Original Content, Emotional Connections and Great Experiences

Co-Creating the story with truly original content and  emotional connections…

Each of the following images offer examples of original content. Within each example, the potential for marketers to co-create wonderful social media experiences is extraordinary. Communication will move across social platforms effortlessly, but people will have social filters in place, to remove the noise, and to ensure they don’t miss the moments that matter most.

Metwit | Real-time weather from real-peoplePinterest | The level of Disney related pins continues to grow

YouTube | Personal brands are accountable for the greatest volume of video views and sharing.  Discovery is so exciting and a key trigger of emotional sharing.

72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute [YouTube]

The future of social media will be motivated by original content, our curiosity and the excitement of discovery. We will filter for relevance, invest with privacy and share only the content that we have emotional connections to.

With social filters in place, traditional digital ad strategy will not work, and ideal connections will not be due to chance, or smart re-targeting. Brands must learn the importance of responding to the content that we think is great!

 Social Viewing is for REAL…Real-Time and Real-People

While Social Media teams remain challenged,  trying to define policy and protocol for interaction, the affability of brands is in question. It is time for brands to define strong connections, create resourceful content, embrace original content and support co-creation. Keep in mind…People are defining who they are, through what they share.

Enable data to focus direction and authentic reactions…

Now that you have our attention, be careful not to control dialogues. It’s easy for brands to slip into the role of moderator or lecturer often leading to “transmit-mode” and a negative experience.

A final thought: When people invest precious time and attention connecting with a brand… an authentic response IS now required.

Starbucks enables People-to-People and Celebrates Connections!

We are defining “social” value by what we share and the role we play within the creative process

Starbucks‘ Cup Magic app integrates augmented reality within your cup or eGift.

For Starbucks, enabling people to connect with those that matter most is an ideal transition from traditional marketing.

An ideal example…

The magic of love is sent and received as virtual Valentine’s Day messages.  Once the limited edition Valentine’s Day cups  are scanned the cups come to life with visual effects.

People  are involved in the process and these immersive experiences are certain to trigger emotional connections for Starbucks.

Super Bowl XLVI… the Mobile Experience

“Mobile convergence will energize a system of experiences and occasions, each filled with opportunity!” For brands…this means always enabling, always listening, ready to respond and adapt.

Super Bowl XLVI…is once again more than a football game, and the social aspect of the game is more than simply breaking Twitter records.  This year Super Bowl XLVI will create connections.  Viewers are expected to use mobile devices at unmatched levels and the demand for mobile interaction is tremendous.  Immediate, direct access to “more” is expected, and brands are challenged to create spectacular interactive experiences.

Extraordinary relevance

Promises of brilliant content are certain, but tremendous value is most often created when fans discover, conquer, own, and share stories about who they are and what they know.  Creative brands will be prepared to listen, will adapt quickly and respond with authentic messages. So, what is the outcome? Emotional connections, possible when brands nurture dialogues and support the role of people in the process.

How will we connect?  Apple shipped over 15 million iPads in Q4 2011

Position a very different kind of strategy

Honda has had great success with the early release of the Ferris Bueller’s Day Off big game commercial.  The video already has more than 8 million views, great news for Honda as they launch the all-new 2012 CR-V.  Still,with almost 60 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, imagine the possibility for unique opportunities.  Enable people to capture original video and celebrate the imagination of people in real-time, as they are watching the game.

…Raison d’être

#GameDayPolarBears

Living, breathing, and ever-changing content.  Coca-Cola® has given their Polar Bears permission to throw a Super Bowl Party. While watching the game, the polar bears will be chatting with, so far, more than 18,000 friends.  As of now, the popular hosts have only invited a little more than 64,000 friends via Facebook.

Become a resource

Chevy is sponsoring “Road To The #SuperBowl

Chevy has become a resource for those wanting to track tweets per minute and see who is sharing content in real-time. Chevy has also reached out to Detroit Labs to develop a great mobile app. The Chevy Game Time App offers viewers a chance to interact with exclusive content, get real-time stats, and be a part of the game with live trivia. At this point are we fans or players?  Players can win 1 of 20 Chevys and other prizes.

Service…extended brand experience

Xbox LIVE Gold access will be free February 2-5.  Xbox wants to make sure that fans experience ESPN via Xbox LIVE.  The Super Bowl is ideally targeted and Xbox will extend the brand’s experience with Madden Bowl XVIII!  On February 2nd, NFL players and celebrities teamed up in a 3-on-3, playing for the coveted title of Madden NFL 12 champions! I like this idea, but would love to see real-people also involved.  Celebrity overload I guess.  During Super Bowl week, the last thing some of us care to see are more celebrities.

Consider the value of social media…Loyalty and Learning.  Then add the perception of “people” defining their personal value by what they share. Now consider the passion and true emotion within sporting events.  This is only the beginning, the 2012 Olympics are only a few months away. The games will further test brands to create strong resources and enable “my” Olympics.

Super Bowl Goes Mobile viaInteractive Advertising Bureau

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Emotion, Expression and Experiences

As Marketing becomes Emotionalizing…Why I think we love Pinterest and Instagram.

Enabling Original!

Brands are certainly challenged with their new role.  Transitioning from a product focused approach is somewhat frightening and can be intimidating.

Still, a brand must consider the alternatives and understand that the process has been disrupted.

Image: Pinnable Business

People are a living part of your business and want to be involved.

A brands new role is centered on service. Offering the resources people need and enabling Life”…everything and everyone!

The narrative is always changing…

In 2012 we hope to see brands imagine the possibilities. People are keen to be social adventurers, always exploring, hoping to discover and anxious to share “found” treasure with their connections.  Emotion…I think this is one reason why Pinterest has quickly captivated our attention.

Maggie’s Brand and Maggie’s Message

Marketing is no longer the objective, even social media continues to change. For instance; savvy social brands are able to subtly nurture connections.  Whilst enabling people to discover products, they also benefit from the natural connections that occur from sharing. This is a very different form of influence.  It’s real!  This type of influence starts with emotion builders, content that is authentic, and messages that portray conviction.

“Improves the look of”  You may have tested and retested marketing messages, but with a less than authentic tone and a true conviction, this type of message is  less likely to be effective.  The sincerity found within people-to-people content is more promising and often a part of the reciprocal process within a cycle-of-courtesy.

Prepare for continuous distraction, as real-time substance meets emotional connections.  The dominance of “original” content will likely rank absolute and continue to be widely expressed.   Start here: Celebrate original and remain flexible so that you can instantly respond, reward and convey ideas.

Experiences

Nike relentlessly focuses on marketing.  In Collaboration and Co-Creation, we explore Nike challenging traditional with their commitment to connecting within social environments.  Now we see Nike emerging with even more purpose and enabling branded experiences.

Nike is extending the Nike brand experience through an invite-only basketball court in NYC.  Nike has renovated a distressed gymnasium within a residential building. As part of Nike’s #makeitcount New Year’s campaign, the Masaryk building has an unbelievable gym and Nike has court-side evidence of a sincere commitment to making “it” count.  An ideal extension of the Nike brand experience!

Nike continues to enable…Fuelband keeps you active while you make it count!

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Smart use of Twitter | Offer Real-Time Solutions

As winter weather moves into Chicago, smart social marketers are busy generating relevant messages.  Why? Within social media, messages and content are part of an integrated brand experience and via mobile they can have a significant effect.

In 2011 many brands were happy to simply grow “likes” and increase followers. In 2012 these same brands are responsible for nurturing these delicate connections.  Mobile interaction is an important part of this process, but effectively using mobile will require authentic messages and extreme relevance.

Creating “worth our attention” experiences

Brands want to be thought of as a resource, offering information when and where it is needed most.  Positioning a brand as resourceful and creating “reliance” requires a continuous effort. Sustainable connections will derive from a commitment to providing “more” and truly creative content, through an understanding of what people need.

Mobile connections are forming new sources of ideas, news and advice; changing not only the way we communicate, but how we discover and live.

Mobile devices have become a Life-Tool!

We depend on mobile devices to keep us connected, to navigate our direction, and to help us make the right choices.

Original…MINI USA Gets The Message Right

One of our key emerging trends is the idea of original.

The idea of original begins with an emotion, an independent thought, or a very different approach. Original can also be empowering and reflect a very personal journey, a hope to inspire or a need to connect.

Appreciate original and the need to be social… Everything else will naturally fall into place

Learning to trust people with the brand’s image…

Enabling people in the process of defining a new feature and certainly co-creating the next message can be a bit of a challenge, but MINI USA seems to have found a way.

Only an “ORIGINAL” idea could offer MINI USA the crazy mix of genius substance needed to create a new MINI Coupe message. With this in mind, MINI USA challenged everyone to share six words that express The Best Test Drive Ever. Period.

After receiving thousands of suggestions, Mathew Foster’s brilliantly nonsensical description was selected as the #1 in The Best Test Drive Ever. Period.

Mathew’s six word entry: STEWARDESS, SALT FLATS, PARATROOPERS, SUSHI, FALCONER

Within social media we find that many people are defining their personal worth by what they create, discover and are willing to share. Original content seems to have an advantage, as the social explorer also becomes the social discoverer and then…the hero.  This is only the beginning.

For more information about The Best Test Drive Ever. Period!

To learn more about the new MINI Coupe, visit MINI USA

What Social Media Should Be…Original

The ROI of Social Media and “Tebowing”

With so much talk about the ROI of Social Media, we think it is important to remind everyone that ROI may not have to be entirely based on immediate revenue.  The goal of social media…should not be thought of exclusively as a marketing strategy. Social media should be thought of as means for creating an ecosystem.  Functional marketing nurtures knowledge, stimuli and supports co-creation. Our approach suggests that messages and content must be authentic, filled with conviction and extremely flexible within all surroundings.  If integrated properly, everything else will naturally fall into place.

How Social is Sports?

We talk about social media in sports as the ultimate opportunity for connecting. Enabling fans via social, mobile and location supports fans’ emotional attachment, moving the experience from a “THE Game” to an “OUR Game” occasion.

Tim Tebow is making an impact on the football field for the Denver Broncos, of the National Football League.  However, an even larger impact is his influence in social media through “Tebowing”.  Tebowing is Tim’s humbling gesture, kneeling on one knee as evidence to his faith.  The act of Tebowing has compelled a strong reaction through social media. On 12, December, the Global Language Monitor officially accepted the term within the English language.  Just months after the phrase was created following a miracle win in October.

With Authenticity, Conviction and Flexibility, Tim Tebow has the world’s attention…

Tebowing: The act of ‘taking a knee’ in prayerful reflection oblivious to your surroundings

A completely crowdsourced Tumblr blog has been created to enable people to share their personal interpretation of Tebowing.  Fans are able to purchase items with proceeds supporting local Denver Charities.  The site has daily submissions of touching images from around the world.  @Tebowing has almost 3,000 followers and each of the Facebook pages associated with Tim Tebow continue to grow.

The Denver Broncos have an opportunity to do more than simply engage within social media. Adopting an approach that moves beyond marketing.  By enabling the fan’s natural connection to Tebowing, the Broncos can create awareness and inspire emotional connections, at the same time, supporting donations for local charities and forming true connections.

The difference between engage and connect is in how you – Listen – Prepare –Respond and then Adapt

Perhaps the ideal return of social media is collaborative dialogues, the co-creation of messages (earned media for you traditional folks), content and strategy for what is now, and what may be next.

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Global Trend Report | Focus 2012

This trend report has been created to help you prepare for, and bring about, a very different approach to business in 2012.  Moving beyond advertising and marketing, we suggest a collaborative business design, one empowered simply by the ability to create sustainable connections.

Exploring the Stages of Engagement to Connection

What came first the chicken or the egg? That is what comes to mind when hearing different perspectives of Engagement and Connection. Sometimes these terms are tossed around like they are interchangeable. Depending on the view you are subject to, you may have to do some digging to ascertain the direction of the message. We view Engagement and Connection as two very different stages within what ultimately enables a Cycle-of-Courtesy.

Many still question engagement as a good source for online and mobile lead generation, opting for intrusive messages via SMS, email, or newsletters. The problem may not be engagement, but within the idea that engagement is a standalone solution.

      Engagement within social media is only the first step. The difference between engagement and true connections lives within how you prepare, respond and adapt Continue reading

Just Picking Grapes or…Harvesting Our Next Occasion?

We came up with this title after viewing two very different YouTube videos, from two very different winemakers, showcasing their most recent harvest. Although both showed grapes being picked, they each told a very different story.

One video from Benziger Family Winery, was simple and shot in the vineyard. It was authentic, and captured the heartfelt excitement and enthusiasm of a new harvest. It highlighted happy family members, to include a new granddaughter. It highlighted happy workers, as well as people proud to be taking part in this exhilarating, meaningful and most important process.

The other video from another well known winery, was edited together in an editing room and appeared as a theater quality production. It may have even contained credits. It showed people picking grapes, but it looked more like a job, rather than an occasion.

Can you guess which one of these videos created an emotional connection? When buying a bottle of Benziger wine, you feel like you are donating to the cause, not just adding to a company’s bottom line.

A brand’s smart use of social media platforms can create and nurture sustainable emotional connections. Through authentic and non-intrusive interaction, a simple engagement between brand and individual can develop into a lasting connection.

“Carry your brand DNA into social media channels”

WineTwits, a Twitter-powered community that brings wine enthusiasts together, is taking a very interactive approach. Through Tweets, and interaction via their website, WineTwits is able to guide immersive experiences, connecting brands with people. An upcoming event, Beaujolais #NouveauDay, will feature an interactive wine tasting,with an expected global and witty participation via Twitter. In a recent conversation with Steve Gilberg, founder of DrinkTwits Media (parent company of WineTwits), Steve offered these thoughts: “It is a huge mistake to not use social media”. Steve also observed: “Carry your brand DNA into social media channels”. Using these ideas along with authentic non-intrusive interaction, he has been able to significantly raise his brand’s awareness. Speaking for not only his brand, Steve says: “For brands, someone internally needs to take ownership of the social media”. He also believes that “Used properly, Twitter is one of the greatest lead generation tools he has ever seen.”

Sustainable social media connections require: Authenticity, Conviction and Flexibility

As we noted within our recent report, people are keen to define and build trusted resources, as they are soon to become important elements of true influence for purchase decisions.  For brands, authentic content and messages are the first step. Engagement alone does not create influence or a likeliness to share…Influence and involvement arise from nurtured interaction in the age of all-of-us.

So, are you just picking grapes? Or, are you harvesting our next occasion? As you make social media decisions (what platform, what channel, who will handle social media, etc.), remember: Be authentic and make your message lead to an occasion!

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