Digital agency Syzygy London ran a sell-out social commerce seminar last week, with e-commerce partners Episerver.

The 3 presentations – including one from Social Commerce Today – are now embedded below.  But here’s the speed summary… (followed by, if you want more a more detailed smart summary of the key insights and points)

Speed Summaries

 

1. How to Build a Successful Social Media Campaign: A Five Point Framework (John Bennett: Syzygy Group Strategy Director)

  • Concept – The art of creating memes (‘social object’) – offers, utility, content or causes that get shared
  • Participation – Make it easy, make it simple, make it rewarding
  • Content – It needs to remarkable – attention-grabbing and shareable (‘beddable and spreadable’)
  • Partnership – Work with and for digital celebrities, the mass will follow
  • Propagation – Social-first integration, seed in social first, but work with traditional media

2. SoLoMo Implications for e-Commerce Platforms: Is Technology Stealing your Advantage? (Bob Egner: VP Episerver)

  • Technology is a killer – in the US technology has killed  Circuit City, Tower Records, Borders, and Blockbuster – technology increases competitive intensity
  • Technology  –  particularly, social, location-aware and mobile technology – empowers consumers increasing competitive intensity, giving rise to a new ‘Age of the Customer’ – where experience is king
  • Your digital strategy should be built around enhancing customer experience.  Apple, with more sales per square feet than any other retailer are masters of customer experience – builds smiles (the consequence of experience) into everything it does – from products to stores
    • Social technology: social media is #1 use of technology – how can you use it to enhance customer experience? Group-buying, reviews and ratings, social media stores, marketplaces, collaborative shopping portals
    • Location-aware technology: “context aware computing will be one of the top disruptive trends of this decade” (William Clark – Gartner). Think ShopKick – location-aware deals and rewards
    • Mobile technology: Post PC era, mobile redefined but the iPod, iPhone and iPad “Pad is the ultimate ‘game changer’ in the global media industry” (Rupert Murdoch) “the iPad has transformed people’s expectations and the opportunities around mobile.” (Chase Carey COO Newscorp)

3. F-Commerce & the Rise of the SoLoMo Consumer (Paul Marsden: SCT Editor & Syzygy Social Media Analyst)

  1. Facebook is a fan-channel: Think of f-commerce as fan commerce
  2. Sell fan-first exclusives and brand merchandise to activate fan advocacy and turn the marketing funnel into a viral loop
  3. Use fan-stores to learn about the SoLoMo consumer, consumers that shop with social, location-aware and mobile technology, and explore opportunities for fan activation (e.g. fan-streaming/ fan-subscriptions)

Smart Summaries

(Well worth a read of the summaries of John and Bob’s presentations, in our opinion; there’s some very useful practical advice)

How to Build a Successful Social Media Campaign: A Five Point Framework 

  • Ultimately, social media should be about building communities and platforms not campaigns – but campaigns are what marketers do, so the challenge is how to use social media within a marketing campaign framework.
  • The five-point framework for building a successful social media campaign
    • Concept
    • Participation
    • Content
    • Partnership
    • Propagation
  • 1) Concept

The first thing to understand is that social media is digital word of mouth, thus the goal of any social media campaign should be to stimulate digital word of mouth – and this is done by developing shareable concepts – remarkable social objects or ‘memes’ that your fans pass on to their broader social networks.

“Its because of this fundamental shifttowards user-generated information that people will listen more to otherpeople than to traditional sources.”Eric Schmidt, ex-CEO Google

Four types of infectious social media ‘memes’ (social objects)

    • Offers – coupons, discounts, samples
    • Utility – apps, customer service
    • Content – entertainment, news, education
    • Causes – particularly peer-to peer giving

Four characteristics of infectious social media ‘memes’ (social objects)

    • Innovative – being remarkable with the new and different
    • Exclusivity – being remarkable with limited editions, limited access
    • Unexpected – being remarkable by breaking the rules, being controversial
    • Simple – being remarkable by being communicable, if it’s not easy pass on, it won’t spread
  • Simple (JPG) + Content (picture puzzle) = 1M views in 2 weeks

(Syzygy campaign, with illustrator McBess (Matthieu Bessudo))

  • 2) Participation
    • Understand that most people don’t participate in social media campaigns – the Bell Labs  90:9:1 rule (90% consume, 9 comment, and 1% create) vastly overestimates participation numbers – especially if you’re a low-involvement grocery brand (as opposed to a brand where it makes real sense to talk about fans (think Nike, Apple)
    • Critical participation – (commenting, liking, sharing) – low numbers, but through the viral effect has reach
    • Creative participation – (generative) – very low numbers but provides campaign depth, and content for fans
    • Don’t demand too much – one click participation.
    • MIT Sloan study identified 3 main drivers for participation. Love, glory and money [nb - a meta-analysis we conducted arrived at similar findings - fun, fame, and fortune].
  • 3) Content
    • “We now generate as much information every two days as was generated from the beginning of human history until 2003.” Eric Schmidt – ex Google CEO
    • Scarcity of attention is the main challenge for social media campaigns (and marketing in general) – we live in an attention economy (Herbert Simon), where attention is the scarcest and most valuable commodity because the ratio of information to attention is getting ever bigger).
    • [NB Wired editor Kevin Kelly proposes a solution to the dilemma that the Internet is a vast 'copy machine' replicating and making information super-abundant (when information becomes super-abundant, it becomes worthless).  The key is rethink content in terms of offering benefits beyond information, that can't be copied, because that which can't be copied is scarce and valuable.
      1. Immediacy - priority access, immediate delivery
      2. Personalization - tailored just for you
      3. Interpretation - support and guidance
      4. Authenticity - how can you be sure it is the real thing?
      5. Accessibility - wherever, whenever
      6. Embodiment - books, live music
      7. Patronage - "paying simply because it feels good",
      8. Findability - "When there are millions of books, millions of songs, millions of films, millions of applications, millions of everything requesting our attention — and most of it free — being found is valuable."]
    • Scarcity of attention means that marketers have to earn attention with remarkable content – we have to become content creators or curators.
    • This means that social media is NOT somehow “free” or or “earned” media. It‟s not. Quality content and partners cost money. To earn attention you have to shift media spend to content and channel management.
    • See the VW Fun Theory Campaign [note this fits the Fun, Fame, Fortune framework]
  •  4. Partnership
    • Identify category influencers (connected and respected) with a large digital footprint and work with them and for them – the result will be to a) add credibility to your campaign, b) propagate content throughout their social networks (e.g. Working with artists (McBess), photographers ((Scott Schuman The Sartorialist) Burberry Art of the Trench  or Syzygy’s ‘Thinking Spaces’ app for The Economist to tag and find city thinking spaces (see video below))
    • Partnership should be your channel management strategy
  • 5. Propagation
    • To maximise propagation, you need “social-first integration”.  Don’t run standalone social media campaigns, use social media as a channel alongside traditional media and traditional digital media, that adds a word of mouth dimension to the campaign.  The important thing to note is social media – as a channel word of mouth works best when it activated before other media.  People talk about new news, not old news.
      • Integration with traditional media – how can you activate word of mouth for fans, pre-campaign launch
      • Integration with digital media – adopt a hub and spoke approach, with a main campaign hub site supported by social media spokes
  • A note on ROI – in truth the issue of social media ROI has not been solved; the channel is too new for an ROI model.  And there can be no ‘standard’ ROI model, because effectiveness will depend almost exclusively on content quality (and it’s ability to drive word of mouth).  Nevertheless, insofar a word of mouth has been linked to business growth, the future of social media ROI may lie in linking word of mouth activity (advocacy vs. detraction) to performance.
  • In summary
    • Be remarkable
    • Align your social object with your business objectives
    • Offer levels of participation
    • Think like a media company
    • Offer levels of content
    • Think about partners early on in the conceptual phase
    • Integrate with other media
    • Measure and benchmark

 

SoLoMo Implications for e-Commerce Platforms: Is Technology Stealing your Advantage?

  • Technology is a killer: In the US technology has killed  Circuit City, Tower Records, Borders, and Blockbuster
  • People typically talk about how digital technology can be used to drive sales, but digital technology actually makes commerce tougher.  Porter’s ‘Five Forces’ framework for assessing competitive intensity and therefore market attractiveness shows how technology is making markets less attractive across the board by increasing competitive intensity.

 

 

    • New Entrants
      • Technology reduces barriers to entry
      • Customer focus as the new differentiator
    • Industry (Competitor Rivalry)
      • Technology gives competitors access to your strategy
      • Technology flattens distribution strength
    • Bargaining Power of Customers
      • Technology gives customers access to more and better information
    • Threat of product substitutes
      • Digital substitutes collapse value chains
      • Word of mouth undoes (replaces) brand investment
    • Bargaining power of suppliers
      • Technology enabled global outsourcing erodes economies of scale
      • Employees as “suppliers” to customer relationships
  • Within this context, technology – particularly, social, location-aware and mobile technology has increased the bargaining power of consumers. This consumer empowerment has given rise to what Forrester call the “Age of the Customer”

  •  In the Age of the Customer, customer experience is king – and the best strategy is for brands to use digital technology to enhance customer experience.  Apple, with more sales per square feet than any other retailer are masters of customer experience – built in to products, built into stores

 

  • Experience drives adoption, technology drives adoption when it enhances the experience. Personal, convenient – joy of use.
  • The challenge and opportunity is to use SoLoMo technology to enhance customer experience
    • Social technology: social media is #1 use of technology – how can you use it to enhance customer experience? Group-buying, reviews and ratings, social media stores, marketplaces, collaborative shopping portals
    • Location-aware technology: “context aware computing will be one of the top disruptive trends of this decade” (William Clark – Gartner). Think ShopKick – location-aware deals and rewards
    • Mobile: Post PC era, mobile redefined but the iPod, iPhone and iPad “Pad is the ultimate ‘game changer’ in the global media industry” (Rupert Murdoch) “the iPad has transformed people’s expectations and the opportunities around mobile.” (Chase Carey COO Newscorp)
  • In Summary
    • User experience is essential
    • Social media, socialise your content
    • Your content, not always your site
    • Content variation driven by user context
    • Multi-channel, multi-touch
    • Mobile channel
    • On top of scalable, reliable e-Commerce platform

 

F-Commerce & the Rise of the SoLoMo Consumer

  1. Facebook is a fan-channel: Think of f-commerce as fan commerce
  2. Sell fan-first exclusives and brand merchandise to activate fan advocacy and turn the marketing funnel into a viral loop – by creating what Google calls a Zero moment of truth – a shared experience that informs discover and adoption
  3. Use fan-stores to learn about the SoLoMo consumer, consumers that shop with social, location-aware and mobile technology, and explore opportunities for fan activation (e.g. fan-streaming/ fan-subscriptions)

Slides