Episode 184: Dave Evans on How To Operate as a SOCIAL Business Part 1 of 2
Prepared to be inspired!
Dave Evans is back on DishyMix to talk this time about his newest book, Social Media Marketing: The Next Generation of Business Engagement.
Social networking has permanently changed the way consumers interact with brands - fo' shizzle!
What to DO first?
- Listening platform?
- Collaborative vendor WIKI?
- Twitter account for CRM?
- The never-ending list goes on...
Learn how your business connects itself to your customers and prospects and how, in the future, no company will survive without creating the platforms customers and partners demand to be in conversation with you.
Dave discusses social business strategy; social objects and the social graph and how they are central to your ongoing revenue strategy.
Evans give over-arching strategic advice, down and dirty platform recommendations, helpful case study examples and an inspiring viewpoint that will have you entirely reconsider your job!
This is a two part series.
Susan Bratton: Welcome to DishyMix. I’m your host, Susan Bratton, and this part two of a two part series with Dave Evans. Dave is the co-founder of a consulting firm called Digital Voodoo, but you probably know him best because he has written and authored two books on social media, Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day and Social Media Marketing: The Next Generation of Business Engagement. On last weeks episode we talked specifically about social business, social collaboration, social CRM, and how to operate as the social business going forward, because it’s imperative. If you don’t you won’t be in business much longer. The world has changed. It’s kind of like the internet affected things; social is affecting our businesses at such a deep level that we absolutely have to figure out how to collaborate and connect with our customers to build the products that they want. And in last weeks episode Dave went into a significant amount of detail in different approaches that you can take to bring this strategy and capability into your organization. We wanted to pick up where we left off and start on really defining what social objects are and the social graph in today’s world as it relates to revenue driven business objectives. And so lets welcome Dave onto this episode. Hi Dave.
Dave Evans: Hi Susan.
Susan Bratton: It’s great to have you back on part two.
Dave Evans: It’s wonderful to be here. Always enjoy this series, it’s great.
Susan Bratton: You were awesome last week, and I expect no less from you for this one. So lets just get right into social objects and social graphs. Give us just a high level view of what they are and how they fit together. What’s the interoperability here conceptually?
Dave Evans: Sure. When we look at social media we think about social web, social media, using it for marketing in business and so on. We very often bring this mindset, either borrowed from traditional media or whatever, we are the center, as a brand we’re the center of a conversation and so on. And then we bring that onto the social web because we have all these talking points or Facebook business pages and Twitter and all these places where we have our message and we can push this out. I like to look at the components of the social web because it’s very instructive to do this because they’re significantly different than the components of traditional media obviously. So a couple that come to mind are social objects, you know, which we’re going to talk about, and this idea of the social graph. The social object, in just a real simple way to think about it, it’s the thing that people will talk about, right. So, you know, for example if you have a passion, a lifestyle, a cause, something like that, people will naturally talk about that. It’ important when creating a social presence, when operating, you know, on the social web that what the brand builds around is the thing that will be talked about, which may or may not be the brand, all right. You know, this is sort of a wakeup in marketing because what we very often think about or the premise that we start with is the brand is at the center, right, because the brand is at the center of spot, the brand is at the center of the ad, the brand is at the center of the research that we do and these kinds of things, and we look for the place where that brand fits into a customer’s life or where a customer’s life actually wraps around the brand, right. I think about it this way. Well when you step onto the social web what you’re really doing is you’re stepping into a place where conversations just, you know, sort of exist and they happen and they happen around things. What’s really important to understand is what is it that conversations will form naturally around, right, because on the social web we don’t have the same kind of media buys and so on that we have in traditional media where we can create our message and put it in front of people. We don’t have this attention channel that we can interrupt and place a message into. What we have instead are spontaneous conversations. So what is it that people will talk about, and what the answer distills down into is, you know, obviously the things that they’re interested in, which we can define as lifestyles, passions, causes, these kind of things. So if we can find, you know, something like that, if we can think about our brand in terms of a passion, a lifestyle, a cause, what is that people would organize around that we are now part of. We build our social presence around that thing instead of around the brand, right. So we get this concept called social object.
Susan Bratton: I recently interviewed Chase McMichaels. He has a company called Infinigraph. So what Chase is doing is discovering what a brand’s influencers are actually talking about. Not just about the brand, but about what else besides the brand that those best customers and key influencers are talking about. And then he curates and uses RSS feeds to stream that related content and information to the brands like Twitter channel or on their Facebook page or whatever, so that that brand is in a bigger conversation than just the story about their own crap. It gets out of naval gazing and turns the direction outwardly focused to the things, the passion, the points of discussion that they’re key customers are talking about in the social sphere. What do you think about that just at a conceptual level? It’s kind of what you’re saying, which is you’re not just talking about the brand, you’re talking about the bigger story. This is a new company that’s actually helping create the feeds of content that are larger than the brand story itself.
Dave Evans: Yeah, spot on. I mean, exactly. In my book I talk about two examples, and this is not to knock or praise either one. It’s simply when you see these two examples presented side by side you realize the difference. One involves Pepsi in a campaign that’s actually been running for a while on BlogHer called The Juice. It’s for it’s Trop 50 low sugar orange juice product. The other campaign is the Old Spice men’s deodorant community. And so in both cases we have, you know, obviously a brand play, a product play going on. In one case, in the juice campaign we have orange juice being, you know, both the name, The Juice, as a sort of play on words for the product itself, as well as here’s the inside scoop, here’s women talking to women about things that are important to them, and raising families and health and all of the bigger things that women talk about. So the product fits very naturally into that. The product doesn’t sit at the center of the community. Women and their interests and their desire to talk with other women, to support each other, to talk about things, to learn about things, all of that, that’s what sits at the center of the BlogHer community and what really sits at the center Juice, you know, sort of play in that community. If you compare that with the Old Spice community, the deodorant is at the center of the community. Now, you know, men don’t talk about deodorant all that much. It’s not really an anchor. And so what you see in that community is there’s activity around that community and from a marketing perspective the community may make total sense, right, in terms of brand awareness. But what’s really driving the community is the continuous stream of sweepstakes, of giveaways. In other words, the brand is spending money to get people to the community for awareness and exposure purposes, which from a marketing perspective if it works, it works. You know, it’s part of the marketing campaign. On the other hand, when you look at something like the juice, other than the sponsorship, there’s really no money being spent to attract women to come to the community and talk. They’re doing that on their own, right. All of that stuff, that just happens naturally. So when you start to tease apart the role of the social object and its place in developing an online presence, if you’re looking for organic self sustaining building dynamic viral communities, you find these things being built around, you know, no surprise, the things the customers are fundamentally interested in, right. Well what Infinigraph is doing is picking up on that information and saying, “If you’re interested in these kinds of things here’s some other things that you’re also interested in”, and the net result is the customers in and around those communities suddenly find a larger context that looks like their life, right. It’s relevant to them and they tend to spend either more time or they engage more deeply, you know, and so on. Some of the other social plays, I mean something like the Old Spice deodorant community may make total sense from an exposure point of view. It’s cost per acquisition. It’s cost per exposure, you know, and so on. Maybe very competitive with other forms, and so, why not, why not use tools like that? They’re part of the marketing landscape too. But when we’re talking about social objects and building a strong social presence, it’s really important to understand, okay, are we going to spend our way to an audience or are we going to earn our way to an audience, and on the social web there’s real differences and real options for both of those.
Susan Bratton: So if you’re a brand and you want to get better at understanding social objects and creating and currating content that’s of interest to your followers, what’s the best way to figure that out and what’s the best way to be in the stream of delivering those valuable objects to your customers and prospects?
Dave Evans: So I think we can go back to Dell that we talked about in the previous episode because there’s a couple of really good examples of this. So Dell has multiple customer constituencies, right. They have enterprise, they have small business, they have, you know, individual consumers and so on. So lets look at their small business customers. Two of the communities that they’ve put together are great examples of social objects at work. One is called Taking Your Own Path, it’s the entrepreneurs community. The other is called The Digital Nomads community, and it’s for individuals, small business and so on that literally live on and define themselves with technology. And so in both of those cases the centers of the community, the center of the community is not Dell Hardware Product Services and so on. The center of the community is the passion of being an entrepreneur. The center of the community is the passion and lifestyle interest in technology and, you know, what can I do if I’m connected to the internet, right. How do I define my life in terms of that? You know I’m sort of an example of that. If I can find a Starbucks or some place like that, any place with WiFi, I’m happy. You know, I’m fully productive and I’m happy. So those are the things that sit at the centers of those communities. Those are the social objects that sit at the centers of those communities.
Susan Bratton: Do you have to build a community and do all of that and find all those social objects? Are there any other less involved ways to leverage this notion of social objects for a small/medium business?
Dave Evans: I think this is a really good point. I mean, and the answer is no, you don’t have to build your own community, particularly for a small business. If you look at something like a Facebook business page, and again, the big caveat here, you know, some of the things that we talk about, the caveat here is understand your own customers and understand where your own customers are. You know, it may be LinkdIn instead of Facebook or something like that. Or maybe none of the above, it maybe something else that’s very specific to your business. But we’ll use Facebook as an example. You know, fish where the fish are. There’s 500 million people in Facebook; chances are for most businesses some portion of your customer base or the influencers for your customer base is there. So create a business page there, use that, build around that, join the groups, create groups and so on that are relevant to your customers and that connect your products into that. If you want to build a community you’ve got at least three options, right. You have the community, you know, what we would sort of recognize as a social network or a social application kind of community. Go in create a profile, link to other people, have friends, follow people, all that sort of thing. Take that one off the table for a minute and lets look at the two others, right. You’ve got a support community, right. What a simple application, what a nice way to connect to your customers. Here’s a way that customers can talk to each other about support issues. And what that does is that changes the site from an interactive support site where, you know, come in, define your problem, here’s the 10 tips that we’ve decided are applicable to servicing that issue. And instead change it to where customers are talking to each other. That’s what makes it social instead of just interactive, right, when customers are talking to each other, when you permit customers to directly talk to each other about “Yeah, tried this, this didn’t work. I tried that, that did work”, those kinds of things. So you can implement community in the support context, and a platform like at Satisfaction is a great example of that. You just go sign up and start working with it. You can build your own support community pretty quickly. You can look at something like the Ideas platform and build an ideation community, right, where you’re literally mining your customer base for ideas, letting other customers curate those ideas and then you pick off the winners, right. So there’s another form of a community, a Wiki, right. The Dachis Group has created a software wiki, if you just Google Dachis Group Software Wiki, d-a-c-h-i-s Group and then Software Wiki, you’ll find a listing of all of the collaborative technologies that, you know, that are, you know, sort of currently available to pretty good lists, and it’s maintained by customers, you know. I’ve posted information to that, other people have posted information to that. So there’s another form of, you know, a wiki as a collaborative community. So you have all these options short of actually trying to build another community, ‘cause when you build another community you’re actually competing with, you know, whether it’s Facebook or whoever, you’re competing with the number of places that people are likely to create and be interested in maintaining a profile and all this kind of stuff. And there’s no point having a community if, you know, only every 10th profile has an actual picture instead of, you know, the gray default icon or things like that. Those don’t make for good experiences. So before you go create, compete rather at the community level, look at support platforms at ideations, at wikis, at all of these things, build around something like a Facebook business page, tack those onto the side, use the applications tools at Facebook on your business page to pull these applications into Facebook, and build on those communities. Worse case, you’re going to learn what people want and don’t want and, you know, how to do this stuff. Best case, it’s going to turn out that’s all you really needed and you saved yourself the expense and the hassle and the distraction, frankly just the business distraction of going through and building a community when that’s really not what you needed. What you wanted was collaboration between customers, but you don’t always need a community per se to do that.
Susan Bratton: Nice! That was really good. Okay, Dachis Group, how do you say it?
Dave Evans: Dachis.
Susan Bratton: Dachis, what do they do?
Dave Evans: They are a really interesting group and doing some nice work. Peter Kim, Kate Niederhoffer…
Susan Bratton: Is Peter Kim still there?
Dave Evans: And Susan Scrupski…
Susan Bratton: I met him at South By Southwest and I was very impressed with him.
Dave Evans: Mm hmm.
Susan Bratton: He seems like a brilliant guy.
Dave Evans: They are trying to tackle…
Susan Bratton: So what are they trying to do? Are they like a consulting firm?
Dave Evans: It’s more partially consulting, partially think tank, partially what is social business and how do we operationalize this? I mean Susan Scrupski just does fantastic work in the large organizations – 10,000, 20,000 employees and over. Those kinds of enterprises with employee collaboration, employee empowerment through social technologies and so on. So lots of really good work and lots of really good thought leadership coming out of that group. So absolutely, spend some time there. Just go look at the BlogHers for the Dachis Group. David Armano had been with them for a long time. Really nice work coming out of that group, as just a reference for what all the stuff is. You know, Peter Kim’s done some amazing work in defining and creating framework around social business.
Susan Bratton: We’ll definitely check that out. Okay, the social graph. I don’t even know where to start with this conversation. To me the social graph is all of the people who are connected to your company in some way and all of the people that are connected to them, and the interconnections between those people, their sentiment, the information that they post, what they talk about, what they care about. What else? What is the social graph? And how do we leverage it as marketers to drive more revenue? I think that’s the real question, isn’t it?
Dave Evans: That is very often the question, and I think quite properly so. I mean, it’s like on the one hand business, so we’re always concerned about money, you know. It’s like well, you know what, that’s why we have businesses…
Susan Bratton: That’s our job.
Dave Evans: Businesses without money are not healthy businesses and they don’t help their customers over the long-term. Businesses with money, they’re the ones that can change things and do things and help their customers and so on. So yeah, I think we should be focused on that aspect of business. The social graph, I think about it in sort of an analogy to the way web pages used to be linked together. If you remember back, you know, 15 years ago, whatever, and we had the sort of five page website where we had…
Susan Bratton: For sure ware.
Dave Evans: Yeah, here’s what we do, here’s about us, here’s contact, and we all had that links page, right, if you remember that links page where we listed, you know, the other sites that we thought were cool, which, you know, as the web kind of took off very quickly we quickly got crushed in trying to maintain those pages. But say you had this idea of links, right, and what those links did was they connected our sites together in ways that A, people could follow them. So you know, you came to my site, you saw what it was about and who it was and some things that I thought were interesting and then you could go off and check out those things and see what other people were doing. And then at the same time the spiders and so on could also navigate those links and start to make sense out of how websites were hooked together, right. And the reason I belabor this a little bit is I think this is something that we’re all, you know, sort of familiar with. It’s like okay, I’ve got these web pages, they’re linked together, I’ve got my site that connects to these other sites and so on. Well in the social web the analogy is Dave Evans and Susan Bratton’s personal links pages, right. It’s who are we connected to as people. What profiles are connected to other profiles and why and how do they form friends and who’s connected to lots of people and who’s connected to, you know, relatively few people. Who’s connected to two big networks and, you know, shuttles traffic between those networks. You get into these, you know, sort of mathematical concepts, but they’re really pretty easy to understand if we just think about our lives in terms of personal networking. And I think for the DishyMix audience in particular, I mean this really resonates. It’s like you go to a cocktail party, you go to a, you know, business party, something like that, and you sort of have your list of this is who I’m going to meet and this is who I’m going to connect with and this is who I told I would connect with, you know, someone else and so on. And we have these things that we do where we’re building these relationships and understanding relationships and extending them and using them to enrich ourselves, to enrich others, you know, and so on, and make these connections. Well this is the social graph, and so when we look at this quantitatively and we look at who in Facebook is connected to who else or on LinkdIn, you know, first degree, second degree, third degree, all these kinds of things, we can start to use this and mine this stuff for information. So we get a tool like Buzz Stream for example, and Buzz Stream looks at, you know, keyword driven, this is who’s talking about my brand, products, service, whatever I’m looking for. And Buzz Stream goes and crawls a social graph for those people and sees who else are they connected to, how influential is this person, what else are they talking about, you know, and brings you back this information so that I can begin to understand not just what people are saying but who’s saying it and where in terms of priority is this person, you know, so that I can take the time to build a relationship with this person or simply be aware of this person or just understand, you know, this is part of the, I don’t want to call it background noise because that does a disservice to the comments that, you know, large numbers of individuals make. But it’s like here’s this kind of background sea of chatter about my brand, and I want to understand that from a PR or marketing perspective at sort of a holistic level – is it positive, is it negative, is it changing, is there a new issue, you know, all those kinds of things. But within that group there are bloggers, there are, you know, sort of self appointed consumer enthusiasts who happen to love the space that I operate in, and they have followings and I need to understand those, right. So I need to understand who’s influential and who’s not, who’s connected and who’s not. Well the social graph brings a set of tools that enable me to do that and to really dig in and understand. If I take the time to build a relationship with this person it’s because this person has a following or this person write influential stuff or this person is really intelligent about my particular space or this person looks like they should be on my advisory board. I can start to make those decisions. So in the same way that we used to link our web pages together, the social graph links people together.
Susan Bratton: So you want to use a social graph so that you have a sense of who your influencers are and you’re judging your influencers by not only their sentiment to your brand, their enthusiasm for your brand, for your product or service, but also how many people they affect with their opinion. So we’re really talking about opinion leaders, trying to surface the opinion leaders, right?
Dave Evans: In most cases. I think that’s, you know, sort of the low hanging fruit. That’s the stuff that we’re interested in, right. As marketers, look to the social web, right. And one of the reasons that my books are in social media marketing is very often social media, which we kind of recognize as the tip of the iceberg of collaborative technology, right. When we look at what is social media really, right; it’s the blog posts, the content, the Tweets, the photos, the videos, all the stuff that we create and share. Well why are we doing this, right? It’s so that we can exchange information about our experiences with things or our interests and so on and what are the tools that we’re using to do this – discussion forms and, you know, all of these collaborative services and so on, right. So it’s really the consumer application or the conversational application of social technology, right. As we start to dig into this from a business perspective, what we’re really talking about in terms of the social graph is how can I use this to guide my business and to run my business? That means finding opinion leaders for sure, but it also means uncovering the little like, “Wow, you know, I never thought of my product being applicable for this, and yet here’s a small group of users, you know. If I actually built in this direction, I could probably create a new market.” So it’s both opinion leaders and so on, which has this immediate appeal from the marketing perspective, which, you know, just because of the conversational dynamics and so on is often where social media lands in an organization. But it also then enables us to uncover what are the new ideas, what are some innovations, what are some markets that we haven’t gone after that very often take social media from the marketing group to the operations team or the legal team or to HR or, you know, to the entire organization.
Susan Bratton: What are some good ways that marketers can leverage these opinion leaders and influencers in a way that helps drive more revenue for the company?
Dave Evans: I think the immediate starting point is to take an understanding of the social graph, find influencers and so on, you know, which sounds kind of obvious right, find influencers and those kinds of things. And then use those to build a blog outreach program, all right. Who are the bloggers that you really want talking about your product and pushing not your message per se, but pushing their advocacy of your role in whatever space it is that you’re in, them talking about you in a way that helps drive your business. Then you step past that and you say, “Okay, in addition to bloggers, who else is out there”, ‘cause very often when we think of bloggers we think of maybe the A-list bloggers or something like that, and they’re absolutely important. But, you know, as I’ve talked about in the past, they will write about the kinds of things that they’re going to write about regardless of what you do, right. I mean you can make it easy to write about things, you can build relationships with them before you need them, right, which is always a polite thing to do, and so, so I’m not talking about that. What I’m talking about is they’re going to write about the things that are important to them for their audience and their business purposes. But there are these other whole groups of people who blog and they’re anybody from somebody who has specific technical interest in an area and so they have established a practice of talking about this, to just some consumer who got really intrigued by something and ended up building a nice following around outdoor kayaking or hang gliding or building airplanes or, you know, whatever it happens to be, when you find those people in the same way that you would build what would, you know, typically be called a blog outreach program where you’re going after the business bloggers and those kinds of things, what you’re doing is you’re going after the consumer enthusiasts and elevating them right, and you’re bringing them information about your product. You’re making them feel like the star, which is wonderful for them, right; that really activates them in terms of talking about you. But you’re making easier for them to talk about your product in a way that really helps you. So you start to distill this down and what do you really have? You’ve got tools that navigate the social graph that help you spot influencers, people that are talking about you, people that are connected and people that you might be able to help build into your next round of brand advocates, your next layer of brand of advocates. So then you put those things together and you say, “Okay, now what can we do?” Well we through outreach programs we create relationships with them, we send them advanced news about products and so on, and we make sure that they feel the love so to speak from the brand and then they talk about it. The other thing that happens is because you’re connected like that and you’re working on this like that, it also means that you’re hearing from them first hand what their likes and very importantly what their dislikes or places where you’ve let them down or places where there’s a question about something before it turns into an issue, all right. So you get this nice benefit of feedback, you get very strong outreach channels developed, and this is really just practical business. I mean it’s easy to do, very practical applications of the combination of the social graph and then what we would normally do in terms of marketing outreach.
Susan Bratton: I love social marketing. It’s so awesome. There’s nothing better that’s ever been developed for marketers than this whole world of social collaboration with customers. Tell me if you agree or disagree with my assessment of your predilections with regard to social collaboration in business. I think that for most people when they think about doing something social and introducing the social element into their business, they think “I should Tweet or I should get a Facebook page or I should do some kind of, I should buy some kind of listening software.” That’s what I think most marketers, that’s what comes to marketers minds when they think about social networking as influencing my business. What I think you’d say if I asked you – and I’m just guessing so you need to fix this – what I think you’d say is probably that’s not the place to start. I mean social listening, certainly, but probably the place to start is to think about some kind of a place that your customers, a channel, a platform, a conduit for your customers to be in conversation with your organization and your organization to take that information and make it actionable across the entire company, not just in marketing and public relations. True or false?
Dave Evans: True. Very true. In the work that I’m currently doing with Philips in the Netherlands, the starting point isn’t…
Susan Bratton: Take me with you. There must be something I can do to help you with that.
Dave Evans: Exactly, exactly.
Susan Bratton: I wish I had the time. Would we like nothing more than to go work on social business strategy with Dave Evans for Philips in the Netherlands. That’s like right up my alley.
Dave Evans: It’s a great spot, wonderful climate and just absolutely wonderful place. And for people that haven’t been there, it’s really, really amazing.
Susan Bratton: Where are they? Are they in Eindhoven?
Dave Evans: They’re in Amsterdam.
Susan Bratton: Oh, they’re in Amsterdam.
Dave Evans: Amsterdam and Utrecht.
Susan Bratton: Even better.
Dave Evans: They’re consumer business is in…
Susan Bratton: And Utrecht. Utrecht is a beautiful little town. I’ve seen those Philips offices down there. Do you know Claus (unintelligible)?
Dave Evans: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: Okay, so Claus has his business down in Utrecht. That’s nice. It’s beautiful there. All right, so go ahead. Sorry, sorry, sorry.
Dave Evans: Yeah, so the starting point with their team - led by Marco Rancalio, another colleague of mine who, he’s with Philips - the starting point for their business is not the technology, it’s not the outreach and so on. The starting point for their social business and the programs that they’re building is their internal cross-functional teams, right, and this is something that when I see organization that are on a winning path, it’s the ones that recognize what we talked about in the last episode – what is the collaborative culture inside of an organization. What is the culture that says the contributions of all employees are worth recognizing, because that same culture also says the conversations of all customers are worth recognizing, you know. I mean have you ever had that experience where you’re talking to somebody on the phone or something and what you really sense is happening is this persons day is going great until the customer showed up, you know. It’s like when we build these cultures…
Susan Bratton: Those pesky customers.
Dave Evans: Yeah, exactly. It’s like, “Wait a second, what’s going on? I’m the customer here. I mean I may not always be right but it’s like I’m still the customer”, right, it’s like… When we build these cultures that are accepting of everyone’s contribution – of our customers, of our employees, of our suppliers and so on – you know, it makes a very different organization. And when you’re starting into social technology, having that culture in place, it’s just like a huge like 99% of the time this program is going to work and 99% of the time that program is going to fail, you can pretty much make that determination up front by looking at the culture of the organization. This is not to discount social media used for awareness, you know. If you want to build a Facebook business presence you can build that presence and talk on it all day long, and some of your customers will become fans and some of them will love that. You can use Twitter to, you know, to tell people what’s on sale and what’s not and what you’re doing. I mean you can certainly use the social channels as, you know, outbound communications channels. But there’s a whole deeper play to make here around collaboration between customers, between employees, you know, which is obviously what we’re talking about and concerned with here. Those kinds of things are just hugely facilitated when we recognize collaboration between people versus command control, you know, between silos and departments and so on. And so the starting point for a lot of this is what do we look like internally – social media policies, cross-functional teams. I mean, you know, we keep saying this stuff. It’s like this is really where it begins in terms of a deep, deep integration of social technology, you know, and so on inside of a business.
Susan Bratton: Okay, I want to think about where I want to go from here. We’ve talked about objects, we’ve talked about graphs, we’ve talked about social business, we’ve talked about it from a CRM perspective, using influencers, blogger outreach. We’ve talked about how we get ideas from our customers, how we operationalize things, how important a culture of collaboration is that essentially if you don’t have a culture of collaboration and you’re not using these social platforms to connect with your customers and connect your employees and customers, your vendors, etcetera together, that you’re not operating in a business that’s going to be viable in the future, that there’s a sea change afoot with the connectivity of us as humans all contributing individually and collectively around the sentiment and information and the interest of a brand and the things that go beyond it. So we’ve talked about all of that. What’s missing here? What have we missed and when people listen to these two episodes they think, “Oh, you didn’t give me the answer to…”, what?
Dave Evans: You know, I don’t know. I’m sure at a practical level there may be some implementational details…
Susan Bratton: Oh yeah, we can never get to implementation.
Dave Evans: And I mention that because very often – and the thought exercise and the difficult part of this is not in the implentational detail, it’s in really stepping back and taking to heart a couple of the big things that we’ve talked about in both this series and the prior episode, this idea of cultural transformation towards collaboration, right….
Susan Bratton: That’s really it, isn’t it? That’s what we’re really talking about here.
Dave Evans: It sounds like, I mean remember when we all took our organization charts and we tipped them upside down because we were all in service of… It didn’t change anything, right. It gave print shops a lot of work, right. But it didn’t really change anything. You know, turning the org chart upside down, it’s deeper than that. When we look at, I mean not to get on like some wild tangent, but when we look at what drives true core behavior change in adults, it takes some significant life trauma to do it, right. I mean, we…
Susan Bratton: You have a heart attack and you finally stop eating meat and smoking cigarettes.
Dave Evans: Exactly.
Susan Bratton: Yeah.
Dave Evans: Exactly. And, you know, you think it would be sort of like gradual process, like I went to the doctor and he said, you know, “You really need to stop doing this”, and…
Susan Bratton: You just need to get slapped upside the head.
Dave Evans: You got to get slapped hard, right.
Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.
Dave Evans: Well it’s the same thing in business. I mean we can say, okay, so we want to create a collaborative workforce.
Susan Bratton: Right.
Dave Evans: What does that really mean, you know? When…
Susan Bratton: It’s a hero’s journey frankly.
Dave Evans: Yeah, yeah, exactly. And one of the places where I see it happen live is in the workshops that I do, in the training workshops that I do with Social Media Executive Seminars and with the American Marketing Association. People, you know, we get together and we’re talking about social technology and social media and here’s how to do this stuff and so on, and one of the applications that I show is an iPhone application called the Good Guide. And it’s a little scanner and you go into a store and you scan the barcode on a product and so on, and people are sort of used to this, this idea that, okay, somebody’s going to walk into Target, scan two products and see if it’s available cheaper at Walmart or something like that, right, and we know that this kind of stuff is going on in stores now. Well the Good Guide, it just wipes that stuff right off the table. What the Good Guide does is the Good Guide brings you back the environmental score, the social scores and so on for the business. So all of a sudden you’re competing with, you know, one of the ways that I showed this is when I was in Bangalore and I was asked a question about this and I picked up a bottle of Dasani water, which is a Coke product, and a bottle of Aquafina, which was sitting on the table at the conference, and scanned both of those, right. And you bring back the social scores, the environmental scores and so on. And what the person is now choosing between is not the price of Dasani versus the price of Aquafina or, you know, the products themselves. I mean they’re both pure water, they better be the same, right. What they’re looking at is who equitably promotes women, who has the smaller carbon footprint, right, and so on. Who as, you know, investment practices that are consistent with my personal values and so on. Well I mean if you ever want to strike like terror into the hearts of marketers, say, “Now your job is not to make sure that this is available at $.69 instead of $.89, your job is to go reduce your company’s carbon footprint”, because that’s what she’s making her decision based on. And I mean I just get these looks like “Oh my god, this is not what I thought social media was”, and yet this is exactly what collaborative technology and social media is getting to. The things that are fundamentally important to us as boomers, we’re looking at our legacy, we’re looking at where we’re leaving it, and we may be the first generation in history that leaves this place not as good as we found it, all right. And we’re sort of looking at this like “Okay, I’ve got one chance here, you know. I’m in my 40’s, 50’s, whatever. I will live to be 80, 90, God willing. I’ve still got time to change this, right. I can do something about this, so what am I going to do? Well I’m going to start looking at recycling and green and carbon and, you know, all of these things, and start paying attention to some of this stuff, I’m going to use these tools and these applications, I’m going to use my Smart Phone to make decisions based on this”, that radically changes what marketing is about and what the innovation cycle means and what product development means and so on. And you look at this in a connective collaborative way and the impact is absolutely huge, right. It just, it is. So it’s not the implementational stuff, which very often is the “Okay, I heard what you said but you didn’t tell me, you know, what three steps apply to me.” It’s like no actually the steps that apply are actually how do you recalibrate your organization for social business versus where we have been.
Susan Bratton: I did an interview with Linda Resnik. She and Stewart Resnik are the founders of Fiji Water…
Dave Evans: Mm hmm.
Susan Bratton: And they used to own the Franklin Mint. They own Palm, all the Palm. They have nut and citrus, they do the Cutie Mandarins and the pistachios. They have – what’s the other thing that’s big for them – Teleflora is their business as well. They actually own a shipping company, they manage the - it’s a good DishyMix interview, Linda Resnik – they manage the Watershed on the islands of Fiji where they get the water and they own a carbon offset shipping company, they own their own shipping company to bring all that water over. They also, until Google built their solar energy plant, they had the largest solar powered business, and it was an agricultural business, in the world. It’s a fascinating strategy for them. Everything about them is health and, you know, positive related and it’s fun to see how it manifests in their marketing. You know, not only what they’re doing, but how they’re integrating it into their marketing. It’s a good story, so it might be a good business case. And, you know, they’ve made mistakes too and gotten slapped down for them, with Palm, with some claims they’ve made about, you know, some certain health related claims that they’ve had, and it’s just very interesting to see them navigate that world. That’s one of the companies that’s doing it well.
Dave Evans: If we don’t get slapped occasionally, we’re not working hard enough.
Susan Bratton: Yeah.
Dave Evans: We’re not pushing hard enough.
Susan Bratton: Yeah.
Dave Evans: It’s just sort of the reality.
Susan Bratton: And Good Guide, is it an iPhone app and an Android app?
Dave Evans: It’s an iPhone app. You…
Susan Bratton: It’s a Smart Phone app?
Dave Evans: Yeah, you can see it online. I’m waiting for it on Android…
Susan Bratton: Uh huh.
Dave Evans: If they’re listening today.
Susan Bratton: Of course they are. They’re listening. It’s going to be launching tomorrow.
Dave Evans: Where’s the Android version? I mean it’s such a brilliant application because it does a couple of things, right. One, it’s a compelling application. People are concerned about these things, right…
Susan Bratton: Oh, not only are the boomers concerned about it, we’re less concerned than the Gen X, Gen Y and the millennials…
Dave Evans: Absolutely.
Susan Bratton: The millennials are not going to buy from your company unless you are a sustainable business. They’re just not going to. They won’t buy. They’re boycotting everything those kids now, you know. They know their power.
Dave Evans: Yeah. And then it’s also just such a practical wakeup call for marketers that are still, “Okay, we can control this conversation, you know”, and all this sort of stuff. It sounds so trite, so trivial, but you know, you look at an application like the Good Guide and you realize “If what Dave’s talking about is even 1% true, I’m dead”…
Susan Bratton: Yeah.
Dave Evans: you know, and it’s like, “Oh jeez, I got to wake up at this point, you know.”
Susan Bratton: What it does for me, I found everything you were saying very inspiring in that cause related marketing, you know, we think about that as being like, “Well we’ll sponsor this 10K or whatever”, but cause related marketing now has to go all the way into the bones of the organization, as does the de-siloing collaborative orientation of companies with their customers and employees and vendors. And so these are truly sea changes that have been brought about by the interconnectivity of our global humanity, right. And what that does is create an opportunity for you as a marketer to embrace that and become the voice of that within your organization. And if your organization can’t hear you say that, then you need to go find a company that wants to hear that story and wants to make that wise counsel actionable.
Dave Evans: Absolutely. And the other, I would offer one other choice there. Become the change that you want to see, right. Become the voice inside your organization, take that champion role and build that. I mean, you know, some…
Susan Bratton: That’s career making effort right there.
Dave Evans: Yeah, yeah, exactly. And I mean so this is easy for me to say, but if it turns out to be a career breaking decision you’re at the wrong place in the first place…
Susan Bratton: Exactly.
Dave Evans: You know, it’s like…
Susan Bratton: Right, if it’s not moving you forward, if it’s not propelling you forward, you’re just at the wrong company.
Dave Evans: Because there are other companies which will embrace those champions, you know, and so on. So become that voice, become that change. Go out and champion these things. Look internally, look around – who are the other decision makers, who is the rest of your team, who is your posse that you’re going to put together, you know, and so on.
Susan Bratton: Right, and make it cross-organizational…
Dave Evans: Absolutely, it has to be…
Susan Bratton: Enroll it cross-organizationally.
Dave Evans: Get legal, get HR, get them involved early, you know. There are really productive things for them to do…
Susan Bratton: Definitely.
Dave Evans: you know, in terms of helping build a really strong program inside the organization. Look for some places to launch it and be that person. If not, I promise you, there are other organizations that would love to have you.
Susan Bratton: Somebody wants you. So you have to leave now. You’re going to friend to friend. You’re going to go see Roger.
Dave Evans: I’m going to go see Roger and I’m going to go spend some time with Kip Knight and the Social Media Executive Seminar’s group.
Susan Bratton: Oh, okay. Great. Perfect! Well I’ve got to let you go so you can get on the road, and tell Roger that I want him to come on DishyMix. I saw him at AdTech New York and we talked about it, so we need to get that done, so…
Dave Evans: Super. Will do that.
Susan Bratton: Remind him. I want him to come on and tell us all about what’s happening in the world of Facebook today. I know he works on the latest best things there…
Dave Evans: He does.
Susan Bratton: he does know.
Dave Evans: He knows.
Susan Bratton: Dave, thank you so much. Its been awesome…
Dave Evans: Thank you Susan.
Susan Bratton: to have you for a two part series. You’re amazing. I found this very inspiring. I like the way you connected the dots. I liked how you went down some of the rat holes with regard to platforms and technology tradeoffs. The whole thing was just excellent. Thank you so much.
Dave Evans: Thank you. Wonderful to be here always.
Susan Bratton: If you want to find more about Dave, all you have to do is Google Dave Evans Social Media and everything connected to him will come up. We’re going to have a copy of his latest book, Social Media Marketing: The Next Generation Of Business Engagement, personally autographed copy will be available to a DishyMix listener. All you have to do is go to my DishyMix Facebook page and post your desire, and I’ll select from among them and one of you lucky ducks will get a personally autographed copy from Dave. I’m your host, Susan Bratton. I hope you’ve enjoyed this two part series. If you’ve missed the first part, go back and listen to it. It’s just as good. And I hope you enjoyed it. Have a great day and thanks again for listening to DishyMix. I hope it brings you as much pleasure as it brings me. Take care.