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September 2008

project smile feature: Motive Quest CMO Tom O'Brien

Introduction

Project smileSocial media marketing starts with listening.  But how do you listen?

Project Smile is committed to bringing a broad perspective of the social media intelligence space, featuring both the heavy hitters and the innovative up and comers.

This is the second, of what will be a continuing series, profiling some of the leading players and solutions providers in this white hot industry.  In case you missed last week's interview with TNS Cymfony CMO Jim Nail, you can check it out here.

Profile - Motive Quest

Tom OBrien Who is Motive Quest?  What makes Motive Quest unique?  Where does Motive Quest see the future of social media intel? 


The insightful Tom O'Brien, CMO of MotiveQuest, has agreed to sit down for some Q&A.


Please feel free to post questions, follow up and suggestions to both Tom and myself (Jon) in the comments below.


140 Character Elevator Pitch

Online Anthropology with strategists & software to reveal motivations & drivers, competitive dynamics, brand advocacy & emerging trends.


Background

Jon: What led you to launch your company?  Give us a brief history of who you are.

Tom: MQ has been in business since 2003.  Our motto “fearlessly seeking the reasons why” may seem a bit obscure, but the core of our work is to use the data (online conversations between millions of people) to help answer our client questions about branding, communication, advocacy, campaign effectiveness, etc.  We are examining the data with a variety of sophisticated tools and techniques to determine why people do what they do and help our clients use this information to their advantage.


Doing That Thing They Do

Jon: How would you describe your core capability? 

Tom: Our core capability is analysis of human motivations and drivers across brands, markets, constituencies to help our clients solve their business problems.  We provide our clients with ideas, insight and recommendations they can act on.


Taking the Road Less Traveled

Jon: What key differentiators does your company offer? 

Tom:

  • First, unlike most in this category, MotiveQuest is not a software or technology company.  We are primarily a marketing strategy firm using online anthropology as our primary tool for uncovering hidden human motivations, drivers and competitive dynamics.  
  • Second, we have developed social media metrics that measure brand advocacy and have been show to be a leading indicator of sales.  This is critical for proving the ROI of social media analysis.

Success Stories

MQ Jon: What would you say has been your most successful engagement to date?  What made it successful?

Tom: The work we did with Butler Shine Stern & Partners and Mini was groundbreaking.  We did the analysis work to help BSSP understand what Mini owners are most passionate about, and then measured the results of their campaign on brand advocacy for Mini.  Brand advocacy (measured with MQ’s proprietary Online Promoter ScoreTM) turned out to be a leading indicator of sales.  See case study here:  MotiveQuest Advocacy for Mini


Looking Forward

Jon: What are the greatest challenges facing the social intelligence industry? 

Tom: I think the greatest challenges are proving the value of our measures and becoming an accepted means of consumer research.


Jon: How do you see social media/marketing evolving over the next 3 years?

Tom: I believe that the (vendor) market will consolidate somewhat with firms falling into three buckets – dashboard providers, research data providers and research insight/strategy providers.  I think the largest marketers are really struggling to figure out how to spend money on digital media because it is hard.  Providers that can help marketers do this in an intelligent, measurable way will win.


Choosing The Right Solution For You

Jon: What role should experience play in choosing a social media intelligence solutions provider?

Tom: This is a complex business and experience matters.  Take a look at the Visa Olympic buzz kerfuffle to get a flavor of what happens when you don’t get things right.  BTW, we were hired by Visa to look into this matter and we found something quite different from what Cymfony found. (Please don’t share with Jim Nail!)


Additional Info

Website: www.motivequest.com

Presences Across Social Media: Slideshare, Del.ico.us, YouTube Channel, AdAge Articles, A Human Voice, Twitter

For More Info Contact: Tom O’Brien, tobrien@motivequest.com, 847.905.6118, Twitter: @tomob, http://humanvoice.wordpress.com

Other Fun Stuff

Tom: MotiveQuest has been rated as one of the top 3 online research companies by Forrester - and they called us the most service and strategy focused - which got it just right.


Charts/Food for Thought

Communities

Common interest 


Passion Peaks

Passion peaks 


Social Computing Landscape

Social computing landscape 


Cool is... (defining cool in cellphone category)

Cool swarm


Geico is getting old school CRM right

Geico OK, so this isn't about "social media".  It's about using email communications effectively.

This morning I logged into my email to find the message below (addressed to my wife).  Short, prompt, to the point, timely and much appreciated.  Web marketing isn't about what's next, it's about what works.  Email works. 

Right channel, right message, right time.  Just one more reason to love Geico.

Message below:

Dear Rina Davis-Burg,

We hope that you and those close to you are safe in spite of the inclement weather conditions brought on by Tropical Storm Hanna.

As your insurance company, we understand that when a weather catastrophe strikes, the most important thing we can do is to make the claim settlement process as quick and easy as possible. We take that responsibility very seriously.

If your vehicle sustains storm damage, GEICO has experienced specialists available to help you with your claim. We are also prepared to dispatch special claims teams to your area. Our catastrophe teams will remain deployed until all storm claims are resolved.

If you need to report a claim, please visit us online or call us at 1-800-861-8380. As always, we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Thank you for insuring with GEICO. Our thoughts are with you.

Sincerely,

Tony Nicely
Chairman


This is why I stick with them.  Great customer service.


the snowball effect - marketing, momentum and politics

Snowball effect They say when it rains it poors...

or do raindrops just like to hang out together?

Fish swim in a school...

but what are they learning?

Peas come in the same pod...

but who says they wanted to be there in the first place?


Just because something was there and is now here doesn't mean that it moved.  We may have moved while it stood still.  I believe that it is perception that defines perspective, framing a generation.

All too often we look at trends as insular shifts, as either global movements or micro-transactions and subsequent reactions.  But despite the popular rumor, Sarah Palin didn't build Rome in a day.  

Small things become big things when they gather momentum.  Momentum is caused by the confluence and convergence of multiple factors, joining together to create a movement.

Just because there is a new browser, a new  phone, new software, new code or a new device doesn't mean that the world will change.

But when technology becomes a core part of our popular culture, we know we're getting somewhere.  I don't know that we will ever "arrive" because I don't that there is a "destination", but we're certainly moving.  I don't know where we're going, but we all seem to be in a rush to get there.  Just think, if we could harness that momentum, this snowball effect, this movement for movement itself, how powerful that would be.  

Visions And this is why we dream.  This is why we talk excitedly about Palin and Obama, about change and experience, about innovation and invention.  This is what drives us.  This may well be what defines us. 
The 90s may have been a time of grunge and inflated expectation.
The early millennium may have been about rediscovery and realization. 

But now more than ever, I think, I hope, I believe, we are finally ready for sincerity.
 

photo credit here and here

project smile feature: TNS Cymfony CMO Jim Nail

Introduction
Project smileSocial media marketing starts with listening.  But how do you listen?

Project Smile is committed to bringing a broad perspective of the social media intelligence space, featuring both the heavy hitters and the innovative up and comers. This is the first, of what will be a continuing series profiling some of the leading players and solutions providers in this white hot industry.

Profile - TNS Cymfony

Jim naill To kick it all off, we've got the wonderful Jim Nail, the Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer with TNS Cymfony.  So who is Jim, what does TNS Cymfony do, how are they special, how are they different?  For all this and more, check out our chat with Jim below.  If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below and we will forward them to Jim.

Elevator Pitch

Cymfony tells brand and companies what people are saying about them, whether those people are professional journalists, bloggers, a brand’s current customers or average consumers. We combine the most comprehensive collection of content from offline, online, and social media sources with sophisticated text mining technology and the smartest analysts in the business.


Background
Jon: What led you to launch your company?

Jim: Cymfony was founded in the mid ‘90’s by a PhD in computational linguistics and initially developed the technology to serve the intelligence services of the US government. We launched our first commercial product in 2001: a PR measurement application called Brand Dashboard. We began analyzing social media in 2003, making us one of the first companies to do so. We launched our current product, Orchestra, in 2005, the first application to combine traditional and social media analysis in one application. In 2006 we were named a Leader in Forrester Research’s Brand Monitoring Q3 2006 report. In 2007, we were acquired by TNS Media Intelligence.


Doing That Thing They Do

Jon:
How would you describe your core capability?

Jim: Bringing order and structure to the fragmented, chaotic, information explosion around us so that brands and companies can make sense of the rapid changes around them.


 Dancing To The Beat of Their Own Drummer

Jon:
What key differentiators does your company offer?
    Jim:

  • the most comprehensive collection of content from offline, online, and social media sources
  • experience helping multiple functional areas of an organization get value out of understanding social and traditional media analysis: PR, marketing, market research, customer service, product marketing, etc.
  • experience translating a company’s business goals into a technical and operational analysis framework that ensures we get the right content and process it in a way to extract the right insights to achieve those goals
  • an enterprise-class platform that scales to support multiple divisions/business units/brands of large multinational companies with thousands of employees and scores of agency partners

Success Stories
Tns cymfony

Jon: What would you say has been your most successful engagement to date?  What made it successful?

Jim: It is hard to pick one engagement but across the range of our successful engagements, the common factors are:
    • Openness to hear what is being said: it is necessary to have some focus on what you want to learn, but you can’t define a project too narrowly – consumers may not be talking about what you want them to talk about. We did a project for an OTC health brand and found significant conversation among parents asking if this product is OK to give to their children, even though the project was meant to understand how sufferers of this condition made their medication choices. This unanticipated finding indicated potential for line extensions of the brand targeted to children
    • Willingness to invest: there is a misconception that because this content is on the web it is free or cheap to do a project.  Gathering the content is trivial; making sense out of it, especially given the volumes that can be found for many products, is the big challenge.
    • Involvement of multiple functional areas: there is a big, misplaced debate about “who should own social media”. The fact is many, many areas of a company can learn valuable information. And given the cost and effort, it is important to amortize the investment across as many areas as possible. A client who was dealing with a recall crisis distributed the daily Cymfony reports to PR, marketing, executives, consumer affairs and others. They all used it to assess how effective their communication and response to the crisis was and revised messaging and strategy accordingly. Another client in PR shared the results with his advertising colleagues; as a result, they were able to boost overall sales by reallocating some advertising dollars away from products that were getting a high level of PR coverage to give covered products that didn’t receive much PR coverage more advertising weight.


The Future of Social Media Intelligence

Jon: What are the greatest challenges facing the social intelligence industry?

Jim: I shouldn’t say this, because our competitors might start to get smart, but here goes: social media analysis is too focused on social media. It is important but it is not yet the dominant place where consumers get their information to drive purchase decisions. Social media is one input among many and if that is all you look at, you are only looking at part of the picture.

Jon: How do you see social media/marketing evolving over the next 3 years?
    Jim:

  • Social media analysis vendors: Consolidation and failure in the social media intelligence space. Nathan Gilliatt just published his updated directory of over 60 companies in the space. Most will die.
  • The media experience: consumer media consumption is evolving from a solo activity to a social event. Media companies are already embracing social media enthusiastically so on USA Today you can become part of the story by rating and commenting while with CNN’s Ireport, an average Joe can become the journalist by submitting videos.
  • Marketers: will probably continue to lag consumer’s adoption of social media. But I am seeing an encouraging trend in companies hiring and staffing social media/community departments, moving away from conducting viral marketing campaigns and embracing participating in the social media dialogue

Choosing the Right Solution for You

Jon: What role should experience play in choosing a social media intelligence solutions provider?

 Jim:Experience in social media isn’t that important – it is all so new and changes so rapidly that anyone claiming to know it all is obviously blowing smoke. What is most important is experience in understanding what a brand or company is trying to get out of their social media intelligence and the ability to design a framework that will deliver answers to real business questions. If a client approaches a social media project without a partner who can give them this guidance, they will flounder around in a mass of mildly interesting, but largely irrelevant banter among online people.


Additional Info

Website: www.cymfony.com

Presences Across Social Media: www.influence2.com, Social Media in Business Facebook group

For More Info Contact: Jim Nail, jnail@cymfony.com, 617-673-6027


Other Fun Stuff

Jim: We have white papers and a webinar addressing the topic of how businesses are using social media at http://www.cymfony.com/socialmediabusiness_reg.asp . Our most popular white paper providing the business case for engaging in social media is at http://www.cymfony.com/wp_social_mktg_reg.asp and a webinar of this white paper is at http://www.cymfony.com/webinar_making_case_reg.asp .


links for 2008-08-31