Episode 140: Dave Evans on Social Media as a Business Platform, India's Social Scene and Marketing Masters.
Dave Evans is back. One of my favorite DishyMix guests and author of the top selling book on social media, "Social Media Marketing: An Hour A Day."
Expand your mind as we talk about:
1) The evolution of social media as a business platform: Beyond marketing, into collaborative design (Starbucks MyIdea, GM Labs) and enterprise knowledge transfer (platforms like Social Text, Bob Pearson's work at Dell). This is the subject of the book Dave is working on now.
2) The parallels of India's social media audience with the US and what it means for business (higher expectations in India) and society (increased awareness and use of shared language by global 13-24 yr olds). Dave wrote about some of this in ClickZ recently: http://www.clickz.com/3636006
3) What Dave learned about himself, as a result of being separated from his family during a particularly heavy bout of business travel.
And, if you're going to ad:tech San Francisco, 2010, join Dave and I for the Marketing Masters special track on social media.
Susan Bratton: Welcome to DishyMix. I’m your host, Susan Bratton, and ooh-ooh-ooh, we’re going to have some fun today. So we’re doing a live show in my studio. You know how I love to lure my favorite people in to do a live show. I’ve got a good one for you. I’ve got a live one for you today, Dave Evans. Dave is back by special request, number one, ‘cause he’s my bud. Number two, ‘cause he’s smart. And number three, ‘cause he’s in town. So if you haven’t heard my past DishyMix with Dave, you’ll want to dig it out and listen to it because he talks a lot about social media marketing, how you apply it to your corporation. We did a whole special like bonus section on building your own brand community. We’re not going to talk about much of that today. We’re going to get him on the show. Welcome Dave.
Dave Evans: Thank you Susan. Absolutely wonderful to be here.
Susan Bratton: Well I just fed you dinner, and now we’re doing the show in my home studio.
Dave Evans: That’s right, that’s right.
Susan Bratton: Which means we’re, we’ve got a makeshift operation here and we’ve got wires running all over…
Dave Evans: Looks pretty pro here, so.
Susan Bratton: We did alright, didn’t we?
Dave Evans: It looks great.
Susan Bratton: That’s awesome. So you’re in town. Tell us why you’re in town. Why are you in the Silicon Valley? What are you doing here?
Dave Evans: I am here, I just finished a two day workshop for the American Marketing Association class on social media and social media marketing that I’ve been running for about a year with them.
Susan Bratton: Well you are the famous author of Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day, which is Sibex’s best selling book this year. What are you, 93rd on Amazon’s business books, in the top one hundred?
Dave Evans: It was ranked inside the top one hundred on Amazon.
Susan Bratton: That’s awesome. And here’s, Dave and I were laughing earlier because you asked me to write the forward for your book, which was really nice of you, and I enjoyed writing it. And, you know, in retrospect it was the first one I ever did and maybe I could even done a better job ‘cause your book is so good. But what’s funny is that they put my name right at the top of the front of the book ‘cause I wrote the forward, and a lot of people think I wrote Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day. And I didn’t write it, and I don’t correct anybody. I don’t…
Dave Evans: And I don’t either. I mean truth be told, I actually asked them to put your name there to help with the book sales.
Susan Bratton: Nuh uh, you big liar.
Dave Evans: Yeah.
Susan Bratton: I’m getting a lot of speakups from that though.
Dave Evans: Excellent.
Susan Bratton: I didn’t even write the book.
Dave Evans: That’s great. It has served us both well then, so…
Susan Bratton: It really has. And actually I included your Social Media Marketing worksheets and your touch point analysis. You’ve got these great worksheets that come with the book, and I included that in my latest e-book, Masterful Interviews, because I have a whole – one of the e-books that comes with that system is my social media superpowers kind of thing, like how do you promote your content with social media. And I thought that everybody needed to have that worksheet, and you allowed me to include that in my product, so I thank you for that.
Dave Evans: Oh, you’re so welcome. The, that whole touch point series now has, you know, suddenly become really popular with… a new Forester report came out, Marybeth Kemp published a report, and it’s all about the importance of understanding what are called touch points – the places where your brand comes in contact with customers, where experiences are created, where experiences are realize. And this notion as a marketer of really understanding what drives these things, reaching across the organization, connecting sales, HR, support, connecting everything together, pulling everything together so that we get these touch points right and create the kinds of experiences that we want people talking about.
Susan Bratton: And you were telling me that the, there’s this kind of common theme, you’re working with the American Marketing Association, you’re doing these two day workshops for them. And there’s this common theme that’s happening with the people who are spending a couple thousands dollars to spend a couple of days with you learning about social media. What’s happening in the minds of CEO’s and VP’s of marketing now around social media.
Dave Evans: Yeah, it was really interesting. In the past year as I’ve done the workshops the emphasis has been on, you know, the necessity to participate on the social web, I need a Facebook business presence…
Susan Bratton: Everybody, “Do I need a Facebook page? What is a Facebook page?” We’re past that now.
Dave Evans: Exactly. And, you know, if I’m going to implement a support form or something like that, it was fairly tactically driven. And what I noticed today in the workshop that we just completed was at the beginning of the class, over half the people were there – you know, at the beginning of each workshop I’d talk about “Why are you here? What are people interested in”, and these kinds of things. And over half the class, you know, sort of spontaneously responded in one way or another, “I’m here because I’m facing a challenge in my organization of pulling the entire organization together so that we can get the social web right.” And it was the first time that I’ve heard that, you know, it’s kind of spontaneously expressed by a group of people where there’s this recognition that what drives experiences, what drives conversations. The way that we get the social web right is legal and HR and operations, and everybody’s sort of working together to create the kinds of experiences that we want. It’s not about the marketing message per se anymore. It’s about getting the entire business right.
Susan Bratton: This brings me to another issue, which is that the organizations, the people running organizations are trying to figure out how to deal with the consumer in control, and we’re all - in the world of social media and the people who listen to DishyMix who kind of are totally up on all that stuff - we’re on what I earlier described to you as the train tracks straight to hell. One rail is that we’re overwhelmed by channels of communication – oh Skype me, IM me, email me, Tweet me, blah-blah, just don’t call me. And the other rail on that train line to hell is that we’ve all had this gluttonous two year abbondanza of friending anyone who’s breathing and our social graphs are bloated with slackers and nobody’s. No, I’m just kidding, just people who we don’t know. They could be lovely people, we just don’t happen to know them. And so now we have a social graph that is meaningless and all of these communications coming at us from every place. How are we going to get off that train Dave? What are we going to do?
Dave Evans: I think, you know, a couple of practical things; one of them is obviously tools, and it sounds simple, but when you have five or ten thousand people in a network or something like that the idea of looking at each person individually and who is this person and how do I know this person, and yet you see people that have very large networks taking this, you know, relatively significant step of literally unfollowing everybody…
Susan Bratton: Sure.
Dave Evans: and starting over.
Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.
Dave Evans: And saying, “Okay, what did I learn from following a hundred people or being in a network with a hundred people or having a hundred friends or, you know…
Susan Bratton: Yeah, I saw Paul Colligan did that.
Dave Evans: Exactly.
Susan Bratton: Yeah.
Dave Evans: And you kind of see that and it’s like at a certain point there just is a lot of stuff going on, whether it’s valuable or isn’t, you know, and I mean that’s kind of a separate conversation, it’s like how many people can I really keep track of. I mean we have things like, you know, Dunbar’s number and whatnot, a hundred and fifty people, something like that. And then we see networks with thousands of people in them and clearly we mean something different by ‘friend’ and ‘network’ than we mean friend in real life. I mean I think one of the reasons that we call them friends in networks is because nobody really wants to be known as a no, but that’s actually, that’s actually closer to the truth. And so we see these relatively radical steps of just, you know, defriending everybody and then refriending based on, “Okay, now that I’ve had this large network, now that I’ve had this, you know, what you call this sort of gluttonous social experience, what have I learned from that and who do I really want to pay attention to?” And by the same, “Who do I expect is really getting value from me and what am I doing to really deliver value to, you know, to people in my network or, you know”, and so on. I’ve actually had some amazing learning experiences in terms of my use of social networks and my view of them from the time that I originally wrote the book to the way that I sort of can see these networks now. It’s pretty amazing.
Susan Bratton: So tell us what that is.
Dave Evans: Well when I originally wrote the Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day, I talked specifically – and, you know, it’s sort of typical of so you’re relatively new to things because the technology was relatively new, and when we started working on this 2003-2004 with AdTech and it started to be called, you know, things like social media and Web 2.0 and whatnot, 2005, along in there. So I mean it’s, we’ve been at this for a while, you know. But this whole notion of who are we following, how many people are we following, why are we doing this kind of stuff, what are we talking about, all these sorts of things, and when I wrote the book I talked about this idea of, you know, nobody wants to hear that you’re standing in line at Starbucks. Well as time went on and I started using, you know, the stuff more and more people started using it more, and it became more social than social media industry people. Early on the early adapters were…
Susan Bratton: It was all our friends.
Dave Evans: It was people in the industry crossed with…
Susan Bratton: Yeah. It was Jim Nail and Pete Blackshaw and all our buddies, right?
Dave Evans: Exactly. And then that was sort of crossed with who are the early tech adopters, the transcenders, you know, trendsetters and so on. It was sort of like that thing, right. And so it was easy to take an industry view of this, like if you’re not talking about social media then you’re talking about something that’s, you know, why are you on this channel talking about this. Well what it evolved into for me was very much a personal network, which, you know, in hindsight is sort of like that’s what it’s supposed to be anyway, right. So it began this sort of personal network. So consequentially my conversation, on Twitter for example, changed. And it became about what I was doing in line at Starbucks.
Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.
Dave Evans: And I didn’t really realize because it’s like, you know, one day it’s mostly industry talk and the occasional personal thing and then the next day it’s half and half and then the next day it’s, you know, and you sort of gradually slide into this. Well the wakeup call for me came when one of the people who purchased my book sent me a post and it said, “You’re Tweets are meaningless and they contradict everything that you write about in your book”, and I was sort of like “Wow, you know, that’s…
Susan Bratton: Then unfollow me.
Dave Evans: There’s…
Susan Bratton: There’s that.
Dave Evans: pause to think, right. And I sort of, I looked at it and I actually engaged him in dialogue and realized how far I had shifted from my original view of, you know, what social media was supposed to be…
Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.
Dave Evans: I don’t know where I got that idea, but, you know, somewhere I had this idea to how I was actually using it. And the thing that was driving it was as I started traveling more, spending time in India and just, you know, traveling, you know, more, what I realized was my social networks had really become a personal social network as much as a work tool, as much as, you know, the way that I learned about my industry or, you know, offered my views on the industry. And what really kind of jumped out at me, and the place that I realized this was, so over in Delhi I have, you know, one physical social graph so to speak, and then in Austin I have another one. And what I’ve realized is going back and forth between the two cities, the one that’s permanent, the one that stays in place is Twitter, right. And it was at that point that I realized what these networks had become for me, which was really very much, you know, sort of a personal expression place and it was a place where, you know, you start grounding yourself and so on, and you find that you’ve actually created real relationships with people.
Susan Bratton: Yeah, I think it’s too difficult for those of us who have so many followers or who follow so many or who have so many friends to feel like we can have an authentic conversation with a small group. And yet you don’t want to leave behind everything you’ve built up, so I actually think that there’s an opportunity for some kind of meta tool that will allow us to isolate a small group of the people that are the, that we’re the most close to. And it has to be done in some automatic way because to go through, to comb through 5 thousand followers on Facebook or Twitter and figure out who you want in your special group, we’re too busy to do that. And I was telling you earlier, when we were having dinner I was talking about Spoke. Spoke was one of the very early social networks. It was the first time I ever saw a physical representation, a visual representation of a social graph. And what Spoke did very cleverly was comb through your, at the time, Outlook inbox and tell you who were the people that you communicated not only the most frequently to, but some of them for the longest time. And they could extrapolate who were in your closest circle. So they would make recommendations to you about who your closest circle were so that you could easily see who these people were and pull them into different groups and create different groups of them. If there was a visualization tool that you could use for Twitter or for Facebook – luckily Facebook most people use their real names, on Twitter there’s so many crazy names that a lot of times you… You know, I was thinking “I need to tell Dana Todd something today.” And I thought, “Oh god, should I send her an email? What’s her Twitter handle? Should I post it on her wall?”, you know. Like, I went through this little moment of stress just thinking about how I was going to tell Dana one little thing today. That’s that left rail of my train to hell, you know. And the right rail is how do you pull those people closest to you into some kind of a circle? And obviously you’ve done that somehow. You have your, you know, your small group in Twitter.
Dave Evans: What I really sort of looked at and lists and so many other tools that are emerging now or some of the other capabilities, these kinds of things really help because when you have, you know, even a modest group of followers the stuff that’s going on – you know, forget the main timeline. On your personal timeline, the things that are going on there very often it’s moving too fast to actually see something. But at the same time, I find that if I just, you know, check in a couple times a day and see right now who’s saying what – you know, I’m ready for a little diversion and lets see what’s going on someplace, right. So one of the things that I’ve realized or sort of learned socially is I’m okay with the fact that who I’m interacting with or who I’m talking to is not necessarily near me or on the same continent or in the same time zone. They’re simply somebody that I know and they’re doing something, and lets check in and see what they’re doing right now, all right. So I go to my timeline and I see somebody and it’s generally somebody that maybe I haven’t talked to in a week or two weeks or something because I haven’t happened to look at what they’re saying at the time when they’re active online. I mean obviously, you know, Twitter, I mean when you have friends – I’ve got friends now in, you know, 70 plus countries, something like that. So there’s….
Susan Bratton: Show off. Bragger. Really? Well I have friends in 71, Dave.
Dave Evans: 71, that’s right, that’s right. That’s ‘cause you wrote the forward to my book.
Susan Bratton: Right, ‘cause doesn’t my name come above yours on your own book?
Dave Evans: Yours actually comes first. Exactly.
Susan Bratton: I think it does, yeah. I really wrote it.
Dave Evans: So you do that, and you realize you’re connecting with people that you haven’t seen in a while, they’re up to something, they’re doing something. And they say something interesting, right. And so you find all of the sudden you’re having this two or three minute, two or three posts back and forth, this little conversation with somebody, and then it breaks off and you go back to whatever you were doing. And in doing this it’s like you’ve actually paid a little bit of attention to someone. You know, when (unintelligible) talked about this whole issue over, you know, privacy and this kind of stuff as people start spreading their information around the web and it’s not really a concern for privacy that people have. The issue is being recognized as an individual. What people are really thinking about when they’re, you know, creating a profile that has real identity information in it, what they’re really looking for is, you know, would somebody, you know, in these few billion people that are hanging out here, would somebody recognize me as an individual, right. Mass marketers clearly haven’t done this, right, and so when we were sort of bringing it back to the industry perspective by using a tool like Twitter and looking at what’s going on with people I haven’t seen for a while, just one or two lines like “Hey, I talked to you a couple weeks ago”, you’ve suddenly like remade this little connection with somebody and you may not see this person again for a couple weeks or talk to them again for a couple weeks, but somehow you’ve actually paid this little bit of attention to somebody and you get this little meaningful relationship that’s going on at that point. And for me anyway that’s a new dynamic in the way that I relate to people or in friendships that form and how they form. And I think a number of people are going through something or recognizing that there’s something different about what happens in these networks and so on that actually makes it worthwhile to follow, you know, or to be followed by a bunch of people because you actually meet different people and you say things to them and you come across things or come in contact with things that you wouldn’t have seen in your own physical circle because all of the things that go into the conditioning or the selection or so on that set up the group of physical friends that we have. You know, there’s economic things, there’s language things, there’s locational things, there’s who your parents were, there’s where you went to school, there’s all these sort of external things that kind of shape that community, and in a place like Twitter you really have none of that stuff. You’ve got, you know, a hundred million people on Facebook, you’ve got four hundred million people and they could literally be anybody. The only thing required to create a relationship to that person is somebody says “You look interesting”, and you look at them and say, “Yeah, you look interesting too.” And then you start listening to them and you, you know, you see if anything they say ever strikes a conversation with you. And then you build from there.
Susan Bratton: We have to go to a break, but I just got busted telling, I friended this guy who was on a friend of mine’s Facebook page and he was super handsome. And I just thought “Ooh, he’s cute. I’m going to follow him. I’m going to friend him.” And he friended me back and he said “I don’t know you, but I’m going to friend you back because you’re so attractive”, and I was like “Oh boy.” We’re going to a break. I can’t tell you the rest. No. I’m a good girl, I am. We’re going to go to a break. I’m probably going to be promoting some of my own products at the break. I think that’s a good thing to do with your podcast, don’t you?
Dave Evans: Absolutely.
Susan Bratton: If you can’t promote your own stuff on your own podcast what can you do? And your fans should be buying the stuff, don’t you think? They should totally be supporting us.
Dave Evans: Definitely. Please, please buy the stuff. Buy the stuff.
Susan Bratton: All right, well while we’re gone we’re going to pour ourselves another glass of wine, ‘cause it is about 9 o’clock at night. I got to take Dave to the airport. And we’re going to come back, we’re going to talk about all kinds of crazy stuff he saw in India and we’re going to talk about his new book, and I’m going to see what other juicy tidbits I can drag out of him. So come back. You don’t know what’s going to happen next.
Susan Bratton: Okay, we’re back, Dave. And you’re doing some teetotaling now. You just had one glass of wine.
Dave Evans: It’s scary when one glass of wine makes you teetotal.
Susan Bratton: I suppose, it doesn’t, does it? So I want to hear about India. You have been working with 2020. Is that what it’s called?
Dave Evans: Correct, 2020 Media and 2020 Social.
Susan Bratton: In Delhi.
Dave Evans: In Delhi.
Susan Bratton: And you’re getting their whole social media practice organized. They’re an agency, right?
Dave Evans: Yes, they’re a public relations agency and I’m one of the team members in helping build the digital practice within the agency.
Susan Bratton: What’s going on, how does social media in India compare to the US? Where are they?
Dave Evans: It’s really kind of amazing. It is basically identical.
Susan Bratton: Nice.
Dave Evans: And the thing, the reason I say that is when I look at what people are doing, what they’re using it for, the way that it works and so on, there’s basically no distinction between what’s happening in India, what’s happening in the US, what I see happening in Europe and any other place. Now when I say that, realize that, you know, there are a couple of factors here. In India you’ve got maybe, maybe five percent, probably closer to three percent, of the population is actually using, you know, actively using social media and doing the kind of things that would, you know, would sort of qualify as forming networks, passing information around, sharing experiences, you know, making consumer choices, all that sort of stuff using social web for that.
Susan Bratton: It’s the tip of the iceberg in India as far as people on Facebook, etcetera. It’s going to be like an arms race between how many people can be on Facebook and what the box office revenue gross is for Avatar.
Dave Evans: Yeah, exactly.
Susan Bratton: “It’s $500 million. Oh no, $600 million.”
Dave Evans: That’s, yeah, yeah. Well the thing is though in India when you do the math, like three percent of the population, so that’s 35 million people.
Susan Bratton: Well there you go.
Dave Evans: And in the US when we had 35 million people actively doing things online, that was a big deal, right. And so you start to look at Indian marketing and the first thing you realize is that it’s bigger than people believe. When I helped organize the social media clubs in India – we now have 8 chapters up and running in India – and one of the drivers for doing that was having conversations with people, and a lot of the conversations with social media professionals in India go something like “I’m working on this, but you know, not a lot of other people are.” And as I went from Mumbai to Bangalore to Delhi and talking in various venues, I realized everbody’s kind of saying the same thing. If I just got everybody together in the same room people would realize actually a lot of people are doing this, right, ‘cause there’s a lot of great work, there’s a lot of stuff that’s happening in India around social media. So the first thing is the industry is bigger than it appears. The second thing took a little longer to recognize, and it has to do with English language and who speaks English and, you know, the kinds of things that go on in a market like that. And you realize that this next generation – and now what I’m talking about is the 15 to 25, this you know, sort of up and coming group in India – with English as one of the languages that they speak, right, in addition to Hindi and the local language and so on and so on. With English as a language that they speak they’re connected to everybody else around the world who also speaks English, right. And when you look at the role of English as an Internet language – and I’m not talking about a business language or a cultural language or anything like that – but just as an Internet language, as a connective language, the role that English is playing in that 15 to 25 year old group, means that 15 to 25 year olds are growing up – and I mean, this is a little bit of a stretch, I’ll go out on a limb here a little bit – they’re growing up with more or less the same cultural norms even though they’re actual local cultures, you know, obviously are very different. And so you see that kind of thing combined with just the number of people that are using it, and even thought it’s a small percentage of the country what the actually impact is on the industry is very big because these are decision makers, these are, you know – I don’t want to necessarily call them influential consumers ‘cause that maybe has the overtones of an older thing that we used to call influentials - but certainly trendsetters, important in their own economy, this is, you know, this is India’s emerging middle class and so on. And social media is absolutely playing a role in how these people communicate. And if you go back to what I was talking about a few minutes ago about my sort of personal revelations with how these networks impact us personally and how we use these to build and maintain friendships that we wouldn’t otherwise have, there’s an entire generation that’s growing up with people that they’ve never met, they may never actually meet, and yet they know who they are, they….
Susan Bratton: They can be very, very close.
Dave Evans: Exactly. They share needs, they share feelings, they share all kinds of stuff. And, you know, it’s happening because of connectivity, because of social media, because of the way people use these things, they have a common language, which is English, you know, and so on. It’s pretty amazing to see that, and you really start to recognize that. It used to be that with travel you would go someplace to, you know, to meet people that you haven’t seen before, see exotic stuff, bring some of it back home with you and, you know, and show people. Now it’s like you already know the people before you get there. You’re going there so that you can kind of, you know, that proverbial put a face with the name thing. What you’re doing is you’re making what you have already learned about real when you travel to someplace where you’re connected socially through these networks that we have.
Susan Bratton: Yeah, the minute I decided that we were going to go live in Kenya for the summer, which is what we’re going to do, we’re going to go live in Nairobi, we’re using a good friend of mine’s dad’s villa in Nairobi, and as soon as I did that the first thing I did was go on LinkedIn and search on the word “Kenya” to see who I could connect with and already connect with before I got there. And it’s amazing. You don’t even need a travel site to do that anymore, you know. You used to do it with travel sites.
Dave Evans: Yeah, the role of things like LinkedIn and the networks that we have and the way that we use that for either finding personal relevance or looking for connections that we might have, you know, and so on. We created an application at 2020 Social a couple weeks ago that has to do with lead generation. You know, to dive into kind of a business example here of what we’re doing with some of this kind of stuff: you go to LinkedIn and we use the advertising platform there to look for certain kinds of business people and certain kinds of businesses and so on, all the things you would do with any normal ad campaign on Facebook or LinkedIn or whatever. But then the twist that we applied was using the LinkedIn API we created a little widget that sits on the 2020 Social website. So when you click from LinkedIn into the 2020 Social website, right, to the landing page for the website, it’s a lead generation campaign for 2020 Social, what you see on the landing page are the people who work at 2020 Social that are in your network. So what you’re doing is you’re landing on a page that’s showing you…
Susan Bratton: Oh, familiarity.
Dave Evans: who you know….
Susan Bratton: Oh, that’s interesting.
Dave Evans: at the company that you’re thinking about doing business with.
Susan Bratton: Oh my god, that is brilliant. What’s the URL so we can go look at it?
Dave Evans: 2020 Social. If you…
Susan Bratton: Dot com?
Dave Evans: Yeah, it’s a little bit difficult to look at…
Susan Bratton: And how do you spell 2020?
Dave Evans: 2020 is 2020social, s-o-c-i-a-l.
Susan Bratton: Okay.
Dave Evans: 2020social.com.
Susan Bratton: All right.
Dave Evans: The only trick is the filters at LinkedIn are 10,000 employees and over, in India, multi national company. So if you’re LinkedIn profile is associated with a company like that, you may see the advertising. If you see the advertising then you go the 2020 landing page, you’ll actually see people at 2020 that are in your network.
Susan Bratton: That is cool.
Dave Evans: But, you know, that kind of think of being able to take out of a social network that you’re part of and then go land some place and see people who you know that are associated with that. I mean the whole idea of referrals and recommendations and personal grounding and all that kind of stuff just bubbles right up to the top, and it starts to redefine what a landing page and, you know, landing page optimization, that kind of stuff, what that’s really all about. Suddenly there’s this social element to it.
Susan Bratton: I was thinking about, have you read Dr. Robert Cialdini, Bob Cialdini’s work, it’s the persuasion and influence, all the things about persuasion and influence? I just interviewed him a couple weeks ago. And he was the keynote at Affiliate Summit, so Shawn introduced me to him so I could interview him before the show. And there are these six key factors to influence and persuasion when you’re writing marketing materials, creating landing pages, anything where you’re trying to persuade a consumer to consider your goods. And one of them is likability, and likability comes from how similar are you to me, how much do we have in common. And that is a beautiful application where a person’s landing on the landing page and seeing that they have connection with people in that organization. I love that.
Dave Evans: Exactly. And this ties back, really plays on the way that we, you know, care and feed and groom our personal networks. If we’re filling them with people that we don’t know, you’re going to see people, you know, that you’re really not related to.
Susan Bratton: Right.
Dave Evans: But if you’re network is a reflection of who you are and people that you value or relationships that you value, then this kind of connection to, you know, through a landing page or whatever the application happens to be can be very powerful for exactly that reason. I mean a lot of the Forester and marketer research and so on makes very clearly the case that what consumers or, you know, what anyone is looking for now is recommendation, reassurance and so on, from someone like them. If we look at, you know, not to drag up like old news, but if we look at clergy and CEO’s and government officials and, you know, where do we go for credibility for, you know, for absolute, here are character references and all those kinds of things, and a lot of that has been torn apart. You know, it’s just, I mean, whether we see more as humans now or whether, you know, I don’t know what the deal is. But I see all over the place where people are simply looking for where is someone like me who can help me answer this question.
Susan Bratton: It’s so true. Tell me about your next two books.
Dave Evans: So the first book, Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day, just to quickly review, was very practical hands-on, here’s the social web, here’s how to apply this in business, right, the straightforward step by step methodology.
Susan Bratton: Really good book. Very well done. If you’re still trying to get a handle on social media, this is the book to read.
Dave Evans: The second book takes this deeper into the organization. In the first book I talk about the role of operations, the connection to operations and so on. The second book really dives into that, right. And…
Susan Bratton: So operationalizing social media.
Dave Evans: Exactly.
Susan Bratton: Which is what all the people at your AMA workshops are asking you about.
Dave Evans: Exactly, and this is a relatively new development where you really see this awareness that okay, as a chief marketing officer my per view is no longer advertising, promotion, message, brand…
Susan Bratton: Ain’t got no money to do that stuff.
Dave Evans: It’s all of that, plus what is the actual product, what is the actual thing that we’re putting out. You know, I talk about Home Depot. I love hardware and I go to Home Depot a lot…
Susan Bratton: You’re a builder.
Dave Evans: I’m a builder, that’s right. And when you think about what drives Home Depots floor traffic, right, it’s clean stores, organized stores, products that I need in stock, associates that know what’s going on. None of those are marketing issues. And yet they’ve all become marketing issues, right, and this is Marybeth Kemp’s point in her most recent reports and so on, this whole notion that as marketers we’ve got to expand our range of control and expand our participative horizon inside the organization to include all these things. So the second book sort of dives into that piece. And then the third book in the series will be enterprise level collaborative work. All of the social computing applied inside the company because in my mind we’re still very early in that, but the third piece in all of this – if the first piece is recognizing the consumer’s participative role and the second piece is recognizing the holistic way in which the experience is created, the third piece is building an organization that can actually respond to what customers are telling it to do, right….
Susan Bratton: Damn.
Dave Evans: to what market place challenges are and so on.
Susan Bratton: That was good Dave. I swear to god, when I get the transcript I’m going to send you what you just said and you’re going to use that over and over. That was beautifully articulated. And I was thinking about a book I read that I always thought was really good, and it was by – I forget the name of the guy, I had him keynote once at AdTech San Francisco, and he works at Prophet, p-r-o-p-h-e-t, and he wrote a book about operationalizing your brand within an organization. And what you’re talking about is operationalizing social media, but the cool thing about that book was that he actually explained how to manage the culture of the silos of your organization to drive branding through things like, everything from accounting to production to whatever it might be, and that same thing has to happen now with social media, and that might be a good book for all of us to revisit. He had some really good tricks for getting big organizations to come together and get cross departmental adoption of branding then and now, it would be applied to social media.
Dave Evans: Really fundamental stuff and really, really, really important.
Susan Bratton: Hard work, man, getting everybody lined up around your vision for the social stuff.
Dave Evans: It is really hard. It is seriously hard work.
Susan Bratton: Mm hmm.
Dave Evans: It challenges a lot of what we accept about the way an organization should be set up, it challenges a lot about roles and reporting relationships, it challenges a lot of things. And at the end of the day it is legitimately seriously hard work to do.
Susan Bratton: So leave us at the end of this DishyMix – and thanks again for coming – leave us at the end of this DishyMix with some beautiful thing that you saw or experienced or ate or whatever in India. You can paint me a flowery picture or make it smell good or whatever story you want to tell. Tell us a story.
Dave Evans: Sure. There’s, there are so many. I mean India’s just, it’s an amazing place. When you talk to people who live there, you know, they refer to it as a land of extremes or a land of contrasts. And it really is. It, you see the adversity that people deal with. You know, you see some of the living conditions of people. And then you see living conditions and beauty, you know, and so on of other people and you recognize the way people simply get along, they, you know, they kind of accept what’s going on. Really, really, really an amazing thing. One of my favorite things to do - for people that have been in India you’ll understand this story – the auto rickshaws, the little carts that sort of fairy you around, right, you ride in these things, it’s sort of a matter of honor that you negotiate with the person who’s going to give you a ride, right. If you simply accept the price – I mean, yeah, you’ve overpaid but you’ve overpaid truthfully by .50 cents and at the end of the day if you throw an extra .50 cents, you know, into someone’s paycheck, it means a lot to them and it’s nothing for, you know, for something else. So you negotiate with them and so on, and they want a certain price and you negotiate and eventually you arrive at a price and everybody smiles and you hop in and they take you where you’re going, right. What my favorite thing to do is when you arrive at the destination, you smile, you look them in the eye, I’ve learned a little bit of Hindi, you know, you say something to them, you recognize who they are as an individual and you give them what they originally asked for. And what you get back is the most incredible directed looking in your eyes look and smile that you as, you know, whoever you are, has recognized this other person for whoever this other person is. You know, the word ‘namaste’, what it means is, you know “I honor what’s within you.” And when you look someone in the eye and you sort of engage at this level, it’s done in India, but it’s also not done. And when you do this between the driver and the passenger in, you know, in something like an auto rickshaw, the smile that you get back from the driver is just, it’s unbelievable. It just warms you, you know, literally for the rest of the day. It’s so genuine and so appreciated and you kind of see that. And it’s just this little tiny think that, you know, anybody walking by would never notice this. But the two people involved in it, it’s absolutely wonderful.
Susan Bratton: Nice. Well everybody deserves to be seen, that is for sure. Dave, thank you so much for coming back on DishyMix.
Dave Evans: Susan, you’re so welcome.
Susan Bratton: Lets make this an every year or more, whether we need it or not.
Dave Evans: Or more, I’m into ‘or more’.
Susan Bratton: Me too. All right, I hope you enjoyed having Dave back on the show. You’ll keep an eye out for his new book, and if you are still thinking about how to apply social media to your business, Social Media Marketing: An Hour A Day. Looks like it’s written by me; I’ll like if you buy that. But really, it’s an awesome book with some really great worksheets in the back that help you figure out your social media strategy and then help you figure out how to present it with metrics behind it, what you’re going to attract and how you’re going to have proof points for social. So if you know that in the future your job is going to be to operationalize social media through your company, this is a really good place to start, a place to get the metrics down so that you look like the superhero that you are. Okay, have a great day and I will see you next week. Bye-bye.