Marketing Technology » Social Media http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook Combining marketing and technology to develop new markets and grow existing ones Tue, 11 Jan 2011 16:47:54 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 Social media, big agencies, blah, blah http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook/2010/03/31/social-media-big-agencies-blah-blah/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook/2010/03/31/social-media-big-agencies-blah-blah/#comments Wed, 31 Mar 2010 14:00:32 +0000 admin http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook/?p=606 We’re off again. Yet more articles in yet more so-called industry publications bashing the “agencies don’t get social media” stick. This particular one got my goat because it’s by someone I respected.

A few thoughts in response (I didn’t comment on the article because I refuse to register on a site just to provide an opinion – easier and quicker for me to do it here).

I have news for everyone. The “Slide 29 Syndrome” isn’t specific to digital communications nor to social media. In fact, the smart agencies have learnt from the first wave of the Internet and implemented things designed specifically to avoid this shortsightedness. As a result:

  1. It wouldn’t be an account exec making the call. Any agency who puts an important RFP response in the hands of an account exec probably isn’t taking that opportunity particularly seriously.
  2. Whoever heads the digital specialist group would already know about the RFP because they are members of the senior management team.
  3. Even if this particular scenario was true, the whole pitch team would be brought to book by the CEO for not identifying the relevant skills required earlier in the process and collaborating to deliver the best response to the client.
  4. It’s nothing to do with billing hours. This is a new business opportunity, so utilisation doesn’t even come into it.
  5. Most importantly, as another commenter pointed out, most of the time social media isn’t the answer to the problem – or even part of the answer.

Rather than continually trying to make out that individual consultants, small boutiques, independent agencies, large consultancies are somehow better than each other, I suggest we all just get on with the job of delivering the best results for clients desperate to understand how to achieve their marketing objectives using a strategy that combines the most appropriate mix of techniques and tools.

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FTC Guides on Endorsements and Testimonials: What it means in practice http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook/2009/10/13/ftc-guides-on-endorsements-and-testimonials-what-it-means-in-practice/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook/2009/10/13/ftc-guides-on-endorsements-and-testimonials-what-it-means-in-practice/#comments Tue, 13 Oct 2009 15:15:51 +0000 admin http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook/?p=589 On 1 December 2009 new guidelines (Guides) from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising come into force in the United States.

The most significant development in this revision is the inclusion of social or consumer-generated media as a form of endorsement. Whilst there is much in the full 81-page Guides (PDF link) that brand owners should review, the following actions are the most pressing when considering any campaign.

  • Review the full Guides available at http://ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf
  • Review existing and planned endorsements in light of the Guides
  • Ensure that marketing staff and agencies are aware of the Guides and their implications
  • Monitor the activities of consumers who participate in social media marketing campaigns
  • Put in place specific social media guidelines for employees to advise them of their disclosure obligations when participating in online discussion (Hill & Knowlton’s are available here as a model).

Perhaps one of the most frequently missed points is that the FTC Guides are administrative interpretations of the law intended to help advertisers comply with the Federal Trade Commission Act. They are not themselves binding in law. Worth remembering.

A full briefing note on the topic is available on the Hill & Knowlton Scribd channel.

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Help us write our social media guidelines http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook/2009/08/24/help-us-write-our-social-media-guidelines/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook/2009/08/24/help-us-write-our-social-media-guidelines/#comments Mon, 24 Aug 2009 11:02:51 +0000 admin http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook/?p=513 In May 2005, Hill & Knowlton wrote and then published our first personal blogging guidelines. Two years ago, as we started to give our clients more and more social media marketing advice, we updated these to create a wider set of social media principles.

Now it’s time to update these again. We’ve consulted widely internally, and would now like to hear what the people we might encounter online whilst representing our clients think.

So we’ve published the current version of our internal draft. You can review it below or on Scribd.

Please leave a comment here or on Scribd and let us know what you think, what works and what doesn’t, and what your experiences of PR and marketing agencies participating in social media have been.

We’ll review all the comments and the end of the week and update as necessary, before adopting internally and publishing the final version here.

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Social media influence cannot be measured http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook/2009/05/22/social-media-influence-cannot-be-measured/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook/2009/05/22/social-media-influence-cannot-be-measured/#comments Fri, 22 May 2009 07:47:35 +0000 admin http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook/?p=464 A few different projects have got my mind focused on influence this week. The first is planning the research design for the centrepiece of my book on social media in B2B (can we measure the influence that social media platforms have on the different staging of the B2B buying cycle?). The second is connected with our cooperation next month with Twitter at the Cannes Lions.

In both contexts I am reaching the conclusion that influence cannot be measured, and thus is a futile metric for exploration. Sure, you can ask people how much influence something has or has had, but do they really know? And what is influence anyway? In my mind it is a power that makes someone do something, not a property that any individual possesses. Invariably when an individual does have influence, it is only over a specific thing. Even the most influential people in the world (politicians, one could argue) have no influence over whether I will buy a Sony or a Panasonic television this weekend.

In a public environment, you might (just) be able to attempt to measure influence by looking at people’s networks, the re-communication of their utterances, but to me this is just reach. Someone who says something that reaches 100,000 people is no more influential than someone who reaches just 100, if all of the latter act on that communication but none of the former do.

In short, influence needs to be measured in context and at the receiving end not the transmitting end. That is not something you can do by looking at their blog posts, tweets or Facebook profile.

So do we continue to try and measure things that cannot be measured, or do we measure things that can be measured and can give us as marketers comparisons that we understand.

I think it’s the latter.

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Calling all business marketers http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook/2009/04/24/calling-all-business-marketers/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook/2009/04/24/calling-all-business-marketers/#comments Fri, 24 Apr 2009 14:15:59 +0000 admin http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/niallcook/?p=436 Not content with burning myself out last Christmas finishing my first book, Enterprise 2.0, I have just signed a contract to write my second. And this time on an even shorter timescale!

For this next title, I’ll be focusing on consumer marketing’s ugly step-child, business-to-business marketing – and specifically the application of social media principles to what has in many cases becoming a rather formulaic aspect of the communications mix. Yet when you consider that roughly one-third of searches on Google are business-to-business in nature and more than 50% of Google’s and 39% of Yahoo’s advertisers are business-to-business companies, then the importance of the Internet in the purchasing cycle cannot be overstated.

It follows then that it is no longer an option for business-to-business marketers to dismiss social media as a consumer craze, and my aim with this book is to raise the profile of successful business-to-business use of social media and help companies discover, select, integrate, exploit and measure these techniques as part of an integrated marketing strategy.

Wish me luck! And if you have any great stories of business-to-business social media marketing you would like to share, please feel free to comment.

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