Seduce and Enjoy – Engaging and Entertaining your Audience

Coaching-seduction

Some time ago I planned to write an article about the increasing importance and value of Event Marketing.  I planned the headline and the picture as I do to get  the story in my head as i do every time, when I start thinking about what I will  write about.

But this is not the article I planned to write on why Event Marketing needs to be a key component in every brand building and sales campaign these days.

The more I thought about the importance of Event Marketing and adding High Touch in a High Tech world was important I realised most EVENTS are missing some key components and we have not changed the basic way we do events of all types in business. The two key elements overlooked or lacking for all manner of reasons, not the least of which is we avoid things that are new and disruptive, are Event Media (as opposed to Marketing) and Event Presentation (as opposed to Production) …. as they just become part of the Marketing or Management and don’t get the focus deserved these days in a much changed world because they get squeezed out in a largely operational budgeting exercise. Continue reading Seduce and Enjoy – Engaging and Entertaining your Audience

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Dont leave it to the “experts”!

With 25 years experience in the IT industry and more recently using IT services to help my clients build their brands and business .. I am always concerned that IT tends to see budget and good as mutually exclusive.

Recently I saw a response to a request in LinkedIn for an iPhone app developer that was asking if budget or good were the key criteria for selection.

And when I see those words as options in one sentence generally get me on my soapbox. Too often it appears that IT people are prone to over quoting and under delivering.

Having been part of the problem in the 80s and 90s I understand that it is the lack of clarity in definition and specification by the end user that often causes costs to be higher than they should.

But I know also that ignorance by end users can lead to bliss for some providers who charge way too much and deliver way too little.

Too often these days I come across clients who have spend many thousands on websites that deliver nothing. They have been designed and developed by Techos and / or Graphic artists around look and feel whilst ignoring the most important aspect – that it is the content – Call to Action, Stories, Testimonials etc. – that drives interest!!

This has probably resulted from a lack of involvement by those that best understand the business and the clients and have left it to the “experts”.

So my message is dont pay too much by making sure that you are clear in difining what your clients, prospects and stakeholders expect from your investment and not just leave it to the “experts”.

I dont want to see IT viewed like lawyers and the like by charging too much because they know the rules and assume the clients’ ignorance.

So before you call in the “experts” make sure you know what your expected outcomes are … or keep your money in your pocket.

And that is one reason I have stuck with one provider for 10 years … he makes sure I get my outcomes right before he starts the meter running.

WARNING!!!!

This video sums up my point very well…. but if colouful language and esp the f… word and sexual references are likely to offend please don’t bother!!!

Want Proof? ROI? its in the numbers…

Social media is an ever increasing hot topic of the digital world and I often get asked about the various statistics involved. This in itself is fairly difficult, as the online sphere is constantly shifting, evolving and growing at an amazing rate. But I put together some stats for a recent speaking engagement with a focus on Australia…. they are interesting (and hopefully useful) facts and figures…..

But if you dont wont to wade through the numbers and need to be convinced … just watch the latest video from Socialonmics above.

Bear in mind that given these are figures from July a lot of it is likely to be obsolete –  but it is indicative, I think they’re a great way of demonstrating the impact that social media is having in the marketing, sales and client service landscape.

YouTube

* If YouTube were a country, it would be the third most-populated place in the world.

* 20 hours-worth of video is uploaded to the site every single minute.

* comScore recently announced that the site had surpassed 100m viewers in the USA alone. They also reported that this US audience consumed over 6bn videos at the beginning of this year.

* According to Youtube themselves, over half of users visit the site at least once a week

Facebook

According to Facebook’s internal statistics:

* The site has more than 250m active users globally (now November 09 – 300 mill)

* More than 120m users log on to Facebook at least once each day and more than 30 million users update their statuses at least once each day. Combined, more than 5bn minutes are spent on the site on a daily basis.

* The average user has around 120 friends on the site.

* Every single month, more than a billion photos are uploaded to the site.

* More than 50 translations are available on the site, with more than 40 in development.

* Mobile is a big issue, with more than 30m active users accessing the site through mobile devices. It’s well documented that users who access Facebook through mobile devices are almost 50% more active than those who don’t.

MySpace

* Although now overtaken by Facebook, MySpace is the second largest social network, experiencing in excess of 60m unique users each month.

* MySpace apparently reaches 30% of UK adults aged 15-24 – it’s been suggested that its as common to have a MySpace account in the UK as it is to own a dog.

  • According to Knol, MySpace has more than 115m active monthly users globally with, on average, 300,000 new people signing up to the site every day.

Twitter

* Over the past twelve months, Twitter’s year-on-year growth rate has broken the 1000% barrier.

* The company holds exact numbers close to their chest, but it’s estimated that Twitter currently has between 6 – 10m global users and this is growing rapidly.

* According to a recent report on Twitter usage by Sysomos, 5% of Twitter users account for 75% of all activity and that 72.5% of all users joining during the first five months of 2009.

* The same report found that over 50% of all updates are published using mobile and Web-based tools, other than Twitter.com’s own website.

* It also found that Tuesday is the most active day for Tweeting, followed by Wednesday and then Friday.

* Hitwise recently reported that one out of every 350 website visits in the UK is via Twitter, but barely 5% of users currently go to an online retail service through the medium.

* Not really a stat, but still quite a cool piece of info: Twitter is now officially a term in the English Dictionary.

Other General Stats

* Social networks and blogs are the 4th most popular online activities online, including beating personal email. 67% of global users visit member communities and 10% of all time spent on the internet is on social media sites.

* If Facebook were a country, it would be the fourth most populated place in the world. This means it easily beats the likes of Brazil, Russia and Japan in terms of size.*

* 80% of companies use, (or are planning to use), LinkedIn as their primary tool to find employees during the course of this year. The site has just celebrated reaching its 45-millionth membership.

* Around 64% of marketers are using social media for 5 hours or more each week during campaigns, with 39% using it for 10 or more hours per week.

* It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million listeners. Terrestrial TV took 13 years to reach 50 million users. The internet took four years to reach 50 million people… In less than nine months, Facebook added 100 million users.

* Wikipedia currently has more than 13 million articles in more than 260 different languages. The site attracts over 60 million unique users a month and it’s often hotly debated that the information it contains is more reliable than any printed Encyclopaedia.

* The most recent figure of blogs being indexed by Technorati currently stands at 133 million. The same report into the Blogosphere also revealed that on average, 900,000 blog posts are created within a single 24-hour period.

* It’s been suggested that YouTube is likely to serve over 75 billion video streams to around 375 million unique visitors during this year.

* The top three people on Twitter (Ashton Kutcher, Ellen DeGeneres and Britney Spears) have more combined followers than the entire population of Austria.*

* According to Socialnomics, if you were paid $1 for every time an article was posted on Wikipedia, you would earn $156.23 per hour.

* The online bookmarking service, Delicious, has more than five million users and over 150 million unique bookmarked URLs.

* Since April this year, Twitter has been receiving around 20 million unique visitors to the site each month, according to some analytical sources.

* Formed in 2004, Flickr now hosts more than 3.6 billion user images.

* Universal McCann reports that 77% of all active internet users regularly read blogs.

Here are So9me Up to Date and Local Australia figures

At yesterday’s Digital Marketing and Media Summit in Melbourne there was a session by Mark Higginson, Director of Analytics at Nielsen Online.

Mark shared some interesting new research from Nielsen Online today about Facebook and social media usage here in Australia:

* 8 hours/month:  Australians spend on average 8 hours/month on Facebook

* 29% = Facebook: Nearly 30 percent of all time online in Australia is spent on Facebook

* Australia Leads: Australians spend more time on average per month using social media (any social media site, not just Facebook) than any other country (7:12 hours/month per Australian on average)

* 8 million Aussies: the current number of facebook.com users is 8 million Australians/month

* 13.7 million overall: there are 13.7 million active monthly Internet users in Australia

I think these statistics are remarkable because they show that Australians are doing more than checking out sites like Facebook and Twitter, setting up an account, and then abandoning the sites after a short amount of time. That’s a common refrain of non-believers out there. We Australians are, as Mark correctly observed, addicted

LinkedIN

50 million members worldwide

Average age 41

60/40 Male/Female

Average salary $109,000

Representing 200 professions in 120 countries

Highly self regulated … all white collar professionals

In  Australia membership approaching 1 million

In South Australia  around 30,000 growing at close to 1,000 per week

Just appointed their first employee in Aust – the ex Aust CEO of Yahoo Aust!!

… and released new features to integrate with Outlook and Twitter

Is your business like China or Iran?

banned in chinaIf yours is one of many companies that bans the use of FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter etc then you have much in common with China and Iran!

Although in recent times Twitter has been used very successfully as the medium to transmit more info about the situation in Iran there than CNN or any of the mainstream media!

There are many things that amuse me about an office ban on Twitter etc as I have said before (Smoke or Surf) but none more than a company that proclaims they are very keen to hire more young people and/or a younger market.

Millennials and GenYs who see that their prospective employer has such a policy will almost certainly not be interested. So make sure you demonstrate the outlook and attitude younger people are looking for, if you want to acquire them.

Although it seems crazy in current times to focus heavily on young talent (and succession planning) to bypass the deep and wide pool of talented Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

So there is one use for Social Media it seems – even non believers may seem some use for .. attracting young employees. And while they are to be found on social media sites so are people of all ges and demographic so why limit your prospecting because what you will find are people who will want to work for a company that demonstrates a commitment to fresh ideas and new ways of thinking. But also the same applies to consumers and potential clients not just to potential employees.

But why would you want o hire someone you found on social media site wen your company blocks use of such site. Well perhaps you should not! Instead you should have a social media strategy these days and it should e alignment with your mantra,values an vision. If you overstate your commitment to new technologies by banning he for example employees and consumer may will be very turned off.

But how will they know you ask! because social media is the ultimate watchdog. There are now sites springing up that list everything you may want to now about a company, especially as a prospective employee . Glassdoor is one such site, listing Reviews, Salaries by Job Class, Media stories, blog entries etc for 26,000 plus companies.

In summary the benefits of using social media to hire staff…

You will be better prepared after reading the applicants personal and professional bio and recommendations (eg on LinkedIn & FaceBook) watched their video/s on YouTube, read their blog and checked their tweets

They will be more prepared after looking at you website, reading your blog, connecting with some current emplyees on LinkedIn, looking for info on sites like Glassdoor.com and read comments on your Facebook fan page. They will certainly know more than they ever did from the mareketing speak on the standard brochure like website. They may indeed decide that you dont fit them!!

And now their is a new term in recruitment Onboarding. From day one they may recognise some of your people from their Twitter photos or LinkedIn profiles. They will probably already “know” a few people from meeting them on LinkedIn or Facebook. Life will be easier from Day One ….they wont be faced with asking random starners where to find the nearest toilet. They will feel at home and as such productive much sooner.

The times they are a changing… thank goodness!!

dunkindonutsWe all know that the pace of change is now faster than ever. But on a day when Kodak announced the death of Kodachrome which 74 years ago revolutionised colour film and went on tto be an iconic brand, I am still bemused by peoples reluctance to accept the benefits that Web 2.o etc can bring.

The fact that I am in bed writing this on my SmartPhone which is linked to the wireless network that drives several other devices in the house is further evidence of what is happening around us daily… yet many won’t embrace it.

The Media section of The Australian Newspaper which once only talked of Radio, TV and Print this week featured a major story on each if its six pages on Web 2.0 tools and technologies … Twitter, blogs, YouTube, MySpace all featured in big bold headlines along with articles on the the web helping newspapers survive and measuring website hits.

And now I read in Chris Brogan’s Blog of a new iPhone app to make it easier. Introducing Dunkin Run. The tool is just a simple ordering and setup tool that lets you email or text your friends, tell them when you’re leaving, and give them the option of ordering stuff from Dunkin’ Donuts. A great use of the available technology to make life easier for people to do business with you.

But there is some light appearing and a chance that the Grumpy Old Manager will embrace Social Media Marketing … especially when our Guide is released this week!!

The latest research by Pew Research shows that in the US adoption of Broadband in the home is growing rapidly at a time when people, due to economic circumstances, are cancelling or cutting back on cable TV (22%) and mobile phones (19%)

While the rate of broadband take up grew only 1% in 2008 it has grown by 6% to 63% up to April 2009.

In the past 12 months the 65 or older segment has gone from 19% to 30% and those 50 – 64 from 50% to 61%.

Interestingly the highest growth rates (34%) came from those in the lower income groups. While the well educated and well paid group remained stable at 85% adoption of broadband in the home.

So all people, especially older people, are increasingly using the Internet at home … as such it is a great place to reach key consumer groups more than ever.

Smoke or Surf

smokers

For some time I have debated with many clients their policies of banning access to Social Networks and Media Sites at work.

They are happy for their people to Smoke breaks – which waste time and lead to more ill health and lost time.  They don’t insist on other healthy practices (exercise, drinking water etc ..) to avoid illness… but they ban Facebook.

Probably becasuse they dont get it!!!

Now there is a term for it “workplace Internet leisure browsing,” (WILB) and evidence that it is good for productivity

Now a recent University of Melbourne study showed that people who use the Internet for personal reasons at work are about 9 percent more productive that those who do not

Study author Brent Coker, from the department of management and marketing, said on the University’s website WILB, helped to improve’ concentration.

“People need to zone out for a bit to get back their concentration,”

“Short and unobtrusive breaks, such as a quick surf of the Internet, enables the mind to rest itself, leading to a higher total net concentration for a days’ work, and as a result, increased productivity,” he said.

They studied the habits  of 300 workers, and found that 70 percent of people who use the Internet at work engage in WILB.

As expected they were searching for information about products, reading online news sites, playing online games and watching videos on YouTube.

So whilst companies are spending money blocking access or implementing bans they may be missing productivity and they are certainly missing the opportunity for their people to develop Social Networking and Media skills that can benefit the business in mnay ways.

There is a possible downside though as Mr C said “Those who behave with Internet addiction tendencies will have a lower productivity than those without,” .

So I will now send to my clients another email .. this time backed by research … but I am sure once again deaf ears will prevail.