Kathryn Denton

“Navigating the Interactive Marketplace: Challenges, Trends, and Opportunities”

This evening I attended the “Navigating the Interactive Marketplace”Challenges, Trends, and Opportunities” panel at DePaul and I’m so glad that I did. The event was hosted by the Kellstadt Marketing Center, Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) and the Chicago Interactive Marketing Association (CIMA). The panel consisted of Jennifer Anton-Brand Manager for Miller Genuine Draft, Richard Hren-VP of Customer Insight Group at Razorfish, EJ Schultz, marketing report for Advertising Age, Clive Maclean, CEO at Euro RSCG, and was moderated by Diane Mermigas- adjunct new media professor at DePaul.

As moderator Diane Mermigas had the panelists address three main areas in interactive marketing Social Media: Cracking the Code, How does engagement lead to the transaction?, and Metrics-How do we identify them, apply them, and how do they lead us to the transaction. (As you can see, this was NOT a non-profit based presentation). Sorry but I don’t have quite the energy to break this down into a full discussion post, and I doubt you want to read it as such. I’m just going to write each panelists main points under each area.

Social Media: Cracking the Code

Jennifer Anton: Social Media is all about consumer engagement that is appropriate for your brand. Voice is key in successful social marketing. You have to make sure that the voice you are reaching out to consumers with is appropriate for your brand and is also appropriate for the platform. The voice that you use also has to be unique enough to set you apart from similar brands reaching out to the consumer on that same platform. Example: On a Friday night every beer company posts “Where you are going out tonight? Where’s the party at? etc.” You have to find a creative way to distinguish your brand from them.

Richard Hren: Social Media puts a face on the clique. It allows us to control, and actually have, a conversation. When dealing with brands on social media, participants (re: consumer) of different ages have differing expectations of the results of their engagements. Younger participants who interact more on social media platforms have a lower expectation of getting a response from their involvement with the brand, while older participants, who interact less frequently have a higher expectation of being engaged back.To these points E.J Schultz pointed out some of the obvious pitfalls of social media being that you can’t control the situation or what consumers are saying about you on these platforms

Clive Maclean: We now live in a “Conversation Economy.” It used to be that you wanted your brand to be noticed, now you want it to be talked about. “Conversation is mankind’s natural search engine”. (I love that one). Engagement moves the interaction to become more long-term with higher expectations. Instead of doing 1:1 marketing, we now do 1:1:many-by getting the consumer to engage their own network.

How does your organization go from engagement to the transaction?

Jennifer Anton: You need to make sure you’re not trying to do a “one size fits all” campaign -let people interact how they want to. Examples: Miller has just set up a test relationship with Yelp where when a KBD (Key Beer Drinker) searches under Chicago, any business that sells Miller/Coors products will show up first in the search. Blue Moon has an airport campaign running. If you’re a fan of Blue Moon on Facebook, when you land in any airport that serves Blue Moon (which I guess part of the campaign is that now all of them do), you get a text when you land letting you know where the nearest Blue Moon is (or something to that effect. Since I’m going to Charleston on December 1st, I’ll let you know how it works then).

Richard Hren: What the consumer wants is in the moment. Mobile Devices=the moment. The mobile device will eventually become a preferred payment method.

E.J Schultz: 84% of a brands fans are existing customers. The number of fans that a brand has is not as important as the number of people who are talking about the brand.

Clive Maclean: We need to stop chasing “the next big thing” and focus on getting the basics of marketing down. When the mobile payment device does explode, the money in it won’t come from the payment aspect, but will go to whoever owns the customer interface. Mobile payments are the fight of our lives and the ownership of the data from those transactions will be key.

Metrics of Social Media:

Richard Hren: Basic “click” date (what a customer clicks on) is easy to count, but doesn’t say much. Data on sharing, repeats, etc is better. Focus on what behaviors are indicative of the final sale I.e Does a comment lead to a sale? a Like? a share? Beware of “Data Silos” in your company -where each department (sales team, marketing, etc) has statistics and a certain view of who the customer is, but they are never combined to create the whole image of that customer.

Clive Maclean: Has created a “Customer Engagement Index” that measures how you’re engaged and the spirit of the engagement. It has two dimensions covering the relationship over an 8 part scale ranging from devoted-hatred and then an engagement dimension covering what type of engagement it is. This is tough for me to explain but the link to Clive’s blog about it is available here.

I hope some of this was interesting. There was a bit more flow to the conversation and it was really very well put together, but these were my main take-aways. Just the other day I read a blog post by Martin Weigel-The Head of Planning for Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam titled: “‘Engagement’: Fashionable Yet Bankrupt” which undermined a little what some of the panelists had to say. It was a really long blog post so I won’t go into a discussion here, but you really should read it. I would love to know what these panelists would say in reaction to it.

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