RENEGADE THINKING from the CEO of Renegade, the social media & marketing agency that helps clients make more out of less by transforming communications into "Marketing as Service."

Q+A on Marketing Innovation w Geoff Cottrill, CMO, Converse

01/6/14

Geoff CottrillConverse is the creative world’s favorite party guest, which may be why it has so many friends—over 37 million on Facebook, to be exact. Just how did the sneaker brand get so popular? Not by being the life of the party, but by practicing good people skills and good social etiquette, says CMO Geoff Cottrill. Rather than stepping on toes and dominating the social conversation, Converse lets its audience guide the dialog, knowing that the brand belongs to those who wear it. Geoff shared these insights and more with me during this year’s CMO Club Awards, where he won honors for innovation in marketing—and after you read our conversation, you’ll understand why.

Drew: Have you been able to link your innovative marketing activities to the kinds of business metrics favored by CEOs?

We are fortunate to have a massive and loyal following who is willing to post content on our behalf. To know that we have millions of friends on Facebook and hundreds of thousands of photos tagged #Converse on Instagram is humbling. But for us real success is defined by our ability to build meaningful relationships that are true to our core values, spark creativity and inspire advocacy.

Drew: The Converse page currently has more than 37 million likes – one of the top 10 most popular pages on Facebook. How did you build such an active following on social media?  

As a global brand that speaks to personal style and expression, social media presents itself as a natural forum for us to communicate with our consumers. It’s absolutely a focused part of our overall communication efforts but at the same time we understand that we are not leading that communication, nor do we want to. We are a welcomed party guest. We keep it simple.  Be interesting, think creatively, think globally, believe in what we are saying, and take a step back to listen and watch.

Social media is a tremendous vehicle to learn about your consumers, what they like (or don’t like about you), what they are interested in hearing from us, what they’re doing in their lives, and what they are saying to each other. This brand belongs to the people who wear it.

Drew: We love your campaign to support up and coming musicians by giving them free recording time and promoting them via social media. How did you decide to get involved in the music industry?  

One of our goals as a brand is to give back and help inspire a new generation of musicians.  We talked to a lot of musicians and it became apparent that studio time was costly and unaffordable for many emerging artists who had turned to home studios and their bedrooms to record.  By opening Converse Rubber Tracks, it’s a way for us to say thank you to musicians all over who have helped us become the brand we are and to provide a place for new artists to have access to resources they may not be able to afford. It is Converse’s way to invest in the future of music.

Drew: Marketing seems to be getting increasingly complex in terms of ways to spend and ways to monitor. Has it gotten more complex for you and if so, how are you dealing with that complexity?

We don’t see it as being complex because our philosophy hasn’t changed. We strongly believe in building goodwill in communities and creating long-lasting brand ambassadors for the brand. It’s not just about selling sneakers.

Drew: A CMO has a lot of choices in terms of where they invest their time.  What have been your top priorities in the last 12 months?

In the next few seasons, Converse sees a huge potential of opportunities within avenues such as our wholesale accounts and securing key leadership positions with these important retailers through exclusive partnerships and product offerings. Another category with tremendous opportunity is young men and to truly get after the young male consumer from a head-to-toe perspective, encompassing footwear to apparel to accessories. The plan to reach them will be through the re-launch of the CONS segment, targeted specifically to their street culture, sport-inspired lifestyle.

Drew: Have there been any big surprises in terms of what’s worked really well and what hasn’t?

Our consumers are always surprising us! But we see these surprises in a truly positive way because we can always do better and are constantly seeking improvements.

Drew: What’s your perspective on content marketing?   

Our philosophy on content marketing is built on driving meaningful relationships that are true to our core values, spark creativity and inspire advocacy. Whether it’s about showcasing a musician that has just recorded at Converse Rubber Tracks in Brooklyn, a showcase we put on at SXSW, a street art exhibit in Beijing or a Three Artists One Song collaboration – we focus on developing stories that are compelling for our consumers. 

Drew: Converse has been in business since 1908. How do you balance respecting the tradition of the Converse brand with innovative marketing?

Converse has a long history in music. It has been worn on stage by legendary punk bands in the 1970s and adopted by kings of hip-hop, new wave, rockabilly, grunge and others throughout the decades. Musicians and creative people are our core audience, and we need to do everything possible to foster this community. We want to be useful to the community and never take advantage of it or overstep our place. We want to bring cultures together and celebrate music. In other words, we want to be in it, without getting in the way.

Drew: How do you evaluate/measure the success of your marketing?  

We believe that success is not measured in the traditional sense (i.e. ROI).  The number of deep relationships we can foster with the creative community—not media impressions, and content views, measures success for the brand.

Drew: Do you agree with that notion that marketing is everything and everything is marketing?  How do you as a marketer impact the entire customer experience? 

Marketing is not everything and everything [is not marketing] to Converse. It’s has always been the brand’s intention that our products and consumers drive the marketing, not the marketing driving our product. Our approach to the consumer experience is to invest and grow our connections to consumers. As a brand, Converse is on a mission to own “sneakers” and this will be communicated across all our messaging. We want the word “sneakers” to become synonymous with unleashing the creative spirit.

 

SMWF Preview on Social Brand Mgmt. w N. Bohorad, Capital One

11/25/12

Some might think that the phrase “Social Brand Management” is a multidimensional oxymoron given the prevailing notion that companies have ceded control of their brands to the consumer AND that social may be the last place brands can be managed. Fortunately, Social Brand Management is among the many misconceptions being tackled at this week’s Social Media World Forum in NYC.  Nicole Bohorad, Senior Manager, Social Media Marketing at Capital One is on the Social Brand Management panel and as you will see from the interview below, provides some terrific insights into how her company is grabbing the reins from the proverbial marauding hordes.  (And at the risk of killing the suspense, I did not ask Nicole, “what’s in her wallet?” but be my guest if you’re coming to the conference!)

Drew: So what exactly is “social brand management?”
We see this as guiding people’s perception of our brand, and the ability to direct consideration for and involvement with the brand, through the use of various social channels and social technologies.

Drew: How do reconcile the common desire to “manage” social and the desire for social to be “organic?” Does one necessarily negate the other?
Of most importance, we focus on social being organic. We know our customers recognize Capital One’s brand equity in being clever & funny, and this is something that compells them to share stories about our core values – best value, ease of use and great user experience. To do this effectively, however, we must manage the process by amplifying reach to our most active and supportive customers on social. They then act as evangelists for other customers who are not as loyal or new to the brand. We do this through tactics, including content calendar strategy, social listening and moderation, public relations and advertising to inform our content around topics customers want to hear.

Drew: Can you give me an or two example of how Capital One is “managing” social right now?
We are actively participating in moderation through engagement with customers in live Tweeting events, such as with History Channel’s Mankind The Story of All of Us. This series includes a focus on the creation of commerce and money, so it gives us an opportunity to bring value to the story and engage with fans of the show while talking about our expertise.

We are also monitoring the success of our content performance on Facebook and develop page post ads that highlight the most engaging content. We’ve found, specifically, that our focus on travel interests does quite well, so by including this content in ads, our fans are able to endorse their interactivity for their friends to notice in their newsfeeds and take interest.

Drew: Has social matured this year and if so how has that effected your approach to social?
Yes, it has. Key channels, such as Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, have started to really differentiate their platforms across user base, content posting strategy, reason for using the channel, and accessing the channel (such as mobile). This has caused us to fine-tune our content with a focus on using each one for a specific purpose, such as a real-time news and interests for Twitter, and travel memories and sports stories (around our NCAA experience) on Facebook.

There has also been a greater focus on analytics measurement, where channels have to prove their effectiveness – not only to show how content and ads drive actions and business back to our site and product use, but also how the channels are playing a greater role in affecting media consumption – for example, how Twitter conversations are affecting consideration for brands on TV.

Last, greater linkable search capabilities, such as Google’s ability to tie Google+ with YouTube, and social listening tools that tie into social channels, have proven to add a critical new layer that informs product insight and organic content development.

Drew: Did you try any emerging platforms this year and if so, how did it go?
We launched our Google+ page in May with a focus on travel (tied to our Venture Card), as we saw this was an area ripe for content development. Google recognized the quality of our posts and featured us in their Travel Circle, giving us exposure to more fans with a passion for travel. This has helped us become a financial category leader on the channel, with more than 80,000 featuring us in their circles.

Drew: Capital One has expanded well beyond credit cards in the last few years. What are the tricks to managing social with so many lines of business under one brand name?
Not only that, we have extended our social presence in both Canada and the UK. Luckily, we have strong brand standard guidelines that help guide us in the way that the brand is represented consistently on social channels. We also have a strong brand personality stemming from our TV campaigns that we work to maintain across channels. But we don’t have all the answers yet, and we are continuing to test and learn as we go.

Drew: What’s on your wish list for 2013 in terms of social brand management?
We are going to be refining our brand engagement approach on core social media channels. We want to monitor analytics more closely to define how we attain key brand and business metrics from social content. We also want to test new channels to see where we can extend our brand conversation with consumers. We hope to look at how social can affect brand affinity when coupled with TV viewing behavior. Last, we want to refine our approach to social advertising as it relates to building the most loyal customer bases on social channels who can share our message.

Thanks for reading.  If you enjoyed this post, feel free to subscribe to TheDrewBlog.  

Q+A on Social Media w Jennifer Spencer, PerkStreet Financial

10/2/12

Starting a new company can be a daunting challenge unless the entrepreneur capitalizes on the inherent advantages of being small–you can and should be more nimble, more innovative and less risk adverse.  One clear example of that approach is PerkStreet Financial, an online bank that according to Jennifer Spencer, Digital Communications and Community Manager, has ”grown our customer base and our staff while spending less on traditional media to focus on how to get the biggest bang from unexpected places, like social media channels.”  I caught up with Jennifer at a recent BDI conference and found what she had to say extremely enlightening and inspiring.  Hope you do too.

Drew: Can you give me a bit of background on Perk Street?
Our CEO, Dan O’Malley, was an executive at CapitalOne, and although his career was going great, the higher he climbed at that company, the less he liked what he saw. He didn’t feel good about seeing people get into debt to ‘earn’ rewards, so he left to start PerkStreet. Our company emerged from his idea that smart spending – using a debit card, living within your means, and avoiding credit cards – should come with rewards. So he founded PerkStreet Financial in 2008, and launched our game-changing cash-back debit card. Today, we’re giving our customers over a million dollars per year in rewards for avoiding debt and spending on debit.

When I found PerkStreet (on Twitter!) I was a debit user who wasn’t getting anything back from my big bank except the runaround when I needed help and fees just to keep my money there. I loved being a customer at PerkStreet so much that I sent them my resume. That’s the kind of passion we all have working at PerkStreet, and a lot of our customer community reflects that sentiment.

Drew: So as an online financial institution, what role does social play in your marketing mix?
Opening a checking account isn’t a snap decision. Social lets potential customers join our community and get to know us before they apply. It also lets people share their excitement about earning cash back on debit, and spread our content to their friends easily.

Drew: Do you think social plays a bigger role because you are an online institution?
I think it does. I don’t know about you, but I certainly feel better about trusting my money to people who put a face behind a name. Everything we do in social, from signing our names to all Facebook responses to using Twitter at live events to help people find us quickly, does that.

Drew: How are you measuring the impact of social on your marketing?  Can you share some results?
Our social measurement is focused on engagement. We use Google Analytics and SproutSocial to pull those numbers together for us. We are always testing, and seeing what messages perform best in which channels, and what that means as far as traffic to our blog, our site, and applications. We get a lot of current customer traffic to our blog, for instance – Facebook is the largest driver of traffic to our blog this quarter, followed by Twitter at 2nd, and Pinterest at 5th.

Drew: A lot of banks/financial institutions  are still afraid of social from a compliance/regulatory standpoint. How are you all overcoming those concerns?  Does it come from having a start-up mentality?
I think it comes more from every department understanding how important it is to our brand and our business to make connections with our community. Our compliance team really “gets it” when it comes to social, and having open communication with them helps. We respect what the other is trying to do and we collaborate to find ways we can work together, since ultimately it will benefit our company and our customers.

Drew: Can you give my readers an example of 1 or 2 social programs that you have done that really worked well for you?
Any time we use social to gather user generated content, it’s a success. Our graphics team is doing some really great stuff with inspirational quotes to help spark conversation (here’s one our fans loved!) and we’ve used VideoGenie to let our customers easily record their own stories for us to add to our website.

Drew: Is social also a customer service channel for you?  If so how does that fit into your overall plan?
Social is a customer service channel as well. Any place where customers can ask questions then becomes a customer service channel, and we need to be there to respond. We use tools like SproutSocial and HelpScout to assign tickets among the social and customer service teams so we can get the best answer out as quickly as possible. With so many banks out there getting slammed for terrible customer service, social channels are a low barrier way for potential customers to see how we treat our current customers. It’s all part of people joining PerkStreet not just because we have good banking products, but because they see that being a PerkStreet customer is a great experience.

Drew: Are you doing things with visual channels like Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr?  If so, what / why and did they achieve your goals?
As far as visual social media, we’re sticking with Pinterest for right now (although the Timeline update to Facebook has arguably made that a visual channel.) No one likes to talk about personal finance, but people are always talking about the things finance affects: home, heart, and health. That kind of content is getting shared like crazy on Pinterest, and we’re excited to be a trusted resource for it.  Our goals for Pinterest, while we still get to know the medium, include driving traffic and using what we find there to inspire visual content on our blog, both of which have happened.

Drew: You talked about quarterly planning-can you elaborate on your campaign approach to social?
We don’t have a campaign approach to social, but rather a social approach to campaigns. As I mentioned above, we do a lot of engagement measuring. We take that into consideration as we approach a campaign, and figure out what messages work best in which channels. A campaign has to move beyond social, even if it starts there.

Drew: What kinds of social things are on your radar for 2013? Or what’s on your social wish list? Bigger footprint?  More engagement? Better analytics?
Like most folks who work with Facebook every day, “more data from Facebook” is always at the top of my wishlist. Right under “Commute to work by unicorn.” Seriously, though, I think the road ahead for PerkStreet will involve more ways we can engage current and potential customers on a very personal level. That might look like an expanded Twitter presence, online chats, and lots of video.

Drew: It’s unusual for a financial institution to feature customer testimonial videos on their homepage.  Can you tell me about how you gathered these and the rationale behind it?
For the “Share Your Story” campaign, we awarded the first 50 video submitters an extra $10 in perks in their accounts to help us get the ball rolling. We used VideoGenie to make it easy for our customers to create and submit videos to us, and also accepted submissions from their own cameras or phones, as well as quotes and photos for the video-shy. In the end we received over 200 unique submissions from our customers in about two weeks, with most of them coming in a few days. During the peak, we were getting submissions on average every 8 minutes. There was so much good stuff in there, we couldn’t help but feature it on our homepage.

Drew:  Do you think these videos have had a measurable impact on new customer acquisition?
We are still testing this homepage to see how it’s impacting conversion. I don’t have any conclusive data to release about it, but if I had to guess, I would say it has performed well from a conversion perspective. There’s little that makes people feel more comfortable about a product than being able to hear from someone they can identify with that the product is working for them. On some level, that’s what social media marketing is all about. Testimonials and reactions from authentic sources influence people all the time in social channels. One thing I love about that homepage is that the content was made by real people in their living rooms, and you can tell immediately. It’s incredibly authentic, because it’s real.

Drew: I love all the interesting content on your blog. Do you see this more as a retention tool versus an acquisition one?
It really serves as both in a very interconnected way. A lot of people find our blog when looking for good, frugal life advice and it leads them to learn more about us, to build a deeper relationship, and ultimately, to open an account. Our blog also supplies great information to our current customers, and gives them added value beyond just our banking products. They visit the blog, learn from it and then share our content with their friends, who learn more about us and open accounts of their own. This way, the cycle begins again. Ultimately, we believe that even if we’re measuring our performance by new account acquisition, we are doing a better job all around if what we’re sharing adds to customer retention and loyalty. No matter what your goals are, content is always going to serve a multiplicity of roles. This fact can’t be ignored or the cycle breaks down.

Q&A with Jeff French, CEO of Louddoor

08/29/12

Jeff French, Founder and Chairman of Louddoor spoke at MediaPost’s recent Social Media Insider Summit way up in beautiful Lake Tahoe.  I thought he had a lot of really interesting things to say about social media data mining so I followed up with this interview.  Louddoor’s secret sauce is that they have a 50 million strong Facebook user database that gives them terrific insights into user behavior that marketers can then leverage–I think you’ll find what Jeff has to say quite enlightening.

DN: Give me the 10,000 foot view on Louddoor?
Louddoor is the leading market research and audience targeting Platform for brands and agencies on Facebook.

DN: Tell me a bit about your Facebook user database?
Our database is 100% opt-in and represents data shared by participants in our various market research studies.

DN: Have you all been able to calculate “value per like” and if so, how?
Yes. Value per Like is different for every Page on Facebook. To calculate what a fan is worth you have to establish a control group of similarly situated customers that are not fans and compare their behavior and spending habits to a statistically relevant sample of fans. It’s important to gather a full census of your fans. If you post in the newsfeed to recruit your panel you might as well throw the results in the trash can. Everyone knows that being a Fan on Facebook correlates to higher customer value but our goal is to isolate the causative effects of being a fan and that takes a well executed double blind study. This is the data marketers need to make more informed decisions. It’s not easy to get but it can be done if you have the right partner.

DN: Why is value per like such an important metric?
Its one of many important metrics but having a Value Per Like benchmark can help a brand marketer spend on Facebook with more confidence. When you know what a fan is worth you can make better decisions all around. We’re also in the nascent stages of constructing regression analysis to better understand long term fan value. Everyday we learn something new that gives brand marketers and their agencies more confidence in Facebook Advertising.

DN: You did some interesting user modeling for Hornitos uncovering “mudders” as a passion—tell me about that process?
We conducted a detailed market research study where we surveyed over 25,000 Facebook users about their tequila consumption habits. We found an incredibly strong correlation between users who frequently drink tequila straight (shots, neat, rocks) and the various “mud race” events like Spartan Race and Tough Mudder. We used these findings to target the “mud race” audience for future activations and were able to deliver outstanding results for the client.

DN: How do you allay Facebook user concerns about privacy given all the data you’ve gathered?
First, we never share any personally identifiable user data with anyone (including our clients). We clearly disclose to our users that the data provided on our Platform will be used on an anonymous basis to construct better ad targeting and analytics algoritms for use on Facebook. Users understand that ads keep Facebook free and when you get right down to it they want these ads to be more relevant to them. Mark Zuckerberg himself puts the user experience on Facebook in front of everything else. We believe strongly that our research is improving the Facebook user experience for brands and consumers by creating more relevant ads. It’s a true win-win and we’ve never had a single user complaint regarding a privacy issue.

DN: Can you share another example of how you’ve helped marketers by analyzing Facebook data?
Audience Segmentation is a hot topic right now for our clients. Facebook recently released new functionality to let brands better target posts in their fans’ newsfeed but we are going far beyond these capabilities and using Facebook Sponsored Stories to deliver the right message to the right fan at the right time with laser precision. For example, most brands have customers that respond for different reasons. Some may be more influenced by product quality while others are discount motivated. We are able to slice a client’s fan base with this level of granularity and when we deliver relevant sponsored stories powered by this data the results are simply incredible. We are literally seeing engagement results 5-10X greater than un-targeted sponsor story units. You can’t spend engagement but it’s the first step towards driving sales and measurable results.

Q&A with Ethan McCarty, IBM’s Senior Manager of Digital and Social Strategy

09/11/11

Here is the first part of my interview with Ethan McCarty IBM’s Senior Manager of Digital and Social Strategy.  Its hard not to be impressed with IBM’s approach to social, elevating the discussion from a “nice to have” media component to a “must have” means of doing business.

Drew: Most businesses are trying to get their mind’s wrapped around social media, and you folks are now talking about social business. What’s the difference between those two terms?

Ethan: I think there’s a variety of interpretations for these terms : social media and social business. Social media is typically about mediated experiences with content, and sometimes it’s about dis-inter-mediating the experience. Social media is about media and people, which is one dimension of the overall world of business. With social business you start to look at the way people are interacting in digital experiences and how you can apply the insights derived from all the data and apply them to business processes that may not necessarily be about dissemination of information.

Drew: Tell me about the various dimensions of Social Business, and how companies can deploy it.

Ethan: Social business is about looking at  business processes differently;  from how you are listening to your customers, to how you are engaging with a wide-variety of constituencies. It could be your employees, or it could be potential investors; it could be current investors; it could be prospects for your business.

One of the main dimensions of social business is about managing relationships through these new business processes. Social media is more about disseminating information in new ways, using people as the medium rather than broadcast systems as the medium.  In social business you might be managing community relationships or relationships with individuals; you might be identifying and activating experts or rewarding and recognizing certain kinds of behaviors. And then of course another really important dimension of social business is collaboration. I think that is beyond the thought of social media because it’s not always about creating an information document.  It could be things like collaborative editing, but it could also be file sharing or expertise location.

There are things in the realm of social business that are more about working to improve the efficiency of teams as opposed to just getting a message out there, which I think a lot of the initial social media really were about. Social business is sort of a super-set of social media. Social media is one component of social business.

Drew: Is social business a mind set or a skill set? Or is it a product?

Ethan: All of the above. There are certainly products that enhance an organization’s ability to become a social business. For example, IBM offers a platform of products that enable social business – wikis, blogs, communities, instant messaging, etc. Beyond these products, and really in order to implement and adopt them successfully, social business has to be move than just a mindset, it has to be an organization’s cultural priority. Leaders have to be committed to making significant business process changes in order to actually make work getting done easier and more efficient. We have at IBM a social business management council that  includes some very high-ranking IBM executives, IBMers in the CIO office, in HR, etc., [and] we perform risk analyses and opportunities analyses to help us establish new modes of work. One of the efforts that I’m leading with an IBM HR leader is to look at how we’re going to formalize these new modes of work into our skills at IBM. Social business at IBM is a priority, we’re constantly fine tuning our processes to better serve our customers, partners and ourselves.

Social business is a pretty broad thing, and it includes skills that aren’t necessarily obvious to every employee.  Also there’s a broad area of policy development that we, as an industry, need to do. If you think about how many relationships between an enterprise’s employee base and those with whom they are supposed to be working have been mediated and controlled by processes that are not necessarily enabled by the most contemporary social business approaches, you’ll see the world has a lot of work to do in this area. That is, to me, very promising.

Drew: How is Social Business being integrated into IBM’s business model?

Ethan: There are a couple major concepts that we’re currently working on. One is acknowledging that social, digital activity is moving from the periphery to the center of business. And to me, that’s a big part of what social business is. It’s the transition of all the interesting and fun social activity that’s taken place in the commercial domain is becoming increasingly applicable to enterprises, and how enterprises get work done; how enterprises manage relationships with their clients; how employees work together. That’s a significant change in business.  Social, digital activity and experiences are no longer a frivolous, nebbishy thing for teenagers and college students. Enterprises are realizing the power of these tools to transform there business.

IBM’s a great example of this social business transformation; a lot of our work is done using digital, collaborative means. Consider this, I’ve got eight people on my core team, and, not one of us lives in the same city, and many of us are in different time zones.  I work with IBMers in Australia and California and Michigan and all around the Tri-State area, and we’re doing all kinds of great work together, every day. It’s asynchronous; it’s collaborative. The way we work together is digital and a lot of it this work and collaboration is not happening over email.  Email is a very limited tool, and in some ways completely antisocial.  It does a lot of things to silo the work efforts. Instead of email, we’re using social tools – file sharing, video conferencing, wikis, communities, instant messaging, etc – to get our jobs done.

FYI, you can follow Ethan on Twitter @ethanmcc.

Insights into CMO’s and Social Media

05/4/11

Probably nobody in the world talks to more CMO’s than Pete Krainik, founder of The CMO Club.  I caught up with Pete last week after The CMO Club Summit in New York City and asked him for the inside scoop on CMO’s and social media.  Here’s our Q&A:

DN: There was a lot of conversation at The CMO Club Summit about social media.  Why do you think this is the case?
CMOs care about customer engagement and having a reason and vehicle for listening, having a conversation, and sharing their Brands.  Social media is simply the best way, for many brands to do this.  Every Brand has different products/services and customers so the conversation’s centered on new and game changing ideas they can build on for their industry, customer base and products.

The other big reason is about marketing mix optimization.  Every dollar and resource focused correctly is worth significantly more than before. More targets, more marketing vehicles results in more interest in getting it right.

DN: Do you expect this conversation to grow over the next 12 months or are CMOs approaching Social Media fatigue?
The conversation will grow but move from social media to social marketing and social branding.   I’ve noticed within The CMO CLUB that more and more 1-1 conversations with CMOs to think through synergies for sharing resources together.  Moving from company specific apps, communities, programs to a community of Brands approach.  Very interesting times ahead.

DN: The CMO’s at the event seemed to be at various stages of the adoption curve when it comes to social media, why do you think that is the case?
A number of reasons.  For larger, more technical B2B Brands, a smaller number of customers are leveraging social media so the call to action and priority is different than for B2C Retailers and CPG companies.  Also some companies focus on innovation leadership while others are fast followers, etc.  Finally global companies have issues of rollout and priority by region, product lines, etc.

DN: What role does social media play in the marketing of the CMO club?
Given the club is an exclusive “heads of marketing only” community with the mission of facilitating the world’s best CMO conversations, Social media has been the single more important vehicle for the growth of membership. Two out of every 3 new members in the club come from referrals and recommendations from heads of marketing in the club.

We not only use social media for communicating new posts and events from members, but the members only site itself is a community site vs. website. Everything from member blog posts, member Q/A, New CMO jobs on the market, vendor rating programs, plus content in the CMO CLUB Thought Leadership Library is contributed from members.  Social media is used to share member insights, build subgroups of interests, and listen to members.

Our weekly poll question of members has gone from 75 to 150 members per week responding, then sharing and discussing results. The value of the club is to help CMOs connect with peers, share insights, and stay sharp and competitive as heads of marketing.  Social media and our social community platform is the catalyst to make it happen.

DN: Pete closed by noting that the October 2011 CMO Club Summit in Los Angeles will have a large section focused on “CMO worthy” innovations in social media.

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