Sunday, November 28, 2010

Improvised Storytelling with Pixels

Since this is a blog about the spoken word, I thought it would be interesting to show how we do not always need words to communicate. I attended an experiential art show organized and lead by Prof. Philip Baldwin of Stonybrook. He asked a small group of dancers to improvise some moves in front of a computer propped up on a chair. The trick was to be close enough to the computer so that the sensors would pick up the moves. As dancers shifted and floated across the floor, their gestures appeared in pixel clusters on the wall. Each move also made a computer-generated noise. Their communications transformed into imagery and sound, fueling viewers' imagination. While we wondered what these moves might mean, we were also trying to make sense of their 3D reflections and unique music. 



Later, using the Michelangelo software, we were able to get a sketch of these movements on the computer screen and project them on the wall. Impromptu stories in 3D, told through dance... 

Professor Baldwin was joking that what he put together with his fellow artists was the same gaming technology that sold millions. I was thinking it could be used at events, house parties or even in virtual events where consumers are asked to create their own iterations based on a given theme. For the record--Baldwin didn't charge us for the show though he could and should have. 

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wrapping Up WOMMA 2010

I wanted to thank everyone who came to my session at WOMMA Marketing Summit this year, where I presented about social media KPIs. It turned out to be a pretty big crowd. I got many thoughtful questions from the audience. I wanted to share some of them with you here:

Q: You mentioned the role of social vs. paid and earned media. What about owned media? 

A: Yes, owned media is gaining more traction as companies embed social and engagement features into their brand sites. 


Q: You showed a connection between large ticket-item purchases and word of mouth. What about CPG products? 

A: I wanted to make the point that what someone else thinks or advises influences even those purchases that are in the thousands. For CPG products, the trend is even stronger. Word of mouth does influence shopping decisions. 


Q: You showed some strong results for charity: water's September campaign, that was created with donated services. How much would it cost to run a similar campaign? 

A: Yes, those services cost a bit. But the point I want to leave you with is that the campaign was optimized for measurement from start to finish. The most important success metric was the amount of money charity: water could raise to bring clean water to people in need in Central African Republic. Yet, they also knew how many fans they had, how much traffic they were getting to their web site from Facebook and media, and how many campaigns were starting at any given point. [[posterous-content:pid___0]][[posterous-content:pid___1]]

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Inspiration: First Step in Word of Mouth (and it's not turnkey)

I was honored to participate in a panel about non-traditional advertising at the recent Digital Hollywood conference, with a great group of seasoned marketers and creative thinkers. Much of the discussion centered on social media marketing. While we drifted into the nuts and bolts of how to identify influencers, get conversations going, there were several insights that stood out as the fundamentals we often forget.

1    1- There is no such thing as a ‘viral’ video – A producer or a team of creatives does not come up with a viral video. Viral is the best possible marketing outcome for a well-told story.

      2- The best stories inspire people. They inspire them to tell their own stories, to take action, to share, and to think how they would act if in that situation. This is the secret ingredient in word of mouth.

3- You have to have a good story AND a good product. This is especially relevant for new product launches or re-launches of products that need to be re-introduced to their core audiences. Facebook ads will bring eyeballs to your fan page. Coupons certainly help boost the number of ‘likes.’ Yet these marketing efforts need to be validated by positive consumer experiences. When brands can deliver on their promises, consumers will be moved to take action and serve as advocates. Otherwise, there will always be a discrepancy between marketing messages and consumers’ candid online stories.  

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

WOMMA Summit 2010 - Taking Questions Now

I will be presenting at the upcoming WOMMA Summit in Vegas on key performance indicators in social media. I'll go over the metrics I cited in my article here, with case studies. I will show how to set up and apply these KPIs to real life campaigns. I know that many colleagues and clients are wrestling with the challenges of measuring social media. I'd like to start the Q&A session now. Please post/tweet any questions or thoughts you might have about this topic until November 17th. I'll respond to each either during my presentation or online (through my blog/Twitter account). Hope to see you in Vegas! 

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