Monday, May 26, 2008

275 brains for one book

The Age of Conversation 2008 edition.
The number of contributors is more than doubled vs last year.
The topic is: Why Don't people get it?

My two cents is about Keeping secret in the Web 2.0 age.
The incipit is:

You are reading, right here and right now, this page and cannot stop thinking about the process that brought you here.

(1)You heard about the book from one of the fellow bloggers co-authoring it, (2)or from the Facebook group (3)or from the Amazon book suggestion.

Meet my fellow authors:
Adam Crowe, Adrian Ho, Aki Spicer, Alex Henault, Amy Jussel, Andrew Odom, Andy Nulman, Andy Sernovitz, Andy Whitlock, Angela Maiers, Ann Handley, Anna Farmery, Armando Alves, Asi Sharabi, Becky Carroll, Becky McCray, Bernie Scheffler, Bill Gammell, Bob Carlton, Bob LeDrew, Brad Shorr, Bradley Spitzer, Brandon Murphy, Branislav Peric, Brent Dixon, Brett Macfarlane, Brian Reich, C.C. Chapman, Cam Beck, Casper Willer, Cathleen Rittereiser, Cathryn Hrudicka, Cedric Giorgi, Charles Sipe, Chris Kieff, Chris Cree, Chris Wilson, Christina Kerley (CK), C.B. Whittemore, Clay Parker Jones, Chris Brown, Colin McKay, Connie Bensen, Connie Reece, Cord Silverstein, Corentin Monot, Craig Wilson, Daniel Honigman, Dan Goldstein, Dan Schawbel, Dana VanDen Heuvel, Dan Sitter, Daria Radota Rasmussen, Darren Herman, Darryl Patterson, Dave Davison, Dave Origano, David Armano, David Bausola, David Berkowitz, David Brazeal, David Koopmans, David Meerman Scott, David Petherick, David Reich, David Weinfeld, David Zinger, Deanna Gernert, Deborah Brown, Dennis Price, Derrick Kwa, Dino Demopoulos, Doug Haslam, Doug Meacham, Doug Mitchell, Douglas Hanna, Douglas Karr, Drew McLellan, Duane Brown, Dustin Jacobsen, Dylan Viner, Ed Brenegar, Ed Cotton, Efrain Mendicuti, Ellen Weber, Emily Reed, Eric Peterson, Eric Nehrlich, Ernie Mosteller, Faris Yakob, Fernanda Romano, Francis Anderson, G. Kofi Annan, Gareth Kay, Gary Cohen, Gaurav Mishra, Gavin Heaton, Geert Desager, George Jenkins, G.L. Hoffman, Gianandrea Facchini, Gordon Whitehead, Graham Hill, Greg Verdino, Gretel Going & Kathryn Fleming, Hillel Cooperman, Hugh Weber, J. Erik Potter, J.C. Hutchins, James Gordon-Macintosh, Jamey Shiels, Jasmin Tragas, Jason Oke, Jay Ehret, Jeanne Dininni, Jeff De Cagna, Jeff Gwynne, Jeff Noble, Jeff Wallace, Jennifer Warwick, Jenny Meade, Jeremy Fuksa, Jeremy Heilpern, Jeremy Middleton, Jeroen Verkroost, Jessica Hagy, Joanna Young, Joe Pulizzi, Joe Talbott, John Herrington, John Jantsch, John Moore, John Rosen, John Todor, Jon Burg, Jon Swanson, Jonathan Trenn, Jordan Behan, Julie Fleischer, Justin Flowers, Justin Foster, Karl Turley, Kate Trgovac, Katie Chatfield, Katie Konrath, Kenny Lauer, Keri Willenborg, Kevin Jessop, Kris Hoet, Krishna De, Kristin Gorski, Laura Fitton, Laurence Helene Borei, Lewis Green, Lois Kelly, Lori Magno, Louise Barnes-Johnston, Louise Mangan, Louise Manning, Luc Debaisieux, Marcus Brown, Mario Vellandi, Mark Blair, Mark Earls, Mark Goren, Mark Hancock, Mark Lewis, Mark McGuinness, Mark McSpadden, Matt Dickman, Matt J. McDonald, Matt Moore, Michael Hawkins, Michael Karnjanaprakorn, Michelle Lamar, Mike Arauz, Mike McAllen, Mike Sansone, Mitch Joel, Monica Wright, Nathan Gilliatt, Nathan Snell, Neil Perkin, Nettie Hartsock, Nick Rice, Oleksandr Skorokhod, Ozgur Alaz, Paul Chaney, Paul Hebert, Paul Isakson, Paul Marobella, Paul McEnany, Paul Tedesco, Paul Williams, Pet Campbell, Pete Deutschman, Peter Corbett, Phil Gerbyshak, Phil Lewis, Phil Soden, Piet Wulleman, Rachel Steiner, Sreeraj Menon, Reginald Adkins, Richard Huntington, Rishi Desai, Beeker Northam, Rob Mortimer, Robert Hruzek, Roberta Rosenberg, Robyn McMaster, Roger von Oech, Rohit Bhargava, Ron Shevlin, Ryan Barrett, Ryan Karpeles, Ryan Rasmussen, Sam Huleatt, Sandy Renshaw, Scott Goodson, Scott Monty, Scott Townsend, Scott White, Sean Howard, Sean Scott, Seni Thomas, Seth Gaffney, Shama Hyder, Sheila Scarborough, Sheryl Steadman, Simon Payn, Sonia Simone, Spike Jones, Stanley Johnson, Stephen Collins, Stephen Cribbett, Stephen Landau, Stephen Smith, Steve Bannister, Steve Hardy, Steve Portigal, Steve Roesler, Steven Verbruggen, Steve Woodruff, Sue Edworthy, Susan Bird, Susan Gunelius, Susan Heywood, Tammy Lenski, Terrell Meek, Thomas Clifford, Thomas Knoll, Tiffany Kenyon, Tim Brunelle, Tim Buesing, Tim Connor, Tim Jackson, Tim Longhurst, Tim Mannveille, Tim Tyler, Timothy Johnson, Tinu Abayomi-Paul, Toby Bloomberg, Todd Andrlik, Troy Rutter, Troy Worman, Uwe Hook, Valeria Maltoni, Vandana Ahuja, Vanessa DiMauro, Veronique Rabuteau, Wayne Buckhanan, William Azaroff, Yves Van Landeghem

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

WOM and its metrics

On April, there was in Milan the first Wom Summit, organized by Reed Business Information.
I gave the workshop about Wom and its metrics.
These are my slides.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The safe way in troubled times

With recession hitting the markets and a quest for accountability of each single dollar spent in communication, there an interesting trend that I wish to understand better.

Communication budegt for online is the less affected by the downspending trend.
But within the allocation, Sem is getting the biggest share.
Now, my question is rather simple:

Is Sem the top choice because it works?
Or it is the choice because of predictable results, while others are still missing reliable metrics?

This is key interpretation to me, because it may design a conservative approach to marketing online while, quoting David Ogilvy, testing is crucial in any communication activity.

Will the companies that have already embraced and tested online activity gain momentum while the others are lagging behind?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

New conversation, new meaning to words

There are words that had changed their meaning as time pass by.
And there are words that are changing it or that are just on their way to do so.

One of this may be awareness.
In marketing and advertising, awareness is the indicator of how known is a brand, a product.
Some equation:

a) The higher the adv. budget, the higher the awareness.
b) The higher the awareness, the easier to sell a good.

The quest for awareness has been the engine of the advertising world in the last, say, 30/40 years, maybe more, and the pillar of the marketing activities.

Today, I would like to suggest a new meaning in marketing for the word awareness.

Awareness as understanding, insight, knowledge.

The new awareness related to the Web 2.0 and social media that companies must develop not through massive adv. investment but through a real comprehension of their inner strenghten and weakness, of the inner nature of their brands and products, and more and more crucial the true perception and sentiment of the common people towards you, your company, your brand.

A time consuming scanning process, someone may say.
A wise investment, I would call it.

This is, to me, the awareness that companies should look for because it’s via this awareness that they can enter in markets more and more fragmented with a discerning approach.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The myth of working less or die trying

While there is someone out there cashing on the myth of working far less, no more than 4 hours a week, most of marketers, communicators, advertisers, agencies all over the world do work far more.

I have some thoughts I want to share with you:

- fragmentation is urging to get not only the big pictures but all the pixels, too

(pic by julianbleecker from Flickr)

- matching new forms of communication with old business and reporting models does seem a try to break a Guinness world record of people squeezed in a phone boot
- conversation with customers does call for a far deeper knowledge of your business and your company: you never know what kind of question or issue may arise and must be quick in answering

Some answers?

- To spread the company culture
- To create internal metrics to measure the success of marketing activity
- To implement online marketing suites to manage complexity of data
- To shift and delegate brand image activity to internal evangelists
- To support external evangelists

There is a common ground in all these answers: knowledge.
Today and tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, knowledge is and will be the most valuable asset to work better, if not less.

Knowing before and anticipating issues and catching opportunity is the way to stay ahead.
You should no longer surf the waves but, as extreme skiers do, run ahead the avalanche.
(pic by Your new friend Pete from Flickr)

Friday, May 09, 2008

Why Italy is a small country

Lately, an Italian blogger an journalist, Marco Montemagno, sent out invitation for the launch of Current, Al Gore's tv channel.
Invitation was limited in numbers.
This created a huge discussion in the blogosphere: why he invited him and not me, why I'm not mentioned, etc.
The situation was really embarassing to me, as I watch the blogsphere from my specific point of view of being italian but living the international blogosphere and blogging in english (at least, I'm trying to do so).
My feeling was of a small world of jealousy, poor or not at all sens of community, no willing to share.

On the other side of the Ocean, a very good friend and blogging star (quoted in the The New York Times), Tim Jackson aka Masiguy had an horrible crush in cycling race.
The unofficial community of bloggers, lead by Blue squirrel, start to support him with thoughts, prays and money (the US medical system is rather expensive, to say the least).
A Paypal account was established in 24 hours, comments flocked to the blogger keeping the community updated on Tim's health condition.

The Web and the new form of communication are all about sharing, sharing knowledge, sharing friendship, sharing experience.

And I begun to think if this model could never been established in this small italian blogosphere.
And I have no answer.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

DIY Social Networks? Cool!

Yesterday I joined the IAB Forum in Rome, where I heard triumphant voices about the future of advertising on line, though in a rather old manner.
Today I came through this post at Social Media Insider, from Catharine P.Taylor,titled

Is It Time For DIY Social Networks?

Why I connect the two facts?

Because I agree on the fact that the future is in small but focused Social Networks, connecting people with attitude, while the Social hubs, as Facebook, MySpace and Bebo, will be crowded by marginal audiences.
And advertising is today running behind the Social hubs, trying to figure out a way to make money and it may catch them when the crucial targets will already be on the leave.

Monday, May 05, 2008

One million dollar question

While we are focused on get customers and prospects engaged, there is one single and straight preliminary question:

are you ready to get your brand engaged?

If you do not ask this question in complete transparency and honesty, beware of the consequence of asking clients to be once more time creditors to your company