Curiosity May Have Killed The Cat But Complacency Will Kill The Marketer

Recently I told you of the One Quarter Of American Consumers (who) Are Brand Loyal. That indeed is a very telling statistic which came from a survey conducted by Ernst & Young. Today comes the results of another survey, this one done jointly by Acxiom and Loyalty360, which sheds some light on why so few consumers are brand loyal. And it all comes to down one word.

com·pla·cen·cy – a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger

I give you exhibit A:



That’s right boys and girls, 60% of all the respondents – who were comprised of executives in both B2B and B2C companies from a cross section of industries, dedicate less than 20% of their marketing budget to customer retention.

See where I’m going here with the whole “complacency” thing?

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Disruptive Technology and How to Compete for the Future

Disruptive technology is the bearer of tremendous opportunity and equally a harbinger of obsolescence. Technology’s impact on society and business is substantial, if not underestimated. As technology continues to become part of everyday life, it becomes disruptive in how people communicate, work, and connect. The evolution of society and technology happens with or without adaptation or understanding. And, it’s contributing to a very real phenomenon of Digital Darwinism, a situation where organizations are faced with a need to adapt to markets and customer behavior or risk a loss in favor, competitive advantage or worse, irrelevance.

To keep up is a perpetual investment as innovation is constant and it’s only increasing. We are becoming a culture rife with ingenuity. Entrepreneurialism is contagious. The startup way, or the “hacker life” is introducing new mindsets and models and it inspiring all who taste it to code, design, build, invest, and take risks. Even President Obama is calling for attention and support for startups to revive America’s fragile economy. And this is just the beginning. Innovation is a global movement and it’s gaining momentum.

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If Titanic Had Twitter

Recently we marked 100 years since the R.M.S. Titanic sank in the North Atlantic, taking the lives of over 1,500 souls  with her in those icy waters. And over the last year or so, the commercial side of the enterprise has been heating up at an amazing pace.

The Titanic has always had an allure about it – an amazing feat of engineering that was brought down on its maiden voyage, tales of heroism and chivalry (women and children first), class struggles and unforeseen safety needs. Indeed, it now stands as one of the greatest lessons of all time of man’s hubris in the face of nature, and will forever remind us that we need to plan for the worst possible contingencies despite our confidence in our own technological advances.

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Creating Expert Communities with Tweetchats

In June #MMchat aka #MarketerMonday chat will be held for the 100th time!

Established July 26th, 2010 #MMchat has become a weekly tradition for an ever expanding number of CMOs, marketers and others working in and around the digital social networking space. And all of us at @TheSocialCMO were recently very pleased when #MMchat was named one of the 15 Essential Social Marketing Twitter Chats by Mashable.

One of the most elusive goals of transient social networks remains the creation of sustainable ongoing communities of interest. Tweetchats are an excellent way to not only establish such an expert community, but to also keep it engaged and growing on an ongoing basis.

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Get Ready for Social Marketing Automation!

Today, Marketo is igniting a new era of marketing automation with the acquisition of social campaign management platform Crowd Factory. Together, we will deliver the world’s first integrated Social Marketing Automation solution. This is a wildly exciting time for Marketo!

As our first acquisition, today’s news is directly supportive of our vision to provide the best, most innovative and productive marketing and revenue analytics solutions on the market.  Social marketing campaigns and marketing automation have been like the proverbial two ships passing in the night, with most social marketing tools sitting in silos disconnected from mainstream marketing processes. Today we have changed that game.

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Social Commerce… Shoppers Have the Power

Shoppers want to belong. They want to be heard. They crave a better buying experience. Power is shifting from the retailer to the shopper. Social commerce is filling the void between clicks and bricks to deliver this personalized experience.

Technologies are emerging to answer the challenge. Point of Presence (POP), location based proactive services, are combining with Point of Sale (POS) to influence, persuade, and guide shopping. Artificial reality and virtualization is enhancing interaction. Social media is evolving to Social Commerce to improve the in-store and more importantly the online experience.

Social commerce has been defined as “the use of social technologies to connect, listen, understand and engage to help improve the shopping experience.” I think this is how a brand can use social media, but not what Social Commerce “is.”  It seems that the Social Commerce world is fixated on what they refer to as “frictionless commerce” vs. the value of relationships and how people share, recommend, advocate… AND influence.

The vast majority of discussion I hear centers around how to create direct sales by leveraging the social graph. This is important, but needs to be the final stage, not the way things begin. The relationship has to be built first, which then opens the door to build the emotional connection.  Although most current examples reflect that the companies making the biggest inroads to increased sales are those that allow the most interaction/relationship building it seems most retailers have not been able to let go to that degree.

Brands, not retailers, are the ones doing the best job of nurturing and leveraging relationships. Seems it may be because they do not have the same pressure of next quarter performance, and the need to show direct sales to senior management, so have more leeway to nurture relationships and plan for the future.

The Social Commerce journey starts with curiosity and leads to Advocacy when relationships are allowed to grow and be nurtured. Sharing their great experiences, not just worthwhile products, is the key.  Influencers, when/if they see the value, can create group habit by including the group in the before, during, and after. What seems clear is that it is important that Brands provide the tools to allow/encourage their audience to share the fact that they are buying… via input, reviews, forums… which in turn will enable the “group effect’ to help them grow, build their brand and foster the purchasing behavior.

The Social Consumer is empowered and has influence of her own. Be certain to provide the tools that allow this consumer to leverage the new found power. She wants a dialogue and wants to be heard and recognized.  Influencers do not equal simple amplification of an offer/product value… but add depth and breadth to the relationship.

Facebook is not a channel for commerce, but a platform that can “enable” commerce. Many are mistakenly looking at FB as a channel, although most are quickly realizing this was a mistake and that people are not there to shop, but to share, recommend, and discuss… they are there to “Be Social.”

It seems to me the view/perspective I keep hearing is all about leveraging consumer’s social graph to sell more product. This is important, but when I hear the case studies, and see where true progress is being made, I hear more about interaction, engagement, and sharing… i.e. relationships. When I think about Social Commerce what seems to be the greatest opportunity is growing/nurturing the connection, participation and loyalty of a consumer, which in turn will build ROR… Return on Relationship. This is the first step required to make all this social integration sustainable and long lasting. Relationships are what will lead to the ability to sell more, not using customers to sell more product, but by facilitating/enabling feedback, sharing, reviews, and therefore build dynamic advocates who openly advocate product they love and are passionate about and influence others to do the same.

Remember… when it comes to Social Commerce, SHOPPERS HAVE THE POWER.

Ted Rubin

Yammer Acquires oneDrum to Make Desktop Content Social

Yammer, Inc., the leading provider of Enterprise Social Networks, today announced it has acquired oneDrum, a UK-based software company that offers file sharing and collaboration solutions for businesses. With the acquisition, Yammer will gain powerful desktop sync capabilities, enabling file folders to be shared across multiple users’ desktops. oneDrum also brings collaborative functionality to Microsoft Office applications, allowing multiple authors to work together on Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents in real time.

“Employees spend a huge amount of time working with files, especially in Microsoft Office,” said David Sacks, Yammer CEO. “Through oneDrum, Yammer will incorporate all of that content into the enterprise social graph, making it discoverable and collaborative. Our mission is to create a social layer across the enterprise, bringing together people, content, and conversations across all business applications.”

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Bald Barbie: How Mattel Lost Out on a Huge Opportunity and Allowed a Competitor to Move Into the Dream House.

In early January 2012, a small Facebook page made big news when it suddenly went viral. The page, “Beautiful and Bald Barbie! Let’s see if we can get it made” was conceived to ‘move’ Mattel to produce a bald Barbie doll to help young girls who suffer from hair loss due to cancer treatments, Alopecia or Trichotillomania with self-esteem issues; or to help girls who have trouble coping with their mother’s hair loss due to chemotherapy.

By mid-January, the page grew from a couple of friends with a cause, to a movement of 100,000 plus. Naturally, the mainstream media picked-up on the story and by January 13, our Google News search for “Bald Barbie” generated more than 450 stories from news outlets around the world. This was amazing good news for the cause.

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The 6 Pillars of Social Commerce: Understanding the Psychology of Engagement

Social media is about social science not technology. As such, its value is not realized in the Likenomics of relationship status nor in the scores individuals earn by engaging in social networks. The value of social media comes down to people, relationships, and the meaningful actions between them. As such, its value is measured through the exchange of social currencies that contribute to one’s capital within each network. Through conversations, what we share, and  the content we create, consume and curate, we individually invest in the commerce of information and the relationships that naturally unfold. It is in how these relationships take shape that is both in and out of your control. This is why, in the age of social networking, relevant engagement counts for everything.

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The Multi-Channel Implications of Mobile and Mobile Strategies for Retail

Recently I read some thought-provoking points about the approaches that many retailers are taking toward engaging people on mobile devices. It is clear that the retail business is among the first to experience rapid and permanent change thanks in large part to the ways in which consumers from all walks of life are willingly loading shopping apps onto their phones. People want to use their phones to research goods and services, complete a purchase and engage with brands when and how it’s convenient to them. And that leads to mobile.

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