Archive | July 2013

Pass The Idea – creating group genius

A cloud-based service that “helps everyone have more, better ideas”

  • Horse’s Mouth – Christoph Drefers and Richard Lee
  • July 17th, 2013
  • By StopPress Team

landscape illustrationChristoph Drefers (left) and Richard Lee. Photo: Sim Ahmed

Pass The Idea, a cloud-based service that ‘helps everybody have more, better ideas’, has worked with local companies like DB, Frucor, Ara Wines and NZ Lotteries. It’s also got a few more big projects on the go, and, after receiving a grant from the Callaghan Innovation Fund, the two founders are planning on taking the upgraded platform to the world.

On the beginning [Lee]:  “We both come from corporate backgrounds and have worked for multinationals in various parts of the world, mainly in marketing roles where innovation is a key component. And we always had a sense of frustration about the traditional ways of ideation. The classic corporate approach is ‘hey, we need a whole bunch of ideas, let’s get some execs in a room and start brainstorming.’ There’s a lot of research around creativity, and it demonstrates that this approach has a lot of constraints and drawbacks. In particular, the idea of groupthink. So in order to get a breakthrough you really need to have a mix of inside ideas colliding with outside ideas and that’s where this germ of an idea came from, where the ideal way of generating ideas is to actually ideate individually first and then come together with the outputs as a group.”

On how it works [Drefers]: “We talk about creating group genius and one of the keys is to have this diversity, so we make sure the brains are in the virtual room. That’s why we have a global network called Pass the Idea (PTI) Agents. These are senior marketers and senior executives, and there’s now 100 of them located around the world who can be brought into these challenges to provide a fresh perspective. You can get diversity from inside a company, particularly if it’s a large one. But PTI also allows us to mix other outside elements, like agency partners, lead users or brand advocates … As part of the process we provide a context to participants—about 250 words—that explains the challenge. But we don’t name the brand. Or the country … There is a small incentive. US$1,000 and US$500 for the best and second best idea respectively as voted by the client at the end of the challenge. But the people we have aren’t motivated by getting a thousand bucks. They like the competition and the bragging rights. We don’t disclose the winning agents’ identities to other agents. But we do go out and we say ‘here’s a challenge, here’s the winning idea and the agent came from the UK and they work in this industry and the money’s on the way, well done’. So everybody else sees it.”

On the agents [Lee]: “It started with our own personal networks and it was then built on referrals after that. My background was North America and Australia and Christoph worked in the UK, Europe and South America. The whole development process was one of co-creation, so we did everything with this hardcore group of around 20 ‘foundation agents’. Whenever we didn’t know what to do, we just asked our network and we’re really strong on that. We still run a PTI on PTI on how we can improve. That’s the idea. And that’s the best product development you can do. We’ve now expanded the network to India, Singapore and working on going beyond that to other parts of Asia.”

On fun and inspiration [Drefers]: “You don’t get good quality ideas from people who do it to get a hundred Fly Buys points. We had ongoing feedback on the actual PTI process from the agents. And we kept asking them ‘why do you keep participating?’ And it’s because it’s actually fun. It’s a great way of interacting and generating new ideas. And research shows fun is a lot better for creativity than deadlines and pressure … There’s a guy in France in our network who runs a billion dollar global baking soda business and so for him to jump out of that category and into something completely new sparks ideas that he can actually bring back into his business. It triggers something that they can apply back to their own domain. That’s the key …The way that we look at it, creativity’s like a muscle: you can make it stronger by practising.”

On serendipity [Lee]: “A lot of innovation tends to come from that combination or collision of intellectual property inside a company with stuff that’s going on outside. And the classic example is Gutenberg. He happened to live in the Rhine Valley and was exposed to wine growing and the wooden wine screw press. And it was actually combining that idea of a wooden wine press with an innovation around moveable type that led to the makings of the printing press. So the whole idea of diversity is actually really important.”

On a better approach to NPD [Drefers]: “In order to have really good stuff pop out the other end you need to have a lot of good quality ideas coming in the funnel at the beginning. Research shows companies that have a system to actually generate more and better ideas tend to be more successful in the market and financially …  We’re doing an innovation project at the moment for a major FMCG company, and they’re a classic example of the Stage-Gate process, which is basically project management; how to make it happen. The innovation happens before and one way you can always tell is that in many companies whatever goes into the Stage-Gate process will come out, so it’s not really a filtering mechanism. It’s a funnel not a tunnel! There’s usually no structure around the idea generation stage that precedes the Stage Gate. You ask companies ‘how do you come up with these ideas that go in?’ and it’ll be something like ‘marketing comes up with them’. But what about the rest of the organisation? They have ideas, too, but even in marketing, how do they come up with the ideas? They do some research and something pops up, but there’s no discipline to it, so we are quite hopeful that PTI can help at that point. It can also deliver against the task of driving the innovation culture of the company.”

On direction [Drefers]: “There are some systems around, which are like ‘if anybody has an idea, then put it in the box’. Then nothing happens. The box might be virtual or real or both, but we haven’t found any company that has a directed idea generation process that is built around a business challenge. This is really important with PTI. You need a frame of reference and that’s all we’re saying. The definition of ‘better’ is ideas that are actually relevant to the business because it’s easy to generate a thousand ideas but if it’s not relevant there’s no value in it and all they create is complexity that nobody needs.”

On pre-loading: [Lee]: “We’ve all done it. We arrive at the conference on day one and if there’s an ideation session it’ll start from scratch and it takes a long time to get warmed up and into the subject. But the most efficient way of going about something like that is to use PTI to ideate individually for that event. The process spits out all the ideas but with the best idea at the top, so what actually happens face to face, when you’re at the conference, is you can immediately switch into figuring out how to make them happen. Shell’s global lubricants team out of the Hague commissioned PTI to run a challenge that included the marketers and the PTI agent network … We got feedback that it was a significant step up from the same conference the previous year which, for us, is a key metric. In the output, when you look at the top 20 ideas that came through, they were split 50/50 between Shell staff and agents, which was really interesting and gratifying. The assessment of all ideas was only done by Shell staff but they didn’t know whether the ideas had come from other Shell people or from the external group. And that’s a key part of the scheme. No-one knows who the idea is from, so it’s based on its merit.”

On making it happen [Drefers]: “What gets done with the ideas is beyond what we do. It’s their territory … We’re not like a crowd-sourcing platform. This is not made for people to send out briefs and then get something back. This is a conceptual planning tool. We have lots of discussions with clients who want to be too specific around promotional ideas or something like that and we say ‘look, this is not actually what this is designed for’. The language throughout the process is always about thinking big, being positive, aiming for breakthrough etc. This goes back to the very beginning. We see a lot of incremental ideas. Every business has them but nobody needs more of them, so this is really a tool to create something that’s completely different.”

On stealing agencies’ thunder [Drefers]: “We’ve talked to a few and, while agencies should be the easiest to convince, they’re hard nuts to crack because they see it as their area, they think that they own that. Quite early on in the conversation with one agency group the question was ‘are you here because you’re wanted by the clients or do you want to be part of our group?’ That was really encouraging. And that question showed the ambiguity around whether this is a competitive model or something that helps them … There’s a lot of debate about the advertising agency of the future. And agencies of the future will be creating products with clients, starting with idea generation and all the way through to popping something out at the end.  We encourage clients to use their advertising agencies. It’s always the same line from us, the more diverse the better. It’s really worth the effort because it adds so much value.”

On cultural differences [Drefers]: “When we discuss challenges with clients, they might say ‘look, I’m really specific, I don’t really think anybody outside my industry, let alone outside this country, would be able to relate to that.’ We have those discussions all the time. Every client thinks their business is special and nobody is able to help them. But most client challenges are familiar across industries and markets. So we haven’t found any challenge that didn’t benefit from an outside perspective, as long as the challenge is clear and the participating crowd intelligent.”

On ranking ideas [Lee]: “At the outset we got all the ideas and we ranked them ourselves, manually making sense out of them and strategising the output. And that of course limits our ability to scale up. We thought there must be a better way, so we activated the wisdom of the participating crowd and invented another step called an ideas auction, where a list of around 30 to 40 ideas come back to all the participants and everybody gets assigned with a virtual investment fund of one million dollars. People put their money behind those ideas they think would really make a difference in terms of generating breakthrough solutions. And the system adds that up across all participants and that’s how it creates the prioritisation. It’s mimicking an actual business process: where are we going to allocate that resource for all these ideas we have? But they don’t get to look at their own ideas. That’s why it’s called Pass the Idea.”

On the next stage [Drefers]: “Some of our development for stage two is around different cycle times. PTI’s projects have been run over a period of three weeks in the past [it costs between five and twenty thousand dollars to run a project], but with the upgraded platform we can actually run challenges very quickly, so if you want to run a challenge over 12 hours for a key account team that wants to turn around a promotional idea in a day, you can. And to get that diversity you could invite not just other key account managers, but you could invite field staff, or retailers, or consumers and brand advocates. For instance, if the marketing director has a monthly meeting and you just need a bit of a different impetus, you can now run PTI over four hours in the morning. The research tells us that’s a better way to create new solutions than to keep doing the same thing.”

On working in the world [Lee]: “We’re going to stop selling exclusively face-to-face and set it up on a platform that is able to handle a large number of challenges at the same time so we can sell to the world as software-as-a-service. We’re also looking to license it for companies that like the system and want to set it up and run as many challenges as they want in any one year … We’ve also created a select community of what we will call something like ‘super agents’, the really engaged participants who have proven themselves through the normal challenges. This is an opportunity to take that smaller group of people into a different participation model, more as consultants, where you get something every time you participate as opposed to the wider pool where you might win something.”

  • This story originally appeared in the July/August edition of NZ Marketing.

~ Curated by TME World of Marketing, July 2013.

Source: http://www.stoppress.co.nz/blog/2013/07/horses-mouth-christoph-drefers-and-richard-lee

Pass The Idea – creating group genius

A cloud-based service that “helps everyone have more, better ideas”

  • Horse’s Mouth – Christoph Drefers and Richard Lee
  • July 17th, 2013
  • By StopPress Team

landscape illustrationChristoph Drefers (left) and Richard Lee. Photo: Sim Ahmed

Pass The Idea, a cloud-based service that ‘helps everybody have more, better ideas’, has worked with local companies like DB, Frucor, Ara Wines and NZ Lotteries. It’s also got a few more big projects on the go, and, after receiving a grant from the Callaghan Innovation Fund, the two founders are planning on taking the upgraded platform to the world.

On the beginning [Lee]:  “We both come from corporate backgrounds and have worked for multinationals in various parts of the world, mainly in marketing roles where innovation is a key component. And we always had a sense of frustration about the traditional ways of ideation. The classic corporate approach is ‘hey, we need a whole bunch of ideas, let’s get some execs in a room and start brainstorming.’ There’s a lot of research around creativity, and it demonstrates that this approach has a lot of constraints and drawbacks. In particular, the idea of groupthink. So in order to get a breakthrough you really need to have a mix of inside ideas colliding with outside ideas and that’s where this germ of an idea came from, where the ideal way of generating ideas is to actually ideate individually first and then come together with the outputs as a group.”

On how it works [Drefers]: “We talk about creating group genius and one of the keys is to have this diversity, so we make sure the brains are in the virtual room. That’s why we have a global network called Pass the Idea (PTI) Agents. These are senior marketers and senior executives, and there’s now 100 of them located around the world who can be brought into these challenges to provide a fresh perspective. You can get diversity from inside a company, particularly if it’s a large one. But PTI also allows us to mix other outside elements, like agency partners, lead users or brand advocates … As part of the process we provide a context to participants—about 250 words—that explains the challenge. But we don’t name the brand. Or the country … There is a small incentive. US$1,000 and US$500 for the best and second best idea respectively as voted by the client at the end of the challenge. But the people we have aren’t motivated by getting a thousand bucks. They like the competition and the bragging rights. We don’t disclose the winning agents’ identities to other agents. But we do go out and we say ‘here’s a challenge, here’s the winning idea and the agent came from the UK and they work in this industry and the money’s on the way, well done’. So everybody else sees it.”

On the agents [Lee]: “It started with our own personal networks and it was then built on referrals after that. My background was North America and Australia and Christoph worked in the UK, Europe and South America. The whole development process was one of co-creation, so we did everything with this hardcore group of around 20 ‘foundation agents’. Whenever we didn’t know what to do, we just asked our network and we’re really strong on that. We still run a PTI on PTI on how we can improve. That’s the idea. And that’s the best product development you can do. We’ve now expanded the network to India, Singapore and working on going beyond that to other parts of Asia.”

On fun and inspiration [Drefers]: “You don’t get good quality ideas from people who do it to get a hundred Fly Buys points. We had ongoing feedback on the actual PTI process from the agents. And we kept asking them ‘why do you keep participating?’ And it’s because it’s actually fun. It’s a great way of interacting and generating new ideas. And research shows fun is a lot better for creativity than deadlines and pressure … There’s a guy in France in our network who runs a billion dollar global baking soda business and so for him to jump out of that category and into something completely new sparks ideas that he can actually bring back into his business. It triggers something that they can apply back to their own domain. That’s the key …The way that we look at it, creativity’s like a muscle: you can make it stronger by practising.”

On serendipity [Lee]: “A lot of innovation tends to come from that combination or collision of intellectual property inside a company with stuff that’s going on outside. And the classic example is Gutenberg. He happened to live in the Rhine Valley and was exposed to wine growing and the wooden wine screw press. And it was actually combining that idea of a wooden wine press with an innovation around moveable type that led to the makings of the printing press. So the whole idea of diversity is actually really important.”

On a better approach to NPD [Drefers]: “In order to have really good stuff pop out the other end you need to have a lot of good quality ideas coming in the funnel at the beginning. Research shows companies that have a system to actually generate more and better ideas tend to be more successful in the market and financially …  We’re doing an innovation project at the moment for a major FMCG company, and they’re a classic example of the Stage-Gate process, which is basically project management; how to make it happen. The innovation happens before and one way you can always tell is that in many companies whatever goes into the Stage-Gate process will come out, so it’s not really a filtering mechanism. It’s a funnel not a tunnel! There’s usually no structure around the idea generation stage that precedes the Stage Gate. You ask companies ‘how do you come up with these ideas that go in?’ and it’ll be something like ‘marketing comes up with them’. But what about the rest of the organisation? They have ideas, too, but even in marketing, how do they come up with the ideas? They do some research and something pops up, but there’s no discipline to it, so we are quite hopeful that PTI can help at that point. It can also deliver against the task of driving the innovation culture of the company.”

On direction [Drefers]: “There are some systems around, which are like ‘if anybody has an idea, then put it in the box’. Then nothing happens. The box might be virtual or real or both, but we haven’t found any company that has a directed idea generation process that is built around a business challenge. This is really important with PTI. You need a frame of reference and that’s all we’re saying. The definition of ‘better’ is ideas that are actually relevant to the business because it’s easy to generate a thousand ideas but if it’s not relevant there’s no value in it and all they create is complexity that nobody needs.”

On pre-loading: [Lee]: “We’ve all done it. We arrive at the conference on day one and if there’s an ideation session it’ll start from scratch and it takes a long time to get warmed up and into the subject. But the most efficient way of going about something like that is to use PTI to ideate individually for that event. The process spits out all the ideas but with the best idea at the top, so what actually happens face to face, when you’re at the conference, is you can immediately switch into figuring out how to make them happen. Shell’s global lubricants team out of the Hague commissioned PTI to run a challenge that included the marketers and the PTI agent network … We got feedback that it was a significant step up from the same conference the previous year which, for us, is a key metric. In the output, when you look at the top 20 ideas that came through, they were split 50/50 between Shell staff and agents, which was really interesting and gratifying. The assessment of all ideas was only done by Shell staff but they didn’t know whether the ideas had come from other Shell people or from the external group. And that’s a key part of the scheme. No-one knows who the idea is from, so it’s based on its merit.”

On making it happen [Drefers]: “What gets done with the ideas is beyond what we do. It’s their territory … We’re not like a crowd-sourcing platform. This is not made for people to send out briefs and then get something back. This is a conceptual planning tool. We have lots of discussions with clients who want to be too specific around promotional ideas or something like that and we say ‘look, this is not actually what this is designed for’. The language throughout the process is always about thinking big, being positive, aiming for breakthrough etc. This goes back to the very beginning. We see a lot of incremental ideas. Every business has them but nobody needs more of them, so this is really a tool to create something that’s completely different.”

On stealing agencies’ thunder [Drefers]: “We’ve talked to a few and, while agencies should be the easiest to convince, they’re hard nuts to crack because they see it as their area, they think that they own that. Quite early on in the conversation with one agency group the question was ‘are you here because you’re wanted by the clients or do you want to be part of our group?’ That was really encouraging. And that question showed the ambiguity around whether this is a competitive model or something that helps them … There’s a lot of debate about the advertising agency of the future. And agencies of the future will be creating products with clients, starting with idea generation and all the way through to popping something out at the end.  We encourage clients to use their advertising agencies. It’s always the same line from us, the more diverse the better. It’s really worth the effort because it adds so much value.”

On cultural differences [Drefers]: “When we discuss challenges with clients, they might say ‘look, I’m really specific, I don’t really think anybody outside my industry, let alone outside this country, would be able to relate to that.’ We have those discussions all the time. Every client thinks their business is special and nobody is able to help them. But most client challenges are familiar across industries and markets. So we haven’t found any challenge that didn’t benefit from an outside perspective, as long as the challenge is clear and the participating crowd intelligent.”

On ranking ideas [Lee]: “At the outset we got all the ideas and we ranked them ourselves, manually making sense out of them and strategising the output. And that of course limits our ability to scale up. We thought there must be a better way, so we activated the wisdom of the participating crowd and invented another step called an ideas auction, where a list of around 30 to 40 ideas come back to all the participants and everybody gets assigned with a virtual investment fund of one million dollars. People put their money behind those ideas they think would really make a difference in terms of generating breakthrough solutions. And the system adds that up across all participants and that’s how it creates the prioritisation. It’s mimicking an actual business process: where are we going to allocate that resource for all these ideas we have? But they don’t get to look at their own ideas. That’s why it’s called Pass the Idea.”

On the next stage [Drefers]: “Some of our development for stage two is around different cycle times. PTI’s projects have been run over a period of three weeks in the past [it costs between five and twenty thousand dollars to run a project], but with the upgraded platform we can actually run challenges very quickly, so if you want to run a challenge over 12 hours for a key account team that wants to turn around a promotional idea in a day, you can. And to get that diversity you could invite not just other key account managers, but you could invite field staff, or retailers, or consumers and brand advocates. For instance, if the marketing director has a monthly meeting and you just need a bit of a different impetus, you can now run PTI over four hours in the morning. The research tells us that’s a better way to create new solutions than to keep doing the same thing.”

On working in the world [Lee]: “We’re going to stop selling exclusively face-to-face and set it up on a platform that is able to handle a large number of challenges at the same time so we can sell to the world as software-as-a-service. We’re also looking to license it for companies that like the system and want to set it up and run as many challenges as they want in any one year … We’ve also created a select community of what we will call something like ‘super agents’, the really engaged participants who have proven themselves through the normal challenges. This is an opportunity to take that smaller group of people into a different participation model, more as consultants, where you get something every time you participate as opposed to the wider pool where you might win something.”

  • This story originally appeared in the July/August edition of NZ Marketing.

~ Curated by TME World of Marketing, July 2013.

Source: http://www.stoppress.co.nz/blog/2013/07/horses-mouth-christoph-drefers-and-richard-lee

Consumer and Employee Engagement and Innovation driving factors in building trust

Edelman Trust Barometer 2013 Annual Global Survey

Edelman Trust Barometer 2013 Annual Global Survey do your customers trust more, the CEO or the employee?

Who do your customers trust more, the CEO or the employee?

In their annual Trust Barometer survey, Edelman monitors the levels of trust both within an organisation, and within and between markets. The 2013 report makes fascinating reading for any interested in innovation, employee engagement – and ensuring their business is trusted!

Attributes to Building Trust 
At the heart of their survey are 16 Attributes to Building Trust, which this year they grouped into five trust performance clusters, ranked in order of importance.

Engagement: Top Of The List
What makes this fascinating reading is the constant presence of engagement and innovation as driving factors in building trust. As Edelman say, “In order to build trust, business must meet expectations on engagement and integrity.”

A Skeptical Age
The 2013 findings point to a loss of trust in the traditional leader, and the need for businesses to realise the importance of engaging with all its stakeholders to compensate for this. As Richard Edelman says in the introduction to the survey:
“We are in an era of skepticism… The traditional pyramid of authority, with elites driving communications top down to mass audiences, is now joined by an inverted pyramid of community – employees, action consumers and social activists involved in real-time, horizontal, constant peer-to-peer dialogue resulting in a new diamond of influence.”

The Diamond Of Influence
This diamond of influence not only includes employees as trusted spokespersons, but also consumers, who are twice as trusted on new media sites than company CEOs.
“Peers such as the employee or activist consumer … can speak most credibly to more societal issues, such as employee programs and benefits, crisis situations, customer satisfaction, the environment and community involvement.”

Trust Me, I’m an Employee
So, businesses need to find a way to engage with both employees and customers to build their trustworthiness. This process must surely start with the business trusting their own employees, since their employees are trusted by those outside the organisation. This also has a massive benefit for innovation; if the customer trusts the employee, the employee is likely to be the source of how the company can improve their services and products to the customer.
These findings simply support what we at TalkFreely have been creating for years; social innovation networks where employees, customers and other stakeholders can come together to discuss and explore better ways of doing business as well a better products and services.

Social innovation networks create an open yet managed platform that allows the natural expertise and experience of employees to flow out to interested and involved parties, without the inherent risks of open public social media.
As Edelman observes, CEOs and leaders can enlist people into innovation by “asking the right questions, observing reactions and behaviours, and listening to what people want, need, like, dislike, etc.” It’s very much what a TalkFreely solution provides – trust us on this, we’re employees too!
In their annual Trust Barometer survey, Edelman monitor the levels of trust both within an organisation, and within and between markets. The 2013 report makes fascinating reading for any interested in innovation, employee engagement – and ensuring their business is trusted!

Attributes to Building Trust 
At the heart of their survey are 16 Attributes to Building Trust, which this year they grouped into five trust performance clusters, ranked in order of importance.

Engagement: Top Of The List
What makes this fascinating reading is the constant presence of engagement and innovation as driving factors in building trust. As Edelman say, “In order to build trust, business must meet expectations on engagement and integrity.”

A Skeptical Age
The 2013 findings point to a loss of trust in the traditional leader, and the need for businesses to realise the importance of engaging with all its stakeholders to compensate for this. As Richard Edelman says in the introduction to the survey:
“We are in an era of skepticism… The traditional pyramid of authority, with elites driving communications top down to mass audiences, is now joined by an inverted pyramid of community – employees, action consumers and social activists involved in real-time, horizontal, constant peer-to-peer dialogue resulting in a new diamond of influence.”

The Diamond Of Influence
This diamond of influence not only includes employees as trusted spokespersons, but also consumers, who are twice as trusted on new media sites than company CEOs.
“Peers such as the employee or activist consumer … can speak most credibly to more societal issues, such as employee programs and benefits, crisis situations, customer satisfaction, the environment and community involvement.”

Trust Me, I’m an Employee
So, businesses need to find a way to engage with both employees and customers to build their trustworthiness. This process must surely start with the business trusting their own employees, since their employees are trusted by those outside the organisation. This also has a massive benefit for innovation; if the customer trusts the employee, the employee is likely to be the source of how the company can improve their services and products to the customer.

These findings simply support what we at TalkFreely have been creating for years; social innovation networks where employees, customers and other stakeholders can come together to discuss and explore better ways of doing business as well a better products and services.
Social innovation networks create an open yet managed platform that allows the natural expertise and experience of employees to flow out to interested and involved parties, without the inherent risks of open public social media.
As Edelman observes, CEOs and leaders can enlist people into innovation by “asking the right questions, observing reactions and behaviours, and listening to what people want, need, like, dislike, etc.”. Trust us on this, we’re employees too!

~ Curated by TME World of Marketing, July 18, 2013.

Source: http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2013/07/17/edelman-trust-barometer-2013-annual-global-survey/

Top 10 luxury brand digital campaigns of Q2

Luxury marketers embraced a number of digital technologies to give consumers the ability to virtually interact with their brands 

By 


July 10, 2013

Burberry Kisses campaign

Luxury marketers embraced a number of digital technologies to give consumers the ability to virtually interact with their brands during the second quarter of 2013.

Many luxury marketers fostered positive brand experiences through digital platforms by allowing consumers to play games, personalize their own stories and products and be inspired by shoppable videos. The most effective campaigns were those that did not overwhelm consumers with a large amount of content, but gave them a clear path to explore the brand.

Here are the top 10 luxury brand digital campaigns in the second quarter of 2013, in alphabetical order.

Audi R8 vehicle in Marvel’s Iron Man comic

Audi’s “Iron Man 3” comic book– Audi of America raised awareness for its product placement in the “Iron Man 3” feature film by creating an engaging digital comic book in collaboration with Walt Disney Co.’s Marvel.

The German automaker and Marvel invited consumers to become co-creators of an Iron Man comic book by letting them vote on different paths that the main character could take and design their own ending. Consumers in the United States who made their own comic strip panel could submit it to Marvel to win prizes.

When consumers would visit the Steer the Story microsite at http://www.steerthestory.com, a video on the main screen gave an overview of the comic book and explained their role in the making of the story.

In order to vote, consumers needed to select an option for the story to continue and then share it on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

Consumers could track the progress of the story through the hashtag #SteerTheStory.

Burberry Kisses

Burberry Kisses campaign – British fashion house Burberry engaged consumers in branded peer-to-peer communications through a partnership with Google where users could send love notes around the world.

The label created a microsite for the Burberry Kisses campaign that allowed consumers to send and view notes that have been sent. Burberry was likely aiming to convert its followers’ closest companions to brand enthusiasts.

The microsite can be viewed only by mobile users and Google Chrome users at http://kisses.burberry.com.

To send a kiss, consumers could click on “Capture your kiss,” which initiated the camera device on a phone or PC to capture the kiss through video technology.

Next, consumers would fill out the recipient information by typing in the receiver’s email address and location or by using their Google+ profile.

Once consumers sent their kiss, they were taken through a quick video journey of the envelope as it traveled throughout the city and onward to the recipient. The site notified senders once their kiss had been opened.

Senders were able to share their kiss through Facebook, Twitter and Google+ as well.

Cartier’s Paris Nouvelle Vague collection

Cartier’s Paris Nouvelle Vague video series – French jeweler Cartier sought to raise consumer emotions for its newly revamped Paris Nouvelle Vague collection through a series of short films that give a different sensation for each product.

The seven, 60-second films each give an emotion and attitude to a ring in the French jeweler’s collection.

Cartier revamped its Paris Nouvelle Vague collection, which it kicked off with an in-store installation in its New York boutique. The jeweler continued the promotions through the videos to give the collection more exposure.

All seven of the videos use the same song “I Love Paris,” which was originally written by Cole Porter.

Each video uses a version of the song with a different tempo to show the emotion associated with each piece.

Consumers can click on the video to stop it at any point and view details of the product shown.

The short films are available athttp://www.cartier.us/collections/jewelry/collections/paris-nouvelle-vague.

Ferragamo’s Vara shoe campaign

Ferragamo’s Vara shoe campaign – Italian footwear and apparel maker Salvatore Ferragamo celebrated the 35th anniversary of the label’s iconic Vara shoes with its first custom offering and a digital photography campaign.

The L’Icona digital project featured 21 modern women who each wear a custom pair of Vara or Varina shoes in pictures taken by fine art photographer Claiborne Swanson Frank.

The microsite at http://icona.ferragamo.com is the core of the L’Icona digital campaign. It contains all photographs, the campaign video and links to purchase custom Vara or Varina shoes.

For the first time, consumers can customize their own pair of Vara or Varina shoes for $550 each with an online tool. Ferragamo offers the shoes in colors such as Blu Scuro, Lava, Acqua, Rosso and an exclusive seasonal print.

Each woman featured in the L’Icona campaign wears a custom pair of Vara or Varina shoes, their own wardrobe and their other favorite Ferragamo pieces. The brand released one image per day for 21 days.

Harrods’ “Summer of Now” campaign

Harrods’ “Opening Night” event– London department store Harrods looked to boost traffic and sales on its ecommerce site May 1 through the “Opening Night” online event that kicked off its summer campaign.

With one physical location, Harrods is often thought of as a tourist destination for consumers who do not live in commuting distance of the store. But the “Summer of Now campaign,” in addition to past efforts that drew international attention to its ecommerce site, could propel Harrods.com as a go-to shopping and content channel.

The Summer of Now virtual shopping event offered attendees flash sales, giveaways and gifts with purchase for one night only to gear them up for summer.

The eight-hour event coincided with Harrods’ month-long Great Gatsby in-store takeover. The windows showcased Baz Luhrman’s film adaption and inside, consumers could visit the cocktail and jazz pop-up bar.

Harrods began to tempt consumers to sign-up for email updates on the online event last week by releasing an invitation via email and social media. It told recipients to visithttp://harrods.com/openingnight and follow the event via the #OpeningNight hashtag.

Hermès Rallye 24 tableware

Hermès Rallye 24 online game– French leather goods and scarves maker Hermès pushed its race track-inspired porcelain tableware line Rallye 24 by integrating it in an online game.

The game was named for the new tableware collection that incorporates classic racing colors such as yellow, green, red, blue and black, as well as a curved graphic that represents the oval shape of a track. In the game on Hermès’ Web site, consumers can navigate around Rallye 24 items on a virtual track with their vegetable game piece.

Consumers can play the Rallye 24 online game athttp://hermes.com/rallye24. Or, they can navigate to the gaming platform via Hermès’ main site and social media channels.

First, players must choose their “speedster” or playing piece – a pear, strawberry, pickle, pepper or eggplant on wheels – and their racing course.

During the game, players control their speedster with the arrow keys on their computer’s keyboard. They must navigate around pieces from the Rallye 24 collection and gather mushrooms that are spread throughout the course.

After consumers cross the finish line, their speedster lands on a plate or platter from the collection. Consumers can play again or challenge a friend.

Hugo Boss’ Shanghai Affairs campaign

Hugo Boss’ shoppable video – German label Hugo Boss was aiming to bolster sales and awareness of its summer 2013 collection through a shoppable video for its Shanghai Affairs campaign.

The label bundled many products into the video with full shots, logical transitions and plenty of time for consumers to decide on a purchase all while maintaining a plausible scenario. Even if consumers do not wildly clutch at the video’s offers, it still provides a strong outlet for advertising and demonstrates to consumers that the company is staying abreast of digital trends with original content.

Rather than flipping through a Web site one item at a time, the video compiles the products into a short film and allows consumers to investigate items according to their desires.

Filmmaker Casey Neistat and the CLA vehicle

Mercedes’ CLA project – Mercedes-Benz USA is opening up the brand to a younger consumer group with new promotions for its CLA model, which has a sticker price of less than $30,000.

The CLA Project is part of the social video marketing efforts that Mercedes is using to push its new CLA vehicle, which will be available in dealerships in September. For this project, Mercedes is working with filmmaker Casey Neistat to create a commercial that will resonate with Generation Y.

The automaker asked Mr. Neistat, a 32-year-old filmmaker with a large social media following, to create an ad that would speak to him as a consumer.

Mr. Neistat’s four films that show his process of creating a commercial for the CLA are slowly being released on his YouTube. The first was released April 1 and the second May 13.

Mr. Neistat will release two more videos on the CLA project before the vehicle debuts in showrooms.

What’s in Your Kors

Michael Kors’ “What’s in Your Kors?” – U.S. label Michael Kors is propelling ecommerce through a fan-inspired digital campaign titled “What’s in your Kors?” that focuses on fashion accessories for certain holidays and allows consumers to shop selected items.

The millennial-focused initiative incorporates DestinationKors.com, Instagram and Twitter and shows off items that consumers can immediately purchase from the brand’s Web site and stores.

The first post was dedicated to Fourth of July by focusing on red, white and blue items in four different images. New posts will be added to celebrate certain holidays.

When viewing images, consumers can hover over an image to bring up the item information and click on “Shop Now” to bring consumers to a page where the item can be purchased.

On Twitter and Instagram the brand is using the hashtag #WhatsInYourKors to inspire followers to contribute with their own holiday accessory suggestions.

Versace’s Millennial-focused Versus Web site

Versace’s Versus – Italian fashion house Versace is targeting entry-level consumers with the launch of its Versus Versace Web site that offers content and ecommerce.

Versace counted down to Versus through its social media platforms to spread the word to its followers. With the launch of this rebranded collection, Versace is aiming convert young consumers into brand enthusiasts.

The label was building excitement for the rebranding of Versus through a comprehensive social media and digital campaign that counted down until the official launch and collection presentation May 15 in New York.

To prepare for the new line, Versus teased images of the collection and Web site through its social media feeds by sharing images of its models and close-ups of products.

On May 8, Versus launched a Google+ page where it began promoting a “hangout” session with Donatella Versace, chief designer of the Versace group.

The hangout video session took place live May 14 on its Google+ page. During the 27-minute session, Ms. Versace talked with Mr. Anderson and fashion bloggers from around the world about Versus.

The Versus Web site launched May 15. The site can be accessed athttp://www.versusversace.com.

~ Curated by TME World of Marketing, July 12, 2013

Source: http://cmo.com/content/cmo-com/home/articles/2013/7/11/top_10_luxury_brand_.frame.html

Digital Marketing Transit Map: CMOs will spend more on IT than CIOs by 2017

Digital Marketing Battlefield Map: CMO Vs. CIO And Gartner Vs. Forrester

Gartner recently brought the CMO vs. CIO saga into focus by publishing an eye-popping chart depicting the landscape of the numerous technologies available today for the digitally-inclined CMO.
Gartner Digital Marketing Transit Map

It’s an interactive “transit map” (see the original version here) which connects the major categories of digital marketing (practice areas or “neighborhoods” such as marketing operations, mobility, and design) through sub-categories (applications services or “tracks” such as advertising technology, analytics, commerce, marketing management and real-time data), and sub-sub categories (“stations” representing products or platforms/solutions or off-line connections). The intersection points on this map, Gartner says, represent “transfer points where solutions may serve more than one business area.”

Phew. This embarrassment of digital riches also represents the numerous vendors trying to establish a beachhead or expanding an existing relationships with marketing departments and their chiefs—CMOs—that Gartner predicted last year will spend more on IT than CIOs by 2017. Laura McLellan, the Gartner analyst responsible for the forecast heralding the war of the CXOs, still insists that marketing departments will outspend technology departments on IT within five years, noting that 65% of CMOs have their own capital budgets. Marketing departments, she tells CIO Journal, are “not getting what they want” from IT and, as a result, “they spend their own money to buy the applications and services they need to run their operations.” Given the different types of personalities and cultures of the combatants, IT is doomed to be “disintermediated,” McLellan concludes.

Forrester Research analyst Peter Burris begs to differ, however, no doubt to the relief of many CIOs. By his calculations—“simple math on existing IT systems” as reported by CIO Journal— “70% of IT spending is on maintaining and upgrading existing systems. That leaves only 30% for new systems; even if the entire balance of that were allocated to marketing, it would be a very long time before spending on new systems would overtake spending on legacy systems.”

But isn’t the Gartner forecast about spending outside “existing IT systems,” not about IT spending on “new systems”?

A more convincing air cover to the supposedly embattled CIOs comes from another Forrester analyst, Sheryl Pattek (she “serves CMOs” as opposed to Burris who “serves CIOs,” according to  Forrester). She still sees the need to convince CMOs that they “must accept that it’s no longer possible to run the business of marketing without technology.” Referring to a previous attempt tochart the digital marketing landscape by blogger Scott Brinker, Pattek says: “With this much complexity, it’s no surprise that many CMOs are ill-equipped to provide the vision and strategic direction required to make sound and effective marketing technology purchase decisions.” And She warns CMOs: “You and your CIO need to have alignment on a joint vision for customers and a focus on them. Those CMOs who choose to ignore this and go it alone do so at their own peril.”

Brinker offers similar advice: “Collaborate with the CIO to leverage the company’s existing capabilities to the fullest degree, to coordinate integration with other technology initiatives in the company, and to find that right sweet spot of division of responsibilities between marketing and IT (which will vary from one organization to the next).”

I think the looming war is all a made-up tempest in the digital deluge. All corners of the organization, not just marketing, are impacted by the data avalanche and all activities, from engineering to manufacturing to sales and will continue to be re-shaped by digitization.  The CIO, unlike the CMO and most other senior executives, has a comprehensive view of the entire organization. In organizations where the CIO is expected only to cut costs and “keep the trains running on time,” the responsibility—and purchasing authority—for the tools enabling the digital transformation will reside with other senior executives. In organizations where the CIO is expected to play a key role or even lead this digital transformation, he or she will no doubt help the CMO—and other senior executives—navigate the complex and rapidly-changing landscape of all emerging digital technologies and tools.

~ Curated by TME, World of Marketing, July 11, 2013

Source: http://cmo.com/content/cmo-com/home/articles/2013/7/11/digital_marketing_ba.frame.html

Creativity wins out every time, say big data experts

ADMA Report: Does Campaign Creativity Influence Business Success?

01 Jul 2013

Paul McIntyre

It’s hardly the news many will want to hear, but a groundbreaking study by the Association for Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising has delivered a series of findings which challenge the industry’s herd-like stampede to social media, audience targeting and short-term ‘response’ advertising campaigns.

The underlying tenet of ADMA’s report, Does Campaign Creativity Influence Business Success?, proves overwhelmingly that more creative brand campaigns which are coupled with activation or response components are far more effective in producing longer-term business profits and sales.

The Australian study – conducted by respected UK strategic planner Peter Field – comes down hard on the side of better creativity in communications campaigns for broader business success, and says the industry faces a mammoth task in turning the momentum away from the accepted norm now of creating marketing activity that delivers fast sales results.

The in-depth analysis of hundreds of ADMA award entries from 2012 throws up striking parallels to a similar research project conducted by Field for the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising in the UK. Field told AdNews the study has received strong support from marketers, although some sectors in the marketing industry were fighting the findings.

The IPA’s first report around the effectiveness of creativity was released three years ago, although it only recently published its analysis on the timing of effect between response-driven campaigns and creative-leaning brand and response efforts.

In a nutshell, the ADMA and IPA studies both demonstrate that creative brand campaigns take longer to deliver business success – after six months – compared to short-term response campaigns. But ultimately, creativity wins out with a much stronger impact on the bottom line and for creating less consumer sensitivity to critical areas like pricing.

“There are huge parallels between the ADMA and UK findings, though ADMA is able to look much more closely at short time scales,” Field said. The IPA’s latest report, The Long and Short of It, was released earlier this year. “It is already getting a very supportive response from marketers in the UK but there is some pushback from the digital community.

“The creativity findings were first published in the UK three years ago and have had quite a big impact on thinking. They coincided with the start of the Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lions so quite a few major blue-chip marketing organisations have come around to the efficiency and effectiveness benefits of creativity and turn up in force at Cannes. Some of them would not have been seen dead there 10 years ago.”

Field has one caveat, however: developing truly creative work is hard. “When brands get it right the rewards are huge. But if you misfire you may have little to show for it. That’s probably an important factor behind why so many brands still pursue the non-creative ‘reason why’ approach to advertising. [Response-driven campaigns] will never achieve stellar effectiveness and may struggle to achieve viable ROI but it is still likely to generate some modest results, however uncrafted the execution.”

Some of the key and controversial findings from ADMA’s study include:

• Short-term response and web and social media traffic do not reliably indicate longer-term business success.
• Campaigns that make use of diverse broad reach channels are more effective. This is further evidence of the ‘false logic’ of tight targeting.
• Traditional direct mail strongly outperforms email marketing. Email may be cheaper but it is associated with reduced campaign effectiveness.
• Optimising campaigns for short-term sales results will not lead to optimum long-term sales or profitability. It is important, too, that success is measured over both short and long term and that short-term results are not used to guide strategy.
• If you measure success over the short term – less than six months – you will not see the benefits of creativity. It does not drive effectiveness over the short term.
• Creativity has a particularly strong beneficial effect on price sensitivity, allowing brands to harden pricing. This has a strong boosting effect on profitability.

Of particular importance in the Australian study is that it was commissioned by ADMA, traditionally an industry body focused heavily on generating hard results from campaigns in digital, traditional media and direct communications.

ADMA’s strategic overhaul last year to leading the charge in data-driven marketing makes its findings around creativity all the more robust. ADMA chief executive Jodie Sangster has been vocal this year arguing the case for marketing to not ignore the central role strong creativity plays in data-driven campaigns.

“Creativity plays a major role and at the moment it is being sidelined,” Sangster told AdNews in the Big Data Report (5 April). “So much is going on with data that it is being overlooked. Creativity is the link between the data and the customer.”

~ Curated by TME World of Marketing, July 11, 2013; Source: http://www.adnews.com.au/adnews/creativity-wins-out-every-time-say-big-data-experts

Brands that dominate with user-generated content

Over the last five years, there has been a 35 percent increase in user-generated content, and 70 percent of people stated that they feel most loyal to brands that listen to them.

Ian Tenenbaum

By Ian Tenenbaum, July 9, 2013

The age of looking strictly to advertising agencies to ideate and create campaigns is over. Now, branding messages are becoming a creation of the consumers that use them: Eighty percent of online content in 2013 is user-generated. And with that number projected to only increase as more and more people get familiar with creating videos and sharing content, brands that look to creative consumers to shape their campaigns will come out far ahead of their competition.

Brands that dominate with user-generated content

In a recent survey, 64 percent of people were “highly likely” to purchase something that included their input. Combined with the 92 percent of people surveyed who said they rely on people they know when making purchasing decisions, it’s easy to see that we are now in the age of the consumer. Over the last five years, there has been a 35 percent increase in user-generated content, and 70 percent of people stated that they feel most loyal to brands that listen to them.

We can now safely assume that the brands that listen to and interact with their consumers (or brand advocates) will be the ones seeing the most growth. And since brand advocates are likely to spend twice as much as regular consumers, a company would be foolish to not tap into them for the content used to market or create products.

Here are five collaborative campaigns that perfectly utilized user-generated content and brand advocates to achieve brand goals and ultimately generate sales.

Lay’s

Lay’s potato chips recently made a splash in the world of crowdsourcing when it offered chip eaters a chance to create the newest Lay’s flavor with the “Do Us A Flavor” campaign.

Consumers were asked by the brand to submit a flavor they would like to see Lay’s create and, in turn, Lay’s would reward the winning flavor creator either $1 million or 1 percent of the flavor’s first year sales, whichever finished higher. The campaign succeeded beyond all expectation, with more than 3.8 million user submissions and unique flavor ideas like Cajun Squirrel and Chili and Chocolate. In the end, three finalists were chosen and one ultimate flavor was left standing with Cheesy Garlic Bread, beating its two contenders, Sriracha and Chicken & Waffles. This type of marketing is not only a great way to truly understand your consumers, but also you can expect a high percent of the 3.8 million participants to be picking up at least a bag or two of their selected flavor.

Mountain Dew

The Mountain Dew “Dewmocracy” campaign in 2009 also put flavor direction in the hands of consumers. To start the campaign, 50 diehard Mountain Dew drinkers tested seven experimental flavors and whittled the choices down to only three: Typhoon, WhiteOut, and Distortion. Mountain Dew even crowdsourced the marketing of the flavors by allowing 4,000 Mountain Dew fans to divide up into three “Flavor Nations” that would decide the flavor name, packaging, and even the ad agency that would create promotions for each. The 3 flavors hit shelves, and the rest was up to the general public. In the end, more than 2 million flavor votes were submitted and the winner was picked: WhiteOut, earning 44 percent of the total votes.

Where Lay’s allowed users to create their own flavor ideas, Mountain Dew’s “Dewmocracy” campaign showed that consumers could also be tapped to pick between varieties of preconceived flavor directions as opposed to creating something brand new.

Ben & Jerry’s

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is delicious no matter what city you’re in. However, the brand’s latest crowdsourcing effort is attempting to put a distinct flavor to five different U.S. cities including San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, New York, and Washington, D.C. The campaign, which kicked off this June and will be complete at the end of the month, uses various factors to contribute ingredients to flavors that will be unique for each city.

Instead of simply asking city residents which ingredients they would want to see in their city’s flavor, Ben & Jerry’s is using seemingly random city factors to make the decision. In New York City, cabs headed uptown are votes for vanilla ice cream and those headed downtown are votes for peppermint. In San Francisco, tear-off flyers around the city present a chance for consumers to tally votes for either marshmallow or pretzel toppings. After the votes are finalized on June 30, the completely exclusive ice cream flavor will be served for one day only at community events in each city later this summer.

Samuel Adams

The powerful brewery Samuel Adams recently turned to Facebook to crowdsource a new flavor of their popular beer.

Brands that dominate with user-generated content

Users were asked to vote on different characteristics that the beer should have such as color, clarity, body, hops, and malt. The result is a “slightly hazy, medium bodied, amber ale with a spicy hop aroma, notes of toffee and a smooth, yet spicy finish,” according to a press release by the brewery. B’Austin Ale, the name of the crowdsourced Sam Adams brew, was premiered at SXSW 2013 in Austin, Texas to much critical praise. Instead of bottling the beer and selling it year round though, Samuel Adams decided to keep the consumer interaction going by making the recipe and brewing method for the B’Austin Ale available to the public!

Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola has fully embraced user-generated content with several successful crowdsourcing campaigns in recent years. Most notable, however, was Coke’s decision to give its marketing creative brief to consumers in North America, Asia, and Latin America instead of a high-powered ad agency, as is the norm. An incredible quantity of content was created with more than 3,600 submissions including animation, illustration, film, and print advertising. Out of those 3,600, 10 of the highest quality were chosen and shown to creative directors and other ad professionals from around the world with one winning ad eventually shown. Surprisingly, the winning ad, “Happiness is in the Air,” was ranked in the top 10 percent of ads shown globally after its debut on Valentine’s Day during “American Idol,” proving that user-generated content can test very, very well.

And the best part: The only cost to Coca-Cola was a one-time cost to tap into the creative community and a prize for the first place winner!

User-generated content is quickly becoming the norm for brands that want to reach their consumers and brand advocates on a more personal level. And not only is it effective, but compared to other media it’s incredibly efficient. And as we saw with Coca-Cola, it can test very well and compete with agency created campaigns. As more and more consumers are being given a voice and the tools to interact with brands, we will start to see more creative ways brands are taking notice. Marketers must realize that consumers are no longer satisfied with being just spoken to, but they want in on the conversation and to be more involved with their favorite brands.

~Curated by TME World of Marketing, July 10, 2013. Source: http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/34502.asp