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Digital Transformation: Talk at Boulder Digital Works

by Chief Innovation Officer, Creative Director, Writer, Teacher, Maker of Things at Mullen, Boston University on Apr 15, 2010

  • 6,425 views

Thoughts on how we got where we are, current consumer trends, how we have to think when it comes to digital and social marketing, tactics and strategies for changing an organization or agency, and ...

Thoughts on how we got where we are, current consumer trends, how we have to think when it comes to digital and social marketing, tactics and strategies for changing an organization or agency, and mistakes you should avoid.

Presentation to Boulder Digital Works Exec 36 Hour Session.

This presentation had five parts. It is also online as a video, though you have to get through some dead time at front at: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/6182068

Part 1: A generation has to die
The basic ideas is that legacy systems -- manufacturer/consumer; broadcaster/viewer; publisher/reader; agency/audience -- still exists. But right side (viewer, reader, audience) has changed faster than left. Consumer is no longer passive. Instead she’s a creator, distribution channel, commenter, etc. Brands no longer need ad agencies. Kogi BBQ builds brand with Twitter. Cliff Freemen, agency for Pizza Hut and greatest TV agency of all time, goes out of business. Learn from what Google did right, the power of community, the limitations of legacy systems and power of free content. Read Auletta, Shirky, Lanier and Anderson.

Part 2: Digital is not about technology. It’s about people. Eight trends. I’ve talked about them often in my presentations. 1. The consumer wants to create. 2. We have complex relationships with media. 3. Community is our new source of content. 4. We want to do business with people or brands that act like them. 5. We have more power than ever before and we carry it with us. 6. There’s no such thing as perfect. It’s crazy to pursue a single insight and a one-message campaign. 7. We have a new definition of quality: fast, easy, portable, accessible 8. Attention is the new scarcity.

Part 3. If you can’t be a digital native, be a digital immigrant. 1. Conceive ideas that generate content. (True Blood, Go with the Grain, Art of the Trench) 2. Create experiences that earn attention by inviting participation. (National Grid/Floe, Nike Chalkbot, TheNextGreatGeneration.com) 3. Be media specific with your content. Don’t stick the same video all over the place. (Timberland’s Stay on Your Feet, for example) 4. Master conversation strategy. See my blog post on conversation strategy. This is an art and a science. 5. Embrace agility, constant presence,frequent experimentation (BrandBowl2010.com, AJ Bomber’s Swarm Badge; you can Google it)

Part 4. Expect some pain. Here’s what we’ve done:
1. New strategy based on how consumers interact with content, media, technology and community. Not about main communication point; about generating talk value. 2. Interdisciplinary vs multi-disciplinary. 3. Expand the team and learn to appreciate each other’s perspective 4. The "T" person who understands and can inspire all the many roles. 5. Make the process iterative; don’t start with TV, then web, then media, then PR. Turn it inside out. 6. Become a learning organization. Made by Many, a London company of 23 employees, send 18 of them to SxSWi. Learn to love to learn. Think in new terms: community (not audience), experience (not message), engage (vs target), interest plan (rather than media plan), collaboration (instead of penetration)

Part 5. Smart people can be really stupid. Here are some of the mistakes that my company, Mullen, made in how it sold, scoped, staffed, delivered and rewarded before we got digital right. Learn from them.

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12 of 2 previous next

  • gregrichardsnyc Greg Richards, User Experience Design and Strategy at Pitney Bowes Great insights into how the profound upheaval caused by socially connected digital natives has forever undone the concept of agencies as the sole creators content and ideas. It’s not a new idea that we are all contributors to and definers of a product’s brand story, but Edward Boches provides a range of useful examples for how to frame this shift and how to ethically exploit the opportunity.

    @gregrichardsnyc
    2 years ago
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  • htavrides Heath Tavrides Great stuff. Thanks for sharing. Much value to be disseminated from this talk.

    @HeathTavrides
    4 years ago
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Digital Transformation: Talk at Boulder Digital Works Digital Transformation: Talk at Boulder Digital Works Document Transcript