Peter Harris: What marketing could learn from Vanilla Ice. Closer customer connection in changing times.


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Marketing Week 2009 presentation.

Tighter times and quickly transforming social norms call for more creative, innovative and contemporary ways to connect with consumers.

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  •   am a passionate family man, an ambitious business person, a proud aussie, a lover of all things marketing and a researcher still learning and working to assist clients to make meaningful and impactful business or policy decisions.  I know that marketing can make a difference if decisions are made based on strong customer understanding.  I want to assemble a tribe of people that think the same and then work on communicating this to the business world. Peter Harris has 24 years experience in business, spent mostly in marketing and market and social research.   He is a leader of people in his role as MD of Australia’s largest independent research Agency Colmar Brunton and is currently the National President of AMSRS, the Australian Market and Social Research Society.  Peter speaks, blogs, writes articles, and connects to other true believers at
  • Internet changed everything.We are increasingly living in a landscape where media is Global, Social, Ubiquitous and Cheap.
  • No longer are companies reputations built through big brand campaignsYour companies reputation is now dependent on what comes up in Google
  • Here is the old way or conventional approach to marketing.  It’s about big ideas, big strategy, big risks and a lot of time.  This process has many problems:- It lacks agility- It rewards incrementalism- It is slow- And it fails to engage customers in a meaningful and ongoing way
  • It might just be time for business to leverage a New Way that looks less like a campaign and more like an ongoing commitment to making smarter decisions and reducing risk.  This process is built upon leveraging a constant flow of small iterative loops that will allow a company to plan, design, launch and measure based on the continual flow of feedback they are getting.  Customer powered online communities are the perfect platform to facilitate this process and create new culture of rapid response.  - Actively listening to customers- Harnessing their collective intelligence- Allows for the more piloting of initiatives – ‘fast failing’ - Allows for the synthesis of qualitative data in addition to hard data pointsResult - Informs better decision making Right now it’s more important than ever for business to invest in initiatives that not only produce measurable results, but deliver findings that embolden the company to deliver more meaningful, effective innovation
  • Brand As BroadcasterIn this dynamic world of "social media" that we're all gushing over, it's healthy to remind ourselves that most brands are still acting as "broadcasters"—dishing out content, information, products and services to people.  In some cases we're helping brands continue this model when we produce things like "branded entertainment"—content modules which get pushed out to audiences in perhaps multiple mediums or "channels".  But it's still a top down approach.  The brand manufactures the messages and figures out how to get that message out wherever there are eyeballs to take it in.  It's more realistic that although this model has become less effective as people have become more empowered, it's probably not going away.
  • Brand As FacilitatorWhat some brands have chosen to do is to act as "facilitators". This means that like any good facilitator, they get off center stage, move over to the side and let others do the talking.  But just like any good facilitator, the brands who succeed in this direction need to master it as an both and art and science.  Good facilitators know how to actively listen, how to create environments which stimulate productive conversations and interactions and most importantly they add incredible value even though they may come across as the least vocal in the group.  Brands now have the opportunity to empower influential voices who reach others.  They have the opportunity to leverage the "brand ambassadors" who are likely already out there.  And in the possible scenario that there aren't any—a brand can still become visible in the online conversations that are likely happening about it or topics relevant in it.  Some people believe that good facilitators are "invisible"—I believe you always know they are there, you just feel comfortable talking around and with them.I don't believe brand as "broadcaster" is going away any time soon, but I do think the exciting challenge which lies ahead of us is to figure out what tactics actually work in the "brand as facilitator" category.  It's something I've been chewing on the last few weeks.  If you've got some examples of the latter, I'd love to hear about them.
  • We've been thinking about the current economic climate and the pressure, not to mention scrutiny digital (if not all) initiatives are currently under. Digital by definition is highly measurable, which can increase the focus of ROI (return on investment) for project before it ever gets off the ground. The challenge however is that there is so much to learn from initiatives that launch—insights can be applied directly to that project, or indirectly to something else. In addition to launching our own initiatives as organizations, we realize that companies may not see the advantages they can have simply by listening and potentially participating in what we like to think of as "The Collective". Every day, millions of people are talking about what they care about, and your products and services are most likely part of that story.
  • We all know that customer support can be one of the most challenging aspects of any business. Online communities can help to alleviate costs and decrease staff workload in this area. Satisfy your customers’ need for quick and easy advice through an online community where users can aid each other as well as ask for expert help and information.Case Study: Dell Peer-to-Peer NetworkUsing social media marketing, Dell has built a web-based peer to peer network that acts as online support community for their customers. This community allows Dell users to ask questions of each other in addition to approaching technical support staff directly. This means that common problems and simple fixes are often solved through peer advice, thus directly decreasing the workload for technical support staff.One Dell customer has posted for the equivalent of 123 days in a year, saving Dell over $1m in support costs. He does it because he wants to help his fellow users; Dell’s online community has enabled him to do so. In this way, building online communities for customer support has a substantial and measurable return on investment. Pretty cool, right?
  • In the spirit of keeping things fresh, Starbucks Coffee launched, anopen online forum where customers submit their ideas on how Starbucks can improve or innovate. We love this idea because it really got customers talking. Within four months of launch, 50,000 ideas had been submitted.The best bit about this online community was that customers weren’t just submitting ideas and leaving, they were staying on the site to join the conversation. What do we mean? Well the best online communities don’t just attract customers on a one-off basis, they create an environment which sustains member engagement in the long term. Starbucks did this by encouraging an ongoing discussion to promote open innovation - after an idea was submitted, other customers were invited to comment and vote on what they thought of each idea. Suffice to say the debate was lively!
  • Which is really appealing I think as a checklist; what do you DO for people as a brand?
  • You can do what’s come before or you can take a unique swing at the world. Cirque du Soleil took a circus and decided people don’t care about the animals. They don’t care about star performers.  So they got rid of the animals and the stars and transformed it into something else. At that point, everyone is competing with them. They were a startup and now they’re huge. Find your value differentiation and create a new word for yourself. Learn the systems and understand the difference between attuned and distorted.  Learn how to play the game. Figure out what’s wrong with it. And then come up with a plan to fix it and create your own rules. 
  • Obama changed the way people market because he realized that people don’t answer their phones.  He went to social media and built armies. Be one of them. Membership has privileges- Go where the people are. Outsiders do not influence insiders.(Exert from Chris Brogan)We are, as affiliate marketers, cold-calling our leads/prospects.  So, how do we “warm” that call?  By becoming one of “them.”  By belonging, you carry more authority and trust.Key for affiliate marketing is to get to the inside.  Once you’ve gotten in, you become the default person.  Insider vocabulary helps get you “inside”.”  Each group has their own vocabulary — if you know and understand the vocabulary, you move closer.
  • Understanding leverage is what separates the hobbyists from the professionals. Do you understand how to take what you’re doing in one instance and extend it out into something bigger or better elsewhere? This is what brought Madonna from just another singer into being a worldwide brand. Leverage is behind all the most powerful people in the world, but it all starts somewhere.Getting good at leverage means you have to work a lot less than everyone else. Build off your previous successes. Never start from nothing. Winning the game is table stakes for the NEXT game.  The web is the ultimate leverage engine; use it or be used.
  • Connecting and networking and building relationships is what moves you from an individual contributor to an interdependent kingmaker. Be the person who is always connecting people. Smart brands will connect with every group — famous and average alikeBe the priest, build the churchbe the relationship before the saleyou live or die by your databasebe part of everyone’s 150Example: Amex Open Forum a community for small busines
  • Working solo is easy. Do you share what you know to promote larger interactions? Can you create resources to help you and then thread your efforts into theirs?It’s all about empathy, thinking about more than just how YOU can benefit. Think constantly about how other people feel, whether they’re comfortable, how you can help them. Reputation comes from empowering others, not just being amazing — you build a reputation by being amazing at empowering others.
  • Get outside your community and participate in others sites.  Make your presence known. Attend real world events and use them as opportunities to capture content and 3rd party perspectives on your community topic.  Do a live web-cast. Interview participants at these events. Post these and your perspectives on your own community site.  
  • Be ope
  • Derek Luke was chosen to play Puff Daddy (as P Diddy was known back then). Again,Luke’s interpretation is fantastic. The only thing that stuck out was Puff Daddy was very much portrayed in an angelic light - as the man that saved Biggie from the streets. How true this is we will never know. However, this is no fault of Derek and, to be honest, no fault of the script. In fact, it’s a very clever skew as it’s giving kids today a good role model, and Puff Daddy, apart from being incredibly hard working and successful, is someone they relate to. Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs says in the film: “Chase the paper, not the dream”, showing that you can succeed if you want to, and driving home the point that the streets are not where you will succeed or become a man.
  • Peter Harris: What marketing could learn from Vanilla Ice. Closer customer connection in changing times.

    1. 1. What can marketing learn from <br />VANILLA ICE<br />closer customer connections in changing times<br />Peter Harris<br /><br />
    2. 2. Peter Harris <br />Managing Director @ Colmar Brunton<br />AUDITOR marketing RESEARCH<br />Family man AMSRSaussieNEW MEDIA<br />building relationships ASHES TRAGIC<br />
    3. 3. “Stop, Collaborate and Listen” – Vanilla Ice<br />
    4. 4. Stop. Collaborate. Listen.<br />
    5. 5. Past <br />
    6. 6.
    7. 7. “<br />Your brand is no stronger than your reputation – and it will increasingly depend on what comes up when you are Googled.”<br />Alan Jenkins, Global Communications Consult<br />
    8. 8. Today<br />
    9. 9. Some inconvenient truths<br />“In most categories a brand’s market share is stationary”<br />4 out of 5 categories seen as increasingly homogeneous<br />3x $ spent on discountingas ‘brand building’ in fmcg<br />0.5% average click-thru rate for banners<br />Less than 1 in 10 ads seen as different<br />4% response rate successful in DM<br />Sources: Andrew Ehrenberg; Copernicus Consulting; McKinsey <br />
    10. 10. Brands that engage in social media are winning <br />Brands fall into one of four engagement profiles….<br />Mavens have experienced better revenue growth (last 12 mths)<br />Source: The world’s most valuable brands. Who’s most engaged? Ranking the Top 100 Global Brands Report, prepared by Altimeter and Wetpaint<br />
    11. 11.
    12. 12. Old way<br />
    13. 13. New way<br />
    14. 14. Old Process <br />Client<br />Agency<br />Customer<br />
    15. 15. New Process <br />Client<br />Agency<br />Customer<br />
    16. 16. brands must go beyond broadcast<br />
    17. 17. and become “facilitators”<br />
    18. 18.
    19. 19. Brands need to quit buying eyeballs, <br />start earning whole fans<br />(viewers come and go, but fans fight for brand survival)<br />
    20. 20. How can we get a better ROI? (Return on insight)<br />
    21. 21. Stop.Collaborate. Listen.<br />
    22. 22. collaborate <br />Invite them in. Treat them as collaborators. Harness their collective intelligence. Give them a role in helping the brand succeed and a chance to become visible to their community. <br />
    23. 23. “<br />I get by with a little help from my friends, <br />I get a high with a little help from my friends, <br />Oh I’m gonna try with a little help from friends<br />- The Beatles<br />
    24. 24. collaborate<br />
    25. 25.
    26. 26. If what we’re doing is right, <br />and if we give them the tools, <br />young people will do the marketing and organising for us<br />(and be better at it than we are)<br />
    27. 27.<br />
    28. 28. 70,000 ideas in first year<br />Free coffee for Gold Card members on their birthday<br />Starbucks VIP card<br />Buy coffee beans, get a free cup of coffee<br />
    29. 29. <ul><li>Get (free) help, advice & support in planning kitchens, offices, wardrobes eetc..
    30. 30. Employee and fan community - 100,000+ members, 4 yrs old
    31. 31. Community donations + ad revenue funding model
    32. 32. Reward participation with Ikea gift cards</li></li></ul><li>Results<br />
    33. 33. “<br />Consumers are beginning in a very real sense to own our brands and participate in their creation. <br />- A. G. Lafely, Chief Executive at Procter & Gamble<br />We need to learn to let go.<br />
    34. 34. connect<br />useful<br />educate<br />entertain<br />Why they will collaborate?<br />Source: PHD<br />
    35. 35. Give them a voice and a seat at the table<br />Impact on the brand, ownership in ideas<br />Social currency<br />Better brand experiences<br />Exclusive access<br />Images adapted from<br />
    36. 36. Stop. Collaborate. Listen.<br />
    37. 37. Listen<br />Talk with customers in context. Listen to their ideas before they get skewed. Uncover issues, focusing on how people feel. <br />
    38. 38. “In the old days, brands wanted everybody to pay attention to them. Now brands need to pay attention to everybody else.” <br />-Anonymous<br />
    39. 39. listen <br />
    40. 40. “<br />We’ve been voted the best marketer of the 20th century. But that’s because we were the biggest shouters. In the 21st century, we want to be the best listeners. <br />- Greg Icenhower, P&G, director of corporate communications<br />
    41. 41. Social Media Monitoring Tools<br />Social Media Buzz Monitoring<br />Free Alert Systems<br />Paid Analysis Dashboard<br />Full Service Insights Partners<br />
    42. 42. REACHHow many people are we reaching?METRICS: [example metrics: unique views]<br />INTERACTIONHow are people interacting with us?METRICS: [example metrics: video plays]<br />ENGAGEMENT<br />How many are becoming part of our community?METRICS: [example metrics: user-generated content]<br />INFLUENCE<br />How are we changing user action or opinion?METRICS: [example metrics: conversation tone]<br />EXPOSUREHow are users extending the reach of the program?METRICS: [example metrics: online buzz]<br />
    43. 43. Online Customer Community<br /><ul><li>Continuous connection to your customers
    44. 44. 300–500 invitation-only members in a room</li></ul>Discussion<br />Quick Polls<br />Online chat<br />Brainstorm<br />Use photos<br />Video<br />Survey<br />Journals<br />Mystery shopping<br />Scrapbook<br />Immersion<br />Twitter<br />Off-line events<br />
    45. 45. Problem<br /><ul><li>Developed new brand ad in 5 days with Branson
    46. 46. Concerned new brand ad was to risqué
    47. 47. Validate with prospects fast</li></ul>Solution<br /><ul><li>Tested ad in online community among young flyers
    48. 48. Positive response / low risk
    49. 49. Turned results in a few days
    50. 50. Cost effective </li></li></ul><li> <br />Community at a glance<br /><ul><li>Launched November 08 / 1,000+ members
    51. 51. Private online community for Hyundai owners or inner circle of trusted advisors
    52. 52. Recruiting through existing customer base + “hand-raisers” that attend industry events like auto shows
    53. 53. Activities focus on two initiatives. The first expanding the brand with the new Hyundai Genesis vehicles. The second is Blue Drive, Hyundai’s new initiative to produce eco-friendly products</li></li></ul><li>Clients are making listening a top priority<br />“<br />In 2009, P&G will focus on listening. Our goal is to reduce the amount spent on traditional research by half and to devote the remaining 60% to “listening” research.<br />- Kim Dedeker, P&G, VP, Global Consumer and Market Knowledge<br />
    54. 54. ‘Listening is the new marketing’, Chris Brogan<br />
    55. 55. 7 Secrets of Vanilla Ice Marketing<br />
    56. 56. 1. Make your own game<br />Stand out<br />Don’t play by other people’s rules<br />
    57. 57. 2. Build a Posse<br />Make friends / connect<br />Insiders advantage / outsiders can’t buy influence<br />Create a big F’n network<br />
    58. 58. 3. Spin off<br />The Archimedes Effect / Leverage<br />Build off previous success<br />
    59. 59. 4. Throw Awesome Parties<br />Be a great party host<br />Invite them to participate and mash their own content<br />Connect , network and help build relationships<br />
    60. 60. 5. Pass the mic<br /><ul><li>Provide opportunities to participate
    61. 61. Don’t force the conversations but help it along
    62. 62. Share instead of hoard</li></li></ul><li>6. Go On Road Trips<br />Put on & play a constructive role in offline events<br />Add value to the community experience<br />Capture content and 3rd party perspectives on your community topic  <br />
    63. 63. 7. Keep it real, always<br /><ul><li>Pay your dues - consistency and authenticity
    64. 64. Be open to criticism and admit when you are wrong
    65. 65. Have a higher purpose</li></li></ul><li>“<br />Don’t chase the paper. Chase the dream.<br />- Sean Combs aka “Puff Daddy” to rapper Biggie Smalls aka “Notorious B.I.G” in Notorious<br />
    66. 66.
    67. 67.<br /><br />Thanks and<br />keep in touch<br />
    68. 68. Appendix<br />