account
None – brand account options available.

A.T. Kearney replied quick and short: “There is no intention to use Twitter, although we monitor new communication opportunities and channels. The Twitter story is not really on our radar.” (Frank Schroeder, Marketing & Communications)

The first Google result I found when I was searching for ‘at kearney twitter’ is funny… and I am sure (and hope) A.T.Kearney loves this joke. Well, don’t worry. A.T. Kearney still has the option to reply with a company brand account as this one seems to be still available. If I was A.T. Kearney, I would take it asap…

Company Account
None – brand account options available.

Even shorter feedback from PR team: No account, no usage, no intention.

The brand account is gone but there is another chance here and my advice is… We all know, right? Why giving away a nice brand value which you can own for free?

Company Account
None – brand account options available.

“As we don’t use Twitter for company purposes, we cannot give any appraisal to this topic and will read your post with interest.” (Maike Zander, Press Relations)

There was an interesting development when I created this post. When I started to create it, the account twitter/boston was busy in use but when I checked it some days later, it was suspended. Now, we don’t know why and don’t want to spread any rumors but if Boston cannot get this account, there is obviously another option for a brand account.

Company Account
None – brand account options difficult.

“We don’t twitter right now and there is no Booz & Company Twitteraccount. Please understand that we cannot give any information on our future strategy.”(Robert Ardelt, Manager Marketing & Communications)

Sounds like Accenture but Booz & Company is far behind in terms of social media development. There two options for a brand account are gone, here and here. Or is the second one already owned by a company member? Interested to see what happens in the future…

Company Account

“Twitter is amongst all the different social media a really interesting approach which changes the communication- and therefore also information behavior intensly” (Achim Schreiber, Marketing & Communications). The Capgemini CTO also runs a CTO Twitter account , also tweeting on consulting topics.

Capgemini uses Twitter as a communication tool to talk with alliance partners, clients, employees and last but not least to keep in touch with competitors (!). At Capgemini Twitter and blogs are media formats that the company supports, and the company encourages employees to take part in the conversation. Nevertheless, Capgemini sees b2b communication in early stages. Real-time communication will become more important in the next years, is their opinion.

Company Account

“Social media channels are providing Deloitte firms the ability to engage in meaningful discussions with clients (B2B), people, and communities thereby effectively providing a knowledge portal that will help drive our ongoing business success. By thinking innovatively about communications, and using innovative technologies such as social media, Deloitte can harness the best thinking of an entire universe. The dialogue these channels facilitate is very powerful and they are clearly changing the way our organization approaches both internal and external communications.” (Katrin Henschel, Marketing & Communication)

What a powerful statement! If we look behind the scenes, there is minor activity visible and a certain lack of authenticity. If a strategy consultant talks about the top 10 media trends (including Twitter), shouldn’t you then also ‘live and breath’ digitally what you are praying? The Twitter account does not show many posts, and not many followers as a consequence. The users may argue for themselves.

Company Account

The short statement that we got from the German marketing team is that the McKinsey Quarterly is using Twitter alongside other communication channels to alert their readers to their content and start conversations about it.

It sounds like a pr statement but the brand account lives the cluetrain manifest. The Twitter account seems like in an arms-length with the pr and marketing department strategy. And there is a lot of expertise to share collective McKinsey wisdom. The content is helpful, informative and of strategic value for executives. Unlikely that more than 5.300 followers follow a wrong track… Obviously there is no interest and necessity in the brand account which somebody else offers…

Company Account
None – brand account options available.

“We monitor the Twitter community and detect that this form of communication becomes more and more popular. Right now, Twitter is in a hype-phase, primarily used in private environment with more less than meaningful content. Up to now, we have not seen any reasonable Twitter ideas, so that the added value does not open up for us as a consulting house.” (Birgit Eckmueller, Head of Corporate Communications & Marketing)

We do not want to comment on this. There is definitely an option to get a brand account still…

Company Account

“Twitter and other social media initiatives are innovative channels we are engaging to provide a deeper connection to our professional community and insights. In fact, we have been monitoring our company and brand on Twitter for quite some time and recognize the value it can have to our professional corporate communications for strategy consultants as a platform for knowledge (e.g. corporate news, links to industry studies, research findings and case studies) and direct communication.” (Pierre Deraëd, Leiter Corporate Communications und Marketing)

The approach by Oliver Wyman (formerly known as Mercer Consulting) is predominately contributing to a marketing (and pr) message. Their Twitter stream seems not to follow the intention to communicate with clients, partners or competitors but still they are engaging key thought leaders within their tweets. The obvious intention is to raise the level of immediacy, authenticity and influence to their insights and activities. Planned are activities like blogs in the near future as they see here a great potential for a knowledge exchange.

Spot On!
The different opinions that top strategy consulting companies gave, mirror the completely different perspectives that businesses have when evaluating Twitter for business. I had one more comment from another big strategy consulting company but decided to carve the company description out. ‘In our company we don’t use any Twitter forums’. Hm…. Twitter definitely made a case and yes, there is some stupid talk going on in the streams – not forums… but usually not in the business ones.
There are numerous companies that have shown how to make this new communication tool efficient for daily business. Need examples? Dell (96.000+ followers!)offers discounts for followers, Zappos does in services and Asos shows an exclusive preview on their new fashion community only for followers. So, customer service and customer care are key in a world where social brands are exchangeable for customers. Twitter offers companies another big transparency option: Showing customers what companies think about customer valuation – and clients love that, don’t we?

PS: If any other strategy consultants have Twitter accounts, feel free to share… and if one of the named companies took the advice and got one of the accounts, please share as well, ok? Come on, be humans…

Print and Online: thoughts on modern publishing

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This week, there was some interesting buzz around modern publishing. How the future might look can only be found between the lines of the news. Let’s face some of these indicators of the modern publishing industry…

In Germany, we have had the breaking news that Vanity Fair will be closed down – the magazine survived only two years. Is this a sign for the publishing industry that print is dead? Or just an proof that the publishers have not found the right approach for a target group? OK, America loves VIPs, so does the UK, and even Austria the famous opera ball (yesterday) indicates some addiction to vanity sanction. In these countries people love luxury goods, focus on lifestyle and want to be up to date in the VIP scenario. Pure news business, great for ‘word-of-mouth’ conversation in the bars.

Some thoughts… In Germany, can we doubt that people don’t even appreciate socializing in bars in the night? Is jealousy a ‘critical’ mentality topic in the German society? Is there a nightlife that the other mentioned countries can offer? In the end, how about the editorial approach when all these questions remain with an at least ‘50% Yes’ in the room, and when there is no word-of-mouth VIP-society?

The TIME magazine just awarded the 25 best blogs in 2009 – but also ‘downsized’ the ‘ratings’ of some famous blogs. Let’s have a look at the top and flop 3…

Top 1:
Top 2: The Huffington Post
Top 3: Lifehacker

Flop 1: TechCrunch
Flop 2: Gawker
Flop 3: The Street

Are we surprised that the Huffington Post is amongst these top three blogs? They raised 25 Mio. US Dollars investment this week. But wait a minute? How are they monetizing their platform? Classical advertising models like banners, text-ads, paid links and Google AdSense, right? Is this the future of monetizing an online publishing platform – monetizing based on reach? Is this pioneering?

If you doubt this, then how do we have to face modern publishing reality? What is responsible for the Huffington Post success? Editorial credibility (3,5 Mio uniques, 60 mio. page impressions), the political new way of opinion-forming, the modern blog publishing format or just the name of the founder Arianna Huffington? Or was it just the Obama hype that made this blog famous? A mixture of everything maybe…?

Techcrunch is one of the most quoted websites in the world today. Nevertheless, it finished in the flop 3. Did the quality go down because Michael Arrington wants to sell the blog? Or are there other reasons for their downsized rating than those of the TIME magazine?

Spot On!
According to the cluetrain manifesto: markets are conversations. Bearing this in mind, publishers of all kind need to have a close look to the talks of the target group they intend to address, which market mentality they wish to access and above all, if there is a ‘word-of-mouth’ power for the publication in the entered country. The publisher editorial teams need to find the right investigative approach to modern journalism that makes people want to think and generate content for them, not answering peoples’ thoughts – in order not to face a publishing crisis. Having a monetizing model in place is the justification for a business model and an investment round. But it does not have to be innovative, it seems…

PS: Can we summarize… First, there were print magazines, then there online magazines and now we have blog magazines? A lot of questions… open to your word-of-mouth.

Marken, …lasst Taten folgen!

16.02.2009 von  
Kategorie Web Marketing

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Die Anforderung sowie das Selbstverständnis von Marken verändert sich. Die Gründe dafür sind im Web schnell auszumachen: Social Media, Search, Online Videos, etc. verändern die Grundfeste der Einbahnstraßen-Kommunikation ‘Marke zum Kunden‘.

Unternehmen und ihre Marken müssen lernen, an der Kommunikation im Web teilzuhaben und nicht weiterhin, dieselben alten ,Nachrichtenschleudern’ zu verwenden, mit der bisher ihre Marken mittels ihrer Unternehmenskommunikation nach Begeisterung heischten. Malia Supe und Garrick Schmitt haben sich des Themas im Beitrag ‘Brands do‘ angenommen und machen an Fallbeispielen von Camper, Nike, Starbucks und deutlich, daß nicht mehr nur Worte zählen, sondern Taten folgen müssen.

Fünf Grundregeln: Weg von Worten hin zu Aktionismus

1. Definieren. Festlegen, wofür die Marke stehen soll. Was sind die elementaren ‘Glaubenswerte’, die verantwortlich zeichnen, wie die Marke mit der Welt interagiert? Bevor man das und den Kern der Marken DNA nicht versteht, ist es nahezu unmöglich, sinnvoll vorzugehen.

2. Identifizieren. Beginnen, die Verhaltensweisen oder Aktionen zu identifizieren, die mit diesen ‘Glaubenswerten’ einhergehen. Was ist absolut authentisch an der Marke? Zum Beispiel, wenn Ihre Firma Software verkauft, will man dann wirklich eine Weinbar eröffnen?

3. Prüfen. Prüfen aller ihrer Marketinganstrengungen, online wie offline. Gibt es eine Diskrepanz zwischen dem, wie man selbst will, dass sich die Marke verhält und wie sie sich wirklich verhält? Man kann beispielsweise nicht eine Marke um Kundenservice bauen, wenn die Kunden den Support nicht erreichen können. Oder drückt die Anzeige im “O” Magazin wirklich die Qualität der Marke aus?

4. Zuhören. Dies ist wahrlich der Schlüssel. Gute Marken werden darauf aufgebaut, was Menschen darüber sagen. Verlass das Bewährte und fang an, mit Kunden zu sprechen. Monitor auf jeden Fall ihre Aktionen innerhalb der sozialen Sphären auf ‘empfangenden’ Seiten wie Twitter, Facebook und andere. Dann reagiere.

5. Mach die Marke greifbar. Der letzte Schritt ist, der Marke einen greifbaren Ausdruck zu verleihen. Was soll die Marke tun? Wo soll sie hin? Was soll sie sagen, was sind die Produkte und Dienstleistungen, die eine Marke mit diesem Bekenntnis System kreieren würde? Vor 5 bis 10 Jahren hätte dies ausdrücklich ein Produkt adressiert, aber heute bietet die digitale Erfahrung einen wahren Mehrwert für Konsumenten. Für das Finanzwesen bedeutet dies, einen außergewöhnlichen Service anzubieten. Für eine Konsumer-Marke kann das heißen, eine spezifische Community zu erstellen, die zur Interaktion anregt.

Spot On!
Klingt ein wenig nach Cluetrain Manifest? Oder eher nach Social Media Evangelismus? Egal. Das Entscheidende ist, daß die Marken sich trauen. Oder…

Markenentscheider müssen nicht mehr allein gegen den internen Entscheiderstrom schwimmen, sondern sich vom externen Konsumentenstrom treiben, inspirieren, weiterbilden und mit Argumenten helfen lassen. Dann ändert auch der interne Strom seine Bedenkensrichtung ganz schnell.

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