Archive | August 2013

The Nine Principal Rules of Creative Leadership

Tapping into the cumulative creativity of 10 or 100 or 1000 people will clearly result in better results than tapping into the creativity of one person, no matter how creative you are, and ignoring everyone else.

 

By Jeffrey Paul Baumgartner, 27 Aug 2013

Whether you are the CEO of a large organisation; the leader of a team or division within such an organisation; or the founder of a small company, creative leadership is critical to your innovation success. Innovation is the result of successfully implementing creative ideas. Moreover, the process from idea to implementation, of a breakthrough innovation, requires a great deal of creativity. And to achieve this, you need creative leadership. Let’s look at the nine principal rules.

1. It is not about your creativity. It is about your team’s creativity

Creative leadership has very little to do with your creativity and everything to do with your team’s creativity. If it was only about your creativity, you wouldn’t need a team would you? You are only one person. Your team (which might be your entire company) is many people. Tapping into the cumulative creativity of 10 or 100 or 1000 people will clearly result in better results than tapping into the creativity of one person, no matter how creative you are, and ignoring everyone else.

2. You do not need to be creative. But you need to understand creativity

Following from rule one, it is not necessary that you be a creative genius in order to be a creative leader. What is important is that you understand the creative process so that you can facilitate it for your team members. Of course if you are exceptionally creative, this is a good thing as it will set a good example to your team members. But if you are not highly creative, do not feel the need to pretend you are. Instead, you should trumpet your skills as one who facilitates creativity. This is, after all, far more important in a creative leader.

3. Diversity

Sometimes you will have teams thrust upon you by circumstances. Sometimes you can choose your team members. When you can choose, go for diversity: diversity of experience, sex, culture, age, knowledge and skin colour. Include people whom you do not like if you know they get results. Diversity is important, but it is often neglected. We tend to like and get along best with other people who are similar to ourselves. As a result, we instinctively look for team members who are similar to ourselves. However, creativity is built upon diversity. A wider range of backgrounds, knowledge and culture results in a wider range of thinking and greater creativity. If you can add to your team people from other countries and distinct other cultures, kill to do so. Research has shown that people who have moved abroad are more creative than others. People from other cultures have seen more variety in their lives and can bring that variety to your team.

4. Identify strengths and weaknesses on your team

Once you have your diversified team, or have had a less than diverse team thrust upon you, you need to identify the strengths and weaknesses of team members in order to maximise effectiveness. Some people will be great with ideas but poor on implementation. Others are the opposite. Some people are big picture people who are sloppy with details. Others are obsessed with the details, but fail to see the big picture. Some people work better at solving problems on their own. Others work better in collaboration. By identifying strengths and weaknesses and taking advantage of them, you can be sure not only that your team is creative, but that it gets results that lead to innovation.

5. Trust your people

Micro-managers are never creative leaders. Never. Not once in all of history. Being a micro-manager implies you do not trust your people to make even simple decisions for themselves. Moreover, rather than promoting creativity, you become bogged down in trivial details. Instead, you need to trust your people. Give them clear goals, budgets and tools. But let them work out their own approaches towards achieving those goals. Even if you believe their approach is not the best, do not interfere. Let your people learn by trying. You may be surprised, their approach might work better than you expect. And if it does not, they may discover an alternative approach that is better than yours. After all, people do not learn by being told precisely what to do. They learn by researching, trying, making mistakes and trying again.

6. Embrace failure

Speaking of mistakes, if people cannot fail from time to time, they will never achieve great things. This is a cliché in the creativity and innovation business. Nevertheless, it is amazing how many managers still do not tolerate failure. As a creative leader, you know better. Encourage your people to try, fail early and try again. Ensure that they share their failure stories so everyone can learn from them.

7. Encourage debate

Your diverse team has diverse opinions and ideas. As a result, there will inevitably be disagreements. Rather than squelching these disagreements with the aim to avoid bad feelings, encourage team members to disagree with each other in the form of respectful debate. Debate enables team members see things from other perspectives, strengthen their ideas and rethink flawed ideas. Moreover, by anticipating criticism of ideas from within your team, you better prepare yourself to champion ideas to customers, stakeholders and others outside your team.

8. Champion ideas

Your creative team will doubtless generate many ideas. As the team leader, you need to champion those ideas. Sometimes you may even have to champion ideas that you do not like, but which you realise offer value to your organisation or to your customers. If you are a team leader within a larger business, you will need to champion ideas mostly within your company. If you run the company, you will need to champion ideas to your customers, to suppliers, to the public and possibly to regulatory authorities. By becoming a champion of your team’s ideas, you make it more likely that the ideas will be realised. More importantly, you demonstrate very clearly to your team that you believe in their ideas and that you are a champion of creativity. And when you champion an idea you are known to dislike, you impress people as being devoted to the team rather than yourself. This is a very powerful message.

9. Make ideas come true

Innovation is the implementation of creative ideas in order to generate value. Unfortunately, the path from a brilliant creative idea to an innovation is not always easy going. As a result, you need to define and establish processes for realising ideas. And you will need to take special care with highly creative or unusual ideas. These have the potential to become breakthrough innovations. But they are risky and, as such, scare many people silly – an emotion most people prefer to avoid at the workplace! You will need to envision the potential hurdles to implementing such ideas and find ways to get over these hurdles.

~ Curated by TME World of Marketing, August 28, 2013.
Source:  http://designtaxi.com/news/360242/the-nine-principal-rules-of-creative-leadership/

Challenging three myths of brainstorming

Two heads aren’t better than one says Market Strategies’ George Dichiaro as he tackles some of the misconceptions that are most common to the ideation process.

12 August 2013 | By George Dichiaro

Facilitating ideation sessions – whether with consumers or clients – is one of my favourite research challenges. I have conducted several “How to Build a Better Mousetrap” projects over the years, everything from designing a drug store of the future to re-imagining the paper plate.

When I was given my first assignment in the mid-1990s (new product development for a cosmetics manufacturer), I was a nervous wreck. I didn’t know where to start, how to structure the session or how best to unleash the creativity of the 25 client ‘experts’.

Fortunately, I had a mentor – a seasoned ideation facilitator who taught me the tricks of the trade. He started with a few of his cardinal rules of brainstorming and gave me an old, tattered book called Your Creative Power (1948) by Alex Osborn (a partner at BBDO), who he described as the “Godfather of Brainstorming”. He directed me to a couple of chapters on how to facilitate brainstorming, which were the source of his cardinal rules.

How to build a better ideation process

While Osborn’s methods were groundbreaking, they have gone largely unchallenged. That is, until recently. Last year, while flipping through The New Yorker I came across an article entitled Groupthink by Jonah Lehrer, in which the author referenced the Osborn book and how the tried-and-true techniques for brainstorming facilitation simply don’t work – at least, not as well as advertised. Lehrer cites several research studies, some going back to the 1950s, which debunk Osborn’s tenets. Further research on my part was a real eye-opener: There is evidence everywhere that we should rethink some of the ideation basics. Here are a few brainstorming myths to keep in mind for your next ideation challenge:

Myth #1: Two heads are better than one
Brainstorming in a group creates many more ideas than working alone. The group dynamic stimulates deeper thinking and greater creativity.

In fact, the research evidence is overwhelmingly to the contrary. Studies show the same number of people working alone generate far more ideas (and more creative ideas) than when the same people are given the same task in a group. There is something about the group dynamic that makes the individual less creative. Does this mean we shouldn’t gather people together for ideation sessions anymore? I don’t think so.  But it does mean that more emphasis should be placed on individual brainstorming prior to and after the group’s generating and sharing of new ideas.

Myth #2: There are no bad ideas
Ideas should flow freely without making judgements about the quality of the ideas. Censoring criticism encourages more unrestrained associations and, therefore, increases the chances of finding more and better ideas.

Again, studies have shown just the opposite. More and better ideas are generated within an environment of debate and evaluation. Dissent stimulates new ideas because it encourages us to engage more fully with the work of others and to reassess our own viewpoints. The tricky part of conducting a judgement-based ideation session is that there are participants of varying levels of seniority and expertise, which may discourage junior team members from expressing their own ideas. Of course, this is something the facilitator needs to skillfully address when setting up the session and conveying the ground rules.

Myth #3 (sort of): Familiarity breeds ideas
The ideation group should include those who know each other and are well versed on the subject matter, with just a few participants defined as “creative” and perhaps having a less direct connection to the subject at hand.

The ideation studies I have conducted with clients were usually set up this way. They consisted of individuals from different departments of the firm (marketing, R&D, finance, HR, etc.) as well as a few creative ad agency, graphic arts and consultant types familiar with the client. However, research has shown that the best ideas are generated from groups that comprise a fine balance of people familiar and unfamiliar with each other. If the group is too homogeneous, innovation is diminished because everyone tends to think in similar ways.  But if the group is too diverse, its members may struggle to work with each other and exchange ideas because they are simply not used to doing so.

The key is adding the right amount of diverse thought to ideations sessions. Including people from other industries, artists, writers and consumers can create an ideal environment of diverse perspectives. Be advised that there is still a touch of truth to this myth because a little familiarity can add to the comfort level of a group. This is especially true when conducting ideation groups with consumers. Rather than having a room full of strangers, it would help to invite some friends, family or co-workers into the group to add more comfort to the brainstorming.

George Dichiaro is a vice president and senior research consultant with Market Strategies Qualitative

 ~ Curated by TME World of Marketing, August 26, 2013

Source: http://www.research-live.com/comment/challenging-three-myths-of-brainstorming/4010286.article

 

Forbes: Cracking the Code of Innovation

 

Effective processes for Idea Generation a key component of  top quartile companies on innovation performance. Check out Pass The Idea for a system that enables the generation of more, better ideas to create Group Genius for companies. http://www.pass-the-idea.com

Cracking The Code Of Innovation

8/19/2013, Eric Almquist, Forbes.

Innovation doesn’t come easily to most large companies. Yet some big players in nearly every industry are able to turn out one successful new product after another.

Take consumer goods. Unilever, already a leader in the category, launched more than 10 times as many new products in 2012 as it did a few years ago. Unilever’s average value per project increased 75% over the past few years while time to market decreased between 25% and 50%. The company is quick to adapt new products to consumer tastes when necessary. For example, an initiative in its Hindustan Unilever unit encourages employees to buy new products at steep discounts and then provide quick feedback, thus acting as in-house beta testers.

Or look at pharmaceuticals. At many companies, the pace of new drug development has slowed markedly in recent years. Novartis is an exception: according to the company, it has received more US and EU approvals for new molecules in the last four years than its competitors. Novartis tries to identify multiple uses for a discovery. For example, it recently gained approval to use Afinitor, a drug originally approved for other kinds of cancer, as a treatment for the most common form of advanced breast cancer as well.

What do such companies know that their competitors don’t? To find out, we asked nearly 450 executives around the world about their companies’ skills—or lack of skills—relating to innovation. Our respondents represented enterprises in nearly every major industry and ranging from $100 million to more than $10 billion in size.

The survey revealed dramatic differences between innovation leaders and everyone else. Top-quartile companies grew at an average annual rate of 13%, compared with 5% for other companies. They also enjoy far greater employee loyalty, and they are better than their peers at making and executing decisions.

When we drilled down to discover what made these leaders so good at innovation, we found not one single factor but an entire system built around five components:

  • The leaders set a clear, specific strategy for innovation
  • They build an organizational culture that nurtures new products and processes
  • They create effective processes for idea generation and development
  • They know how to manage a diverse portfolio of innovations—and that has the appropriate size, shape, and speed
  • They are effective at scaling new business ideas, supporting them with the right level and type of resources

The leaders outperformed the laggards on all these capabilities, not just one or two—a sure indication that they are taking a systematic approach to innovation. Kraft, for example, has added rigor to its idea development process, setting consistent hurdles for projects and tying its decisions more tightly than ever to the economics of each project. In 2011 it generated $600 million in sales from a comparatively small group of innovations.

We learned something else, too. Nearly all the leaders seem able to marry right-brain–style creativity and imagination with hard-nosed, left-brain business analysis in every phase of their innovation systems. Many companies tend to separate these two activities, asking the creatives to come up with new ideas and the commercial types to analyze those ideas (and, often, to shoot them down). Turns out it’s far more productive for companies to build integrated teams that bring together people with both orientations and skill sets.

Using this “BothBrain” approach, teams can work together from idea conception all the way to testing and scaling an innovation. For example, a successful portfolio of innovations always needs to include a balance between incremental and radical innovations. To create that balance, companies have to give their creative people more leeway on radical innovations—and not allow analysts with spreadsheets to kill the ideas prematurely. Creatives and commercials can then work through the twists and turns of idea development together, rather than giving up whenever one group hits a bump in the road.

Statistical analysis of our survey results showed that two elements of an innovation system are likely to be critical: innovation goals and strategies on the one hand and portfolio management on the other. The element we thought might be most important—idea generation—was not a major determinant of top innovation performance. We suspect that’s because ideas are only the seeds of innovation. Put good ideas in a bad company and they die.

Innovation is a complex process that companies have to manage as they do any other complex process. Companies need to create an innovation system that includes all five of the factors that we identified. But innovation can’t be a purely logical, left-brain enterprise. Companies that cultivate both kinds of thinking—left brain and right brain, creative and commercial—to inform their innovation initiatives are likely to outstrip their competitors in creating great new offerings.

Learn more:  Taking The Measure Of Your Innovation Performance

Written by Eric Almquist, a partner with Bain & Company in Boston who leads the Global Consumer Insights team; Mitchell Leiman, a Boston-based partner who leads the firm’s Innovation practice in the Americas; Darrell Rigby, a Boston-based partner who is the head of Bain’s global practices in Innovation and Retail; and Alex Roth, a partner in London who leads the firm’s Innovation practice in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

~ Curated by TME World of Marketing, August 20, 2013.

Source:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/baininsights/2013/08/19/cracking-the-code-of-innovation/

The 7 Brand Advocate Types You Need To Know (Infographic)

Picture1

Imagine if you were able to identify and engage with people willing to help you out for free because they are passionate about your company. If you are open to it, your customers will open up for you and help you succeed. That doesn’t cost a lot – just some time engaging with people that like what you like. But alas, almost all organizations are self-absorbed and reluctant to be working alongside their best customers. And that’s a big miss.

Mark Fidelman, Contributor, Forbes, July 29, 2013.

When I remodeled my first house I started with the bathrooms. Everything in the bathrooms needed to go except the sink and the toilets. They had stood the test of time because they were made by Kohler. But in one of the bathrooms a Kohlertoilet had cracked because the floor of my house (original built in the 19th century) was uneven. So I decided to call Kohler to ask them if they stood by their products and to ask for a new toilet. The toilet was 12 years old but they bought me a new one anyway.

So whenever anyone asks me about what kitchen or bathroom products to buy – I always say Kohler. In fact, I won’t buy any product from any competitor of Kohler’s. I’m that sold on the company. I guess that makes me an advocate of the brand although they probably don’t know me. And that’s a common problem for most organizations.

I am what SocialChorus, an advocate marketing software company, calls a Passionate Pilgrim. But there are at least 6 more advocate types. I figured other companies should learn how to identify their advocates and why connecting with them is important. Because any company that is not actively grouping and engaging advocates to perform targeted sales activities is wasting money and losing business.

There are at least 7 customer advocate archetypes – let’s examine each:

20130723-7-Advocates

 

<Click to Enlarge>

1. The Titanic Tweeter

The Titanic Tweeters are eager to share anything and everything. They often steer a ship chock-full of eager passengers. The trick is to supply them with interesting, entertaining and digestible content. Remember, the Titanic Tweeter has seen it all—the good, the bad and the ugly—but they may post first and ask questions later. Do not let them hit a social iceberg.

Keep them in the know, keep them afloat with great content and keep them in safe waters.

2. The Passionate Pilgrim

This advocate is in love with your brand—not in a crusader way, but in a loyal and committed way. This advocate has used your product or service for years and believes that the world would be a model ‘city upon a hill’ if the rest of humanity would only catch on.

So, the Pilgrims will gladly spread the gospel of your brand. The only risk is that they may annoy their network with too much branded content. Therefore, give the pilgrim an advocate map that helps them share great messaging with regular but not overwhelming frequency.

3. The Heroic Hipster

The Heroic Hipster spotted your brand first and wants the world to know it. He or she searches far and wide for products and services that rock and will help them stand out from the crowd.

The Heroic Hipsters want to be first in line to lead the charge for your brand. They want to know about new releases, upcoming events and brand exclusives before the rest of the world. Otherwise, Heroic Hipsters feel less compelled to advocate for your brand. Welcome these web warriors into an elite and privileged unit of your advocates to best leverage their network.

4. The Megaphone Millionaire

These are your celeb musicians, actors, entrepreneurs, writers, comedians, political leaders and other rock stars who have a huge following because they’re well known, have great things to say or hopefully both. Either way, they share loudly.

Choose these advocates wisely. Sarah Jessica Parker was a logical choice for the fashion brand Halston—Post Foods perhaps should have reconsidered making Mike Tyson a Twitter advocate for Golden Crisp Cereal. The Megaphone Millionaires must sync with the values and image of your brand.

5. The Giving Guru

They used to send us emails about the National Do Not Call Registry, and today they post about the Hallmark e-card scam, proper battery recycling and the latest product recall. The Giving Guru looks diligently for information, products and services that will help their friends and family members. If your brand can help the people they love and care about, they will advocate.

So help the Guru lookout for friends and family. It’s not always about your product or service—a mobile app developer, for instance, can give the Giving Guru tips on mobile privacy and security.

6. The Curious Curator

The Curious Curator has a big appetite for detailed data and analytical information. They will read and click from link to link to link in order to collect the very best sources on a subject. They then share these sources or summarize and analyze key findings and insights for their friends, family members and business associates. The Curious Curators are a sharp, critical crowd.

Give this advocate a thought-provoking argument, a lesson from history or a privileged view under the hood of your brand. The Curious Curators enjoy the investigative process and look forward to sharing the results. Help them on this journey and they may advocate for your brand.

7. The Noiseless Ninja

The Noiseless Ninja is the stealthy yet influential brand advocate. They tip-toe the social streets in search of killer deals, sneaky offers and great brand secrets. These reclusive readers may anonymously post their findings in blogs, share their teachings face to face or whisper across the digital winds.

Do not try to make the Noiseless Ninjas reveal themselves with email lists and ‘like us to enter’ contests. Remember, the Noiseless Ninja likes brands them let them stay in the shadows. Instead, give them codes to enter for discounts or great brand intelligence they may feel disposed to share. Because they are quiet, the words mean a lot when they choose to speak up with the people who respect

Does advocacy marketing work?

It’s clear that it does – and as proof – take a look at what SocialChorus has accomplished with companies like Pepsi, Kia and other Fortune 500 companies. Similarly, Marcy Massura of the MSL Group , told me that her advocacy and word of mouth marketing with brands like M&Ms, Snickers (Mars ), Lunchables (Kraft), Clear (Unilever UN +0.18%) Oscar Mayer (Lunchables) were huge successes. This isn’t nice to have marketing, it’s must have marketing.

Imagine if you were able to identify and engage with people willing to help you out for free because they are passionate about your company. If you are open to it, your customers will open up for you and help you succeed. That doesn’t cost a lot – just some time engaging with people that like what you like. But alas, almost all organizations are self-absorbed and reluctant to working alongside their best customers. And that’s a big miss.

~ Curated by TME World of Marketing, August 14, 2013.

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/markfidelman/2013/07/29/the-7-brand-advocate-types-you-need-to-know-infographic/

We welcome your ideas

Tom Fishburne: Marketoonist
August 11th, 2013

Businesses have increasingly realized that they can’t do innovation alone. Many have implemented open innovation programs to make it easier to bring in ideas from the outside world. As Nanako Mura from Kraft put it, “we recognize that we don’t know everything.”

A.T. Kearney wrote, “No single company is large enough or inventive enough to be an innovation leader without collaborating with an array of partners.”

This is a sea change from the traditional closed innovation model, which dictates that companies tightly control the creation and management of ideas (and own all the intellectual property).

Open innovation recognizes that businesses don’t have to originate the research to profit from it and that those who make the best use of internal and external ideas will win.

But for open innovation to mean more than lip service, collaboration can’t be one-sided. I remember one supplier road show when I worked at a large company. Fifteen vendors flew in from across the country and were each given ten minutes to pitch ideas based on a brief we had sent. We reviewed their presentations like reality show judges. We picked one winning idea, dismissed the others, and then browbeat the winning vendor on cost. This was a partnership in name only.

Many businesses bring this type of closed silo mentality to open innovation. They welcome ideas through an open innovation portal, but force Draconian legal agreements to participate. I know of one collaboration between a large company and a startup where the legal costs alone of the IP licensing agreement ran into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for the smaller company.

I’d love to hear your idea of businesses that are executing open innovation programs well.

Open innovation is not only about process. It’s about mindset.

~ Curated by TME, World of Marketing, August 14, 2013

Source: http://tomfishburne.com/2013/08/open-innovation.html

Most Brands Aren’t Budgeting For Innovation

Why Marketing Leaders Must Rethink Their Culture

By: 
Published: August 07, 2013

Only 11% of marketers set aside a specific budget for marketing innovation efforts, and only 9% make marketing innovation a part of every marketer’s budget, according to a recent Forrester survey. Yet 95% of these marketers agreed that they are achieving positive ROI from their innovation programs. Why the disconnect? Mastering marketing innovation is getting harder and harder due to the ever-changing customer landscape caused by digital disruption, perpetually connected customers and shifting customer expectations.

In every industry, digital competitors are taking advantage of new platforms and tools to undercut competitors, get closer to customers and disrupt the traditional way of doing business. In fact, the same survey found that the majority of firms — 46% of whom generate over $1 billion in revenue per year– are still in the early stages of innovation maturity. To keep up, Forrester maintains that the only way to compete is to evolve and innovate. But creating an innovation-driven culture is challenging. First, firms must understand the four marketing innovation cultures in order to determine both their current and aspirational state:

Risk-averse This culture typically exhibits “command and control” personalities like those that are in highly regulated industries or have monopolistic power within market segments. Traditionally, they only innovate when forced.

Pragmatist This culture tends to be conservative and consensus driven, which makes it slow to react to changes. Although these organizations’ current marketing programs still drive business, they are increasingly at risk from smaller, more nimble competitors. Forrester has found that more than 60% of brands fall into this category.

Experimenter Typically, firms with an experimenter culture are highly focused on innovation to drive differentiation around customer experience but lack a long-term strategy.

Customer-obsessed These firms are defined by their obsession with the lifestyle, needs and wants of their customer and build a culture that is both rare and inherently innovative. Forrester has found that only 3% of brands fall into this category.

What’s next after a brand has identified its approach to innovation? Leading innovators don’t target where their customers are today but where they will be in the future. With customer technology adoption moving faster than ever before, marketers must accelerate their brand and company through a disrupted, fragmented ecosystem. Marketers can get started by:

Making the business case for innovation and securing C-level support. The key to long-term success for a marketing innovation program is C-level monitoring. Forrester has found that only 20% of marketers receive support from executive leaders when it comes to these types of programs. In order to make a stronger business case for innovation, marketers must consider: a plan to develop organizational leadership; specific marketing innovation budget allowances, either by total or percent of marketing spend; and expected return on investment. One way to maximize productivity is to take advantage of in-house or agency partner innovation labs to brainstorm and ideate “what’s next” opportunities. Once strong contenders are identified, conduct pilot market tests, measure results and scale those that gain traction. The results of these pilot programs can be used to demonstrate the need for ongoing funding and support.

Leveraging customer insights to take an innovation-anywhere approach. It’s no secret that understanding customer behavior is critical to success. So why do only 40% of brands source innovation ideas from their customers and technology and agency partners? Just as firms would conduct physical store walkthroughs, marketing teams should regularly conduct digital touch-point walkthroughs. By taking the same digital journey as a customer, brands will learn invaluable information about customer experiences, expectations and challenges. In addition, leverage employees who interact with traditional and digital touch points on a daily basis.

Establishing a dedicated marketing innovation budget and holding the team accountable.A dedicated marketing budget is critical to success. Take the Coca-Cola model of 70-20-10, where 70% of the marketing budget is for “now,” 20% for “new,” and 10% for “what’s next” marketing programs. It’s also imperative to hold teams accountable by determining the success or failure of each program. The only way the organization will learn what works and what doesn’t is to synthesize the insights, end failing programs fast and quickly scale the successes.

~ Curated by TME World of Marketing, August 12, 2013.

Source: http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/brands-budgeting-innovation/243533/

Brand Advocacy Important for Reach

“Brands have not provided the technology, incentives or content that both inspire and enable customers to speak out positively” 

NEW YORK: Brands are failing to get satisfied customers to share their views in social media although advocacy can account for up to 80% of reach from marketing campaigns, new research has suggested.

Social@Ogilvy, the social media strategist, analysed 7m brand social mentions across four countries – Brazil, China, UK, US – and 22 brands in order to ascertain the key drivers of advocacy.

It found that most brand mentions were casual asides and were either neutral or negative. Advocacy mentions represented about 15% of all brand mentions.

“Brands have not provided the technology, incentives or content that both inspire and enable customers to speak out positively,” said Irfan Kamal, global head of Data+Analytics and Products at Social@Ogilvy.

“To help close the gap, brands must help facilitate advocacy volume, reward passion and amplify reach,” he added.

The US hotels category was cited as an example, with the Ogilvy study suggesting that some hotels reported guest satisfaction scores of 80% or more, but nevertheless had less than one advocacy mention per 100 stays.

“There is clearly a large social advocacy gap: the vast majority of people satisfied with their experience aren’t advocating online,” the report stated.

Social@Ogilvy also identified “clusters” of discussion which highlighted those areas inspiring advocacy from fans – ranging from breakfasts at Holiday Inns to bars in Kimpton’s Hotels – and which it suggested could be used to inform changes in messaging and products.

Globally, the study found that the highest rates of brand advocacy in China. But the most passionate levels of advocacy were found in the US and UK.

This echoed earlier research from loyalty marketing agency ICLP Worldwide, reported in Admap, which established advocacy levels of 75% and 63% in China and India respectively, compared to 45% and 38% in the US and UK.

ICLP managing director Mignon Buckingham argued that brands in the emerging markets needed to maximise this opportunity to help drive additional interaction and create revenue opportunities.

Social@Ogilvy also observed that passion for a brand was more likely to be driven by product and service features than by emotions, ads and cost.

Noting that products such as skin care or hotels could generate more passionate advocacy than blockbuster movies, Social@Ogilvy remarked: “It seems people often get excited by more day-to-day experiences.”

Data sourced from PR Newswire, Admap; additional content by Warc staff, 17 July 2013

~ Curated by TME World of Marketing, August 7, 2013.

Source: http://www.warc.com