Second-Half — Forrester Consumer Forum

My panel was on Brand Monitoring: What Works and What Doesn’t — moderated by Peter Kim, joined by Karl Long from N-Gage at Nokia, and Suzanne Fanning, Senior PR Manager at Fiskars.

Peter threw some obligatory questions about monitoring, hoping one of us would trash at least one vendor, but as granny told me, unless you have something nice to say, say nothing at all …

So we talked about the SMM programs within our companies, and Fanning won, hands down, by talking about her success in activating the “Fiskarteers” — a group of four-mega fan bloggers who have done a lot to spread the Fiskar brand to the craft niche. Good stuff — sort of grassroots community activation we saw in the early days of Reel-Time — but I felt downright dour talking about my world of detecting unhappy customers and trying to make them feel good.

Lesson learned, SMM should embrace the positive and not dwell on the negative. There are good, positive things out there to promote, the community just needs the tools and a good reason to do the promotion.

Drank beer with Karl and David Armano from Critical Mass, who was livecasting the beer drinking through a mash up page, but being too busy to drink a second, I returned to the room to get a project out the door and catch up on mail.

Here through tomorrow. Good conference, but what do I know, I am not a conference goer.

Bearing torches

I’m happy to point out that we commenced voting today on 18 finalists selected from more than 6,000 contestants vying for one of three chances to run with the Olympic Torch next spring in China.

On August 8, at the one-year out mark from the beginning of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, we commenced an ambitious global contest with the help of Google to build awareness of our global sponsorship of the Games.

So, for the last two months we’ve been taking entries in the form of essays, narrowed that down to 18, and today commence voting on videos submitted by the finalists.

I am very pleased with the results. We delivered well over a billion impressions and gained some very strong results. The strongest result of all, in my mind, in our first user generated content play, was the very high quality of the entries.

Please check them out here and vote for your favorite.

Forrester Consumer Forum Keynote

No outlets, so I am already power-paranoid, but keynote on “sacred cows” sets the requisite agenda that everyone is witness to a change in the world order.

First sacred cow to die is the marketing funnel, replaced by the marketing spaghetti diagram.

Dell getting big props for blog and fire issues. They deserve it.

Charlene Li, Vp, principal analyst, kicks off Your Customers are Revolting 😉 – “embrace your customers to turn revolt into reformation”

34% power and WWAN is sucking this battery dry. Spare battery at home. Woke at dark-thirty to make 6 am flight. Center seat. Grumpy and feeling car sick from taxi email in from O’Hare. Why don’t I carry my digital camera? Blackberry camera is evil for file upload. Need to sort out MMS. Blogging in Word – conference blogging is overrated and semi-stupid – will see what happens if Word is used as a log with republish into the same post through the day.

Charlene’s “modem” is running at low bandwidth for me. Insights are doubtlessly big for the noobs in the audience, but I am half-tuned in and fretting over Lenovo stuff, like our messed up webcast yesterday ….

Charlene talking about fans saving cancelled TV show, “Jericho.” Nut campaign to CBS. Twenty tons of peanuts.

Now lots of eye charts on demographics of: creations, critics, joiners, collectors, inactives, etc. – Forrester buckets for demographic/behavioral categorization. Now discussing tactics to turn around customer revolt


Q&A is upping the bandwidth. Audience is asking smart ones of Charlene: Chevy Tahoe, legal overhang, companies who aren’t interesting to audiences ….

Battery down to 20% — my kingdom for an outlet. I pity the company getting started in Social Media – tech support driven product and services like us and Dell are no-brainers. It must be like pushing string in consumer packaged goods.

Charlene cites Ernst & Young as one of the few brands to understand Facebook. Using it as a campus recruiting tool.

Christine Hefner

Smart presentation. Why can’t my Powerpoint have pictures of attractive, young, under-dressed women? That would be wrong. “Nike is a brand, Reebok is a shoe. ESPN is a brand. Sports illustrated is a magazine …”

“Playboy was a generational prison-break”

End of the second opinion in health care and the rise of the web research and community seeking to find experiences from others in the same health issue. “Armed consumer.” Internet set the stage for different relationship between consumers and authority figures.

Battery drained. More after a recharge.

Shame I couldn’t blog. Hefner had some very smart remarks –

Piracy and IP: “We want to be the home in the neighborhood with the biggest dog. We take piracy and counterfeiting very seriously. On the other hand you don’t want to be a brand no one wants to rip-off.”

Matrixed management in a multimedia organization : She spoke eloquently about changing the management structure at Playboy away from print, television, online, to a more matrixed model that leveraged synergies across the mediums.

Second Life: Arrgh. She showed it, she called it a “lab”, said it was “less about revenue and more about learning….” Okay, translation, virtual tumbleweeds are rolling.

PlayboyU – social network for .edu domains. Operations guy had the line of the morning: “Biggest mistake was assuming we knew the audience. They told us who they are and we learn from it.” Definitely a parable to apply to understanding customer segments and getting away from coverall-demographic segmentation. In otherwords – listen to audience to define It and then meet it with product that meets their needs. All tied into the notion of co-creation wit h the customer set. Don’t just make dinner, ask them what they want first and cook it to order.

Richard Edelman

I missed the post-break presentation due to fire at work, but back and blogging with 50% battery …..

Richard Edelman, chairman and CEO of Edelman PR is on stage.

“Move from being masters of the impression to masters of reality.” — catchy. “Trust in business is very tenuous…” Now on the trust stuff that Edelman is known for – Edelman Trust Barometer. Dispersion of media authority … ranking of trusted sources. CEOs are low in the list. Friends and peers are highest.

Pyramid of infleince – old way. Talk to the elite opinion makers, advertise to the masses. Gone. Done. Now it is the sphere of influence. Peer to peer model is going to dominate.

PR is public relationships. I agree – used that line at WPP two weeks ago. I hope he addresses the issue of internal ownership of social media. Is it service and customer support? Is it marketing? Is it PR?

He’s on Wal-Mart. This is a tough one for Edelman, very controversial among bloggers due to the RV blog and Wal-Mart facts. He doesn’t acknowledge that blow up.

CEO blogs – Pitney Bowes CEO is used as a n example as well as himself.

Discussion of crisis management – Crestor. – “our way of having some degree of offense.”

Megaphone, superficial —-transparence, dialogue, honesty, immediacy, journalist level of accuracy. PR can aspire to conve3rsational collaboration, while advertising is controlled communication. Dell gets props for IdeaStorm. IdeaStorm as PR? I disagree.

Get accustomed to letting go.

Peter Kim now interviewing him and goes right to Wal-Mart issue. “we’ve put in mechanism to insure any social media program we engage in is checked. It is very important to have quality control. I told my people to ski the hill hard.”

“PR has as much room at this table as anybody.”

Kim asks: “Is PR dead?”

“Our job is to try to inform the conversation. This our view. Informed advocacy. We should not pretend to be media.”

Audience questions go right at Wal-Mart blogs. RV Tour and Working Families for Wal-Mart. Edelman says the RV tour was “not hidden” but the notion the two bloggers could have had a higher level of transparency.

Edelman says he blogs one out of five times on personal matters. Statement in the context of CEO bloggers and why they aren’t a bigger deal. Kim, asks how he manages star bloggers within Edelman (Steve Rubel no doubt): “Clients may get irritated but I rather be at the edge than conservative.”

Forrester Consumer Forum

I’m in Chicago today and tomorrow for my first Forrester Consumer Forum in over 15 years, the last being in Boston when I was reporting for Forbes. I’m on a panel moderated by Peter Kim later today on brand monitoring and management through blogs, but will blog through the day on whatever keynotes and panels I attend. Anyone attending, give me a ping.

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