In the old days of the web pseudonyms were the rule. Anonymity was the web’s allure. You could escape from your real life and be whomever you wanted online. Then Facebook happened. Real names, real pictures. Authenticity starts ruling the interweb. And now Twitter. Seems like half the people go with a pseudonym (though most will have a real name in the bio) and the other half go with a real name or a variation involving initials. When a newbie wants to join Twitter, I’m at a loss to advise which format to go with?
I had a conversation about this with a colleague (who goes by his real name on twitter) and his theory was: If you’re going to be tweeting actively and often and you have a clever name, go with that memorable pseudonym. When you rock the twitterverse with your 140 character wit, the pseudonym adds a new dimension, maybe a level of mystique, to your personal brand. On the other hand, you know your real name, others know your real name, it’s your name why not use it? I suppose authors with pen names and actors/musicians with stage names go through a similar thought process…adding more fuel to my long-held belief that social media turns us all into public figures.
Last Monday, I had the pleasure of watching five amazing speakers at the top of their game at The Art of Marketing. Here are some takeaways.
We don’t like throwing around the G-word that often but Avinash is a true guru when it comes to web and social analytics. His blog Occam’s Razor, is a staple on many an analyst’s RSS reading list and he is an impassioned speaker that didn’t pull any punches. Fortunately, none of the companies that he pointed out needing improvements were Edelman clients J. Here were some key points from his talk:
- The greatest thing about digital is that so much of it is measurable. The problem with digital is that a lot of the metrics we use are “glorious data puke”
- We focus too much on the “what” of metrics (visitors, visits) and not enough on the “how” and “why” and “what else”
- Separate the quality visits from the fly-by-night visits so separate out the behaviour of people who see 3 pages or more from the people who see
less. Now among the quality visitors, how did they get to your site (top referring sites, top referring keywords by number of quality visits).
- For the “why” look for mismatches between what people are visiting (why they’re there) and what you’re offering them.
- For the “what else”, of course, look at conversions but look also at the visits that didn’t convert. What did they do? What were they interested in. This gives you an indication of what else you can offer.
- On social analytics: Who cares how many followers you have, how many times were you listed since that means someone is sectioning you off for special attention (though there are a fair number of people who create lists and ignore them). Or number of retweets per 1,000 followers since that shows how engaged your twitter audience is.
- At the end of the day it comes down to what interactions adds economic value…those interactions that have a clear line of site to net income. And what variables are those? Avinash then pointed to a slide by Queen’s University Professor Ken Wong.
- There are four things every analyst should have in their heads at all times: Price, Cost, Market Share, and Market Size. Now map each metric you report to these four variables
“Why do I blog? Because I like irrational adoration.”
“To bloggers, RSS readers are relationships. Visitors are one-night stands.”
“Most web sites suck because Hippos created them.” (HIPPOS = Highest Paid Person’s Opinion)
“HITS: How Idiots Track Success”
“Bounce rate = “I came, I puked, I left”
- Gary Vee is the Tony Robbins of business speakers; a high energy, mile a minute, tour-de-force presence who isn’t afraid to drop an f-bomb to accentuate his point. And here were some of his stronger points:
- The future of business is that what was old is now new again. The small-town store where the owner knew your name and knew about your life, and might have started making your regular order just as you walked in? Social media allows that caring to scale
- The technology is such that big marketers can do 1 to 1 marketing.
- More content is created in 48 hours than in the entire human history from cave paintings to 2003 and you can tell a lot about a person’s preferences from that content. So imagine you were a chain of eateries and you got to know your loyal customers based on their loyalty card information. And you scanned their Amazon wish lists and bought them their favourite book on their birthday and shipped it to them. Wouldn’t that surprise and delight those customers? Wouldn’t they be praising you on every social channel they have? In Vaynerchuk’s vision of the future brands are going to have to act like sports teams and cultivate raving fans…and they’ll be doing it one customer at a time.
“Everyone in social acts like a 19 year old dude. They try to close to early”
“People who win in business are the ones that see what’s coming…More horses were bought before the car was invented. Guess who won?”
“Social media is scaled caring.”
“What is the ROI of your mother?”
Jeff Hayzlett dropped almost as many f-bombs as Gary Vee. I think he was trying to one-up him on the volume. Hayzlett was hired as the CMO of Kodak to turn around the company whose bread and butter product had been rendered virtually obsolete by digital technology. He ended up turning the company from a B2C, to a B2B company. Kodak technology is still a big part of the captured images we see today. A passionate speaker Hayzlett had these thoughts centered on how to bring an “old school” organization into a “new school” way of thinking about marketing. Some talking points:
- Kodak thought its main product was film and that their customers were interested in taking pictures. It wasn’t. People didn’t take pictures, they capture moments.
- What Kodak needed to do was go back to its core. Kodak wasn’t a film company. It was a company that made emotional technology.
- Tell your brand’s story. The first thing that people would take when they ran into their burning house…they’re pictures. They don’t want to lose their memories. That’s a powerful story about a powerful product.
- Marketing used to be about eyeballs and ears. Get your message seen and heard by as many people as possible. Now it’s about hearts and minds. See above point.
“If legal says no, ask, ‘What’s the fine?’”
“HR and Legal’s job isn’t to drag you back. They’re job is to keep you from falling down”
“What’s ROI on social? I don’t know tell me what ROI is on IGNORING”
Dr. Sheena Iyengar has been devoting a good part of her academic career to studying how we make choices. It was a dense and fascinating talk and the following bullet points probably won’t do it justice. After reading this post, click here to see her talk at TED Global.
- North Americans are acculturated to having lots of choices and are drawn to more choices. Paradoxically, the more choices we have the harder it is to make a choice. This results in less commitment, poorer decision quality, and lower satisfaction with our choice.
- The exception to the above rule is experts. Experts have no problem with lots choice because they have the knowledge to understand and spot the differences between choices. They set their criteria, categorize options, cut the categories that don’t apply to them and end up choosing among fewer options than given.
- In North America, we often choose based on what we think that choice says about ourselves. And what we usually want to say is, “I’m unique, but relatable. I’m pretty much the same as you…just a little different.”
- There are three ways for individuals to choose better. Marketers take note because you can use this to help your customers and consumers:
- Cut the number of choices. Eliminate the options, flavours, models, that aren’t that different from the rest
- Categorize the choices. Our brains can process more categories than choice
- Condition your customers for complexity. For example, one of her experiments found that when car company that offered fewer choices per option category at the start and more choices per option category at the end (e.g. pick among 3 interior colours, now pick among 10 exterior colours) people would make more conscious choices. If given the more complex decisions first, they reverted to the default option more often.
“We’re born with an desire to choose but without the knowledge of how to choose”
“Despite the flavor explosion in ice cream, 50% of sales is still chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry”
“People may say what they want is more choices but what they really want is more control”
Guy’s new book is called Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. Enchantment goes beyond persuasion. is not about manipulating people. It transforms situations and relationships. It converts hostility into civility and civility into affinity. It changes the skeptics and cynics into the believers and the undecided into the loyal. Enchantment can happen during a retail transaction, a high-level corporate negotiation, or a Facebook update. And when done right, it’s more powerful than traditional persuasion, influence, or marketing techniques. Some highlights:
3 steps to being likeable
Step 1: Smile. Genuine smiles can be seen in the eyes and the mouth.
Step 2: Dress for a ‘tie’…not so down (lack of respect), not so up (too intimidating, says, “I’m better than you.”)
Step 3: Have a perfect handshake
- Trust is a two-way street but the order goes one way. Trust others first. How? Be a baker, not an eater. An eater figures there’s only one pie and takes as much as possible. A baker knows he/she can bake another pie.
- Great products are deep, intelligent, complete, empowering, and elegant.
- Tell a story, the best stories are short, sweet, and swallowable
- “The best answer to ‘Thank you’ isn’t ‘You’re welcome’. It’s ‘I know you’d do the same’” it accomplishes two things. It says, “I trust that you’re a good person who does good deeds” and it also seeds the idea of, “And I might need that favour reciprocated sometime in the future”
- Presentation tips: Customize the introduction, aim for 10 slides in 20 minutes, and use at least 30 point font.
“A good speaker never goes off track. A great speaker goes off track and later shows you why the off-track part was relevant”
“Apple Computers were originally designed to do spreadsheets and word processing. It turned out that they were great at desktop publishing. What made Apple was…Aldus Pagemaker”
“The best answer to ‘Thank you’ isn’t ‘You’re welcome’. It’s ‘I know you’d do the same’”
I learned a new term the other day from Zeynep Tufekci, one that lawyers use to call information that is essentially accessible but not necessarily easily available…”practical obscurity”.
Think of all the Canadian government documents obtained through the freedom of information act. Yes, we’re free to obtain them but it can be a bit of a hassle to do so. As a result, only a fraction of the documents available through the act are actually obtained or disseminated. But wiki culture is changing that. Wikileaks is opening up our diplomatic cables and corporate files and Wikipedia has become the go to source for settling trivia arguments.
What else has digital technology freed from practical obscurity?
After seeing Gabe Zicherman at Meshmarketing 2010 and after watching several talks from TEDster Jesse Schell, I’m starting to drink the gameified kool-aid. I’m fully convinced that the “game” is the best metaphor for marketing.
A couple weeks ago, I had honour and pleasure of being selected as a delegate at TEDxToronto. Many of you are familiar with TED, the annual ‘meeting of the greatest minds’ where each speaker has no more than 18 minutes to share his idea and get his or her complex point across. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. The theme this year was “A Call to Action” and the speakers were truly inspiring. Here were my faves:
Boonaa Mohammed’s slam poem on economics of prejudice
Bruce Poon Tip on the expanded the triple bottom line (people, planet, profits) to include “passion” and “purpose”
Drew Dudley on leadership and lollipop moments
Trey Anthony’s 1st standing ovation of the day on breaking the boxes people put you in
Not all the videos seem to be posted and I will update this post as I find out they’re up. Big thanks to the organizers and hope I get selected to be a delegate next year.