ARcade » CMO Summit Weblog maintained by Hill+Knowlton Strategies\' global Analyst Relations team. Wed, 30 Nov 2011 02:40:13 +0000 en hourly 1 Immediacy of Social Media Models Gives Marketers the Twitters Fri, 03 Dec 2010 20:25:25 +0000 Joshua Reynolds Like many revolutionary technologies, it’s taken the human species a little time to figure out the best uses for Twitter—and along the way we’ve discovered some glorious mistakes, as well. Twitter Product Management Head Elizabeth Weil and Cotweet CEO and Founder Jesse Engle shared their perspectives with the CMO Club Summit in a discussion moderated of Jeff Rorhs of Exact Target on where Twitter does—and doesn’t—drive business forward.

Nobody can deny it—Twitter is crossing into the mainstream. With approximately 175 million users and about 90 million tweets each day across the platform, Twitter has become the marketing opportunity—and threat—we can’t afford to ignore. No argument there.

So what do marketers do about it? Twitter would suggest marketers first take a look at three new advertising products they’ve launched: Promoted Tweets (which lets advertisers broadcast specific tweets to broader audiences), Promoted Trends (which lets advertisers kick-start or seed a viral discussion by leveraging a highlighted discussion trend on Twitter) and Promoted Accounts (which boosts the visibility and following of a specific advertiser on Twitter).

But even those promoted products are just the beginning. Weil was quick to note that only discussions that are truly resonant—that are interesting, organically followed and re-tweeted—will break through and achieve meaningful results for marketers. “Tweets are supposed to be spontaneous and right for the moment,” Weil commented, adding that when marketers over-think tweets and try to make them brand-compliant and on-message, “it makes it artificial and it starts to not feel like Twitter.”

According to Engle, the first task is to find ways to take advantage of conversations taking place on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, and to find the most natural place for a brand to dive into the discussion.  Weil concurs. “One of the biggest misperceptions around Twitter is that you need to Tweet,” she noted. “Such a great way to get into Twitter is to observe just what’s going on.”

Engle also points to a fundamental difference between Facebook and Twitter: the speed at which bad news travels. “Facebook is something you can choose to do or not to do as a marketer,” he noted, “but Twitter is something you have to pay attention to. A single tweet can disrupt your whole brand.” He advised being ready, knowing what discussions to watch for, and having a response plan in place.

But one thing Facebook and Twitter do have in common is the massive database of information and insights they are gathering about their ever-growing populations. What we tweet, when we tweet, where we tweet from, and what we do with other tweets all speaks volumes about our connections, our desires and our preferences. One participant was curious to know what kind of data Twitter is in fact capturing, and at what point Twitter could transform into a data targeting and research entity.

“I can’t tell you,” noted Weil, “But advertisers tell us they want to geo-target better and demo-target better … and we have something unique.”

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“Getting more from Agencies and Partners” Fri, 03 Dec 2010 19:53:14 +0000 Joshua Reynolds In an environment where marketers face such fierce pressures to cut costs, deliver fast results, and continually adjust to the ever-changing business requirements and sales strategies of their internal clients, it’s easy to think of your agencies less as partners and more as outsourced commodities.

But according to Brad DeHart, Practice Leader with ICG Commerce, thinking of your agency as an extension of your in-house team—and treating them that way—can actually lead to long-term cost savings and improved ROI from your agency spend. He and Ivy Bennet, CMO of Harris Bank, presented their approach to marketing and PR agency partnerships at the recent CMO Club Summit in San Francisco.

According to DeHart, a procurement specialist with an intimate understanding of the value of good agency relationships, simple things like giving your agency team access to senior management, letting them in your strategic plans and business initiatives, and asking your agency for their ideas on how you and your team can work more efficiently all have an impact on productivity, cost and program success.

What’s more, it’s in CMOs best interests to quickly resolve issues they may have with their agency team rather than going straight to an agency review. “Re-pitching your business costs a ton of money and takes months,” DeHart noted. “Onboarding a new team can take as long as a year. It’s not something to do lightly.”

“One-hundred percent of major agency-client financial disputes I have been involved in took two to tango,” DeHaro added. “Make sure your people know how to actually work with agencies and manage them, and make sure your agency lead is doing the same.”

Bennet concurs. She also says a best practice is to conduct regular account reviews with your agency teams to “get beyond the nice talk” and get down to quantitative and qualitative assessments of how everybody’s doing.

And throughout the relationship, Bennet advised CMOs to respect the financial constraints and concerns of their partners. Don’t just go for the lowest cost, go for the highest value, and negotiate for mutual benefit. “It’s all about communication,” Bennet reminded the audience. “Be up front about the parameters they’ll be working with, constraints and managerial challenges.” That, says Bennet, is how to turn the “agency” into your “trusted partner”—and to make sure the whole team is on the bus with you.

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Leveraging Mobile in Integrated Campaigns and Customer Engagement with Brands Fri, 03 Dec 2010 19:50:17 +0000 Joshua Reynolds Mobile marketing. We know it’s coming. With all the CMOs have to juggle right now, some of us might wish it weren’t.  But it is, and the time is now to decide when and how we’re going to embrace it. At the recent CMO Club Summit in San Francisco, CMO Club CEO Pete Krainik convened a panel of three progressive marketers to share their views, early experiments and lessons learned in the nascent field of mobile marketing.

The first most important lesson any CMO who’s ever dabbled in mobile marketing learns is this: it’s not just about cramming laptop-sized content onto a palm-size screen. Adriana Rizzo, VP Mobile for ESPN, takes a content company’s perspective. “We’re guided by the three-screen philosophy,” Rizzo shared. “You have to develop content and think about all three screens at the beginning of your process, not just retrofit it.”

Sophie-Charlotte Moatti, Head of Product Management for Nokia, says it’s also about translating the experience to the device. “Take advantage of location-aware functionality and social graph-aware applications,” advised Moatti. For example, she points to Nokia’s work with OASIS, a fashion brand in the UK, who created a treasure hunt that led consumers to their stores through the use of location-aware messages.

It’s this sort of visceral immediacy that creates such compelling marketing experience on the mobile device. Bill Gajda, head of Global Mobile Product for Visa, says being able to message to a customer when they’re in a specific frame of mind at a specific point in time is very powerful, when architected correctly. Imagine a scenario in which a shopper swipes their card at a coffee shop known to be in a shopping mall, and the shopper receives real-time coupons redeemable at their favorite stores at that mall. It’s the ultimate win-win scenario. “Real-time interaction is going to be a very valuable tool for merchants,” Gajda predicted.

But there are challenges. For example, ROI can be tricky to measure. And for B2B marketing, the promise of mobile is not quite as compelling. As Forrester CMO Dwight Griesman noted from the crowd, mobile content and service adoption is driven by location-based relevance, real-time relevance, and being away from a desktop or laptop screen. But for B2B buyers, who are more likely to take their time comparison shopping from the comfort of their desks, these factors just don’t play as big a role.

And there’s the ever-present concern around privacy and permission—never more relevant then when marketers reach consumers on a device many consider to be their most personal mode of communication. Making sure experiences are opt-in, rather than opt-out, and keeping the marketing messages as relevant and alluring as possible may help to mitigate consumer annoyance and privacy concerns, but given the privacy and security regulation already underway in Europe, the panel advised the US to get ready—because we’re next.

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Curating Digital Content—Control vs. Collaboration in a Consumer-Driven Paradigm Tue, 30 Nov 2010 19:07:11 +0000 Joshua Reynolds In the first wave of the digital marketing revolution, companies had to come to terms with the fact that they now share brand power with their customers. Consumer-generated content reigned, and some marketers began to wonder how much control they were going to have to acquiesce to the rising groundswell. But this was just the first phase in an ongoing negotiation between customer and company. The pendulum is swinging back to intelligent and shared control, and the time is now for companies to move from just co-creating to actively curating content in a way that boosts the brand.

To explore how to strike this balance, the CMO Club convened Dolby’s Vice President of Global Communications Catherine Ogilvie and Netflix Global Corporate Communications lead Catherine Fisher in a discussion moderated by Velocidi CEO David Dunne.

One thing to note is that this discussion was led by two corporate communications professionals. Some would argue that PR plays a natural role in content curation because the discipline focuses on earned discussions rather than paid-for discussions. While the explicit discussion of where PR and marketing overlap was not raised on this panel, the panelists’ perspectives were uniquely suited to the topic.

What the discussion did focus on were undeniable trends: audiences expect both real-time and high-quality engagement. Professionally produced content is certainly high-quality, but lacks immediacy. On the other hand, consumer-generated content is immediate (and authentic in the rawest form), but lacks quality. A fierce consensus quickly emerged: we no longer fear this change.  Better insights, free marketing, and a more elegant way to participate in word-of-mouth? What’s not to love? So the question is, how do we curate content that remains real-time, authentic and high-quality?

For Netflix, a fundamentally B2C company, the guiding principles are to engage your audiences on digital platforms where they already are (Facebook) and talk about what they’re already passionate about (movies) and find natural ways to insert corporate messages (streaming services) that feel organic.  “What works best is showing up and talking and being transparent [with our consumers],” Fisher observed. “We keep the conversation going, and they become our brand ambassadors.”

For Dolby, a predominantly B2B company, the context is quite different. Dolby is a company with admirable brand awareness, but few actually know what all the company does. So for Dolby, the challenge is all about storytelling, and to leverage the power of social media to get the word out about what the companies does. “Personalization is key,” noted Ogilvie. “You have to give people a framework to use, and then create the content and evolve it over time.”

The hardest question remains metrics. As one attendee observed, “It sounds like the content that’s the most meaningful and high-impact is the hardest to track financially. Smaller companies can’t invest in content creation that isn’t founded in solid ROI.”

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Immersive, Measurable, and Mobile—The Guiding Principles for Digital Marketing in 2011 Tue, 30 Nov 2010 18:49:30 +0000 Joshua Reynolds It’s no secret that the paradigm shift toward digital marketing is accelerating. Depending on which research you read, offline marketing spend is down in double digits, while online marketing is up about 10% and mobile marketing is up nearly 20%. But the open question for marketers in 2011—and especially B2B companies—is what kind of digital marketing experiences to create, and what bets to make. Recently at the CMO Club Summit in San Francisco, Adobe CMO Ann Lewne shared some views around the principles that drive digital marketing decisions and the illustrative marketing priorities at Adobe, whose self-described mission is “to change the world through digital experiences.”

A few clear themes emerged from the group discussion. First, the most viral and valuable digital marketing experiences are those that feel the most immersive to the customer. Lewne observed that digital marketing provides unique opportunities for creating experiences that draw in customers, hold their fascination, and drive engagement all the way through funnel. Second, digital marketing allows you to measure not just engagement, but conversion  both on and off your web site (even through sales channels), which is essential for proving the ROI of your campaign. And third, the single most important bet for marketers to make in 2011 is on mobile marketing.

“Next year is the crossover year for mobile,” Lewne observed. “Everybody now has to reformat their content and create experiences that are mobile-oriented rather than taking what you have and slap it onto a mobile device.” And after a robust group discussion around the multi-screen revolution now underway among consumers, Lewne encouraged the audience to get ahead of the digital curve, now. “Get ahead of it and mandate it at your company. Because that’s where people want to get their information, purchase products, read magazines, watch movies. That’s where the world is headed.”

What was most interesting about the discussion was the discussion around which metrics matter most when it comes to digital marketing. Many attendees seemed to be thirsting for a hard ROI argument to take to their CFO, and while digital does offer a variety of metrics miracles, which one you turn to depends on your business objective—and your culture.

“Making it beautiful isn’t enough,” Lewne told the crowd, citing various metrics such as customer loyalty, sales conversion, brand position and consumer engagement. Even reputational standing can be enhanced through philanthropic endeavors such as Adobe’s Museum of Digital Media. “We’re not selling on this thing,” she noted. “This is just about connecting to our customers.”

And that, perhaps more than any other statement, captures where the smart bets in digital marketing appear to be right now—making meaningful, beautiful and authentic connections with your customers.

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