Episode 61: Pete Blackshaw on Expression Platforms, Digital Detox and the Love Spot
Pete Blackshaw has a new book out, numerous blogs and he's tracking the online reputations and conversations of some of the world's biggest brands. Listen as Pete lays out the "3 Truths" for flourishing in marketing today. Customers want the emotional gratification of being heard, and it's our job to support that need. Pete gives us ways we can both listen and respond to our customers as consumer and b2b companies.
Once you hear Pete talk you'll be hooked. He's elegantly articulate. His turn of phrase is a delight. We range from Talk Triggers and Complaint Icebergs to Brand Association Maps and Expression Platforms. Pete gives great examples of "passionista communities" and promises his favorite list of consumer-generated and community experts for the DishyMix blog. As always, Suz reads the book so you don't have to. Just get all the goodness from Pete's book," Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000: Running a Business in Today's Consumer-Driven World" by listening to this show.
And it wouldn't be DishyMix without those personal questions. Get to know Pete's dreams including what his bigger life plans may be and if he could clone himself, what Pete would do with twice the time.
Announcer: This program is brought to you by Personal Life Media.com
Susan Bratton: Welcome to DishyMix I’m your host Susan Bratton and on today’s show you going to get to meet Pete Blackshaw. He is a consumer advocate, a CGM strategist, a Blogger, an author, a speaker, an entrepreneur and a dad.
We’re are going to talk to Pete about his new book, it's called ‘Satisfied Customer Tell Three Tell Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3000’. Just remember, ‘Tell 3000’ because his website is twww.tell3000.com.
So we’re going to talk about Consumer-Generated Media, and we’re going to talk with Pete about something called, ‘Complaint Icebergs’. You don’t want to know about it, but we’re going to talk about it.
We’re going to hear about ‘The Love Spot’ and ‘Talk Triggers’ those babies, building your own listening platform and how to understand the creditability quadrant.
I think you’ll learn a lot about managing your brand into today’s online world from Pete who is someone really, really love and adore.
Pete Blackshaw: And I initially thought it is was doing a bunch of book signing, I didn’t really do my first book signing until last night, and the folks at random house were, “No the best thing you can do is just get a conversation going, a lot traditional media outlets”.
Number one, businesses no longer hold swayed over the decision and behavior of consumers and that’s a really better appeal for a lot of us that are used to controls. Well, listening or responding are two of the six drivers that I identify in the book, Trust, Authenticity, Affirmation, Transparency, Listening and Responsiveness.
Every brand needs to know, what are the top triggers, what are the elements of brand experience. Positive or negative, that brings out the consumers, ‘the talks’.
Next spot is really the condition or the moment of experience where, engaging or inviting the consumer to provide feedback is most optimal.
Susan Bratton: Pete welcome to the show.
Pete Blackshaw: Thanks for inviting me I’m delighted to be here.
Susan Bratton: Well I’m sure that you are busy doing a lot of interviews because you’re with Doubleday, you’ve got a new book with a big publisher, it's right in the sweet spot of what’s happening in the world of online. So thanks for giving me the time to come on the show.
Pete Blackshaw: You bet.
Susan Bratton: Hi-hi, so for those of you who don’t know Pete. He’s currently the Executive Vice-President of Nielsen Online Digital Strategic Services, and that’s because Pete’s company that he founded in 1999 called Planet Feedback which was merged with Intelliseek was acquired by Nielsen and they formed this Digital Strategic Services group in this new Nielsen Online world.
Kind of around the core of what Pete invented back in 1999. Pete you might know him from being a co-founder of the Word-of-Mouth Marketing Association or WOMMA.
Pete started out his career at Procter & Gamble, doing some of the first online work in the late nineties, 95, 96,97,98 doing work at Procter on a number of brands from Pringles to Tie to all kinds things.
So Pete, you’ve being doing this for a long time, I don’t even remember what you did before the internet, I think something in the world of politics, is that it?
Pete Blackshaw: I did, I did I worked in the California Legislature for about five years and everyone always says, Procter trained me in everything related to marketing, but the reality is actually picked-up a lot of my best skills, when I was scrounging to get in legislative activity. I got to pass through the very competitive California capital.
Susan Bratton: It was a good learning ground for you and understanding consumer mentality.
Pete Blackshaw: Absolutely, well there’s a lot of similarities between thinking about constituency, serving their un-met needs, working things through the process, listening and a lot of that was invaluable as I, not only in business school, but certainly going back to Procter.
Susan Bratton So I saw a really early galley of this book, and when did the book actually debut?
Pete Blackshaw: The book just came out a couple weeks ago. So July 8th it dropped and I’ve been listening to a lot of readers doing a lot of events and it's been really tidy, and I thinks it's really got and important new conversation going about, what’s important in marketing and what brands need really to pay attention to.
Susan Bratton: What’s the most of things you can do on a book toward to promote your book? How do you actually get people to buy it?
Pete Blackshaw: Well that’s a great question. I initially though it was doing a bunch of books signings. I did really do my first book signing until last night, and the folks at random house were “No the best thing you can do is just get a conversation going, a lot traditional media outlets”.
I did a, didn’t actually spend a decent mount of time on building my website, actually Facebook was a good alley in building a lot of buss out there. Starting to write a column for Ad-Age on very similar themes so that’s kind of capital level of conversation up there.
But most importantly just keeping the conversation alive, but they’re doing a lot of speeches where I’m trying to very, very provocative with the themes and it obviously relates to what I do at Nielsen.
So we’ll see it's too early to say whether [laughing], ‘knock on wood’ but so far it's been a good launch, so.
Susan Bratton: I would imagine that your core target for people who would enjoy most reading this book about Consumer Generated Media or marketers and people in corporate communications is that right?
Pete Blackshaw: Yes, you have to a target in strategy, it's clearly a business book and it's more than a marketing book. They really wanted me to think about it as a business book, because they really think all of this conversation up in there implicates key business processes.
But, I really think the themes resonate very strongly with everyday consumers. In fact, it's amazing how many people, if I’ve done a lot of observation in bookstores as people are looking at it, and everyone kind of relates to the title.
So, and I did write it in a way that’s very accessible. Some may read and say, “Hey, where are all the Nielsen charts”, and I deliberately kept it very, very accessible. And I think a lot of the stories, everyday consumers can relate to. So, short answer, mainly businesses, but I think there are pieces of it for everyone.
Susan Bratton: So, one of the things you start off within the book is this tenant, that there are now three, kind of universal truths about how the world works, how our brands work in the online world, which is now ‘the world’.
Pete Blackshaw: Laughing.
Susan Bratton: and I’d love for you to tell us what those fundamentals are, from you?
Pete Blackshaw: Yeah, Number one, businesses no longer hold swayed over the decision and behavior of consumers and that’s a really better appeal for a lot of us that are used just to control, to manage.
Number two, the longer we refuse to accept the influences, consumer to consumer, appear-appear communication and perpetuate the old ways of doing business, the more we’re going to alienate and drive away our valued consumers and customers, and:
Number three, if want to succeed, in a world where consumers now control the conversation and where satisfied customers tell three friends, well angry customers tell 3000. We absolutely, positively, irrefutably need to achieve creditability on every front.
That’s really creditability is no not so, so media, not CGM, not web key point, our creditability is really the core issue that I’m trying to get across in this book.
Susan Bratton: So, creditability is all about, you have a quote; I’ll quote you because I think this is what you’re talking about. You say, “Listening and responding to consumer conversations is what creditability is all about”. So it's about listening and responding, how do you do that, as a corporation, who does it, whose responsibility is it and how do you go about getting it done?
Pete Blackshaw: Well, listening or responding are two of the six drivers that I identified in the book, Trust, Authenticity, Affirmation, Transparency, Listening and Responsiveness. And that listening and responsiveness are two of the most critical corner stones, especially in this current era of, megaphones on steroids, web2.0, and then some moving target.
We’re realizing this is, listening to the consumers is currency for relationship marketing, it's the ultimate way of showing respect and empathy for the empowered consumer.
It shows that you are serious and of course credible about all of this conversation about conversation which all of us in marketing are guilty of really taking to almost absurd extremes.
You really have to measure up to that claim. And then of course you can’t have listening without a measure of responsiveness.
You know one thing that where the ball really has been raised in this age of twitter, and other kind of social media tools is it consumers really do expect some, high level of rapid response and the right response.
And that is creating a home other, and companies that don’t respond, that ignore, that wait, or being out by consumers, not loosing a lot of creditability. Those two areas are probably the most difficult for brands to make meaningful change around, it's much easier to get into the game of lets dial-up, dial-down, paid media, lets figure out, different Ad models.
When you are doing some of these more foundational issue, like how we listen to consumers, how we respond, that gets in a much more difficult business process questions. How much do we fund consumer affairs, do we shift money from media into indirect activity.
Do we beef-up HO policies because the way employees treat customers is really, really important. So it get into some really difficult issues, but that’s, “I’m using the book to kind of light a fire under that opportunity”.
Susan Bratton: Where do you see them, corporations putting their first dollar, the first budget dollars against listening?
Pete Blackshaw: We see in a whole proliferation of larger encouraging experiments in the social media space. I think that, I don’t want to over hike the benefits of starting a corporate block, but this is a good beech head, and I’ve seen even modest experiments where often times the conservatives will “nave say it to death”.
But you start to realize that these small little sense in response experiment begin to ignite fresh warning, to refresh thinking in the organization. So part of what we need to think about is how do we use these powerful, accessible, experimental platforms that I think so, so media affords us and use that to really ignite a broader passion.
I think there is other areas where, do you think companies are beginning to get it on, the relationship between conversation and customer service.
A lot of them, as I pointed out in the book have just learned the hard way, but much as we may frown upon dollar for having been, slandered or for good reason by just jobbers, we also should kneel down and praise them for the fact that they took those early signals and actually have kind of invented a new model for how to listen, how to involve consumers.
But again it's all about how you take advantage of those little triggers. How you build momentum around those small experiments. And the good news is there are so many venues in which to participate now.
The key is that we don’t over hide on the front end, we just take them more dispassionate, what’s you know what’s cast and learned, ignite the organization but not assume that we’re going to get this fixed overnight.
Susan Bratton: So a couple of things, one I don’t know if you saw in Charlene Li’s book ‘Groundswell’. She actually calculated the ROI of a corporate block, did you see that?
Pete Blackshaw: Yes, I’ve seen that
Susan Bratton: That was well done.
Pete Blackshaw: and I’ve seen other models.
Susan Bratton: Oh you have seen other models, what are some other models that you have seen?
Pete Blackshaw: Well I mean, people look at all sorts of variables in terms of corporate block, in terms of how’re the people online infected by to an extent of the bleed over into traditional media added index into Google search results. And how did that inspire the organization, any number of variables can figure into, “Am I getting return from this particular investment”.
And of course, the type of model you use will vary based on the company or the category that you’re working with, but there is no question in my mind that, corporate blocks pay out.
They often pay dividends that we don’t even anticipate on the front end, but again I don’t want to over hike blogs as the panacea. Blogs are beach head into a new mindset around listening and responsiveness.
New blogs also speak to another transparency driver in the book which is a creditability driver, which is Authenticity. We’ve seen a much greater premium placed on brands that appear real and sincere, less formal more informal and not third person but first person.
If you really analyze the conversational airways the brands that are getting high point are the ones that really come across is real. That’s another area where blogs help, because I think blogs create a context for bringing out that more authentic brand.
Whether it's the product manager blogging about his true, his or her true feeling about the brand, or whether it's the Toddy Patagonia blog a blog where every time they take a road trip, they’re putting up all the employees’ photos from these far off locations which gives you this belief that, “Yes these guys are the real deal”.
Susan Bratton: Yeah, Patagonia’s had amazing proper communications since the beginning. You also mentioned the value of search engine optimization with the corporate blog. GM had a really interesting Funny act at that you mentioned that about, just briefly touch on that.
Pete Blackshaw: Well it was interesting they made a ball, visible stroke, they had a TV Ad that basically had a call to action at the end, that said don’t take our word for it, Google Funny act and discover for yourself, and fortunately for GM the search was all affirmed the Ad campaign.
And one of the creditability drivers I talked about is affirmation which what happens when type in Susan Bratton, people actually on the Google, either were affirmed or not. And for the brands that really get it right, they generally are affirmed in the positive, in the case of Funny act.
They were now in the case of a lot of other auto companies, the affirmation works in the negative. So, you may, and this is very, very, very important because what’s happening is that the offline advertising is serving as a trigger for deeper levels of due diligence.
Whether you go to Google or whether you go to Wikipedia and it's what shows up in that prophase of due diligence is a slur of nasty grams saying, “Stay away from this brand”. That brand has huge issue.
And that’s one reason why I say you got to think very carefully about what is the digital trail impact of getting that wrong with brands, getting that wrong with customer service.
And if you really analyze all the conversation out there, you will find that, a lot of these business prophases that the advertisers and media planners really don’t pay attention to, are creating a negative media affect.
Almost like negative GRPs that show up into search engine results. Now a lot of the folks doing blogs understand a lot of this which is why they are trying to change the web platform to blog base publishing, they realize it. That type of conversational contact will take up greater shelf space but it's not an overnight activity.
And in the case of Funny Act they were probably well positioned, because they earned it over time, and so that gave them the confidence to do something very bold in their TV advertising and say “search our brand”.
Susan Bratton: You were thinking, we were talking about brands that aren’t doing well with Google results and you have a great friend. By the way I just love to listen to you talk. You’re so interesting and fun and your sentences are so juicy. You use a construct, called the ‘Complaint Icebergs’ and I’d love for you to talk about that.
Pete Blackshaw: That’s a home notion that, what we see on the complaint spectrum is truly the tip of the iceberg of much broader set of concerns. So when we are analyzing and listening to consumers, we need to assume that for every consumer that gives positive or negative feedbacks, there are probably 25 that feel that same way.
That’s something we applied when I worked in the California legislature and because a lot of times and it's especially important in social media because consumers are getting as much gratification talking around companies, that’s talking directly to them.
Companies always assume they want free busy, want to keep on; they want whatever, ‘No’. Consumers want to be heard, they want the emotional gratification of feeling validated, “I feel your pain, Susan can you please second my motion”.
So companies need to take those precious signals, however painful they are and run a calculation, say “My Gosh” we got ten complaints today, there’s probably a thousand out there circulating around the web. Many of which are about to infest our Google search results and they need to kind of project out.
Very, very important to keep in mind and I actually owe that phrase to Professor Jim Heskett from Harvard Business School who pioneered the Service Management curriculum there and we talked a lot about that. And that was largely pretty web, so think about the world of web2.0, it's really put on steroids.
Susan Bratton: And you also talk about ‘Talk Triggers’ and that’s very deeply connected to the whole ‘Iceberg’ part of it as well. There’s certain things that people naturally want to discuss. Tell us about that.
Pete Blackshaw: Yes, every brand needs to know what are the ‘Talk Triggers’, what are the elements of their brand experience, positive or negative, that brings out consumers to the talk.
And like for example Susan, I’m not saying this to flatter you but it's true. You want to talk to her when I go to Ad tech conferences. We end up engaging, if I get I think back on the experience, I think “Oh Yeah, my time I spent with Susan”, I’m talking more about that, and it's the same thing like an airlines.
The relationship you have the employees is one of the largest ‘Talk Triggers’. So when you analyze data about South West Airlines, and look at, “what is it that’s driving the conversation” you’ll find that it tends to focus on the way employees treated customers.
Now that’s a very important piece of data because, as a manager you may take a step back and say “okay where do I allocate my dollars, do I do it in paid media or do I beep-up HR. Now in the case of South West they are clearly doing both, but you know in the backroom who is saying “you know what, employees are a nutshell”.
Another example the ‘Talk Trigger’ well I’ll ask you, in the fast food industry what you think the ‘Top Talk Trigger’ is.
Susan Bratton: Oh probably the health of the food itself, is it organic, well how much fat is it.
Pete Blackshaw: Hygiene
Susan Bratton: Hygiene is oh okay.
Pete Blackshaw: How many, know think about that, how many media planners say, “We got to shift some dollars to cleaning up the restaurants”, I bet they assume that’s some operational dude’s responsibility, and this is why listening to the conversation is so important because if you’re trying the media optimized conversation.
You have to understand that when people talk about fast food, especially when they are traveling, the cleanliness of the restaurants or the rest of the other restaurant is a big driver of conversation.
It maybe as important as the, how nice those graphics look on the wall. In the area of sea, in the area of auto it's safety, so and that intuitively make sense, but safety is a massive ‘Talk Trigger’ so getting that right is going to pay really big dividends.
In the area of wireless, it's billing, do not, I repeat do not alienate a consumer on billing. There’s something about, messing with their money unleashes emotional rage.
Susan Bratton: [laughing] sure
Pete Blackshaw: This is not conjecture again. I’ve analyzed the data, you put all the data in a blunder, you look out where does it net out, and you look at wireless and you think, “Oh my gosh, do not mess with their money, do not charge them extra fee, do not mess up on the billing cycle”.
Then this is where you take a step back and say , “okay I’m spending X amount of money on paid media, maybe I need to redouble efforts on making sure that I never alienate consumers on billing” [laughing] but you get the point?
Susan Bratton: I do.
Pete Blackshaw: And sometimes its soft touch and the error, I will tell them, I’ll be the chocolate on the floor on the positive side.
Susan Bratton: Now Pete we’re going to go to a break, I’ve got to stop you here. That was a good torrential piece of information thank you and good insight very pleasurable.
When we come back from the break, we’re going to talk about brand association maps, we’re going to talk about creating a ‘Love Spots’, we’re going to talk about expression platforms, all kinds of fun things and we’re going to get to know you a little bit better.
So I want get through those things. The other thing that I want to say is that you did a very fair and balanced perspective on tools for measuring CGM in your book.
You talk not just about Nielsen, but about Symphony TNS and about Embrya and BuzzLogic and you also have a list of free tools in your book that we can use if we can afford to have a relationship at a higher level.
I also think another person who I did an interview with, who did a really god job about listening to your reputation mind was Andy Beal who wrote ‘Radically Transparent’ that’s a good book.
So instead of going through those pieces when we come back from the break, what I’ll let everyone know is that you’ve given me five books to giveaway to DishyMix fans. So if you want to get that information, you can have that information care of and courtesy of Pete thank you for giving us the five books.
Pete Blackshaw: You bet.
Susan Bratton: The way if you’ve get a book is you go to Facebook and you type in DishyMix, all one word and you’ll find my DishyMix fan club. Just post your request on there and I’ll choose my five favorites and then Pete will personally autograph a copy of ‘Satisfied Customers Tell 3 Friends, Angry Customers Tell 300’and we’ll send it off to you.
So thanks for doing that Pete I like it when my authors personally sign books, so thanks for taking the extra time to do that.
Pete Blackshaw: You bet and I’m a fan of your fans.
Susan Bratton: [laughing] I’m a fan of your fans, and your fans are fans. Alright so we’re going to go to a break to thank my fabulous sponsors who let me have this much fun with you every week and when we come back we’ll talk about a lot of other good fun stuff, stay tuned.
Susan Bratton: Alright we’re back and we’re with Pete Blackshaw, author, speaker, pendant and fabulous man of the industry. As a mater of fact and Ad Tech Industry achievement award winner, not just because you’ve achieved a lot but because you’ve given so much back to the industry.
I wanted to point that out because I was part of you for winning that.
Pete Blackshaw: Thank you that was a big honor.
Susan Bratton: It was a nice honor, it's really what I love is that it's not just about who you are and what you’ve done, but what you’ve done for everybody else, that makes a huge difference.
Pete Blackshaw: Yes and I got to give them important news in Santa too.
Susan Bratton: It is, it is got to recognize that work. So let’s talk about ‘Brand Association Maps’ describe this, because it's a lot of all that insight you were talking about just before the break, was it really came from those ‘Brand Association Maps’.
So paint the picture of that for us.
Pete Blackshaw: Imagine a set of circles where you have the brand term or the category reference. The category reference might be beauty.
Susan Bratton: Is it like a bull’s-eye or is it like tree intercept, is it a van diagram?
Pete Blackshaw: Imagine a bull’s-eye where you’ve got, and in the middle of the bull’s-eye you got the name of the term and what you do is put thousands if not millions of conversations in an advance catch minding blunder.
And then we will put key associations around the centre of that bull’s-eye and what it provides you with is a visualized, almost a metaphor if you will of, how people talk and think about your brand or what they associate with.
So for example, you might, in the book I have an example of the Nike brand, where you have all these associations, these dots that surround the middle, but one of them that you see very close to word Nike is ‘Sweatshop’.
What that tells you is that although arguably Nike is well beyond that pain point in their past, they kind of may have taken lots of steps. It still enters the conversation; it's still something that sticks to the brand, in fair or unfair ways.
This is where we can begin to take a very honest assessment of how do people really feel and think about my brand? And importantly how do I navigate around, or in some cases reinforce these issues.
I’ve been doing a lot of brand association maps recently related to the Olympics, and not surprisingly the associations around the word ‘Olympic’ or ‘Olympic sponsors’ have changed dramatically.
And interestingly ‘Pepsi’ moved a lot more towards the positive then where it was several months ago, but again, a good way of understanding your brand DNA. Now one of the things I do with these types of tools is, in my consulting I may take the DNA from a brand association map.
And then take a little look over at the brand website and ask myself, “How well do they match?”, and what you often find is that brand websites are even brand blogs, or often radically out of sink with the conversation.
Consumers may use certain terms or references that the brand website firs back blanks on, if you type it into the search engine. And I think that what brands need to understand and master, is how do we become more conversationally fluent?
How do we make sure that we’re relevant to these conversations, even, I repeat the negative ones. Because brands always want to be authority on both the good and bad issues, so someone is curious or concerned about a rumor, an untrue fact, you want to make sure that they type that in your brand search engine, you’re addressing that issue.
You don’t want to fire back a blank, so we try to take these tools and really make sure that brands are meeting critical expectations with consumers.
Susan Bratton: So in your book a lot of what you talk about is the listening piece but if you going to listen you have to respond and you talked a lot about different ways and it going beyond just the corporate blog or the customer service touch point that you can actually create ‘Love Spots’ within your organization.
Give us an example of a couple of those that we might be able to do if we were even a small organization. Maybe not a store like Star Box where we had locations where people could fall in love with us, but something that’s a little more virtual or B to B, because a lot of our listeners are B to B, not consumer brand. How do you create ‘Love Spots’ in the B to B world?
Pete Blackshaw: Well ‘Love Spots’ is really the condition, or the moment of experience where engaging or inviting the consumer to provide feedback is most optimal. So in the book I talk about a little trip my wife and I took with the kids, the twins to ‘Pete’s coffee’ and it was it was in Pasadena, it was just a great environment Cortex students and we just, it was just awesome.
And right about the time that we were about to leave we just noticed that this, the polythene board where they had a pilloried camera hanging from it and they were encouraging people to take photos and write little notes to the brand, and truly low tech, it wasn’t like an online co-creation effort, but we were so enamored with our experience.
We wanted to give some love back and they keyed it up at just the right moment.
To the point where we were not only posting little love notes to ‘Pete coffee’ but we actually took a photo of our love note on the wall and shared it with others and of course I wrote about it in the book, but that’s a good example of capitalizing on the ‘Love Spot’.
Another example might be when you buy a car and you get the keys and you taken the test drive, that’s when the brand should be asking for feedback and really seeking to understand everything about the experiences. It's kind of comical that you buy a car and you get these impenetrateably user unfriendly surveys like six weeks later, that means they haven’t really capitalized on the ‘Love Spots”.
So we really need to know were those most in this periods where consumers are really eager to provide feedback and then you want to capitalize on that, because you not only get better learning but you also are dialing up the royalty.
You are making the consumers feel important when it counts.
Susan Bratton: so I don’t feel like answered my question the way I asked it which was, I was looking more for B to B, less consumer. I didn’t want coffee and cars I wanted machinery and a serial software products. So here’s my question and I don’t mean you didn’t answer right, you know what I mean.
[laughing] I know what my listeners are going to say, but what about the B to B because that’s what you have asked and that’s what I want.
Pete Blackshaw: I think it's the same principle, so if you’re a B to B provider and you just have the experience of supplier finish the work, provided the services, that’s when you want to collect the feedback, not three weeks later, and this is where you can elaborate, doesn’t matter if you are B to B provider or B to C. All of these new capabilities especially in the social Medias on can allow you to.
Susan Bratton: In the moment of delivery.
Pete Blackshaw: At the moment of delivery.
Susan Bratton: Making up way, a platform or something, a loop, a feedback loop, a process where people can give you that at the moment of delivery. That’s what you’re saying?
Pete Blackshaw: Exactly
Susan Bratton: Okay
Pete Blackshaw: You want to shadow that experience and if there is love and satisfaction or potential for advocacy, you don’t want to really miss a moment.
What you would get is still didn’t think about the B to B it is like small business, or B to B it's like advocacy is so critical. One or two bad eggs can really bring your business down, so if there is an opportunity to capture meaningful high impact feedback, you don’t want to leave that to chance or put it on delay.
And that’s really understanding where those ‘Love Spots’ are, is critical.
Susan Bratton: One of the ways that you can create ‘Love Spot’ is to create, what I liked the word you used in the expression platform. I would have said a community.
Creating a platform for your customers to have an opportunity to talk amongst themselves, where you’ve maybe brought them together because they all enjoy your brand or they use your service or they consume your media or whatever it might be, and then you create this platform for them.
What I want to know from you is what you think the most, the latest and most sophisticated and well done expression platforms or communities or points of interest on the internet might be?
Pete Blackshaw: Well there are so many to look at and there is so many new ones being developed, I mean frankly, I don’t think Star Box is anywhere close to be in out of the woods, but I love what they do with My Star Box idea.
Where they literally created a community of ideas among passionate consumers and it was kind of neat utility where the best ideas rose to the top, but this almost as if their advocates did a lot of their work. Same concept with Idea Storm brand, companies like Commune Space are creating more private communities that have lots research value, where they‘re really understanding the needs and unmet opportunities with dedicated online consumers.
There are a lot of companies that are simply monitoring communities, they don’t even directly manage. We see a lot of that among our auto clients where they just stand really close to this passionate stuff, communities around the Priers for example and well they don’t manage it, they can certainly nature because a lot of these communities really value brand participation.
The key is you can’t crash the party; you have to earn your right to participate. So whether it's directly managed community, such as the INTOIT the hundred thousand INTOIT tax communities or whether it's the Toyota example, I just gave you.
The communities are introducing a whole new dimension. I personally think brand should really start to move community platform to a much more strategic level in the organization. It raises some interesting questions about who owns it, who funds it? But the potential to reap dividends from affective community management is unmistakable.
Susan Bratton: What do you think is the world’s top leader in understanding the latest and greatest about what makes a fabulous community?
Pete Blackshaw: I don’t think there is a single silver bullet about leader. I think a lot of the bloggers out there, that are kind of playing back key studies, and their own brand experiences make for, superb collective wisdom. I can barely keep up with it and it seems like, everyday there’s another, fifty or so E-narratives emerging from brands that are testing and experimenting with communities, but I don’t think there’s a single authority.
I could say that one of the CEO like DianaHassan of community space is really on top of all of it, but I wouldn’t say. I don’t like those kinds of questions because I think that in this world there’s this whole, there is almost like wisdom of the crowds.
Even among the far leaders out there. I don’t think you consider that a copper. But I would
Susan Bratton: No I don’t
Pete Blackshaw: But I think there’s a stand up now.
Susan Bratton: I thought maybe there was one, but there isn’t one, there’s a collective wisdom and we can track it that way, which is a good answer.
Would you be able to make me a little list of some of the bloggers you think are doing a good job covering the community space?
Pete Blackshaw: Yeah, I wouldn’t have the perfect list right now.
Susan Bratton: No I’m not saying on the show, I’m saying that what I can do is I can be post it on my blog when your show is live and then if people want to read more about creating communities, I think a lot of brands, especially B to B , they’re interested in creating community for their customers and having their customers talk amongst themselves about their experience and their usage of products and services and things like that.
Pete Blackshaw: I did that and love to do that.
Susan Bratton: Would you help me with that?
Pete Blackshaw: There are so many out there, like Dave Havens and
Susan Bratton: Yap Dave’s awesome.
Pete Blackshaw: I can hardly keep up, in fact I’m a little intimidated at times because for a while I was seen as Mr. So and so media expert, I kind of feel like, they are all over. But at the same time would have been tired list or both. I’m kind of learning on everyone else’s neck off. [laughing]
Susan Bratton: But we all are, so that’s great, so what I’ll do then is I’ll get that list from you and that will go up on dishymix.com so you can just search Pete Blackshaw, you’ll find it and that will be your recommended list of bloggers in the social media space that are focused on community or at least considering community. So that we can understand it better.
Pete Blackshaw: Perfect
Susan Bratton: That will be great, so we’re almost out of time; I want to ask you a couple of other questions. Where can I buy this book, we’re going to get this book for free from DishyMix if we post on the fan club at Facebook or we’re going to at least start reading your blog and go to tell300.com.
So this is your first book, how do you feel now after written your first book, is there another one in your future?
Pete Blackshaw: It feels great and everyone’s like, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you’re writing a book, aren’t you a Blogger, you’re betraying your idealism.
Susan Bratton: Ha! That’s funny.
Pete Blackshaw: To which I say, you know there’s something beautiful about how a book forces you to helicopter up, synthesize and really pull your points together.
Susan Bratton: Yeah
Pete Blackshaw: And it was a fascinating and a home win experience, actually I’d say about twenty five percent of the content that I produced random house throughout.
And it's really good because they have kind of really good editors who really help you find your voice and focus on the things that really count and make sure you’re talking to the right audience.
So there’s a lot of great learning in the process, and my goals, I want this to be good enough, so that someone will allow me to sling at the bat again, and I’m already sinking through a couple different book themes.
One is around this notion of defensive branding and really digging a little bit deeper on how to protect brands in this crazy world. And then the other one, this will crack you up, but I have to admit it is a bit autobiographic form, thinking at the book called ‘Digital D Talks’ which is around, where does all of this just reach the tipping point of excess.
And you hear friends say, “Put that blog pretty down” or “you’re just a little bit too assonate, think we need to figure out what’s to write down, so there’s no question all this is having greater productivity, it's helping the create a sense of connectiveness.
It's powerful in so many ways, but it's also desensitized enough in some ways and I want to kind of explore that, almost looking at the mirror myself but potentially with good lessons for a broader audience.
I’ve learned in my little many focus groups around, that’s all product people they’re struggling with that issue.
Susan Bratton: Well and it is a factor how busy we get but I, did you notice that when I was creping for our interview, that instead of sending you an email, I called and left you a voice mail.
Pete Blackshaw: And I love that.
Susan Bratton: I bet then you replied on your Blackberry to me.
Pete Blackshaw: I did
Susan Bratton: I know, it was interesting, so I have
Pete Blackshaw: How was that, I’m like using cryptic language now.
Susan Bratton: Right
Pete Blackshaw: And I’m not naked about, nor I’m worried about the way I was before to getting what sound the tipping point of the.
Susan Bratton: [laughing]
Pete Blackshaw: No I say again and I rationalized it because I’m being productive, I’m getting twice as much done, but I’m sending these fifty, you may figure what twitter is doing. I’m starting a website called ‘bravety140’ and I’m just going to list the top phrases, the new proverbs of the world that are under a 140 characters.
I can’t decide it that a good thing or bad thing? Always saw way to the good thing, on the other hand, were you’re becoming too chirpy.
Susan Bratton: Are we loosing our humanity.
Pete Blackshaw: Yeah, you can say that videos’ bringing more humanity to the world, but I don’t know, I think we need to really, it is always good to pause, take a step back and see where we are in the bigger balance and so that maybe part of what Pete is writing about in the coming months and years.
Susan Bratton: Well you’ve already had an amazing impact on the field of marketing. You are a thought leader, you have coined terms like CGM, you’re a cut-out for bigger things than what you’re doing now. What is it going to be, are you going to run for president, are you going to start a global initiative to save something in the universe, where’s your head?
Pete Blackshaw: You know I really don’t know, it's a really good question and you could say I have a bit of script sonic career having started in government, now I’m in business and now I’m in a research firm.
You know I’m not sure, there are some things that I’m doing that are quite meaningful to me that could help give me some clarity, I just was elected as a Board Member of the National Better Business guild and that’s really opened up a whole host of a new and exciting issues and some are exciting, kind of reminding me about thing we still need to taken care of in the business environment.
So that’s got me thinking me about what the next phase might be, I’d love starting companies so I could do another company, will be in 2.0 I’m not sure.
I did an amazing program Cincinnati, it was actually the first time I took a break to do a management program sponsored by the Region called ‘Leadership Cincinnati’ and that was just one of the most amazing Leadership training programs I’ve taken in many, many, many years.
And that kind of opened me up to the whole world of nonprofits, healthcare education, civic business, cooperation and so that’s got me thinking about, there’s some bigger ideas down the horizon.
But I’m not really sure, but now that we’ve been acquired by Nielsen and I’m kind of more on a study state or kind of developing, if I’m not in that panic stage of, “Oh my gosh, I have to get my car start up sold”
Susan Bratton: Right, where you have to get to make payroll.
Pete Blackshaw: Yeah exactly, and it's obvious I’m not working like crazy I am if anything I probably head too many clients, but I’m taking more time to think about some of those questions, so I may have more clarity and I don’t know. The next time we talk, but I’m thinking more about them.
Susan Bratton: I could see a roll, some place in at the inner section of consumer advocacy and business leadership for you and it should be a really big roll. You should be like the Martha Steward of that world.
Pete Blackshaw: Well actually the BBB is actually been interesting because it's that it's opened up a whole new set of issues. You remember when I was a proctor I was really get into a lot of those industry standards and how to extend.
So that’s opening up some issues and I do think there’s a lot of unfinished agenda items, don’t you?
Susan Bratton: Aha ha!
Pete Blackshaw: I don’t even know where to begin, and it's not just, what’s the right Ad model, actually that’s deeper than that. It's like what type of environment do we really want to build and we need, none of them are parents of three kids, I feel like I’m much more informed to think about these things.
Susan Bratton: Yeah
Pete Blackshaw: There’s somebody around and get a little bit more conservative, so that’s a great question, I’m glad you asked it, I’m going to keep thinking about it. My wife keeps pushing me in that direction too, she really thinks that there is a, she kind of looks at the tapestry of everything I’m doing and sees always sees a bigger idea and I give her a lot of credit for that.
Susan Bratton: Have you bought the book and taken that quiz ‘Strength Finder 2.0’?
Pete Blackshaw: I haven’t but I will.
Susan Bratton: You tell me after doing it.
Pete Blackshaw: Actually I’ve to do, go answer and friend named Susan Bratton’s brought it up.
Susan Bratton: That’s what you’ve got to do it now. She’s got post on the list, it's called ‘Strength Finder 2.0’ it's a national poll of Americans and ‘What our strengths are’ and you take an online, you get a code inside the book, you take an online quiz, you get the results and then there’s a whole bunch of incremental information in the book about what you ‘Top five Strengths’ are.
Pete Blackshaw: Oh I can’t wait.
Susan Bratton: It's really fun. Okay so, we’re out of time, this is my last question, we’ve gone over, but I just love to listen to you talk.
If I could clone you and you could be two people I trust, if it everyday, what would the second Pete Blackshaw spend all his time, not all of us have it, what are some of the things. The second Pete Blackshaw would do, with that extra time, and it can be pleasure it is naturally work.
What would you really like to do, if you had double free many times in the day?
Pete Blackshaw: Well I’m just having the best time with my three kids and I would definitely spend and my wife and I would just spend as much time as I can, I feel like they are just in this absolute incredible phase of their development and the more time the better.
I’m already kind of regretting that, work is so busy that I can’t give them a hundred percent. I think in terms of the non-family side, if I was a clone I’d probably put another side of me back in public service. That really gets me very, very excited. I still think one of the most exciting things I’ve done in my career is when I was working in the California legislature, on really, really important yet very complex issues around diversecity, immigration, education standards.
There’s a part of me that I feel still belongs there, so if I had the luxury of cloning myself I would probably try to finish up some of the agenda, I’d have fund that front, but that’s a great question, I’m sure I’d keep extraordinarily busy, you will probably feel a lot of output.
Susan Bratton: Well I think that’s a great question for anybody who’s listening right now. Maybe it's the meditation of the day, and it would be, “If you had a whole another of yourself, and this would be all of the things you’d like to spend your time doing, maybe there’s a way you can cut down on the stuff you are doing and put some of that back into your own day”.
Well it's worth a thought, isn’t it?
Pete Blackshaw: Well Susan, maybe that’s the title of your book, I think that’s a great name if you should.
Susan Bratton: [Laughing]
Pete Blackshaw: ‘If I could clone myself’
Susan Bratton: ‘If I could clone myself’
Pete Blackshaw: Really it's a great starting point for a much deeper reflection in conversation.
Susan Bratton: Absolutely, it is. Well maybe we can turn into a ‘blog me’.
Pete Blackshaw: Yeah. We’ll talk about it next week.
Susan Bratton: Alright, that sounds good. Well Pete, it's been so fun to catch up with you. Congratulations on the completion of an excellent book and thank you for giving five copies away to DishyMix listeners, they love you, here’s a big [sounds of kisses] for that.
Pete Blackshaw: Thank you
Susan Bratton: And now you have to change your website to ‘Trust Babies’ it's not ‘Those babies’.
Pete Blackshaw: It's already up, baby
Susan Bratton: [Laughing] Of course it is.
Pete Blackshaw: So don’t tell it's still there but ‘trust babies’ is there, you can see little Sophia.
Susan Bratton: We will go check it out. We want to see beautiful little Sophia and congratulations on all the work that you’ve done and on your future as a public servant in consumer advocacy and business leadership. I see the path for you now.
Pete Blackshaw: Thank you very much.
Susan Bratton: We can’t wait to see how it all turns out and we’ll be watching.
Pete Blackshaw: Absolutely, it's my pleasure, and congrats on all your success to.
Susan Bratton: Thank you
Pete Blackshaw: I hereby DishyMix everywhere I go
Susan Bratton: DishyMix, yahoo
Pete Blackshaw: I DishyMix right now, I’m like I got a [audio disturbance]
Susan Bratton: We got a double there.
Pete Blackshaw: I getting raffle if I tell you I got, been in Time Magazine, I’ve been in MSMV3 but I haven’t done my enemy with Susan yet.
Susan Bratton: Ha, Ha Wohoo, that’s good well you know I’ve got my goal. Double my audience by the end of the year and you’re going to help me with your fabulousness, so thank you and thanks to all of you for listening today its Pete, I hope it was fun, tell your friends about DishyMix I can’t do it without you.
Have a great day and thanks so much.