The Internet in Real-Time – And What It Means for Marketing


Click the animation to open the full version (via http://pennystocks.la).

People (aka also your – potential – customers) spend a lot of time on the internet, searching, buying, communicating, creating & sharing content, liking, commenting, reviewing… Bringing along, as a side effect, a couple of challenges to face, in a marketing perspective:

- identify, be visible and take control of a maximum of touchpoints
- offer great experiences at those touchpoints – engage, inform, reward
- optimize your presence at different stages of the digital journey – dream, inspire, plan, buy, experience, share… on the right platform
- tap into the “wisdom of the crowds”, enhance your community, have your “fans” speak for you and transform them into ambassadors
- connect emotionnally, create that bond that will “make your brand travel” (metaphor borrowed from Ariel, during an EMBA course) , with its emotional content encapsulated
- find what makes your community tick and have the word spoken out loud for you
- see your customers, fans as partners, co-create to achieve richer content and ideas
- crowd-source content

Volatile attention span to capture, good data mining and analytics to better understand your customers, their habits, expectations, performant monitoring are among critical success factors in this extremeyl quickly evolving environment.

With a dose of soft skills leading to bring life and a soul to your brand. Storytelling being clearly a winning differentiating factor.

Enjoy your ride on the digital journey!

Update:

A few hours after having published this post, McKinsey has released this fundamental article:
Digitizing the consumer decision journey. An absolute must-read article.
Extracts:
“[...] devise the perfect cross-channel experiences for their customers—experiences that take advantage of digitization to provide customers with targeted, just-in-time product or service information in an effective and seamless way.”

“..digital channels no longer just represent “a cheaper way” to interact with customers; they are critical for executing promotions, stimulating sales, and increasing market share. By 2016, the web will influence more than half of all retail transactions, representing a potential sales opportunity of almost $2 trillion.”

“Yet tools and standards are changing faster than companies can react. Customers will soon be able to search for products by image, voice, and gesture; automatically participate in others’ transactions; and find new opportunities via devices that augment their reality (think Google Glass). How companies engage customers in these digital channels matters profoundly—not just because of the immediate opportunities to convert interest to sales but because two-thirds of the decisions customers make are informed by the quality of their experiences all along their journey [...]“

 

And read on for the details on the “how”, which you seldomly have the opportunity to see. Digitizing the consumer decision journey.

Acquisition and loyalty: the digital marketing mix


How to gain more customers and how to make them come back? Those are the key objectives when it comes to marketing. How can marketing contribute to achieve business objectives?

Traditionnally, you have the 4 P’s of the marketing-mix: Product, Price, Placement (distribution), Promotion.

With new technologies and new media, the 4 P’s remain, but they can be influenced and enhanced in new ways: internet has deeply modified the distribution channels, technology can augment information about the product and the experience with the product (or the brand), you can have more price segments and price calculation, such as dynamic pricing (think of EasyJet), and last but not least, the promotion opportunities have grown exponentially, bringing along huge progress (segmentation, tracking, social graphs, etc..).

But considering the contribution of new media & communication tools to the above mentioned objectives, coming back to the basic sometimes cannot hurt.

And for me, explaining the different aspects, in a very simple (yes, a bit simplistic, too!) way would be as in the image. From there on, you can dive into details, explain the points of convergence, how social media mechanisms impact almost all aspects and how to leverage them in an optimal way according to your company’s objectives. But at least you can get the big picture.

The mobile is in grey, but it could be illustrated in another way, as it permeates all aspects of communication, now.

Do you agree with the general idea? What would you add or change? And why? I would love to know!

Convergent Tracks in 2011: Marketing and Technology

As we’ve seen it in the past couple of years, the acceleration of technological innovations has been impacting many sectors, marketing included. Some disciplines like communication, PR, marketing, customer service have partially blended, technology contributing to “dis-cluster” them, bringing along in the same time new challenges.

As stated in this excellent article, “Social technology is permeating everything in our lives. It seems that every medium of media has integrated social into the message. The Facebook craze has pulled over 500 million people into use of social technology for multiple purposes. Humanity is experiencing connectivity to the human network like never before in history.

The influence of technology on humanity is affecting all market sectors whether private or public, on-line and off line. The intersection of technology and the human network is disrupting old business models, organizational theories and beliefs systems founded in old knowledge.

In this disruption context, question is: How to bridge the gap? How to leverage those (r)evolutions to empower your organization’s global efficiency?
It has become essential to understand new technologies, how they can augment your marketing’s objectives, impact your business results.

New kinds of jobs are emerging: community manager, chief marketing technologist, digital strategist, etc, that all have in common to mix combined skills in technology and communication, marketing.

Paradoxically, the more fragmented the world becomes, the more “convergent tracks” we’ll see, with an emphasis on the convergence of: mobile (highly fragmented)-social-local.

Here are some of the -new- challenges marketers are facing:

  • keeping track of new trends
  • understanding the mechanisms underlying the power of technologies
  • understanding how they can impact your product/price/communication/distribution/customer experience
  • figuring out strategies optimizing a mix of media according to the objectives (acquisitoin, loyalty, brand awareness, ..)
  • understanding key data factors: analytics, performance, ROI, social CRM, …
  • diving into social media…
  • And enjoying this high-pace evolving environment!

And, at the converging point between marketing and technology, connections and emotions, the lattest being the central linchpin to valuable connections.

That’s why you see those 2 signs on the image: <3 is the symbol of love in the digital media and the other one, on the right, is the symbol of sharing/connecting (via 2.0 technologies).
It is my personal way of wishing you all a happy 2011, under the sign of love and connections, all real, no matter the media!

If you’re interested in decryptering the discussed trends, you can focus on these 2 information sources:
Adage Digital
The Marketing & Innovation Daily

And for the upcoming months:
10 digital predictions for 2011
Top 10 Stories on AdAge.com in 2010
Social Media in 2011: Six Choices You Need to Make

PS: social media is implicitely included in the article, as being one of the most disrupting trends, mix of platforms, technologies, participation, interaction, crowdsourcing potential, etc, etc…
PS2: Focus. It’s getting more and more noisy out there.
PS3: Follow your own track

Image courtesy of a dear friend, Jacques-Antoine Besnard, quadruple airship world champion who’s leading the engine on the image. Official site of the last world championship. His official Fan Page (not regularly updated). A model of a focused mind. Merci Jacot :-)
Icons taken from The NounProject

Read My #Paperli Daily News Rather Than My Twitter Account

A couple of months ago, during a lift@home event – Think Data, sitting among a couple of other “happy fews”, we assisted to the presentation of a brand new project, called “paper.li“, by Small Rivers. The idea? To create a new kind of “newspaper”, online, offering the quintessence of curated information through the lense of a person (until now, her or his Twitter account) by a subtle and complex aggregation between the shared tweets of that person and followers. The initial project has improved a lot, allowing for instance to create a newspaper based on a #hashtag or a Twitter list.
paperli claudiafalt ClaudiaFaltysBenassi Daily

One of the main benefits is to offer to a specific audience an “augmented information“: selected, curated, and augmented by the “curator” and her/his “followers”. The resulting aggregated information, displaying multi-media formats – videos, pictures, slideshare, tags, themes, real-time tweets, selected articles, links, ..- is a highly value-added information.

In these times where it is very challenging to sort the “good” information out of an ever-increasing “noise”, this Daily Newspaper is a breathe of fresh air… and a gain of time!

For your followers, for your company, for your customers, try to think of the best Paper.li that could offer them most of added-value? Think of a theme (a hashtag on Twitter), a Twitterlist?

For me, for you, I’m of the meaning that http://www.paper.li/claudiafalt, aka The ClaudiaFaltysBenassi Daily is of higher value than my Twitter account (@claudiafalt), if you want to have a “bigger picture” of the key trends and sectors I follow and share. Above all if your are NOT on Twitter.
Some great examples I like to follow:
The #etourisme Daily: a field I’m active and interested in (in French, here), gives me in a glimpse the major information of the latest 24 hours. Easy to stay up-to-date, easy to share!
The Musee de l’Elysee Daily : for personal interest in arts (in my region and wider)
The EdelmanDigital Daily: for same kind of things as on mine, but far more popular! (shared by @armano) (Note: I don’t publicize my Daily Paper.li on Twitter)
So many interesting newspapers out there!

Personnally, I decided to share this link as one of my major (most representative) digital accounts on my LinkedIn Status and added it to my other “websites”. Still thinking how to organize next steps, for example for the business card.

Since I’m committed to share information that 1. I read thoroughly 2. I think is worth to share, and since I decided to broadcast my daily Paper.li, I’ll be more restrictive with the people I follow, in order to offer a valuable information.

For the moment, as you cannot interact yet via paper.li, it’s still a restriction for a broader adoption (as of right now, but things seem to evolve very quickly).

But you can already import your Daily paper into a blog or site (click on “promote”), (not yet for wordpress.com..).

For more, up-to-date information, on Twitter, follow @SmallRivers

And you? Did you plan to integrate a Paper.li Daily on your blog? For your company?
Do you already follow some paper.li’s Daily News? Would you like to share them?
****************
Here’s a video of one of the co-founders explaining Paper.li during lift10Conference (via the article below)

Some more articles (French):
Paper.li: la veille sur Twitter
Le Temps: SmallRivers, de l’eau au moulin des média

Thank you #liftpeople #lift10

Once again, this edition of Lift Conference has been inspiring, at different levels. Inspiring, thought-provoking talks, format, overall design, experience area.

And people.

Short or longer exchanges, moments, with people (image) unlocked this last inner tiny resisting bolt.
Time for change.
I’ll remain engaged on the sides of Sosoftware, which I am member of the Board of, as a strategic and marketing advisor. Besides this, I would like to explore other tracks, bridging my interests, experience and skills to help other projects, companies, people in the vast field of #digital #marketing. To be specified, yet.

What do you think? Your take? Ideas, maybe?

The image speaks for me (thank you all).

Special thanks to Sevket, designer.

And to Bread-and-Butter for the original poster of Lift and for the overall lift’s design, part of Lift’s success, I am convinced.
(The role of art in interaction, events, has been discussed in René Paré’s workshop)

A New Age for Social Media Marketing – SocialMarketing is in Transition from Trial to Strategic | Brian Solis

The full article is interesting and in total accordance to our strategy for Sosoftware (and my personal take on this, as developed here: http://bit.ly/5OAi97 )

3 Keywords for 2010


January, time to think “strategy” and “action plan”.

And, as a starting point, I am looking back at 2009 results. It has been a very exciting year on many levels, for Sosoftware, culminating at Telecom, and for me, as a marketer.

As Jean-Claude Biver, charismatic Swiss entrepreneur, head of Hublot, recently stated it in a business review (this site is really missing its point!): working with little (marketing) resources will make you learn creativity, and learn quickly, as far as you are independant, fearless and endurant to work-load.
This is pretty much what I’ve experienced last year. And it fitted perfectly to the wave of social-media being much talked-about and progressively adopted for business purposes. These combined circumstances made it the ideal period to experiment, analyze and learn.

It brought out a big impact on general visibility and, over the months, leads acquisition. The tools have proved to be powerful, reactive, specifically the global mix of digital tools and offline actions. But still, slicing the figures into more specific ROI-oriented results is not yet highly meaningful.
So, in 2009, it’s been mostly the sexy part of the job!

What about 2010?

In order to harvest the fruits of the tools that have been rolled out, to grow and in order to stick to market trends, I will focus my attention on 3 keywords: content, metrics, mobile.

Part of it will still be experimentation: I’m not a fool ! :-)

And you? On what will you focus your energy this year? Do you have 3 keywords that could drive your actions ?

Have I been influenced by this article by Chris Brogan? Maybe. Anyway, reading this article could help you prioritize your actions for the coming year.

Image: taken a couple of days ago, next to my place. This frame inspires me a lot, it can be the metaphor of framing and at the same time the opposite, “framing out”. And it’s always changing.
Credit to @MAMK, who inspired me with his great post.