About Claudia Benassi Faltys

More than 15 years in digital marketing and marketing strategy. Successfully participated to the launching and developping of Sosoftware, an innovative company in the mobile software industry -from scratch to more than 150 business partners in more than 25 countries currently. I'm member of the Board. Rolled out strategies and tools for Sosoftware: - brand creation, corporate identity - brand awareness strategies through: social media, international events, international awards, SEM, business partners events in Europe - lead acquisition strategies: SEO, SEM, webinars, e-mailing, sales collaterals (PPT, drafts, ROI calculators, displays, website, testimonials, video, contests, specials, ...) - positioning - business partners network development - business plan & business model My activities include: - strategical and operational marketing support for Sosoftware -teaching and advising e-marketing to tourism professionals, backed by a blog and Facebook Page's creation and maintenance in the tourism2.0 sector. - consulting, teaching, coaching companies and individuals in digital marketing strategies and outcomes, with an integrated vision. I help bridge new technologies to marketing, communication needs and strategies. New technologies impact deeply all marketing fields: product (QR codes, Augmented Reality, consumers feed-backs, ..), distribution (online, viral, affiliate, ..), price (dynamic pricing, ..), promotion (SEO, SEM, social media, e-mail marketing, video, mobile, geo-localisation, ..), plus customer care. All this impacts in turn the data, analytics, controlling part. - trends monitoring I you need assistance in any of these fields, I would be glad to help you. Contact me at cloben at gmail dot com.

#love #instagram: Mixing Technology, Emotion, Marketing

love instagram: mixing technology, emotion, marketing
Instagram is more than just an app adding vintage filters to your pictures and sharing them on other networks: it’s the crossroad where technology and human interactions meet, with, at its heart, the emotional connection, which makes it so powerful.

Powerful for brands that have a channel to communicate with their community in an emotional way, a way of strenghtening the love.

But there’s more than that: there’s also the power of the “# hashtag”, allowing for themed, convergent channels, the hub of “the shared love”.

There’s a big potential for brands to tap into the emotional and technological power of Instagram, with a good use of the “# hashtag” as a hub and it’s surprising to see so few examples, yet.

The best example so far is given by Ford, who has launched a campaign in Europe for the Ford Fiesta using all the above mentioned elements: the Fiestagram, in addition to more typical marketing tools, such as contests with incentives, prizes, etc…

There’s a channel on Instagram and a dedicated Facebook page.

And to make it more relevant and lasting over time, there are more than one #hashtag. There’s the main # for the contest, #fiestgram, and then there are different themes, where people will be asked to take pictures of selected items or situations and tag them accordingly, to make them participate to a weekly challenge. The aim is to highlight the technology, pleasure, special features, etc.. #hidden (for hidden gems), #listening, etc.. In other words: to share the love.

And here’s the challenge’s rules in video: wXme8JAMPwM

Another example that I really liked, mixing also some of these elements is given by Bergdorf Goodman, extracting all pictures on Instagram containing the tag #bgshoes and displaying them on an interactive map of New-York: http://blog.bergdorfgoodman.com/bg-shoes/. They ask people having bought shoes at their store to take a picture “of their shoes in NYC” and to upload it on Instagram with the tag. The result is a map “augmented” by a very special look of NYC, it’s beautiful, emotional, original and mixes the love of the shoes, of New-York, and, in the end, of Bergdorf Goodman!
So, it’s your turn now to imagine original campaigns, tapping into your customers’ love for your brand, to empower them and highlight the result!

UPDATE 24 Nov: seen on PSFK, more stat about the contest: “The submitted images appear in a Facebook gallery and the best submissions will be published on billboards and photography galleries across Europe. The contest has received over 11,000 images in just over 4 weeks and the winner will be announced December 9th.
UPDATE Jan. 24: a couple of weeks later, I stumbled upon this great article on MarketingProfs, written by Ann Handley (love her!), I had the feeling of reading the reflection of my mind! Except that it added an important notion that I forgot in my article: the notion of “story”. True. Just read the full article!
UPDATE Jan. 17: there’s been another innovative campaign using Instagram “power”: the bmibaby campaign, asking people to tag their pictures with specific tags related to their country. First I saw it was about “#myswitzerland”. This allowed thousands of – beautiful – pictures, with as many perspectives as there were peopple and pictures. It results into a destination catalogue made out of pictures taken by others, with a much more powerful impact.
And, also, as mentioned in the article, AirFrance embraced Instagram too with a contest and beautiful pictures. See pictures below.
Did you notice other examples of brands using Instagram? Would you share them here? Or more personal experiences on Instagram?
Or would you just share your Instagram ID so that we can connect?
Mine is @clodia_me :)


fiestagram-flyer contest ford fiest on Instagram

fiestagram europe

Example on Instagram

Talk at The Glion Institute

On the 9th of September I’ll give a presentation at the Glion Institution of Higher Education on the theme:
“How to Acquire New Customers and Improve Loyalty with New Media and Tools
in the Hospitality & Tourism Industries?”

Students (MBA, Masters and undergraduates) will get a essence of…

Answer on the 9th !

On my way to Neuchâtel, an early Sunday morning. #cycling

Initially, this post was a mistake! It wasn’t intented to be published here, but on another blog, where I post more “on the go”. What is specific to Posterous, is that you can automatically link it to other platforms (Facebook, Twitter, blogs). But this is at the same time a tricky functionnality, since having multiple blogs usually means different “targets”. And you don’t necessarilly want to overflood your “public” (friends, followers) with the same content. Usually, I manually choose to what platform what content to share.
What happened is that I tried Instagram, a mobile application that lets you transform your pictures and give them a 70’s feeling. I linked it to Posterous, thinking it was a nice place to start with. But, O surprise! I found the same picture on all my social networks, automatically published! The system didnt’ allow to select to which site to publish the photo.
I decided then to delete some of them (on Twitter, Facebook) and leave it on some blogs, and to build meaning around it.

What kind of meaning?, one could ask.

A meaning arising from different perspectives brought together: a service like Instagram is more than just another application. Photos have a strong emotional power. Moreover, by its “retro-like” effects it convokes nostalgia; by having you transforming your own pictures, it makes you more engaged; by connecting you with other people and giving to all of you the possibility to interact, to share, to like, to comment, it touches you.

And creates an emotional connection.

You are free to live the experience on a personal level.
But you can also see it as an opportunity as communications’ link for a brand, a company. All while keeping live the genuine aspect. Just interacting on a more emotional level, to share passion, to connect in the instant. And go.

It can be seen as anecdotic, but it represents an opportunity to create a connection, a link. The famous one to one relationship. Without being intrusive or “evil”!
I see it as an opportunity, for example, for hotels: being located in beautiful places, like many of them are, in Valais, for instance, gives them an advantage. Pictures are an ideal way to convey the beauty of a place. And social networks like Facebook (Page) a perfect medium to share it. That’s what I explain (with the same picture, posted there automatically !), on a blog dedicated to hoteliers and tourism pros (in French).

So, now, you know: I am on Instagram, too. Let’s connect!
If you’d like to discover other mobile applications for photography, here are 2 links really interesting: on NYT and on Mashable.
Enjoy! And come back here and share your experiences with those applications. Or others. Do you use mobile applications for photography? How? With what purpose? In a private way? Professional? Both?

Social Media in International context: what a challenge!

Insights FB Languages

Your company is on many different markets, with people speaking several languages?
This is a highly challenging situation faced by social media/communication/marketing – name them as you want – strategists.
If you add to this that you are a small company , aka with limited ressources, I bet that you have to be very creative to overcome some obstacles!
Let’s assume that the objectives have already been set (and shared), some of the challenges will be:

  • What kind of information for what market on what social platform?
  • Content production:
  • think languages/translations before creating content
  • Share and (try to) avoid redundance (between languages, personal and company’s profiles, for instance)
  • Centralized/decentralized content creation? Both? How? by whom? How to allocate resulting costs?
  • Who’ll be responsible? With what margin of freedom? (to be outlined in the guidelines)
  • Guidelines: anticipate a maximum of mistakes, unpleasant, akward things that might happen. Clearly set the objectives. Translate them. Yes, it might seem anecdotic, but to translate 10-15 pages PPT into at least 2 languages, is a bit of a pain (and a hidden cost)! Plenty of things don’t need to be translated, but the guidelines are strategical and must be understood. (in my opinion). How to give directions, instructions, balancing autonomy and restrictive input? Where to set the limits? What kind of control to apply?
  • Training: even if the guidelines are the most thorough possible, training people before they get into social media is necessary. To give them confidence, to help them dive into “it” and to guarantee as much as possible consistency throughout the different media.
  • Keep a track record of results, aggregation, re-distribute for sharing insights-> organize, plan
  • Monitoring: train – with no pain (?)! Control.

I stop here, my purpose wasn’t to do a how to or “do’s and don’t’s”, but it was just to share a challenging situation I’m facing right now.
If you already went through that kind of problems, I would love to know how you handled them, if you found some tricks to make it smoother, maybe?
If you faced unforeseen difficulties, or, on the contrary, good suprises or unexpected positive results, it would be great if you could share them :-)
For the fun, I share with you an extract of our guidelines (still in process), for our Italian partners: it’s in Italian, and you’ll understand why ;-)

Make a Wish: Use Art to Turn the World Inside Out

In my previous post, I was asking “What can the Future do for you/me”?, taking upon my own #lift11‘s title. Obviously, you don’t get – nor give – answers to such a question in a few words but you can get tracks of reflexions, and that’s one of the reasons #lift is so much appreciated. The following article gives you a deep understanding and good highlights of this year’s conference: Reflections on LIFT Conference 2011.

After the conference, Lift launched kind of a reverse project, called “What can you do for the future”? (I don’t find the link). And, oddly, it’s the speaker of another conference, that gave me a clue to this question, by making a wish: “Use art to turn the world inside out”.
And creating insideoutproject .

Grab a cup of coffee, lean back and take the time to watch this video (images are very important). Maybe will it whisper to you an idea, the small idea creeping in the back of your head, waiting for the right moment to light up. It acted that way on me. I already see which face will be on the picture. A picture with a voice, wanting to tell his whole story to his sons, daughters, grand-children, and to the world. Because his memories override History’s. And his face will be worth hundreds of words.

What Can The Future Do For [You] Me? #lift11

As every year before the Lift Conference‘s kick off, I have a look back and a look forward, in order to assess where I hope and want Lift to lead me to.

Looking back from now on, I see lots of – personal – progress, human connections and new horizons made possible, as already largely evoked.
But at the same time, tools like Twitter and Facebook have become mainstream and play now a role of “talents discoverer”, trends detectors. You know the latest hype – product, platform, application, etc.., the latest success stories, case stories, and all other industry experts and reports. With good sources, you really are ahead of the wave. My favourite, as you surely already know, is Paper.li, a good curation tool. You can call yourself ” a trend watcher”, “trendhunter” or whatever trendexpert, following the maturing wave of “digital experts”.
In this context, answering to the question “What can the future do for you”, as promises the #lift11 theme is highly challenging. How to deliver a message different from what you can already find in your timeline? How to deliver added-value?

I see tracks of answers in the speakers, of course: not all of them are “mainstream” and they surely have specific angles for their presentations and outstanding qualities. Other tracks of possibilities could lie in the quantitiy and quality of “lifters” (yes, it has become an official term :-)), in the interactions arising during the workshops, in the Lift experience and other networking spaces, like the fondue.

In this context, what I expect from this promising Lift’s edition is: getting back in touch with people met at Lift, some becoming friends :-), catching up with them, getting true insights into future issues and opportunities – especially linked to marketing/social media/business model – being inspired, be it by people, Lift experience, speaches. I also set objectives for Sosoftware, having a couple of interesting meetings scheduled. I really hope to get means to cut down into the noise of some digital platforms and get true value.

Side considerations: some of friends met at Lift will be missing. I’ll regret them (you know who you are!).
I also have a special thought for a person met during my very first Lift, more precisely during the workshop where I opened this blog, with Stephanie Booth. That person was among the participants, we talked a bit and kept contact over the years. He very sadly passed away a couple of days ago, he was my age, I have a special thought for him, I know he was very respected.
Last but not least: I am looking forward to listening to @BrianSolis live tomorrow morning at a special presentation organized by Label.
I’m lifted! Follow me on Twitter with my brand new #lift11 avatar made by @nicktalop

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

Season’s Greetings

The Dawn of the Social Consumer – Emotional Connection at its Heart #socialconsumer #digitalmarketing



Original article via briansolis.com
Emotional connection is at the heart of what makes social media in its whole so powerful and empowering.
The long-time readers of my blog know it represents one of the central pillars of my work, so central that I even state those values as core values in my posterous profile (and many others). Here, the inaugural article.
Valeria Maltoni, Conversation Agent, has – brilliantly – dug the phenomenon and implications for business, marketing, social media in numerous articles.
In this article, Brian Solis places and develops the idea around the concept of social consumer, social currency and I definitely agree upon the vision putting emotional connection at the center of the social commerce.
As for a brand, what are the direct implications of “creating emotional connections” with its stakeholders? Not only customers, but also employees, investors, potential investors, potential customers, potential employees, “friends”, depending on the proximity’s ring of the person? (see Jeremiah Owyang’s “Rings of Influence).

Going back to the values.

Company’s values, brand’s values need to be (re-) identified, stated, declined, shared inside the company, at all levels.
It is the pre-supposed condition upon which to build a long-term value-adding relationship. Values can be occasionnally translated into different shapes, through different media, devices, places, by different people and in many different ways. Each of these occasions being the touching point for an emotional connection, potentially leading to a further step.

Values are the continuous thread leading to added value in the long run.
Why? Because values contribute to create an overall perceived consistent image, experience of a brand, company.
Inlaid in the consistency, lays trust. In trust roots long-term mutual beneficial relationships.
In other words, we could say that well-identified and built upon values create in fine an increased perceived value (of the product/brand/company).
What is your take? Do you think that you can build long-term profitable business through marketing and social media without assessing first the core values ?Here, the inspirational Brian Solis’ article.

Carambars, Sugus, Cailler: Swiss Love in a Box Flying to Missoula

Those kind of things that Skype cannot do – yet?