Archives for posts with tag: Social network

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How many times did we hear outcry about tenure of CMOs? It’s somewhere between 12 and 24 months. In short: pathetically short. There are groups on various social networks where CMOs talk with each other and share information. I joined a few of them and was saddened by the content: a lot of echo chamber jargon, opinions and little substance. Anyone existing outside the marketing community wouldn’t understand a word.

There’s a lot of junk and cheap talk, nothing relating brand status to financial consequences. Anybody involved in the marketing and advertising world is responsible to nail down some factual benchmarks that smart business people understand. Many of the reports marketers produce are just fluff and hot air (Unaided brand awareness, anyone? Facebook likes. Do I have to continue? Thanks.) At my first agency job, we commissioned a client satisfaction survey each quarter. It gave us information agency staff couldn’t get internally. We used it as a way of giving the agency goals and every six months executives presented the results. It removed all opinion by giving us measures we needed to address. We tried to manage the agency brand through the eyes of our clients. The outcomes were fabulous when it came to retention, organic growth and new business.

The curse of marketing is jargon combined with unquantified opinion

That’s the real cause so many people in marketing and advertising believe to be visionaries and almost nobody is. When they lead the way, they might lead us to nowhere. Or Second Life. Let’s face it: most of us are challenged in the vision department. However, we all talk like Steve Jobs and Seth Godin. They communicated substance, most of us hot air.

Now, there are some real visionaries in this business. People that know the past, understand the present and learned from both to look at the future. The problem for agencies and clients is to work out who is the person with the jargon and glossary, and who is the one that is thinking and talking intelligently.

Any new client needs to agree on a form of measurement to track performance. Most brands still  don’t want to invest in the most elementary tracking. They rather focus on listening and defensive tactics, rather than understanding the real perception of their business and brand. Some brands spend millions of dollars on media but they don’t bother to spend 0.5% of their marketing budget on tracking important KPIs. “Let’s do that next year.”

CEOs should be brand managers

CEOs should ask for this data on a monthly basis. In terms of brand management at the top of any organization, the CEO cannot rely upon the input internally as it has a vested interest in all things  being pink unicorns. CEOs need some form of external intelligence communicating honestly how his brand is doing in the real world. Good intelligence gives the CEO the time to adjust the business. When he has to fire the CMO to correct strategy, it’s too late. The horse has already left the barn.

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The conference season is upon us.

It costs a lot of money to go to conferences. Conference fee, transportation, hotel, expenses. Let’s not forget the time you’ll spend away from your daily work, the loss of productivity.

Why should you go to conferences?

Should you really spend all this time and effort to watch the keynote that will be streamed lived and can be viewed online until the end of time?

Should you follow a presentation that will be uploaded to Slideshare 5 minutes after it’s done?

Should you try to meet some semi-important web celebrity?

Should you feel obliged to see all sessions just because you paid for all this content?

I would argue, this is the wrong way to attend a conference.

What do I remember from conferences?

The conversations. The human connections. Moments where I learn from people what drives them, what makes them tick, what they are working on. The coffee with an interesting person that has 25 followers on Twitter. The drink with a woman who is about to change the world. The discussions about marketing at 11pm with five brilliant minds. The friendships that last.

That’s why I’m going to conferences.

Conference advice

Don’t try to go to every session. You will come home drained and exhausted.

Choose one or two sessions per day. While you’re there, try to focus. Use Twitter (or other channels) to add your voice to the conversation, not just rehashing sound bites of the speaker. Be engaged and present.

The rest of the time, roam the floors. Make new friends, help solve problems, explore new point of views.

Go against the stream.

Most conferences are organized around the sheep principle: Just follow the masses.

Instead, create your own conference. The one that’s valuable to you.

The one that creates memories.

The one that matters.

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Mark Zuckerberg wants you to share life stories. Just don’t expect diaries. Get ready for your photoshopped self.

A few days ago, Mark Zuckerberg proclaimed: “The heart of your Facebook experience, completely rethought from the ground up.” And, he added: “Timeline is the story of your life.”

My jogging maps, the books I read , the movies I watched, the pictures I took – Is that really the story of my life?

Data aggregation as the expression of a human dream.

Facebook is not the only platform that satisfies a basic human dream. We’re archiving what we see, hear, read, eat, where we are traveling and how it takes us to run 5 miles for one reason and one reason only: We don’t want to die.

Or better: Since we all have to die at one point, we don’t want to just disappear, be forgotten.

Most eulogies leave out the “He was a bastard” part or the “She was a meanie” piece. The new Facebook timeline will become an idealized archive of your digital self,  defying mortality with every “like”. A permanent monument to yourself, conveniently leaving out the depressed moments, the embarrassing stories, the dark secrets, the big failures that made you who you really are. De mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est – Speak no ill of the dead.

Who is this digitally conserved replica of me?

How will the tools form my digital ego, how will they change my real self? And how does this digital self affect my own perception of me?

Facebook focuses in its timeline on the consumption of media and products – makes sense for marketers to get access to people in a relevant setting and helps Facebook’s valuation tremendously. Skeptics might say our life story will consists of lattes and “The Bachelor” viewings.

Diaries were never that exciting.

One could argue, the Facebook life story won’t be that much different than your typical diary. Andy Warhol noted in his diary each cab drive and the fare. I dare you to read my diary from 20 years ago without falling asleep after the first sentence.

The big difference: I wrote for an audience of one. Me, myself and I. Nobody else. I wasn’t hoping for “likes” or comments. Facebook rewards you with an audience and its comments when you tell a good story. Without readers no autobiography.

When you share your life story on Facebook, is there any space for openness and honesty? We tend to discuss what should be public or private on Facebook. Maybe we should discuss more how Facebook and all the other platforms make us focus on stories we want to share. What’s the worthiness of an experience if I can’t share it with the world?

Will these mirrors of our digital self enrich us?

The audience you carry with you throughout your digital life might lead to a race to the boring middle. When we feel we are in the minority, we might not express our opinion freely. Who wants to get booed by the Facebook fans? Why would I express the support for a political candidate when 30% of my fans might block me in return? Why would I share a controversial theory that results in no feedback when I can post an Instagram image of my daughter and get 20 responses?

On the other hand, looking at myself through the eyes of others might enrich my life, adding more perspective to my thinking. A life story filled with contributions of others.

Are we living in reality? Or creating a digital fiction?

Facebook and all the other platforms are about identity management. I’m sharing the latest insight from Forrester, the FT column, the David Brooks book I just read. Leaving out my most embarrassing album purchase ever (Titanic Sound track, there I said it.), my favorite trash TV show (Scroll up, it starts with The…) or a possible hangover.

When we look back in 5 years, our life stories might be as boring as Andy Warhol’s cab entries. Or they may be an insight who we wanted to be 5 years ago. What stories we shared to develop this new identity. Or what apps wrote about us.

And we might look at all the personal data and stories, look up and ask:

“Who is this person? Do I know him?”

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