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A Peek into Doner's Social Practice

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The ubiquity of technology and its ability to accelerate the adoption of behaviors have created great opportunity for marketers to reach target consumers but simultaneously have made it more difficult to “break through.” This, of course, challenges the conventional approaches to marketing communications and puts more emphasis on leveraging social media as a means to engage target consumers and propagate messages, ideas, products and behaviors. Here at Doner, I have been tasked with the reshaping of how we see the world of social media and how we operate in it as practitioners. The following is a peek into that world.

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A Peek into Doner's Social Practice

  1. 1. IDEAS THAT MOVE PEOPLE.
  2. 2. The ubiquity of technology and its ability to accelerate the adoption of behaviors have created great opportunity for marketers to reach target consumers but simultaneously have made it more difficult to “break through.” This, of course, challenges the conventional approaches to marketing communications and puts more emphasis on leveraging social media as a means to engage target consumers and propagate messages, ideas, products and behaviors. Here at Doner, we are reshaping how we see the world of social media and how we operate in it as practitioners. The following is a peek into that world. Marcus Collins SVP | Executive Director of Social Engagement 02
  3. 3. TABLE OF CONTENTS How We See the World How We Operate in the World How We Resonate in the World How We Connect to People in the World 4 6 13 27
  4. 4. HOW WE SEE THE WORLD: A POINT OF VIEW THAT INFORMS EVERYTHING
  5. 5. IDEAS THAT MOVE PEOPLE. And we mean this quite literally. All of our efforts are done in the service of exciting a population of people to take action. Considering the fact that people rely on people more than any form of marketing communication, it is incumbent on us to ensure that our ideas are socially designed – with people at the center – and are built to share, if we are to successfully “move people.” Whether it be campaigns (messaging and communications), content (film, GIFs, flat images, audio, code) or experiences (both online or offline), the aim is to excite a desired behavior – from conversations to pass-alongs, purchase to search, and everything in between. OUR CORE IMPERATIVE AT DONER IS TO CREATE
  6. 6. HOW WE OPERATE IN THE WORLD:TRANSFORMING OBSERVATIONS INTO INSIGHTS AND IDEAS
  7. 7. We rely on social listening as a critical vehicle to inform strategic planning and turbocharge creative ideation. Our approach to doing so takes on many forms. In some instances we start with conversations about the brand, using a myriad of brand-centric keywords, and observe the subsequent topics and behaviors that bubble to the top or lurk at the bottom. While in other cases, we mine conversations around relevant topics and cultural happenings to establish cognitive linkage to the brand. Regardless of the approach, at the root, we look for the semantic associations that illuminate what people think, say, do and feel. From this exercise, we glean empirical intelligence and overlap our findings with cultural awareness in hopes of unearthing rich insights. How do you use listening to develop social insights? How do you apply insights to develop creative ideas and expressions?
  8. 8. Using social listening to develop insights and social connections plans. These insights help shape the strategic lens we use to develop creative opportunities for the brand. They enable us to superimpose brand truths with people truths and carve out the most fertile territory possible for the brand to own. Out of this exercise comes an actionable strategy (grounded in empirical data) that not only inspires creative ideation but also serves as a rubric by which we evaluate ideas, tactical executions, content development, response opportunities, relevant contexts, would-be partners and potential sponsorships. 08
  9. 9. This process is best seen in our efforts with Minute Maid. Here we took a long-standing brand belief, “If you put good in, you get good out,” developed a creative platform and produced broad communications around it. Through our social listening exploration, we found a truth that flew in the face of a widely held convention and challenged some of our own assumptions as well. Many people believe that the ubiquitous use of technology and digital media in today’s society distracts parents from spending time with their children. The truth is, as we found, today’s parents spend more time with their children than any generation prior. This wasn’t just observational, it was evidenced in scientific research. So despite the ridicule and guilt that these modern moms and dads experience due to an inaccurate judgment placed on them, they are actually doing a good job. This insight became the impetus for the idea that would fuel Minute Maid’s creative efforts.
  10. 10. A brand that believes in “putting good in to get good out” would become the champion for today’s modern parents and remind them that they’re “#doingood.” All tactics, content, posts and activations would run through this creative platform to support the brand’s legacy conviction. Example content based on social insight.
  11. 11. Examples of informed connections thinking, informed by social insights. The notion of #doingood provided Minute Maid with both a playbook and permission for the brand to insert itself across a host of contextual moments where parents could use some support and/or encouragement. Within the #doingood creative, we developed a mnemonic – a letter exchange between parents and children – that served as a device for the brand to join in on cultural conversations. Beyond the obvious (Mother’s Day and Father’s Day), we identified “#doingood” moments where the brand could respond to individuals directly with encouragement or celebration to further demonstrate our commitment to the cause and drive deeper engagement and relevance with parents. All of this was done in an effort to move people to take action.
  12. 12. 12 ... shout out to the Minute Maid team and the incredible campaign they launched earlier this year with #doingood. In a category where rarely any brand ever spoke about anything else than the product benefits, the team was brave enough to think more broadly about how to grow the brand and launched a platform that celebrated parents, reminding them that they are doing better than they think they are with their kids. Emmanuel Seuge SVP Content – The Coca-Cola Company
  13. 13. HOW WE RESONATE IN THE WORLD:ASCRIBING BRAND BEHAVIOR
  14. 14. If brands are to tap into the consciousness of a population and provoke them to take action, then said brands have to stand for more than just features, benefits and product attributes. Brands must have a conviction, a reason for existing that a population of people can subscribe to in order to truly resonate. When brands stand for something, people use the brand to communicate something about themselves and how they see the world. Social content – that is, content exchanged from person to person – places an even greater responsibility on how brands communicate and demonstrate their convictions, because it’s not enough to be shareable; the content itself must be “share-worthy.” More specifically, the content has to satisfy the psychological conditions of why people share if the branded context is to spread. Therefore, brands must fully realize what they stand for and use it as a North Star to inform the content they make and where that content is delivered. The convergence of brand-led and passion-led ef forts.
  15. 15. Considering this, brands should focus their attention on clearly identifying their beliefs and demonstrating them across the most appropriate contextual passion points in an effort to meet a population of people who likely subscribe to the same beliefs as well. The ever-evolving sophistication of social networking platforms allows brands to do this well without adopting a pseudonym or passion-hyphened-brand name. The targeting opportunities that the platforms provide enable “conviction + passion” based content to be delivered to people who subscribe to the same passion points as the brand, and share the same convictions (determined by their self-authored descriptions and on-platform behavior). This applies whether these people are “ followers” of the brand’s community or not. Truthfully, brands would have to use these media solutions to reach people within their own Facebook communities regardless, thanks to newsfeed dynamics and subsequent restrictions. The good news is that this precludes brands from having to build an additional identity that is passion-led and recruit yet another community to it.Social Content – Should we focus attention on brand-led or passion-led ef forts? IN THIS CONTEXT, “PASSIONS” AND “BRAND” become somewhat interchangeable. The brand’s conviction is what gives it license to participate in passion-driven genres because the brand belief aligns with the particular passion point.
  16. 16. BEHAVING LIKE PEOPLE If “social” is about people, then “social media” is the media of people and, therefore, brands must consider how people interact with each other when a brand decides how it will behave across social media channels. (That’s a mouthful, I know. If you need another second to reread it, feel free.) As people, we inherently know that good stories lead to good conversations. And oftentimes a good conversation can induce storytelling. The two are both by-products of each other and as such they are practically inextricable when considering the context of people dynamics. This suggests that brands, too, cannot prioritize storytelling over conversations (or vice versa) as they consider how they behave across online social media channels. Brands must be equipped to tell stories that lead to good conversations and facilitate good conversations that draw out rich stories. Social Content – Is social better suited for storytelling or conversations? Brands must be equipped to tell stories that lead to good conversations and facilitate good conversations that draw out rich stories. 16
  17. 17. One of the most fascinating aspects about people dynamics is the massive influence that people have on one another. It has been said that you can predict the behavior of people based on their exposure to the example behavior of others. As you can imagine, this greatly benefits our aim to “move people.” Thus, we put a lot of stock in leveraging influence in our creative solutions and designing strategic recommendations for how we will yield its sway within tactical executions. All the while, ensuring that these recommendations remain plumb to the larger operating strategy that has been established at the brand level. BEHAVING LIKE PEOPLE Thus, we put a lot of stock in leveraging influence in our creative solutions and designing strategic recommendations for how we will yield its sway within tactical executions. The role of inf luencers in social .
  18. 18. Social networking technologies allow us to identify advocates (through social listening and community management) in the wild, upholding their beloved brands. This enables us to recognize, organize and galvanize around these people in an effort to drive a desired action. 18 BEHAVING LIKE PEOPLE It is no surprise then that social media – the media of people – provides great opportunity for brands to build and maintain advocacy. This is largely due to the fact that people heavily depend on each other for guidance and direction, both consciously and subconsciously. However, advocacy is a word used so fluidly across our industry that its meaning has experienced a bit of creep over the years. Let us be precise. Advocacy is the public support of or recommendation of a given initiative. Likewise, an advocate is someone who publicly supports or recommends an initiative and attempts to persuade others on its behalf. When we talk about brand advocates, it’s a person who is not only willing to recommend the brand but will also defend it against an antagonist. These advocates constantly send the appropriate signals about their affinity for a brand and/or their alignment with the brand’s belief. Social networking technologies allow us to identify advocates (through social listening and community management) in the wild, upholding their beloved brands. This enables us to recognize, organize and galvanize around these people in an effort to drive a desired action. Meanwhile, when the brand is demonstrating its beliefs and delivering remarkable experiences, it sets the stage to convert the apathetic to potential advocates – thus continuing a cycle of advocacy. The role of social in building and maintaining advocacy.
  19. 19. In many cases, the best place to identify advocates is within the group of people who have already raised their hands to say, “I’m a fan!” Though it’s highly unlikely that each individual among a brand’s Snapchat followers or Facebook fans falls into this category, there is indeed a constituency of people who share the brand’s convictions and are willing to go to bat for it. Naturally, then, it is imperative that the brand make every effort possible to nurture those relationships and help foster the interconnectivity among them so that the community can thrive. In this effort, the brand must facilitate conversations among the community, spark dialogue around the issues that matter to the people, respond to those in need, and sustain the dynamics that best represent the collective’s shared beliefs. And community management bears the responsibility of this crucial task. At its core, community management is a function of service. Brands disrobe themselves of their corporate veneer and adopt a sense of humanity to serve the people who see the world similarly. To do this requires an amount of empathy on behalf of the community manager(s) representing the brand. This act of public service is not reserved for the “photo op” only, but is an ongoing commitment that reflects the “always-on” and continuous nature of the technology that facilitates the exchange between community managers and the people they serve. This also requires that community managers are deeply practiced in the brand (its strategy, values, tone of voice and legal guardrails) and skilled in the art of writing copy, which makes for brand consistency and swift response. Examples and principles of ef fective community management.
  20. 20. CUSTOMER CARE In this instance, an unsatisfied customer was assured that not only was the brand listening, but we would also take the proper steps to make it right.
  21. 21. EMPATHETIC SUPPORT Mother’s Day was an obvious holiday, so the brand engaged the community in such a way that gave them a platform to tell their mom, “You’re #doingood.” In this instance, fans shared their poignant stories about why they loved mom and how she’s #doingood.
  22. 22. Much like any sustainable relationship, there must be reciprocity between both parties. This reinforces the strength of the relationship and builds loyalty. Therefore, while brands look to social networking technologies to extract value from peer-to-peer influence and advocacy, it is necessary that we consider how brands contribute to the relationships as well. Rewarding acts of support, purchase and consumption then become table-stakes when we reflect on how easy the tech makes it for brands to do so. And so the role of online social media platforms in loyalty marketing becomes obligatory if brands are to truly leverage the full power of the space. It should also be noted that brands don’t technically “own” their communities on social networking platforms. These communities are “leased” to brands by the Twitters of the world. This suggests that there is great opportunity to shift these “ fans” into channels where we have greater access and control. 22 BEHAVING LIKE PEOPLE Therefore, while brands look to social networking technologies to extract value from peer-to-peer influence and advocacy, it is necessary that we consider how brands contribute to the relationships as well. The role of social in loyalty marketing.
  23. 23. PREDICTING PEOPLE BEHAVIOR There’s an old saying that “success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.” We can’t plan for the unpredictabilities of life, but we can certainly prepare for them. It’s the same in the case of how brands can prepare responses for the unpredictable moments that happen in culture. This preparation is a factor of muscle memory and pattern plotting. The muscle memory comes from a repeated exercise of creating content, informed by the intersection of human truths and brand truths, that populate campaign activations and align to earmarked, contextual moments. This creates a habit for the brand to identify the most fertile opportunities in time to demonstrate itself. The result, thereof, is that the brand inadvertently establishes a rubric for itself as to what things it has license to respond to and when. This moves the brand from “real time” to “right time,” “right message,” “right context,” and “right people.” We can’t plan for the unpredictabilities of life, but we can certainly prepare for them.
  24. 24. During our daily social listening, we found a tweet from a gentleman who missed out on purchasing the car of his dreams – an Alfa Romeo Giulietta. This wasn’t just an ordinary tweet, it was a love poem penned to the “one who got away.” The poem gained social traction with Twitter users and the Alfa Romeo community. We thought this was a great opportunity to leverage the growing momentum across social and showcase Alfa Romeo’s customer service capabilities, so we responded with a poem of our own that expressed our admiration and appreciation. This initiative led to an outpouring of positivity from the Alfa Romeo community and a wealth of earned media from industry publishers like Adweek. 24
  25. 25. Pattern plotting is an exercise of taking data from the past – happenings, trends, etc. – and using it to inform the future. Calendar events, annual occurrences and major observations tend to present repetitious incidences that can be planned for so brands can set expectations of what might happen and create responses in advance. So “real-time,” in this case, refers to deployment as opposed to responsiveness. Therefore, preparing responses for the unpredictable things that happen in culture becomes a balance of ingraining a practice of being able to recognize the right moments and developing an ability to preplan accordingly. As a result, a brand’s balance would become heavy on the campaign and planned side, and opportunistically planned on the “real-time” side. Listening for “Planned Real-Time” engagement. While monitoring conversation heading into the holidays, we saw an increase in conversation around spiced mixology, and around the use of mason jars for handcrafted gifts. This post was created to expand the use occasion for Spice Islands, and timed at the peak of holiday parties and gift giving. 26 Considerations in balancing campaign , planned and real-time executions.
  26. 26. HOW WE CONNECT TO PEOPLE IN THE WORLD:DELIVERY AND PROPAGATION
  27. 27. The debate between engagement and reach . The same intelligence that is invested in the creation of Ideas That Move People must be put into the delivery of said ideas so that brands are to connect with people. The mass adoption of social networking technologies provides great opportunity for brands to deliver content, experiences and messages to a tightly targeted group of people and still achieve a high-volume reach. The value this creates for brands is unprecedented in comparison to preexisting marketing tools. However, the most compelling factor of social media is that content, experiences and messages that resonate with people are shared from person to person and can easily spread across a wide populous. The “share” is accompanied with a degree of credence that a brand could not command on its own because people trust people more than any form of marketing. Here, engagement produces reach, with a twist. The technology accelerates this dynamic so that the propagation happens far more rapidly than it would in the “offline world” and amounts to a high-level reach as well. Therefore, engagement and reach are far more intertwined than they are binary. When people engage on social networking platforms, it produces stories, and these stories are presented to other people within their network. From this perspective, reach is a by-product of engagement. Concurrently, the high-level reach that social networking platforms provide creates opportunities for potential engagement, and thus the cycle continues. Engagement and reach are not mutually exclusive and should be seen as complements to a practice of social connections.
  28. 28. When an idea moves people, engagement and reach become mutually exclusive and fuel each other exponentially. Our campaign for Bellefaire JCB challenged preconceived notions of youth homelessness and reimagined a modern PSA. The idea extended beyond art and copy and connected in a powerful and arresting way. We then partnered with Upworthy to extend the effort to reach the right contextual audience, further accelerating engagement, and driving massive reach (over 1 million views in the first few hours).
  29. 29. 30 Delivery is not only a matter of to whom but also a product of where. The contexts of the environment inform the content, experiences and message a brand would transport in an effort to connect. How the brand shows up would then be nuanced by the subtleties thereof. Of course, the retail environment is highly coveted, because of its proximity to purchase, and entrenched with its own set of nuances. With this in mind, brands can develop creative stimuli – informed by the contexts of the retail environment – that resonate with people and move them to take action, whether it be a share or a purchase. Or both. The role of social in retail/shopper marketing.
  30. 30. Measuring success. As an agency whose aim is to “move people,” our approach to measuring success is quite simple. Did people move? Did they adopt the behavior we designed for? If the answer is “Yes,” then it was a success. If not, then it was not. The benefit of social networking technology is that marketers are able to track behaviors with low latency (thanks to social listening, Google Analytics and other tools), analyze the deficiencies and optimize the design to course correct. Appropriately, we assign metrics that are most representative of the behavior we want people to adopt. The key performance indicators become those metrics that are closer in proximity to the identified business objective (sales, traffic, shares, etc.). Did people move? Did they adopt the behavior we designed for? If the answer is “Yes,” then it was a success. If not, then it was not.

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