Episode 131: Garrick Schmitt, Razorfish on Priceless Facebook Fans, The Agile Agency and Location-Aware Branding
"Here's The Easy Way To Have The Relationship You Want With A Facebook Fan By Knowing What He Wants, And Knowing How to Have Him Begging To Give You More Of What You Want"
with Garrick Schmitt, Razorfish
OK, so the subtitle of this episode is just for fun - I wrote it like an info product headline.
But truly, we DO want our customers to fan us on Facebook. And we want them utterly besotted.
As Garrick says, "a fan is worth EVERYTHING to a brand."
Listen in as Suz and Garrick talk about what to do with your best brand advocates in a world where Facebook Fans are becoming legal tender.
We chat about:
- Interaction Design
- The agile agency
- Razorfish - from MSFT to Publicis
- Facebook marketing sophistication
- Digital Primacy
- Geo-tagging and augmented reality for marketers
- Location-aware browsing
- Crashing Foursquare servers at SXSW
Susan Bratton: Welcome to DishyMix. I’m your host Susan Bratton, and on today’s show you’re going to get to meet Garrick Schmitt. Garrick is group vice president of experience planning at Razorfish, and I became aware of him because he publishes a report called Feed, f-e-e-d. It’s their digital brand experience report, and I’ve been blogging about Feed and one of the things that I’ve been blogging about is I actually got the illustrations from the report and I’ve been blogging the illustrations because they’re fabulous, really well done. So we’re going to talk about not only what was in the report, but about who did the illustrations and what they’re all about. So lets get Garrick on the show to talk about interaction design. We’re going to talk about the Agile Agency, the Agile agency. We’re going to talk about Face Book marketing, campaign mentality, digital privacy, some G.O tagging and appvertising. So we’ve got a full agenda of all kinds of next generation digital marketing concepts. So welcome Garrick.
Garrick Schmitt: Well thank you for having me on. I’m excited to be here today.
Susan Bratton: Well I’m glad. It was a nice opportunity because Feed was such an amazing report that I wanted to have the man who was responsible for it on the show. But before we get into that I really want to understand your discipline, this concept of experience planning. You work with interaction designers, information architects, content strategists and user experience researchers to do what you do. And I was hoping you could just kind of unpack that a little bit for us and explain how these disciplines come together and exactly what they are.
Garrick Schmitt: Sure. I think it comes from, you know, we at Razorfish probably taking a pretty different tact than most agencies when we’d start to sort of help adapt our clients brands to the sort of rapidly evolving and increasingly digital landscape, and I think what comes naturally to that is this notion of experience planning or experience design. And essentially our belief is that everything is becoming an experience, and we used to live in a world where it was, you know, sort of broadcast advertising dominated the conversation. And if you look at sort of even the top rated shows today, you know, you’re basically only reaching two percent of the market, and I think what we’ve done is we’ve tried to create a discipline that addresses that, and it’s really about understanding consumer needs, it’s understanding the way that people behave, it’s the way that they want to interact with the brand and really drawing some insights from that, and then bringing together some of the best minds around – interaction designers, content people, creative – to really craft an experience that people can touch and feel and most importantly share, which we feel is a much more current thing to do than sort of the 30 second spot of old.
Susan Bratton: Can you give me an example - and I know you’ve wrote about this recently in AdAge – can you give me an example of something where you thought that the interaction design was very well done to create a consumer experience that worked in a way that that brands customers liked to behave?
Garrick Schmitt: Sure. I mean I think there are a lot of great brands that do it. One of my favorite brands that sort of lives in this space is Red Bull. And I think in many ways they’ve sort of pioneered what I would call experimental marketing. And what they do incredibly well is they don’t push products and they don’t actually push messaging. What they really do is they focus on sponsoring the lifestyle or really embedding themselves in a lifestyle around a brand. And so one of my favorite things that they do is they actually created these events that have both physical and digital components, and one of my favorites is – I don’t play hockey – but it’s a hockey-based event that they take over, it’s called Crashed Ice, and they take over old Quebec and they actually set up this incredible track made out of ice and it’s basically some cross between hockey and motorcross, and it’s incredibly well followed. They created the event, the sport from scratch. It gets coverage on ESPN and everything else is a digital component with people, you know, looking in and following the leaderboards and things like that, and to me that’s just sort of where all this is going. It’s about understanding your consumer or your customer so well that you craft something that completely meets their needs in an unexpected way and you scale that experience up.
Susan Bratton: And it’s called Crashed Ice?
Garrick Schmitt: Crashed Ice.
Susan Bratton: Nice! I like the name. Lots of energy in that brand. Who are some of the other brands that you work with at Razorfish? Who are your clients right now?
Garrick Schmitt: Sure. So we work with a whole suite of different clients in a whole bunch of different industries. We work with everyone from Microsoft to Mercedes to Craft to Intel; just across the board.
Susan Bratton: Got it. And Razorfish was acquired by Microsoft, merged with Avenue A, acquired by Microsoft, then recently sold and Publasis picked you up, and now you’re part of this Vavaki group, right?
Garrick Schmitt: Correct.
Susan Bratton: So explain… I’ve got a lot of little lists actually of these organizations, so it’s Razorfish, Startcom, Zenith Optimedia, Digitas and Denuo, that are this portfolio, is that right?
Garrick Schmitt: That’s correct. A portfolio’s a really nice way of describing it.
Susan Bratton: Well David Delio used that word. He tells me how all the stuff fits together as these things evolve, and he works with you. So how does that work? You’re at Razorfish, you have your clients, Digitas has their clients. Where’s the easy part? Where’s the hard part? Where’s the good part of being a portfolio? Where’s the pain point?
Garrick Schmitt: Well first it’s new, so it’s very recent that we’ve just started to do this. But basically the way it works is that all the brands have their own separate clients – all of the agencies, I should say, have their own separate clients – and then we’re going to look at gaining some efficiencies with shared services – things like analytic offerings and things of that nature. And so what’s nice though is that there is synergy between the groups, and I think it’s opposed to some of the other holding companies where the brand, the agency brands are very much stand alone. There’ll probably be more sort of cooperative partnerships that are established over time, but right now we’re just a couple months into, so it is all so new. We’re just working to figure it all out. It’s definitely different than Microsoft, but I’m looking forward to it. I think it’ll be a lot of fun.
Susan Bratton: How is it different already than it was working under the Microsoft umbrella?
Garrick Schmitt: Well Microsoft obviously is a technology company, and they are very much, they were very much focused on advertising and building advertising platforms. And Publicis’s obviously is an advertising agency, a holding company, and they’re very focused on creating sort of the next great wave of advertising and marketing. So in that way Razorfish fits very nicely. We fit well at Microsoft in terms of where the space was going, but this is much more of a natural home for the types of things we do and the types of sort of breakthrough experiences and innovations that we want to bring to our clients.
Susan Bratton: Bob Lord is your CEO now, and I’ve met him at the Ted Conference, and I’ve interviewed Clark Kokich, who’s your chairman now – he’s been on DishyMix – and Shiv Singh, who runs your social influence marketing practice – he’s been on our show as well. The question that I saw somewhere in my travels on the web was this notion now that we have these collectives of agencies hopefully working together, like you said, for an economy of scale or some shared services, this notion of the agile agency… I love your opinion about whether you think that’s a possibility or not and what it means to you.
Garrick Schmitt: Oh, I think it’s, I think it’s a necessity probably more than anything else. At this point the medium is changing so rapidly and the types of skills that are required from an agency to adapt say, you know, if Twitter is releasing its GO, tagging API, and to understand the ramifications of that for a brand, as well as being able to create, you know, immersive videos that can be distributed virally, as well as creating, you know, really robust platforms or destinations where you can actually have commerce, you know, you actually have e-commerce going on. I think any agency has to be agile to sort of scale across all of those things because a client today just can’t, simply can’t go between just tiny little specialists for each element.
Susan Bratton: Yeah, and it does seem like there still are burgeoning opportunities for these tiny little specialists. I don’t remember the name of the company, but I was recently made aware of an organization out of Chicago that is an agency that’s specifically focused on building your Facebook page, but more than that, not even building your Facebook page, getting you fans for your brand on your page in Facebook.
Garrick Schmitt: Yeah, that’s an interesting thing. I was… I would say there are, there definitely are niches that are available to be filled and that an agency like Razorfish probably won’t go into, which would, that was a pretty good example. But I think for the most part, I think any agency today of our size and to sort of command, you know, stewardship of the brand and be able to really work with the brand on a global scale, which is where I must focus, has to be agile enough to go into places where they’ve never gone before to do things and work with technologies that are nascent or emerging and need to find the next waves, and then be able to react and scale to that where things do work or pull back where things don’t. And I think that gives you great, you know… When somebody’s always – I mean, the old saying is, you know, “If you have a hammer”, you know….
Susan Bratton: “Everything looks like a nail.”
Garrick Schmitt: “Everything looks like a nail”, thank you for explaining it. So that’s, you know, I think that’s the problem with specialization and so I think as you get broader you can bring more tools to the problem.
Susan Bratton: One of the things that I’ve always appreciated about Razorfish is that your probably to me one of the most – if not the most – strong agency with regard to technical chops. I think the original DNA of Razorfish came out of database management and stuff like that, and that’s always carried forward really well and been an impressive part of it. On a recent DishyMix I interviewed a really neat guy named Ted Shelton. He runs, he runs a social influence marketing agency called The Conversation Group. And he wrote a white paper called, I think it’s called something like The Open Platform or something like that, where he is encouraging organizations, enterprise level companies, to put infrastructure in that allows the ability to have conversations across, you know, to get out of silos, whether the silo is your internal organization versus your customers or multiple parts of your organization. And I was thinking about this agile agency and how Razorfish is like part of Avaki, plus you’ve got clients who have on your own or you share or you work with other agencies, you know. And then you have this relationship with your clients and your clients customers that you’re managing. Are there any open platforms or social networking infrastructure type things that you’re putting into place to make your company more open and more agile?
Garrick Schmitt: Yeah, it’s funny, we’ve actually been exploring that and trying to open up even further. I mean right now we’ve got a bunch of platforms in place; some of them based off of Microsoft products and services, like Share Point clearly, since we’ve leveraged our former parent. But we are looking at a whole series of extra nuts, as well as internal tools. Like we’ve been experimenting with things like Yammer, which is sort of the enterprise private version of Twitter, and things of that nature. Some of them work better than others, but I think any type of platform where we’re able to, you know, collaboration is obviously the key and sharing work really drives most of the thought leadership in the agency and the ability to easily share, so we’ve actually rolled out a whole new internet. And we actually have what we call an enterprise platform practice, where we actually go help – we not only focus on the consumer side of the world, but we actually go help our clients put together their own internal platforms and leverage things of that nature. So we’re working with how do you do better knowledge management, how do you do document retrieval, how do you actually get beyond sort of email and Outlook when you want to locate knowledge within the enterprise. And so that I think is really interesting, and basically what we do is we just take what I call the consumerization of IT, and it’s really taking a consumer focused approach where you actually look at the needs of the employee in the same way that we actually look at the needs of the consumer, and then try to craft a solution for them.
Susan Bratton: That doesn’t surprise me. That sounds like a Razorfish kind of a thing to do and very smart. I’ll send you a copy of The Open Platform white paper that Ted wrote. It might be interesting to you and it might be helpful for some of those clients too.
Garrick Schmitt: That’d be great.
Susan Bratton: So we’re going to have to go to a break in just a minute. I want to start a discussion, and then I’m going to look for a sweet spot for segwaying to thank my sponsors and then come back to it ‘cause it’s bigger than we can do before a break, but I want to get right to it, and that is talk about Facebook a little bit. You recently had a Facebook marketing breakfast series. Razorfish put this on with Forrester and AdAge, and you had a lot of big brands there. Tell me what the most, what are one or two of the most interesting forward thinking sophisticated takeaways or insights that you got from that experience for us.
Garrick Schmitt: Ah, that’s a good question.
Susan Bratton: That’s what I like to hear.
Garrick Schmitt: Facebook is a fascinating sort of emerging platform – and I still say it’s emerging even though it’s around and it certainly has critical mass. I think it has, the last time I checked there was about 350 million users globally, which is just, that’s truly…
Susan Bratton: Boggling.
Garrick Schmitt: Yes, you get to scale, you know, and you start to, you start to have the equivalent basically of a Superbowl type event everyday. And I think what’s most interesting is how nascent the opportunities are still for brand marketers, which are our clients obviously. And to me that was fascinating and how nascent the sales offerings are in terms of what you can do. And so there are all sorts of things; people talk about fan pages and they talk about some of the ad units, but what clearly came out of that is one, everyone has questions, there are no answers. And two, that it’s going to be about experimentation and very custom sort of lessons learned. So one of the things we talked about, Starbucks. Starbucks did a really sort of interesting thing by basically creating all of these offers – free ice cream, just free pastries, just common coffee – and became one of the most popular fan pages on Facebook for a brand. And then if you look at some of the other interesting things, if you look at what, say, Best Buy is doing where they actually allow you to shop right from their fan page, or if you look at sort of The Gap where you can browse their catalogue; brands are actually starting to really look at unique sort of – I don’t want to call it one off – but unique solutions to try to extend what they do best into that platform, and that’s what I think is really interesting. It’s not like Google where it’s a very structured type of, you know, advertising or marketing strategy and buy where you’re dealing with, you know, very specific formats. Facebook is still wide open, and I think we’re all learning as we go, and that was really interesting, even hearing it from Facebook themselves.
Susan Bratton: Do you think that 2010 is the year that brands will crack open Facebook or do you think it’ll take longer?
Garrick Schmitt: Oh, I think it’ll take longer…
Susan Bratton: So do I.
Garrick Schmitt: Do you think so as well?
Susan Bratton: Yeah, I do
Garrick Schmitt: Yeah. I mean there’s just, I think to a certain degree you need some type of standardization from on the platform. I don’t think we can always do one offs. I mean I think in terms of agency business I guess that’s great for us, but I think that becomes tiresome for brands. They’ll want some type of standardization.
Susan Bratton: What I think is interesting is that I’m not sure that a lot of the innovation will necessarily come from the biggest brands; yet I think Facebook focuses on the biggest brands ‘cause they think that’s where the most money is. And I don’t think that yet Facebook has the staff to support that breaking open opportunity because there’s no way for the small-medium businesses to really engage at any kind of, you know, hopeful level with Facebook around advertising and innovation.
Garrick Schmitt: Yeah. I mean I think that the, it’s a, really it’s a good point. And there were lots of small businesses in our audience for that event who expressed a similar concern. I think what will start to change the game for them is this notion of GO location or location bases services, and when they start to open that up – and they’ve made early signs into offering that – once they actually allow that type of sort of geographic relevance and you know where your friends are and brands can either a) create offers based on where you’re at or adapt to where you’re at to drive traffic or to do certain things, that will be sort of the big game changer to me.
Susan Bratton: Well I definitely want to get into some more GO tagging, so lets go to a break now and then come back. I have a couple more Facebook questions for you. I want to talk about Feed, that fabulous report that you did. And lets definitely leverage your knowledge and thinking about GO tagging, which is solid, solid, solid. So we are with Garrick Schmitt. He’s the group vice president of experience planning at Razorfish. I’m your host, Susan Bratton. Lets thank our sponsors. Hang on and we’ll be right back with more fun.
Susan Bratton: Alright, we’re back with Garrick Schmitt. So Garrick we were talking about Facebook. You started to go to GO tagging; lets stay at Facebook for a second. What do you think a fan is worth?
Garrick Schmitt: I think a fan is worth…. I mean I think a fan is probably worth everything to a certain point because you actually have an engaged active consumer who actually wants to participate with the brand, but what that really means when you look at it from a business standpoint is it really means that you’re extending that customer life cycle. And a lot of - I know you talked earlier about the Feed report that I did – a lot of what we sort of found in there and that seemed to gain the most traction with people was taking a more business sort of slice of what it means to actually be a fan and engage with a brand on a social network and the customer impact of that is huge.
Susan Bratton: One of the things that I want to mention right here is that you can get a copy of Feed just by going to feed.razorfish.com. Even if you only look at the pretty pictures you owe it to yourself, and we’ll talk about that in a minute. But go ahead, tell us, lets segway into that now. Some of the highlights of Feed, some of the most sophisticated insights again, not just like alright… DishyMix listeners, we know about Facebook, so tell us the good stuff.
Garrick Schmitt: Yeah. I mean I think there are two big findings. One is just, I say first and foremost it’s about what does a brand mean online. And I think, you know, the history of it is, you know, big brand marketers have never really believed that digital was a great place to build a brand. It was seen as an extension of a place to sort of amplify a brand. And what we’re really finding is that the culture has shifted dramatically.
Susan Bratton: Yeah, that is really changing now, isn’t it?
Garrick Schmitt: Yes. I mean it’s first, digital has become first and – we call it digital primacy – but digital really has become first and foremost for the majority of consumers, at least in North America. And what we’re finding is that we have some very simple questions. A lot of what we’ve tried to get at is just what’s the notion, if digital has become central how does that change a relationship between a consumer and a brand, and what we found is pretty interesting. 65 percent of consumers actually have, say that digital experience has changed their opinion about a brand, which is tremendous. So if you think about that, you can think about it in a couple ways. One is if I’m a consumer and I have a certain expectation, say around a Target or a Nike, and if I go and do my research online and suddenly that experience I’m having in some way doesn’t meet my expectations, that’s a disconnect…
Susan Bratton: Or exceeds their expectations, right?
Garrick Schmitt: On the other hand, it can exceed it exponentially, and therefore reinforce the notion of purchasing. So that to me is huge. And then of those people who say that they were influenced by digital experience, almost all of them, 97 percent report that it actually went on to influence whether or not they actually purchased that product. So what I, the way I track it is digital has become such an important part of our culture, and that is really where, that has the cultural sway at the moment and that is where people are really thinking and engaging with brands, and then that’s driving all their activities out of that.
Susan Bratton: Well you did another report – I don’t think you specifically did this – but Razorfish has another report called Fluent, and in that particular report – I read these reports very closely, they’re so well done. I love the Digital Outlook report; that’ll probably come out in first quarter as well of 2010, and that’s my favorite one that you guys do. One of the things that was kind of a myth buster from Fluent was, the myth was you couldn’t correlate consumer perceptions of a brand in the online and offline world, and your organization created this thing called the SIM Score – the Social Influence Marketing Score – where you were able to pull online and offline to compare share of voice. And you found that they’re aligned. It’s all one big thing now.
Garrick Schmitt: It is one big thing. It definitely is, and the other big thing that we found out of all this is, you know, all of our clients have questions still about social media and how they can actually monetize that. And one of the things that we wanted to look at this year is how people were actually engaging with brands on social networks. Last year we asked just simply did consumers believe that there was a role for brands on social networks, and the overwhelming response was yes, it was something 70-odd percent. And now this year, what we wanted to do this year is we wanted to go a bit deeper, and what we ended up finding is we asked, you know, “Why do you engage with a brand? If you follow a brand on Twitter, why do you do it? If you, you know, quote, “friend” a brand on MySpace or Facebook, why do you do it?” And the majority, which we were really surprised at quite honestly at first, was 44 percent of consumers who follow a brand on Twitter do so for deals. They want deals; it’s all about exclusives. And a similar number, 37 percent, who friended a brand on Facebook or Myspace, also did so for deals. And that was, that (unintelligible) about some of the other things like, you know, “Other people I know are friends” or, you know, “I’m looking for entertaining value” or things of that nature. And that to me is sort of a game changer because it’s almost as if that’s what they’ve come to expect, that the notion of a conversation between a consumer and a brand isn’t always about brand values, and I, you know, I love our brands and, you know, and I wish every conversation was about what a brand is trying to do in the world, but the reality is that the product in many ways is a conduit and if people can get that product cheaper, if they can be aware of exclusives, if they can be aware of things that are upcoming, that really creates that strong bond, and that to me was sort of a game changer in terms of the way that I think about it and I think the industry as well.
Susan Bratton: See I completely disagree with what you just said. I have an entirely different perspective on it. I think there was a fundamental flaw in the research that was conducted there. And I don’t know whether it was your research or whatever we’re talking about here, but I keep hearing over and over again that the number one thing that people want from friending or fanning or following a brand in the social space is this deals and discounts, and I don’t think that’s true. What I think is that we didn’t ask the right level of nuance of questions to the consumer to find out what their true motivations are. I think it’s the way the question’s being asked that’s not done well enough. I think the categories are too big. If you’re going to have five things you can get and one of them is a deal, of course it’s going to be the number one thing. I’d say take out deal, don’t even offer that as a question. Come up with all of the different things, like, “I feel good when I’m associated with this brand and I care what they’re doing in the world and I want to know about them.” “I want to keep up on the latest, you know, product offerings.” “I want to know what’s happening with the organization.” If you had more nuance – not you specifically again – but if there was more nuance in the way the questions were asked and there were more opportunities for people to say, “Yes, I want that.” “Yes, I’d like that too.” “Yes, I’d like that too.” And you could almost score them that way. I think that there’s just a little bit of incremental sophistication that needs to come in the question asking of consumers there.
Garrick Schmitt: Oh I think you could, I definitely agree you could go deeper on that, and I think next year we definitely will probe on that. But I also, you know, it’s interesting is I think about my own behavior and not as a marketer but just purely as a consumer and the brands that I follow. You know, one of them is Amazon MP3, which is, you know, sends out a daily deal where they offer an album download for $2.99 or $3.99 or whatever it is. And, you know, eight out of those ten I have no interest in or I may not even know who they are. But what’s interesting is that Amazon, by doing it, maybe they’re - you know, one comes along that peaks my interest and I purchase it. But what interesting is that Amazon, with their MP3 offer, stays top of mind, and as they do that when I think about actually making a purchase - say for a holiday or whatever or just for my own personal usage - they still stay top of mind, and in fact I almost think about it before I think of iTunes, which is impressive to me. So I do think there is something there, and as I’ve sort of talked about these findings with people. When they think about it, I talked to someone who’s actually one of the lead people at Interbrand and he was sort of, you know, equally as taken aback by the finding, but then when he thought about his own personal use, what’s he following? He’s following Whole Foods because it’s telling him what the deals are for the week or what the menu items are. And I think that there’s a very sort of basic information exchange that we sort of can’t gloss over, ‘cause I do think…
Susan Bratton: Oh yeah.
Garrick Schmitt: at some level that cements that relationship.
Susan Bratton: I don’t disagree that everybody loves a deal. I don’t disagree that Twitter’s becoming the new Sunday circular. I’m in complete agreement with all those things. What I want is a broader panoply of options for brand than just offering deals because I think that ultimately erodes a relationship that could be enhanced by a wider opportunity to have conversations. But I want to move on. I have a couple more things I want to have a conversation about. The first one is there are two companies out, right here in the Bay area, that are – we’re both here, we’re both in the San Francisco Bay area, you and I – two small companies that I am keeping a keen eye on, quite interested in, I want to know if you’ve heard of either of them and what you think about the basic concept. The first is a company called Unbound Technologies. I talk about them a lot on the show. I’ve got no interest in them, you know, as far as money or anything. But I think it’s interesting because what they do – do you know about them?
Garrick Schmitt: I don’t.
Susan Bratton: Okay. So what they do – and probably they do 53 more things than this and I need an update, but this was the interesting crux for me. They will, lets just say you’re Best Buy, ‘cause I just had a fantastic experience buying a washer and dryer with Best Buy, and so I’m not a fan of their brand, but lets just say that you and I are fans of the Best Buy brand on Facebook. What Unbound will do is they will take all of the fans, not only from Facebook but also from Twitter and LinkedIn, and they will take your customer database – maybe your purchaser list or your prospect list or whatever it might be – and they’ll do a data match, and they’ll come up with a ranking order of the people who are your fans in one place, multiple places and who also are having conversation about you, mentioning you, you know, sentiment, positive and negative sentiment, and they’ll give you a rank order listing of who your biggest brand advocates are. So earlier when I said “What do you think the value of a Facebook fan is”, and you were like, “It’s priceless”, what if I could give you the rank order of your most priceless customers based on how often they talked about you with positive sentimentality and how many followers they had, ‘cause one of the things you guys are doing at Razorfish, which I figured our reading the digital outlook report, is that some of the people in your research team are doing like focus groups where they’ll take a person and their friends who have a lot of followers and bring them all into a focus group. So, like you already get that if there’s a fan and they have followers, those followers are likely to be really good targets to be fans. So what do you make out of everything I just said to you? Where did opportunity pop up in your mind?
Garrick Schmitt: I think it’s interesting. I mean I love the notion of it. I think what, where it becomes really interesting if, you know, - and I’m very unfamiliar with Unbound…
Susan Bratton: That’s okay.
Garrick Schmitt: I’m glad I’m sitting in front of a computer so I can look it up.
Susan Bratton: Their site doesn’t tell you anything.
Garrick Schmitt: What I do think is interesting is when you get to the notion of scale though, and when you’re looking… You know, Best Buy’s a great example….
Susan Bratton: They are.
Garrick Schmitt: You know, they’ve got hundreds of thousands, what that actually means, you know, how you’d actually start to make sense of that data, and then what you’d do with it.
Susan Bratton: What would you do with it? What would you do if Best Buy was your client and Unbound told you “Here are the top five hundred most influential people who have a positive sentiment and tons of followers for Best Buy”, what might you do?
Garrick Schmitt: Well I mean for that clearly you look at some type of uber customer loyalty program or…
Susan Bratton: Yeah, insiders club.
Garrick Schmitt: Yes, exactly. And then you create, they become your sort of defacto panel where you’re providing them with, you know, the latest and greatest and you’re giving the sneak peeks and, you know, you’re basically turning them into advocates or evangelists for the brand, which they probably already are so it’s just cementing that relationship…
Susan Bratton: Yeah.
Garrick Schmitt: For sure, I could see that happening. But to me it’s almost interesting what happens if you go beyond five hundred?
Susan Bratton: Sure, right.
Garrick Schmitt: When you’re looking at five thousand or when you’re looking at ten thousand…
Susan Bratton: Or fifty thousand or a hundred and fifty thousand, yeah, which there could be.
Garrick Schmitt: And then it becomes how do you actually create a loyalty program or some type of VIP program that really matters.
Susan Bratton: There’s so much opportunity here to get to those core customers. I know you’re speaking at South By Southwest, I’ll be there. You’re going to be talking about appvertising, and you recently posted an article in, I think it was AdAge, the Digital Next column, about GO targeting and GO tagging and location-based marketing. Give us a rundown on what’s happening with that. Take us where we are now and where we’re going in the future as kind of our last thing.
Garrick Schmitt: Sure. I’m, to me this is the, fundamentally the most exciting thing that will happen in 2010 and beyond. And I think you were just starting to see, right now location really, in broad strokes, doesn’t really matter. We all, when we’re online and we’re interacting with each other, largely it takes place, you know, in the cloud, if you will. And physical place doesn’t mean that much. Certainly some things can be, you know, determined based on IP address and things of that nature, but it’s not specifically enough and maybe, you know, you get some type of ad or whatnot that says, “Hey, meet people in San Francisco Garrick”, which is, you know, not that helpful. I think what you’re really going to start to see, the next wave is this notion of GO location or location-based services, and that is largely what’s going to happen when you leave the desktop and you go into the mobile space, and because of the huge adoption of Smart Phones, like the iPhone or Google Android or Blackberry, and what’s going to end up happening is as you have, you increasingly start to consumer services wherever you are in the world, whether you’re looking up a restaurant on Yelp or whether you’re using a map to find a place to get coffee, a lot of our interactions are going to be specifically able to be addressed via location, so that local coffee shop will be able to, you know, know that I’m in the neighborhood and serve up an offer to me. Or Starbucks will see that I’m a frequent customer of a certain location and be able to try to entice me to come in, say on off hours in the afternoon, with a special offer so that, you know, they’re constantly top of mind. And I think what’ll end up happening, there’ll be all these things – and this is just the tip of it – that will end up happening where where I’m at becomes more important than anything else. That to me is what’s exciting, and there are a whole bunch of different startups who are starting to play in the space just to give you a sense of it. Four Square…
Susan Bratton: Yeah, I was going to ask you about Four Square. I was going to ask you if you think that when we all go to South By Southwest do you think we’re going to melt down Four Squares servers all being in Austin together tagging every friggin thing we’re doing?
Garrick Schmitt: It’s possible. It’s possible for sure. I bet they will have the same sets of scale issues as Twitter does. Actually I have one of…
Susan Bratton: Yeah.
Garrick Schmitt: the guys from Four Square going to be on my panel.
Susan Bratton: Oh perfect. Okay.
Garrick Schmitt: Yeah, so I mean I think it’s interesting what they’re doing is, which is really sort of unique, is they’re rolling, very early they’re rolling out Four Square for business, which is about how do you sort of have those local mom and pop, you know, retailers or restaurants, bars, how can they actually use Four Squares as a way to generate people actually coming in, and how can they reward their best customers. And that to me is really interesting. There’s also another one that’s called Guala, or Gauala, which is similar to Four Squares, it seems to have more of an international footprint that’s also doing some interesting stuff in this space. But I think Yelp actually is sort of the quiet one here. I mean Four Square may have all the buzz, but Yelp clearly, if you use their applications on an iPhone, it’s pretty darn stunning. When you say, “Show me the best restaurant near me”, and it locates within a half a block, a restaurant also that also, that has an offer associated with, as well as, you know, a top rated review. It’s pretty stunning. And that, I think we’re going to get a lot closer to that in the future for everything.
Susan Bratton: One of the things I don’t understand about GO tagging is the fact that desktop operating systems – Windows 7, Mac OS 10, Snow Leopard – are going to have location awareness, or browsers – the Firefox release, the latest Firefox released with GO tagging. How do we use that? What app is the benefit for us in that? Fill in the blanks there for me.
Garrick Schmitt: Well Firefox, I mean where I think it’ll be most relevant is through the browser, and Firefox, the latest Firefox actually has location aware browsing, and so when you actually go on and start to perform searches it will actually allow the browser to send information about literally based on the coordinates of where you are to the service. So if you’re searching for – I’ll use my example again – coffee in San Francisco, it will pinpoint the, in the same way that if I was using it on a mobile device, and therefore once again you no longer become sort of an anonymous participant in the cloud. You are, you can actually get things that are relevant to you down to the actual block. And that’s…
Susan Bratton: How do I turn on GO tagging or a location base in my Firefox browser?
Garrick Schmitt: Well you have to have the latest….
Susan Bratton: That’s not problem, I do.
Garrick Schmitt: And then when you actually, it’s only for a site that, the site will prompt you.
Susan Bratton: Got it. Okay.
Garrick Schmitt: It’s not what you have to do; it’s the site will actually prompt you to do it.
Susan Bratton: Okay. Alright. Hey, this is another question: I recently was a judge of the awards for E-Consultancy, which is a London-based, it’s like the Forrester of London, but now they’re coming to the U.S. But they do an annual awards program, and one of the things I judged were the mobility strategies, and I loved IBM’s Seer, s-e-e-r, project. Did you hear about that? It’s what they did at Wimbledon when… ‘Cause they’re a Wimbledon sponsor, they did this really cool thing this year. Did you hear about it?
Garrick Schmitt: I did.
Susan Bratton: How great was that? Do you want to describe it? Did you go look at it and…?
Garrick Schmitt: I’m not, I’m probably not as… You can go ahead and describe it. I’m not as close. I did hear about it though.
Susan Bratton: So what I got out of it was that what IBM was doing at Wimbledon when you were there, there was this kind of augmented reality capability that you could hold your phone up and you could point it towards something, and it would tell you more information about that thing. Like, you’d point it at the, you know, at the, I think it was the strawberries and cream stand, you know. And it would tell you more about people, what they comment about and what was going on there, so you could get information overlayed based on your physical location and where you aimed your phone.
Garrick Schmitt: Correct.
Susan Bratton: Totally cool.
Garrick Schmitt: Yes, and that’s just one of the examples. There’s a, Yelp actually has introduced that as well where it allows you to spin that around on your block, wherever you’re at, so you can look through and you can get any type of information that Yelp has on any of the say bars or restaurants that you may be considering. And there are a whole bunch of others that are doing it. That’s going to be the really sort of interesting useful version of augmented reality. I think earlier this year we saw just people sort of playing around with it where you basically hold up some type of like printed cards to your…
Susan Bratton: Oh yeah.
Garrick Schmitt: your PC and….
Susan Bratton: Yeah, Doritos did that with that little game thing that they did, Doritos Brazil. That was super cool.
Garrick Schmitt: Yeah, and there’s been whole ones. Mini did it where, you know, suddenly the car comes to life…
Susan Bratton: That’s right.
Garrick Schmitt: Star Trek did it where, you know, you can start to explore the USS Enterprise…
Susan Bratton: Oh I didn’t see that one.
Garrick Schmitt: Those are fun and like really it’s just sort of nice interesting ways to play around with the technology, but the real use of it will start to be when you can turn that phone into this sort of information rich portal just by spinning it around.
Susan Bratton: I love it all, and we got totally carried away and went over. We have to stop now. This is what happens when we have fun guests like you on DishyMix Garrick.
Garrick Schmitt: Well I’m happy to play along.
Susan Bratton: I love it. It’s been really fun to talk to you. I wanted to go into a whole, I never even got to talk about objective marketer and their campaign social influence strategies. I’ll have to tell you about that one at a later time. I’d love to hear what you think about too. I hope you’ll come back on the show sometime.
Garrick Schmitt: I will be more than happy to.
Susan Bratton: Good. And I’m going to see you at the South By Southwest, if not before. Even though you live, you know, probably 30 minutes away, I probably won’t see you until we both get to Austin, ‘cause that’s how it goes, right?
Garrick Schmitt: Well I’ll buy you a beer when we get there.
Susan Bratton: Done. I love it. Alright, well thank you for being on the show with Garrick Schmitt. He’s the group vice president of experience planning at Razorfish. You know who I am, Susan Bratton, your host. And don’t forget to go download Feed at feed.razorfish.com, that great report and those awesome illustrations, see the pretty pictures in the book too. Alright. Well thank you so much for tuning in to DishyMix today. I will look forward to connecting with you next week. Have a great day.