Consumer Forum 2007: Video Highlights

Charlene Li
Josh Bernoff
Video highlights from our Consumer Forum 2007 are now available:

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Free WOM webinar with Umbria - Nov 7

I'm delivering a free webinar
with Umbria CEO Janet Eden-Harris on word of mouth marketing and brand
monitoring.  It's scheduled for Wednesday November 7th at 3 pm Eastern.

We'll be talking about taking a left-brain approach to making WOM work.  More potential takeaways:

  • Learn not only what is being said, but who is doing the talking
  • Discover common characteristics of a target segment
  • Learn how to measure the effectiveness, momentum and engagement of your marketing
  • Take away practical tips for adjusting campaigns for the shifting marketing landscape

You can register with Umbria directly.

B2B Marketers: How Do You Count Your Customers?

I recently heard from a client who wanted to know whether I had any data or best practices around how business-to-business firms define – and count – their customers.

Here are two scenarios to consider:

A large software company sells to Vodafone UK, Vodafone Spain, and Verizon (US). All are owned by the parent company, Vodafone.  Each entity goes through a separate buying process, contract negotiation, and installation.  How would you count this: as one customer or three?

A top ten professional services firm has separate engagements with GE Money, GE Appliance, and GE Medical.  These are three very different businesses, each with a separate purchase process.  How would you classify any subsequent sales to GE Appliance: cross-sells/upsells or new business?

My perspective: I see B2B companies define “customer” as a legal entity with which they have a contractual obligation.  A “customer” is the part of the organization with the budget authority and the potential to deliver a future revenue stream through service contracts, training, consulting, upsell/cross-sell, and the like – without having to run to the parent for approval.

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"I just don't get it." [i.e. Twitter]


When I talk about Twitter to corporate audiences, a very common reaction is "I just don't get it."  Hence, the post title.

If you want to learn more about microblogging check out this report (client access only).

Our data shows that 6% of US online adults use Twitter regularly.

If you want to reach an affluent, well educated, and early adopter
audience, there might not be a better communication channel out there.

BTW each line in this message is < 140 characters.

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"Web 2.0 is fandom without the stigma."

Convergence Culture - Henry Jenkins, MIT

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Everyone - everyone - is a media brand

Changing the Face of Media - Ze Frank, Philip Kaplan and Jeremy Allaire

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Amen, Ze Frank

Another great Ze Frank point:

"Brands provide context"

That's the reason why brands continue to win.  They create context.  They have resonance.  They connect with consumers in a meaningful way (at least the best ones do).

Sure, some brands create a very narrow context ("I am a cheese") and some pitch a big tent (Nike: Be your best self).  But either way, we select brands because we either appreciate what they stand for or we choose to envision ourselves in them.

A favorite quote (sometimes attributed to Tom Peters, sometimes to Faith Popcorn):  Women don't buy brands, they join them.

When we're operating in the interwebs where we there is a myriad of choice for every single thing we want to do, brands are the magnets that draw us in.   Don't neglect your brand.


Deal with it

Best. Quote. Ever.

From Ze Frank, in response to someone wondering about the "dark side" of social media.

"It's here."

Yep. Nothing to do but suit up and get in the game. Sidelines no longer an option.


Young consumers aren't always in vogue

During her Q&A session after her presentation, Christina Norman, President, MTV Networks touched upon an interesting point: Sometimes young consumers just want to see silly or funny things. Now, I'm not saying that is the status quo when it comes to youth, and neither does Christina. But, MTV gets it: Customers are human.

MTV strives to create a total experience for its consumers, by enabling its audience to decide what they want to see and when they want to see it. While tools make a great experience possible, its the ideas -- the collaboration between MTV and its consumers -- that really contributes to their loyalty. By recognizing the emotional connection plays such an important role, MTV forges and creates opportunities for personal investment; it takes effort and tenacity to maintain and grow ties with younger generations throughout their life stages.   

MTV balances this quest for providing content by feeding sites and shows like MTV Think! to enable consumers to find and contribute to local and national causes they care about, while content from TRL feeds their passion to be influencers.

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The fact that there are 20 seasons of The Real World makes me feel old

Defining the Next Generation - Christina Norman, MTV

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