Archive for the ‘SMASH News’ Category

MailChimp Caption Contest for Free SMASH Summit Tickets!

Friday, September 9th, 2011

Hey there Geeks – Want to get into SMASH Summit for free? Now’s your chance!

For this contest the picture is on MailChimp, but the caption is on you! Enter your caption for a chance to win a ticket to 500 Startups’ SMASH Summit on Friday, September 23rd at the Microsoft in New York City.

How it works:

  1. Post your caption in the comments section below.
  2. When the contest has ended, our friends at MailChimp will pick a winner. Simple as that.
  3. We’ll post the winner on our blog and notify the winner via e-mail to claim a ticket!

The Science of Word of Mouth

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

The Future of Geolocation Marketing

Friday, April 30th, 2010

Marketing legend Dan Kennedy is fond of saying that sales come from displaying the right message to the right prospects at the right time. The most persuasive ads in the world wont sell anything they’re shown to uninterested buyers. This is why so much time and money is spent gathering demographic data and doing market research before ad copy is written. But until recently, there were severe limits on how much could truly be discovered about prospects. Beyond high-level demographics like age, sex and income, marketing messages could seldom be customized much further. Fortunately, the last decade has seen tremendous growth in geolocation marketing. Today’s marketers can target their promotions using not just basic characteristics, but the exact, current locations of specific prospects.

Location Based Services


The most sweeping development in geolocation marketing is the availability of Location Based Services (LBS) such as FourSquare. FourSquare (which boasts around one million users as of April 2010, according to TechCrunch) allows businesses including restaurants, coffee shops, bars and clubs to register and appear on their network. Upon registration, participating businesses agree to offer discounts or special treatment of some kind to FourSquare users. From then on, FourSquare users who happen to pass by these businesses on foot or by car will receive mobile alerts about the discounts and offers available to them. This way, the seed is planted in the minds of passersby that even if they weren’t already planning on visiting that coffee shop or bar, there’s a special deal waiting if they come in immediately. FourSquare users are also encouraged to “check in” at various locations by being awarded points that count toward future deals and offers. Several other companies offer similar LBS platforms, including GoWalla and MyTown. While Location Based Services continue to rack up users, critics such as venture capitalist Dave McClure contend that mainstream consumers will not embrace them until substantial cash incentives are offered.

Geotargeted Pay Per Click


Geotargeted pay per click advertising is another rapidly growing means of geolocation marketing. Every major PPC network (including Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Ask) now allows marketers to restrict their ad campaigns to specific geographic regions around the world. You can geotarget as widely or as narrowly as you believe your campaign will benefit from. Let’s say, for example, that you’re an affiliate marketer for a credit card company that only pays commissions for approved applications. Advertising to every searcher in the country would be highly wasteful for such a campaign. After all, it’s well-established that each state varies in term of what the average citizen’s credit score is. Using geotargeting, you can ensure your ads appear only in states with higher-than-average credit scores, which boosts the odds that the people clicking your ads will have their credit card applications approved. Or, perhaps you run a cable company that only services certain regions of a few states. Most search engines now allow you to geotarget within specific ZIP codes. This way, you never waste ad spend promoting to customers who are ineligible to buy. The result is a marketing campaign that is both more highly targeted (and thus, more appealing) and less wasteful.

Entire online retailers have begun using IP addresses to customize their online promotions. In July 2008, DirectionsMag noted that retailers were using IP data to track where their website visitors were located. Using this information, retailers are personalizing what types of merchandise and offers are presented to visitors.

The Future

Geolocation marketing is here to stay. Unlike passing fads of the past, the ability to discern a prospect’s location fulfills a vital and timeless marketing purpose. Remember: the reason most marketing messages fail to close sales is that they are untargeted. Few of us are stirred into action by promotions that appear to have been blasted out to thousands of other consumers. But a marketer who knows where his customers are can craft more personalized ads and deliver them when they are most relevant. Each of these makes it more likely that your customers will follow through.

How Data Is Being Used in Social Media

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

It used to be that consumer data was opaque at best and invisible at worst. Filling out forms and paperwork sent everything from your name to your net worth into distant databases and filing cabinets, rarely to be seen or combined with other data unless by hand. At banks, retail stores, airlines and innumerable other establishments, consumer data remained sequestered within the vault. To be sure, there were some benefits to this era, such as security (although there has been no shortage of consumer data leaks in recent years.)

But by and large, the technology to make consumer data social and intelligible simply was not yet available. The last five years has witnessed an explosion in data socialization, led by companies like Mint, Facebook, Twitter and, of late, the World Bank. The result is a burgeoning goldmine of new, interesting data – and useful marketing intelligence.

Open data

(World Bank)

One of the major trends driving data socialization is the publishing of entire databases. Organizations are no longer, as the Harvard Business Review lamented in 2009, “burying their data in tombs.” Perhaps the best example of an organization that has proactively opened its data to the public is the World Bank. The World Sentinel reported on April 25, 2010 that the World Bank was “now providing free, open, and easy access to its comprehensive set of data on living standards around the globe” – a data set spanning 2,000 different indicators, hundreds of which stretch back over fifty years.


Do Editors Get Social Media?

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Photo: cogdog

Editors have long been used to handing down their platitudes to the masses but today they are being forced, sometimes kicking and screaming, to enter a new era of interactivity — and accountability between author and audience. Do they get it?


Do you Really Need a Social Media Manager?

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

photo: dancingwithwords

Social Media. Social Media Manager. Social Media Strategist. Social Media Agency. Which is right for you? Today, companies can no longer afford to deny the importance of social media marketing, and take hold of their brand’s voice. While managing a social media campaign should be considered an integral part of every company’s marketing and PR efforts, it can require more work than you think. Directing the discussion surrounding your brand is increasingly important, but you have to trust the right people.


5 Reasons Why Smash Is So High Impact

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

1. Smash is about acquiring customers, and keeping the customers you have happy. That’s it. “Having a social presence” is a fine way to start but for smart marketers it’s about running laser focused campaigns with deadly accurate analytics.


2. We are bringing together the leading experts in the start up and big company worlds. From Twitter, Gowalla, and Plancast to Comcast, Salesforce and Virgin. No other conference will have this mix of people. Startups will learn what it takes to partner and sell to large companies. Big brands will learn the innovative strategies and tactics practiced by more nimble startups — before competitors catch on.

3. Tips and Tricks – All speakers and breakout leaders have agreed to come with the goods. Specific tricks and tactics by channel and platform on what’s working now and what will work in the future. You can’t read about what will be discussed – you have to be here to experience it.

4. Networking – Real relationships will be formed here. The Summit is purposely designed to be a small gathering where meaningful conversations can happen. Anyone who attended the Smash dinner in January can attest to the amazing buzz in the room.

5. Real Life Case Studies – Hear from representatives from YouTube, Dogster, Mint, Virgin, Twitter, and Facebook, on what marketing tactics worked and why. Find out how you can you build on what they’ve learned.

Jeremiah Owyang’s “Altimeter Report: The 18 Use Cases of Social CRM, The New Rules of Relationship Management”

Monday, April 12th, 2010

This is a duplicate post from Jeremiah Owyang’s blog, Web Strategy, Owyang is a Partner at the Altimeter Group, and will be a keynote speaker at the SMASH summit on May 12th in San Francisco.

18 Use Cases That Show Businesses How To Finally Put Customers First

Social and CRM: How Companies Will Manage Their Social Relationships

Over the last six months, I’ve been working closely with Ray Wang who is well known in the CRM space as an expert. Coupled with my focus on social technologies we did a deep dive on how our worlds are colliding into the trend to Social CRM. In our opening webinar when we announced our joining of the firm, we made it clear we’re looking at the holistic business, across multiple business departments –not silos or roles.

Companies are unable to scale to keep up with the social phenomenon
We know that customers are using these social technologies to share their voices, and companies are having a very difficult time to keep up.

* For companies, real time is not fast enough. Companies need to be able to anticipate what customers are doing to say and do, in order to keep up. Although Motrin responded to angry mom’s within 24 hours –it was too slow.
* Companies are unable to scale to meet the needs of social. No matter how many community managers Dell and ComcastCares hires to support, they’ll never be able to match the number of customers happening. They need tools, and they need them now.
* Customers don’t care what department you’re in they just want their problem fixed. Dooce’s support problem with Maytag quickly became a PR nightmare –had the support group known she was an influencer (and what it means), they could have serviced her better.

Above: Framework of the 18 Use Cases of Social CRM

How To Use This Report: A Pragmatic Roadmap
Regardless if you’re in IT or in a business unit, we wrote this to meet the needs of both groups. This architecture lays out all the possibilities (18 use cases) defines the problem and goal for each, and suggests some vendors who to watch. It’s also pragmatic, as it lays out a process on how to get started, baseline needs (listening) and what to do next.

Action Items

1. Sign up for the webinar series. This is a deep topic, and the report is only the tip of the iceberg. As we’ve done in the past, we’re going to offer a series of free webinars on this topic to explore each of the use cases in gritty details. Sign up for the webinar now, as we can only have 1000 attendees per webinar, as our last webinar had over 1100 registrants.
2. Read then spread this report. Like open source, the Altimeter Group believes in open research, we want our ideas to grow, and others to take advantage of it. So if you found the report helpful, please forward the report to internal constituents, partners, vendors, clients, and blog it. Use it in your presentations, business plans, and roadmaps. I’ve embedded it below, and there are download features for your own use.
3. Have an internal discussion. Evaluate your current situation at your company, then draw up which business needs need to be tackled first, use the use cases as a roadmap by mapping out which phase comes first, and which phase comes second.
4. Learn more and join the community of pioneers. This is new territory, we don’t have all the answers, so we’ve created at group in which pioneers can learn from each other. It’s free, and the conversation has started already, jump into the group, and learn together.

The Altimeter Approach
Standing behind our belief in open research, the Altimeter Group wants to be part of the community, we:

Involve the expert community in the research process
Altimeter is unique as our partners can tightly co mingle our topic areas and see how they converge, we highlighted our vision when we joined. We seek to be stewards of community and during our six months of research we talked to way over 40 thought leaders, vendors, and companies that are approaching this space. We blogged ideas, engaged in conversations with the #scrm hash tag, and had working sessions with thought leaders like Paul Greenberg and Esteban Kolsky. We approached research in an open way, and allowed for vendors to review the report and submit back their ideas, some of which we incorporated. This effort was a group effort and included a lot of heavy lifting from Christine Tran, operations who helped to schedule countless meetings, and guidance from Charlene Li, our founder.

Provide a holistic view through deep collaboration
We see that worlds are converging, and we model our research the same way, through really analyzing the mixtures of our different topic areas. For example, what was interesting is that my ‘marketing-speak’ and Ray’s ‘IT Speak’ often resulted in the tower of babel. Although we were talking about the same topic, he had to translate IT and marketing speak both ways. After many puzzled looks, we embracing this, and realized that this isn’t unique to us but a sign of companies converging as a result of mass adoption of easy to share social tools. Thus, we realized this framework that could meet the needs of the various camps would be helpful, companies need to move quickly, as customers have adopted social in rapid fashion.

Use open research to grow ideas
We want ideas to spread, and have made the entire report available at no cost on slideshare, and put up images on flickr, we hope you use them, under creative commons licensing of Attribution -Noncommercial – Share Alike Status, we believe in open –not closed research. We’re trying a different business model, we want to involve the community of experts and publish our findings out there for everyone to benefit from, please support us by sharing it as much as possible, while we trial a new way of doing research.

Update: I forgot to mention, this report was entirely funded by the Altimeter Group there were no sponsors. Also, we are open about disclosing who are clients are (providing they approve), as a result, we hope you’ll trust as more.

Related links: I’ll roundup interesting links that discuss this report

* Ray Wang, my co-author on this report has his take
* I cross posted on the Altimeter Blog, see comments
* Dave McClure, VC blogged his take
* Ray also cross posted on Enterprise Irregulars
* Marketing Profs Daily Fix, and it ended up on the homepage
* Brian Solis, speaker, thought leader reviews the report and extends the conversation about customers
* All Things Digital cross posts Brian’s piece
* David Berkowitz posts on Marketer’s Studio, we await his detailed review later
* Gauravonomics builds off of our use cases and creates a matrix, well done.
* Clo takes a sales focus, and extends the thinking and rallies for action
* Jacob Morgan has an excellent review, because he critiques the many vendors needed for 5Ms (see my comments on his blog) and discusses the need to separate automation vs manual processes. He cross posted on Cloud Ave
* Prem, one of the thinkers in this space says the report helped to crystalize thinking, read his review.
* More thinking about gurus and vendor control in this post and comments.
* Tac Anderson, a practitioner and thinker on social business compares to his existing frameworks when it comes to sales
* Stefano takes the use cases and aligns them with the Groundswell objectives, interesting.
* Get Satisfaction blogs about the report
* Our friends over at Web Analytics Demystified, also a research and consulting boutique, notice our pragmatic approach. I’m working on a report with them, stay tuned.
* Marshall Sponder hopes we take the report further –and notices what we did, a gap in implementation partners
* VC Cafe says this is a must read report
* Connie Bensen of Techrigy, Alterian points out it all starts with listening
* Greg Moyer wants to see more research on this topic, including the final impacts
* Also in Italian, look for the small icons at top to translate into English
* Customer think publishes Ray’s points
* Mike Boysen does a detailed review of the paper, adding additional points, really extends the conversation
* Gerald Hensel did not find it boring
* Adam “The Metz” suggests sales 2.0 folks read the paper
* Mitch expands on use case rapid social sales response (S2)
* Ogilvy’s John Bell, calls for a definition, discusses influencer relationship management, and questions the difference
* John Batelle, CEO of Federated Media shouts out about the report
* Paul Greenberg discusses the changes the report has caused, and makes some suggestions, thanks Paul. He also reviews the use cases, and points out other reports.
* Dennis Howlett gives a critical review, requesting more use cases that have direct impacts to the bottom line. Fair enough feedback.
* Filiberto reviews the report, and gives some strong cursory reviews.
* Well respected analyst Rachel Happe covers the report and seeks definitions around SCRM in relation to collaboration. Short answer? A company must first love itself before it can really love their customers.
* Perkett PR listed this as a key weekly read
* InsideView takes a look at this from a sales perspective.
* Ross Dawson, looks at this from both an industry analyst perspective.
* Andy Sernovitz, who runs the social business council says this was the most viral B2B report ever, and details out the tactics we used.


* Spanish: A Latin American version from Jesus
* Portuguese: Our friends over at Foreplay in Brazil have translated the 5Ms
* German: Sebastian has created a version in German

Update: March 10th, From behind the scenes, we’re hearing of SCRM vendors and brands that are interested in deploying are using the framework as a roadmap, market requirements doc, and as a plan of what to do. Excellent.


Top 5 Uses of Wildfire Social Media Marketing Campaigns

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

You may think that all social media marketing promotions are the same — after all, how creative can you really get with a coupon, or a contest, or even a sweepstakes?

The answer is: extremely. At Wildfire, we’ve seen a great many social media marketing campaigns run by brands big and small, everything from chocolate cake by mail to hundreds of cute babies and cuter pets. But the following five campaigns, all run by large multinational brands and companies, have been especially innovative in their approach and the interesting use of social media marketing. They are great examples of how social media marketing can be used in creative ways to achieve a variety of goals – from increasing brand awareness to generating leads, selling products and even promoting foreign relations!

1. President Obama Uses Social Media Marketing to Promote Foreign Relations

The U.S. Embassy in Jakarta used Wildfire to run a promotion on their Facebook Fan Page to excite Indonesian fans about President Obama’s upcoming visit to the country. Users could pick their favorite cultural foods and clothing items to suggest the President sample and wear during his visit and then enter a sweepstakes to win tickets to attend one of the events. After running for just short of a month, the campaign generated 12,000 sweepstakes entries, thousands of new fans for the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, and over 43,000 interactions with the promotion in general, with people choosing their favorite item in some or all three of the choices, and the entering the sweeps.

This was a highly creative way for the U.S. State Department to generate interest among young Indonesians in the President’s visit and the best part is that they got the campaign up and running in just over a week and with a minimal budget.

2. Jamba Juice Uses Social Media to drive in-store purchasing via “Jamba Bucks”

Jamba Juice launched a campaign called “Jamba Bucks” that used Wildfire’s unique coupon code generation functionality in a very interesting way. They gave out ‘lucky’ coupons via our Facebook Connect Product and Facebook Fan Page Product that could be redeemed at Jamba Juice stores. When consumers redeemed the coupons they either received $1 off their purchase or they had the opportunity to win one many thousands of instant prizes, including cash prizes of $10,000! To make Jamba’s campaign even more fun and social, they combined it with Wildfire’s virtual gifting solution so users could send Jamba Bucks to their friends in the form of fun, Jamba-branded virtual gifts like smoothies, bucks, and cartoons. By combining the utility of a coupon with the anticipation of an instant win and the social channels of Facebook, Jamba was able to generate huge interest in their campaign, distributing tens of thousands of coupons and driving around 95,000 consumers to redeem coupons at their stores.

3. EA Games enables Facebook users to help author their games

EA Games is encouraging fans of the popular video game Deadspace to “Design a Kill” for the game’s sequel, Deadspace 2. Entrants can submit their visions of a perfect kill sequence and the public can vote on their favorite entries. The winning entry will be built into the Deadspace 2 game and will feature the likeness of the winner. EA Games created the promotion using Wildfire’s essay, photo, and video contest solution. By allowing for a variety of submission formats (i.e. video, photo and/or text) EA catered to a wide variety entrants– if creating and editing a video seemed too difficult to one, they had the option to instead submit an image or a written description of their kill. Some of the now thousands of entries are not for the squeamish–EA really got into the hearts and heads of their fans, some of whom acted out entire kill sequences in front of a camera, and others who even created their own CGI movies! With many thousands of newsfeeds and friend invites sent, votes cast and videos viewed, EA’s contest has enabled them to reach hundreds of thousands of Facebook users and generate considerable buzz about their new game.

4. Gatorade Commemorates Michael Jordan’s Induction into the Hall of Fame with Vote for Favorite MJ Moments

Gatorade teamed up with Wildfire to commemorate Michael Jordan’s induction into the Basketball Hall Of Fame with a campaign on the Gatorade Fan Page which allowed users to vote for their favorite MJ moment from a collection submitted by some of the industry’s top sports writers. By combining a voting campaign with a sweepstakes Gatorade was able to get the best of both world’s – a powerful way to spread the word about their brand throughout Facebook (voters broadcast their opinion about the best Michael Jordan ‘moment’ by publishing newsfeeds and sharing with their friends) and to generate leads (sweepstakes entrants provided valuable data and contact information to Gatorade). The campaign generated tens of thousands of votes and exposed hundreds of thousands of Facebook users to the Gatorade brand.

5. Right Guard and the Phoenix Suns Team Up to grow their fans

The Phoenix Suns took advantage of Wildfire’s multiple fan feature to kill two birds with one stone – grow their fan base and that of their sponsor, Right Guard. The Suns on the Road Sweepstakes had a grand prize of winning a trip and tickets to see the Phoenix Suns play at Golden State, but instead of asking entrants to become a fan of the Phoenix Suns page only, entrants were also asked to become fans of Right Guard. Right Guard was able to benefit from the positive association with the Suns and the the Phoenix Suns were able to use Facebook to add value in a new way for their sponsor. To give the campaign an added level of interest, the Sun’s also provided a quiz for fans to find out which Phoenix Suns “Legend” player they’re most like, which encouraged the publication of news feeds and further spread the word about the Sun’s and Right Guard.

Wildfire CEO Victoria Ransom will be speaking the the SMASH summit on May 12th in San Francisco, alongside companies like Mattel, Comcast, You Tube, Twitter, Twilio, CoTweet, Dogster, Search Engine Land, Altimeter Group, and many others. JOIN US THERE.

5 Tips on Customer Acquisition

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Smash is all about acquiring customers in a way that is smarter, faster, and cheaper than your competitors can do it. Here’s a list of 5 tips that I keep in my mind.

1. Set a Cost Per Acquisition goal and stick to it. This will force you to be discipline on how you spend your acquisition dollars – and drive further creativity in your campaigns. Plus, you will be a superstar in the eyes of the CEO/Board.

2. Look at channels where others could not make the numbers work. Often you can achieve 3 or 4X conversion rate improvements by using better design, better analytics, better contractors, better targeting. Don’t let the failure of others discourage your best instincts.

3. SEO – SEO is still the most cost effective method of acquiring customers for most startups. For larger brands it is almost always a win as well. Hire one person who really knows their game and supplement them with contractors as needed. As you grow your campaign they will need additional contractor help in analytics, link building-blogger outreach, and writing content.

4. Contractors – Don’t staff up internally in the beginning. Especially for a startup leveraging contractors is a low risk way to test your strategies. Develop a pay-for-performance model for them to earn as they produce results.

5. Use your assets. You may be sitting on a wealth of data, or email addresses, discount codes, etc. Take a core asset of your business and give it to partner sites. Let a publisher run an exclusive story with your data, let a partner send an advertisement to your email list, give a group of bloggers early access to your beta. In return ask for exposure in the form of links, stories, press releases.

What are tips you can give others? Leave some in the comments if you like.