Your blog - is it a two way conversation? or a publication?
Your "viral video" - is it part of something greater? Or a tactic?
Are your listening, monitoring or measuring the conversation? Or none of the above?
Your influencer relationships - are they relationships, or paid friendships?
Your "blogger outreach" - are you forming a relationship, inviting their participation as a two way street? Or are you sending a form letter pleading for free distribution of your campaign?
Are your campaigns executional? Or are they part of a broader relationship-building effort?
The key differentiators:
Are you making a statement or participating in a conversation?
a conversational brand,
a social object,
a broadcast message or
a social enabler?
Do your efforts reflect this reality?
The truest test of a brand's commitment to a relationship: Does your customer support online, on the phone or via mail/email offer to same level of support as your social/twitter team, marketing agency, social agency or pr agency?
Key Takeaway:It's easy to care about a relationship in a silo. It's much harder to commit to that relationship across the board.
The world's largest focus group sits at your fingertips.
Millions of people are speaking openly and publicly online, while millions more are reading and consuming.
But how do you listen, how do you learn, how do you measure, derive meaning, interact and report?
Project Smile is committed to bringing the answers to you. We've already heard from TNS Cymfony and MotiveQuest, and we will be hearing from others in the days and weeks ahead. With that in mind, I would like to introduce Visible Technologies.
Profile - Visible Technologies
Who is Visible Tech? What makes them special, unique, and where do they fit in this incredibly diverse landscape?
Mike Spataro, VP of Strategic Relationships is on the hot seat.
Please feel free to submit your questions and comments via the comments section below.
We help companies build stronger relationships with existing
customers and acquire new customers. We accomplish this with TruCast, the only
social media business intelligence solution in the industry that brings
together the ability for brands to monitor and measure consumer perceptions
online and participate or take action in one integrated application.
led you to launch your company?Give us a brief history of who you are.
Mike: We started in 2003 as a search engine marketing company,
offering SEO, pay-per-click, and our still very popular TruView,
search online reputation management service. That experience led us to the
development of our social media platform TruCast, which is an outgrowth of the
success we had in helping brands manage, protect and grow their businesses.
Doing That Thing They Do
would you describe your core capability?
Mike: Our core competency is in delivering actionable business
intelligence to our clients that impact their bottom line. We do this through
comprehensive data collection and analysis and how those insights support
different functional areas of a company. Our core competences go beyond just
providing innovative technology and tools. We combine great people, technology and
client support and service to help brands wherever they need it in this new
Taking The Road Less Traveled
Jon: What key
differentiators does your company offer?
Mike: Our competitors specialize in just one or two areas while we
have a complete suite of TruCast products and services that help companies with
all of their different needs. We understand that brands are approaching this
area from many different points of view, so we have developed different
products and services to help the business. That can take more forms, ranging
from active listening, to best practices to participate, to comprehensive issue
analysis, to emergency monitoring. Our enterprise TruCast platform, for
instance, allows multi-disciplinary groups across a global company to analyze
and interact with the data and insights in different ways that fit within their
would you say has been your most successful engagement to date?What made it successful?
Mike: With a 95 percent client retention rate I’d like to think
most of our engagements have been successful, but we are certainly proud of the
work we are doing with Microsoft, GM, Hormel, Campbell’s, AT&T, and
Panasonic to name just a few. What’s particularly gratifying is not just the
valuable business intelligence we provide our clients every day but seeing more
of our clients move from listening to activation and the changes in consumer perceptions
experienced around a particular product or issue because they turned insights
are the greatest challenges facing the social intelligence industry?
Mike: The greatest challenge is how to make this intelligence part
of the DNA of a company. The data is here and its importance is growing every
day. Vendors and brands have more work to do on the ROI model, especially as conversational
marketing evolves from text to multi-media and crosses different applications
and technologies. An important conversation can start on a blog, continue on
Friendfeed and finish on YouTube. Brands need to deal with that information
flow reality and how to measure it.
Jon: How do
you see social media/marketing evolving over the next 3 years?
Mike: Thankfully, the term ‘social media’ will disappear from our
vocabulary. However, the underlying trends driving consumer collaboration on a
global scale will continue to increase. The global aspects of social media are
here now and present a new set of challenges for everyone. When you consider
that only one-sixth of the world’s population is online yet, you get a sense of
the magnitude and growing importance of this industry.
Choosing The Right Solution For You
role should experience play in choosing a social media intelligence
Mike: While experience and technology are important, selecting a
partner revolves around matching the needs of your organization to the right
provider. There are many companies in this industry, but none who do what we do
and how we do it. You have to identify exactly what your needs are and where
you fall on the spectrum between passive listening and dynamic activation. It then
becomes much easier to figure out which provider is right for you.
Call it nDVR. Call it VOD. Call it on-demand streaming. Call it ad skipping. Call it TIVO, SlingBox, or ORB. Call it place-shifting, copyright infringement or distribution democratization.
The outcome is the same.
The present is changing. The past has changed. Now is too late, but Tomorrow may be to soon. The key to success in today's market is adaptive innovation, planned flexibility that protects today's revenue streams while laying the foundations of tomorrow's solutions.
Broadcast Networks and Content Owners will by and large continue to cling to what is known, familiar and therefor immediately advertiser friendly. They will fight change for the upheaval and turmoil it will cause the industry, for the massive investment and effort required of both manpower and resources (not to mention infrastructural costs) towards deploying a new model.
But a new model will emerge. And fighting the future will not keep it from coming. I tried. I took the batteries out of my watch. But the day ended. And tomorrow came.
The battle over nDVRs will continue. And it should. This court battle matters. It sets a strong precedent for future technologies... which will in turn demand new models.
The Mainstream Media outlets and Cable Providers are smart. They are battling to protect their current revenues. But most importantly, while they are battling to protect their wallets today, they are innovating, fostering tomorrow's future all the while. Hulu is out and is (to my mind) a success. TheWB relaunches in weeks. But this is only the beginning.
The entire concept of change is still in it's infancy. And I for one, am looking forward to quite a ride.
Comcast had some service issues. They did the right thing. They reached out. The became responsible digital social citizens.
They are resolving issues.
Sure, they may be more that they could be doing, there is always room for growth and optimization.
But perhaps the most notable component of this effort (of late) is the amazing New York Times writeup on the Comcast Cares initiative. This mainstream recognition of Comcast efforts has driven massive spikes in buzz across the interwebs. Comcast is on fire.
But what are they doing with this spike in conversation? How are they fueling and enabling brand advocacy?
Ian Schafersuggests, "I would find more 'Franks', and let each of their subscribers know that it's an option." Great idea. But I think the immediate opportunity here transcends customer service.
Consider the conversation captured (on Twitter) below:
Comcast looks to be missing out on a tremendous social PR opportunity.
It's one thing to build a social customer service capability. It's another to internalize digital social media across an organization.
Comcast Cares is a great program. Here's to hoping that Comcast integrates this dynamic across the rest of their organization.
It's a connection, it's a lifeline, that can be turned on and off. It's a utility. That's why we need net neutrality, right?
While the world of the internet within the browser or within a dedicated connected application (ex - widgets or Outlook) is far from gone, the time has come for marketers and technologists to look at the internet as more then a channel. The connected web is the natural evolution of the human experience.
Higher speeds, open platforms, more intuitive development kits, these are all small pieces in a larger puzzle. There is a greater endgame at play.
Social media has evolved via digital connectivity, and it continues to evolve.
Video viewing has evolved, and will continue to evolve.
Mobile connectivity has evolved, and clearly will continue to evolve.
We cannot look to the future without remembering the past. The media and technology landscapes have greatly evolved over the past century. And they will continue to evolve. But the world didn't turn on a dime, it will not change with a single keynote.
The world is going to continue to change, but without looking through the lens of the historical human perspective, we are doomed to chasing waterfalls.
Dreaming is great for ideation, but insight is what fuels the future.
So what are your insights? What are the key factors driving tomorrow?
Some Perspective: This is currently a technology play with marketing potential. Permission TV's next step has to be around licensing and distribution. They have to get the right content owners and destination/distribution sites on board if this product is going to see the light of day in-market.
Future Visions:Web interactivity is only the beginning. As out living room media experiences become more connected via iTV, Digital Cable, IPTV, Gaming Consoles, Media Extenders, DVRs and more, the interactivity of the web will merge with the simplicity of the living room media experience.
I've been hearing more and more about "The 10 Foot Interaction". Our media experiences will evolve. We will interact from our couch, just not from a traditional mouse or keyboard. It is going to be up to platform providers like Permission TV to build out tomorrow's web experiences today, and to begin thinking two steps ahead towards the living rooms experiences of the 2010s, real soon.