Verbier Digital Coaching: an innovative concept to increase the destination’s visibility #verbierdc16

verbier digital coaching image

The destination Verbier, Val de Bagnes La Tzoumaz organizes a one-day training session on the themes SOCIAL MEDIA – E-REPUTATION – E-MARKETING for all its partners, free of charge for them. The idea behind is to empower the partners by giving them tools, guidelines and inspiration to improve their – digital – communication, and, thus, contribute to Verbier’s global reach. A   “together we are stronger”  vision, where training is used as an activation driver.

The program is a good balance between inspirational, informative and practical sessions, with some prestigious speakers.

Discover the Verbier Digital Coaching Day #verbierdc16 social media training .

Follow the hashtag #verbierdc16, already active and visible on the social wall at the bottom of the program’s page.

 

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#Tourism #Storytelling and #Digital: The Perfect Match

Tourism Professional Meeting Storytelling Tourism

Tourism Professional Meeting – Storytelling and Tourism

“A tourist product without story and roots is a valueless product. If it doesn’t trigger emotion, it becomes substituable. Stories and information encapsulated into them allow the hosts to understand the destination. They fill in landscapes, places, attractions and traditions with sense and emotion. By developing these stories with authenticity and in a living way, we strenghten the experience and, hence, the value of tourist products.” Extract taken from the Tourism Professional Meeting’s offical site, an event taking place on Dec. 5th 2014 in Sierre, Switzerland.

Digital tools will also be presented, and different actors in the field of storytelling, from filmmakers to app creators.

As already developed in details in other articles, I’m a firm believer in storytelling for tourism, it ‘s a key differentiator in this highly competitive and “normative” industry.

See the Conference full program >> http://etourism-monitor.ch/tpm/fr/content/tourism-professional-meeting-tpm
Live-tweeting: #tpmsierre

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.

Storytelling: The Art of Creating Emotional Connection

The Journey to Shared Value - coca cola storytelling

The Journey to Shared Value – coca cola storytelling

As you might know, the power of “emotional connection” in a marketing perspective is one of the most digged tracks here, at ConvergentTracks.

In a time where people are hyper-connected, overwhelmed by a continuous data flow, it has become strategical for brands to capture attention.

And to connect at a deeper level, in order to grasp this attention and try to transform it into a more lasting action or effect.

In this context, “stories are illustrative, easily memorable and allow any firm to create stronger emotional bonds with the customers. (Wikipedia),
[…]

  • “Stories should be drillable.
  • Each piece of the story should be enriching, but not vital to the understanding of the story (so that a customer can still have a clear idea of the bigger picture even though he has missed a part of it)
  • Involve the fans in the creation process.
  • Build a world in which your story can evolve (such as Coca-Cola’s “Happiness Factory”)”

“The use of storytelling by marketers shows the beginning of a new narrative era in which brand content, brand story, advertainment, street marketing, guerilla marketing … will be essential communication concepts.”
Why?
Mainly because of the real-time over-connectivity, in addition, obviously, to the traditional triggers making stories powerful: “Stories or narratives have been shared in every culture as a means of entertainment, education, cultural preservation and to instill moral values. Crucial elements of stories and storytelling include plot, characters and narrative point of view.”

Stories help the identification. They create a bond between the conscious and the unconscious, they are rooted at an emotional level. The values, the hero(es), the tone, the drama convey individuals to the escape, the dream or simply a shared world.

When people are “emotionnally connected”, they will more easily remember your message (value), get more involved, thus more loyal and engaged, act as ambassadors, SHARE THE LOVE.

And here we stand at a crossroad, where marketing meets psychology meets technology, each of them augmenting, supporting and enriching the others.

The brand conveys values through a – long lasting- story. The individual is touched via different media. Touched, emotionnally connected, the technical connection will empower him and “help him/ share the love”, acting as an advocate, giving more visibility to the brand, strengthening the chain of the vertuous cercle.

Here are some key factors about the power of storytelling:

  • dream, as identification driver
  • humour, as adhesion channel
  • participation, as engagement factor
  • reward, as loyalty trigger
  • values, as community foundation
  • tools, as sharing support.

Extracted from my blog in French: Livre blanc: Le Storytelling, la stratégie marketing qui fait rêver

As of the key elements of storytelling, as presented by a research firm in a study aiming at uncovering “The Future of Storytelling”, they identified the 4 I’s:

the 4 I's of storytelling

the 4 I’s of storytelling: Immersion, Interactivity, Integration, Impact

New media, especially image sharing sites like Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook, with its timeline as a storytelling channel, offer innovative ways of telling your story:

Life magazine taught us that images are so often more powerful storytellers than words”, Forbes.

Think visual. Think values. Think emotion. Think service. Think shared stories.

“For instance, in addition to tell yourself your story, let your customers speak for your brand and tell your story: “Your customers’ stories add a universe of experiences, which reach beyond the physical properties of products themselves. Your customers’ experiences bring your values to life.” (Storytelling: Branding in practice)

What else?

For more, read this great insightful article:

Whoever tells the best stories wins – where the notion of storytelling as “pull technology” is particularly new, but many other aspects are worth the read. It gives great examples of brands using storytelling, like Nike, and you’ll find plenty of ressources to help you go further, if needed.

See also: The Economics of Emotion, by TechCrunch 

Update Oct. 3, 2012: Valeria Maltoni (Conversation Agent) adds the “long tail effect” , too, as a benefit of social networks helping spread the word (of your story)

Update Oct. 4: Have a look at this article, too, by FastCompany: WHY STORYTELLING IS THE ULTIMATE WEAPON 

Here some examples of brands using visual storytelling:

oscar de la renta pr girl storytelling instagram

Oscar de la Renta using Instagram to tell their story via OscarPRGirl

diesel instagram #loverdose

Diesel innovates with a campaign on Instagram #loverdose

Burberry backstage facebook timeline  storytelling

Burberry offers on their Facebook’s Timeline pictures of the new look taken by their photographers

Are Social Networks Signing The End Of Paparazzi?

photo johnny hallyday instagram laetitia hallyday 24 heures

photo of Johnny Hallyday taken from the instagram account of Laetitia Hallyday for the 24 heures (swiss magazine)

Many industries are being deeply impacted and revolutionized by social networks.

One of them will surely be the news industry living of “scoops” and stolen images.

As an illustration of this, have a look at he way Johnny Hallyday, one of the biggest French “stars”, with thousands of fans and certainly one of the most sought after by paparazzi, and her wife Laetita are communicating via Instagram (see Laetitia’s Instagram account..)

It is simply a genious “coup” of communication. Why?

They give the fans a direct connection  with their idol, they offer them pieces of intimacy, fans have a direct interaction, they can “talk” directly to the star, and they are rewarded by being directly adressed to, even thanked, given love. By seing Johnny communicating “intimately” (it’s a public account, so the notion of intimacy is relative) with his wife, people can dive directly into the couple’s privacy, a bit of what they are looking for with magazines like “Closer”, etc..

In this way, the couple takes back the control of their communication.

Recently, when rumors said that Johnny had to interrupt his holidays for health problems, people turned to Instagram to get news… but newspapers, too, as witnesses the above picture of a swiss magazine, showing the Instagram pictures of Laetitia’s account. Interesting to see that even the print media turns to social networks to find pictures, convokating a higher emotional power.

As an answer to the general anxiety and the thousands of love message received on their Instagram accounts, Laetitia answered with  this picture, thanking everybody and giving love:

news johnny ill l hallyday instagram merci thank you

On her feed, you can see pictures of her husband, of their daughters, their friends (many of whom are very famous), their holidays,  many backstage photos.
It’s free, it’s original, it’s intimate, it’s true!

Conclusion: Will magazines have to buy pictures directly from the people they want to feature?

Are the stars becoming the new paparazzi?

concert johnny photo intimate instagram

johnny hallyday before stage laeticia instagram intimate backstage

hallyday backstage instagram obispo kids intimate

lhallyday backstage concert stade de france instagram

The – hidden – power inside Instagram? A strong community management


A lot has been said and written since the acquisition of Instagram by Facebook: about Facebook’s objectives, about the business model of startups selling “their users as products” and its potential sustainability; about Facebook strengthening a dominant position, about users data given without previous permission, about future implications for marketing, and so on.

In the jungle of the debates surrounding that acquisition, a couple of articles analyzed aspects of what lead Instagram to such a sky-rocketting success.

Among the success factors mentioned, let’s recap the most significative ones, inspired by Ann Handley’s article and augmented with my own filters:

– the power of visual story-telling
– a sense of intimacy mixed to universality
– a true unique mobile experience
– the power of the emotional connection
– some technical easy-to-use tricks, aka filters!, making any amateur feel like kind of a pro, but also giving new support to true photographers
– the ability to share with other networks
– the ability to augment pictures with geolocation data and any other data embodied in #hashtags.
– of course, all the “social glue magical features“, such as the ability of following, liking, commenting, mentioning, sharing, #hashtaging.

Many of the above mentioned elements are explained in this excellent article of the NYT, particularly in this statement: “You see that in Instagram. It’s not a technology triumph. It’s a design and psychology triumph.

But at my great surprise, I never read any mention of a crucial element in Instagram success, in my opinion: a strong community management!

To me, Instagram is a model of community management.

Here are some key elements that make Instagram more than an app, but a vibrant community:

shared values:
love of photography, of visual communication, of beauty, exchange, empowerement, to name only a few.
existence, names and community managers for sub-communities:
@igerssuisse, for example, or #teamrebels. All sub-communities related to a country or region have their own account , hashtag, community manager. They tend to emerge freely, and thus have all their own specificities. They highlight members (their pictures!) in their region/country, they often run contests, related Facebook pages with lots of information, provide helpful information, they organize meetings, and so on. In Switzerland, for example, there are 2 dynamic community managers for the country, running the account @igerssuisse, a Facebook Page , Twitter account and Google+ page. And as sub-sub communities, you can find local Instagram communities, such as @IgersGeneva, @igersZürich, @igersvalais, etc…
a community manager, @philgonzalez, playing a central role in the dynamics of the community (and its fast growing rate, too, I am sure):
He, Phil Gonzalez, is at the heart of the community dynamics, which, in turn, spilled further by its own. You just have to turn to the website “Instagramers” to understand the work behind, sustaining the Instagram users community: practical help, contests, gatherings (with a specific name “the Instameets”), with slogans such as “Let’s Instagram the World”.
a name for the community members:
the “Instagramers” or “IGers”, strenghtening the identification to the community
gatherings:
one of the glue of the community identity stems from numerous meetings “in real life”, called “instameets”, largely publicized on Instagram, obviously through pictures and tags! But having people meet, share a passion, tricks, wander together and taking pictures, then sharing them plays a big role in the community feeling, loyalty and growth.
contests:
hubs, themes, many contests have blossomed, relying, as any contest, partly on the gaming trigger.
members empowering and rewarding:
By following closely their community members, commenting, liking, highlighting their pictures (in some specific occasions), the community managers feed the – uncounscious – need of recognition (love?).

Of course, at the heart of the mechanics, there’s the technology and particularly the power of #hashtags, allowing to curate, gather, highlight, communicate, integrate, etc…

Another striking element to me is the volunteer-based work, but just as you can see in many communities. And this is maybe also a reflection-worthy element, if you’re in the community management activity: how to leverage and/or empower the community members strongly enough for them to become volunteer and help the community – and in the end become the strongest evangelists?

I just wanted to highlight a phenomenon mainly ignored (from outside of the community at least) and that could be helpful for any community manager.

As a side note, and in the light of the previously listed main elements of Instagram community management, I just wonder if it has been valuated and rewarded in the transaction..?! Maybe Phil Gonzalez would like to add a word? Or anyone knowing more about it?

Also, I would be glad to have you comment here about this discussion and other aspects of the community management that have maybe been undervalued.

To finish, it was funny to follow the saga of the acquisition on different platforms, from “the outside” (as already related at the beginning of the article) and from the “inside”, to emphasize the feeling of community!

The story can therefore be told with different angles (as it is true for any story) and fueled with different emotions. I first took notice of the news on Instagram, via the image shared at the top, and saw there the first, mainly hot! , reactions! Then I turned to Twitter and Facebook for more factual and less emotional information.

Here, 2 reactions, from which some tempered quickly :)

Update, April 23:

Here’s the answer of Phil Gonzalez on Twitter:

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!

#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?