Wrap up and thoughts from Seoul South Korea

EB85E237-F44D-486D-A160-E10D523498BC.jpgIt was a whirlwind four days in Seoul this week, so I wanted to share my thoughts on this before I forget. I'm writing this from the airport in Tokyo waiting for my flight back to Newark.

First, here is a quick video with some thoughts as I recorded them yesterday.

The IDG conference was pretty incredible. Hopefully you have had a chance to read the posts from Tuesday and Wednesday to see what I mean. I consistently told the organizers that they had created a conference that was on par with any I have been to in the US. Between the conference and having the opportunity to spend time with the Fleishman team in our Seoul office I noticed a number of similarities to the US as well as some differences.

Some Similarities:

  • The financial crisis is global and is on the top of everyone's mind
  • Everyone gets that social media is a huge growth area
  • Everyone is confused as to how to measure it effectively
  • Companies are trying to find the balance between offline and online media and are trying to break down marketing silos
  • Video and mobile are exploding across the globe, but have to be used strategically

Some Differences:

  • Strong cultural differences in Korea impact everything
  • Most US companies fail in Korea (Google has around 1% market share in search here) because they localize, but don't fully immerse themselves in the culture
  • People demand fast service both on and off line
  • Koreans are very tech savvy, highly connected and love to meet in person
  • I found people very hesitant to ask questions in presentations
  • Mobile is ahead as far as services and quality, but devices are extremely expensive here (telecom companies control the pricing and keep it high)

Best thinking:

  • Bruce Haines from Cheil Worldwide had a number of gems including "banning the word digital" because it's all marketing. He also stressed the need to think across channels and formats to have the most impact, breaking down silos and develop the best message(s) tailored to the right audience.
  • Gerry Gouy from MTV was great on and off stage. His view from the entertainment side where he is seeing advertisers spend more money across fewer channels was key. He also mentioned that mobile is still not working at this point and most advertisers are looking to reach a 25-34 year old sweet spot through TV and online.

Here is the Slideshare of the keynote address I gave. I'll be adding audio to this over the next couple of days.

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I've got Seoul


Next Sunday morning I leave for Seoul Korea to speak at the IDG Next Generation Marketing Conference. I'm giving the opening keynote address on the topic of global marketing trends and then moderating a panel discussion with peers from YouTube, Microsoft, Chiel Worldwide and MTV. It's going to be really fascinating to talk to people there and see how social media is taking hold. There is a huge interest in "web2.0" at this conference and I am interested to uncover if the definition changes on the other side of the globe.

Korea is one of the most connected countries on Earth and I will be paying particular attention to the state of mobile marketing/technology and adoption of social media across countries. I'm going to do a lot of video and take a lot of photos and turn the blog into a real journal over the course of next week to share as much as I can about the culture and the shape of marketing there. It'll be a bit of a time difference (14 hours ahead of US eastern time) so bear with me.

If you have questions or are curious about anything in Korea related to marketing or technology let me know and I'll help you out. If you happen to read this blog and you live in Seoul let me know and we can meet up.

* Photo credit Tyler Durden

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Vegas or bust; live from Blog World Expo

BlogWorldSpeaker08_135pix.gifI am in Las Vegas for the next couple of days for Blog Word Expo 2008. This is my first Blog World and it's shaping up to be a fantastic event. I have the pleasure of running a panel tomorrow morning at 11:30am with two very incredible people, Neil Vineberg and Louis Gray. If you want to ask a question, leave a comment on this post or shoot me an email. I'll send the response on Twitter.

Micromedia: The Next Big, Small Thing - Room F303 This session shows marketers what the true power of services like Twitter, FriendFeed, Pownce, Flickr and Facebook have on a micro level. Also known as "micro blogging", micromedia has exploded with the growth of mobile technology and lets us look into the future of platform-agnostic marketing. Don't be left behind.

If you're in town for the conference please stop by for the panel or make sure we connect. My mobile number is 216-408-3312 and my email is mattdickman@gmail.com. Looking forward to meeting you.

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Twitter for marketing, branding and customer service

iStock_000003099857XSmall.jpgYesterday I had the opportunity to speak to the Cleveland Web Association on the topics of micromedia (Twitter, Pownce, FriendFeed, etc.). This was a follow up presentation to the one I gave back in February and is meant to dive a bit deeper into the subject.

I thought the audience was very receptive to the topic and the examples absolutely help out with that. David Meade of Optiem gave a bit of a more technical primer before me and is who I reference in the first few minutes.

The presentation is available below as a SlideCast (meaning I have added an voiceover audio track to it) which you can access by hitting the green middle button that looks like this Picture 18.png.


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If you are interested in having me speak to your company or organization, you can check out my other SlideShare presentations here and feel free to contact me for more information.

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The most powerful branding tool. Ever.

dig.jpgIf I were to give you a tip on the most powerful tool any company has at their disposal to positively impact their brand, would you act on it? When companies talk about branding, they often turn to the standard creative elements. They conduct focus groups and prepare branding briefs before the first pixel is pushed into place on the logo. If you're really serious you have a whole identity package. But that's not branding, that's just a logo right? From there they create the marketing campaign. Print ads are created to build emotional connections with people, TV spots reinforce the company image and convey the same emotions. Hundreds of hours are spent planning the website, the information architecture, the experience design, the content. When it's all said and done you have one damn fine looking marketing campaign.

Most companies know that part (very few do it right). The part they don't get is the tool that I am talking about. Customer service. Customer service is so powerful that it can make up for bad products, downtime and inconvenience. Conversely, poor customer service can kill even the most well thought out, killer product or service.

A brand is the sum of the interactions with an entity over time. Still, the last interaction with a product or service usually sticks with us. How many times have you felt your opinion of a company turn sour when somebody in the store isn't helpful? How many times have you sat on hold waiting in line only to not really get the answer you're looking for?

The last interaction is the only one that matters.

So why is customer service so often overlooked as a branding tool? It's hard to get right. Here are some of the challenges:

  • It takes time. Lots of time. Customer service takes training, dedication and people who are aligned with the company's goals. Time is money after all and most companies look at the short term outlay instead of the long term benefit of building customer loyalty and creating a great total brand experience.
  • High turnover. Typically customer service is made up of entry level folks packed into small offices strapped to a phone 8 hours a day. Why not really turn to results-based incentives here? Why not dress up their work area so they have a great attitude and convey to your customers?
  • Everyone is in customer service. This means the CEO, the VPs, the account people, the programmers, the designers, the administrative staff, everyone. This is a key shift in thinking that needs to take place. One off day for one person will have an impact on your brand image. The last interaction is the only one that matters. You may not get another chance.
  • Not just for consumer packages goods. Customer service happens in every industry whether you label it customer service or not. Law firms, ad agencies, PR firms and accountants all are in customer service. The problem is that it's not ingrained in their corporate philosophy, they think it beneath them. That's the
  • Too easy to rely on technology. No message board or crowd sourced solution can replace human interaction. Technology is a great way to give people access to basic, commonly asked questions. However, when a person's questions are not answered by those solutions they can be left frustrated. Have you ever tried to reach Flickr, Technorati or Feedburner to get a prompt answer to a question? They make it 100% impossible to talk to a human. Don't be like those guys.

I think David Armano summed it up well in his reply when I posted this on Twitter a couple of days ago.

Picture 6.png

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How do you integrate this common sense into what you do? How can you improve your support system? What will you do NOW to take action to create a customer service culture?

What do you do to make sure every personal interaction is the best it can be?

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The future of advertising

crystalball.jpgTim Brunelle of the agency Hello Viking and professor at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) asked me to speak to his class about the future of advertising. I'll also be speaking to the Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association. I've come up with a presentation that I'll post on Slideshare tomorrow so you can see my take.

While I've never worked in an advertising agency, I have been exposed to their inner workings. I've also worked in pure digital shops as well as my current role in a PR company. Overall, I think this gives me a unique perspective on the future of advertising/marketing.

Here is the link to the Slideshare post.   

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Interview with Rev. Lennox Yearwood, CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus

Picture 8.pngReverend Lennox Yearwood is a very passionate, media savvy person and he took some time to chat with me at the WeMedia conference in Miami last week. His organization uses social media tools like Facebook and Youtube to get their message out to the community at large. Bloggers have played an important part in the mission of the Hip Hop Caucus and has pushed many of their issues from the local community to the global community.

Operatives in the field have help raise the profile of important issues to the level where national, mainstream media is forced to pick them up. The organization uses a broad assortment of tools including CD mix tapes, a blog, MySpace, Facebook and other outlets to get their message to the people who need to hear it.

"The revolution may not be televised, but it will be uploaded." ~ Rev. Lennox Yearwood

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You can see the passion that Reverend Yearwood has for his work and the major impact that social media tools have had on his organization. We often look at this industry as a marketing vehicle for products and services, but it also has huge potential to bring about social change. Now *that's* social media!

Related Posts:

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Interview with Nic Fulton, Chief Scientist at Reuters

reuters-logo-171-06.jpgLast week's WeMedia Conference in Miami put the spotlight on the future of journalism and how it will change. No better example can be found of those changes than the project Reuters is undertaking with Nokia. Nic Fulton, Chief Scientist of Reuters took a couple of minutes at the conference to talk to me about the Nokia partnership and what he expects will come of it.

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It was interesting to note that I spoke with Nic about the possibility of doing live reporting and he said that is not their focus right now. He mentioned the lack of quality that is possible with mobile streaming as the main weakness. For the time being, Reuters is focusing on high-quality, original content that complements the rest of their offerings.

Related Posts:

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You can watch this and other Techno//Marketer videos on your video channel of choice:

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Micromedia. The next big, small thing

I had the pleasure of speaking to the Cleveland Web Association today with my presentation "Micromedia. The next big, small thing". The crowd was very engaged and had some great questions and follow up afterward.

For this one, I used Slideshare's Slidecast option so if you play the slideshow below, you'll hear me as the slides advance automatically. The deck is 105 slides, but takes about 13 minutes. I hope you enjoy!

SlideShare | View
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If you're looking for a speaker for your next event or conference shoot me an email. I'd love to meet you in person.

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What events will you attend in 2008?

I think we all have the challenge of identifying and justifying event attendance in our marketing roles. I have informally asked from time to time where people are heading, but results have been hit and miss. Why do I ask? Simple, the most valuable conferences that I've attended have brought me face-to-face with fantastic people. Those relationships lead to great opportunities and incredible brainstorming.

Personally, last year's MarketingProfs B2B Forum was a great conference. I was able to meet awesome people and make some lasting connections. Among those I was able to meet for the first time were Ann Handley of MarketingProfs and Todd Andrlik and I was able to re-connect with David Armano and CB Whittemore.

The most comprehensive marketing event list that I've seen was generated by Chris Brogan and you can see it here. These are only suggestions though. What matters most is the people who are attending. To help everybody out I've created a short (2 question) survey to ask where you are going and why. My thinking it that the more people at an event, the more value you receive.

If you have a minute and want to help crowdsource event attendance, click on the link below. Any other events you think of that are not on the list can be emailed to me or suggested through the form. I'll share the results with everybody in a week or so.

Click Here to take survey.

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Conversation for a great cause and getting social

-1.jpegTwo cool announcements in one post today. First, the Age of Conversation book is stepping into prime time. After a very successful 4 month run, the 103 book authors (myself included) achieved our initial goal and raised $11,000 for Variety, the Children's Charity. To raise even more money, however, we're going to take a new approach.

On November 30th, the hardcover version of the book will be discontinued and the paperback version will no longer be able on Lulu. Instead we're moving the paperback version to Amazon and other book sellers around the world. Get your copy while they're still at $16.95, because after November 30th the price will go up to $30 so we can give the reseller their cut and provide the same amount to the charity. Finally, you can join us on December 14th and bumrush the Amazon charts to propel the book up the rankings.

Fellow authors include:

Gavin Heaton Drew McLellan CK Valeria Maltoni Emily Reed Katie Chatfield Greg Verdino Mack Collier Lewis Green Sacrum Ann Handley Mike Sansone Paul McEnany Roger von Oech Anna Farmery David Armano Bob Glaza Mark Goren Scott Monty Richard Huntington Cam Beck David Reich Luc Debaisieux Sean Howard Tim Jackson Patrick Schaber Roberta Rosenberg Uwe Hook Tony D. Clark Todd Andrlik Toby Bloomberg Steve Woodruff Steve Bannister Steve Roesler Stanley Johnson Spike Jones Nathan Snell Simon Payn Ryan Rasmussen Ron Shevlin Roger Anderson Robert Hruzek Rishi Desai Phil Gerbyshak Peter Corbett Pete Deutschman Nick Rice Nick Wright Michael Morton Mark Earls Mark Blair Mario Vellandi Lori Magno Kristin Gorski Kris Hoet G. Kofi Annan Kimberly Dawn Wells Karl Long Julie Fleischer Jordan Behan John La Grou Joe Raasch Jim Kukral Jessica Hagy Janet Green Jamey Shiel Dr. Graham Hill Gia Facchini Geert Desager Gaurav Mishra Gary Schoeniger Gareth Kay Faris Yakob Emily Clasper Ed Cotton Dustin Jacobsen Tom Clifford David Polinchock David Koopmans David Brazeal David Berkowitz Carolyn Manning Craig Wilson Cord Silverstein Connie Reece Colin McKay Chris Newlan Chris Corrigan Cedric Giorgi Brian Reich Becky Carroll Arun Rajagopal Andy Nulman Amy Jussel AJ James Kim Klaver Sandy Renshaw Susan Bird Ryan Barrett Troy Worman CB Whittemore S. Neil Vineberg

BS08.pngSecond, on April 4-6, 2008 a gathering of bloggers will take place like no other. Blogger Social 08 already has an impressive list of people whom I admire slated to attend from all over the globe. If you blog and would like to attend click here to signup. They include:

Susan Bird Tim Brunelle Katie Chatfield Terry Dagrosa Luc Debaisieux Gianandrea Facchini Mark Goren Gavin Heaton Sean Howard CK Valeria Maltoni Drew McLellan Doug Meacham Marilyn Pratt Steve Roesler Greg Verdino CB Whittemore Steve Woodruff Paul McEnany Ann Handley David Reich Tangerine Toad Kristin Gorski Mack Collier David Armano Ryan Barrett Lori Magno Tim McHale Gene DeWitt Mario Vellandi Arun Rajagopal Darryl Ohrt Joseph Jaffe Rohit Bhargava Anna Farmery Marianne Richmond Thomas Clifford

Here is a map of the attendees:

View Larger Map

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Live blogging from Kent State Media Mindsets Conference

MMConfLogo.jpgI am attending, and live blogging from, the Kent State University Media Mindsets Conference today. Nice speaker list on tap today. Among them Joshua Green from the MIT Convergence Culture Consortium, Hollis Towns the Executive Editor of the Cincinnati Enquirer and Bill Stewart of IBM Digital Media. I will be updating this post through the day and cross-posting it to my agency's blog here. They're streaming this live as well.

You can get real-time updates from this conference at my Twitter account.

Welcome from Robert Frank, KSU Senior VP and Provost
KSU has created their communication college to merge mass comm, journalist, comm, etc. to one curriculum to get students to hit the ground running. Creating partnerships with technology companies to conduct research.

billstewart_small.jpgKeynote from Bill Stewart, IBM Digital Media
"Creative destruction - trends and directions of new and traditional media companies"
Devices drive innovation through history. These devices + the internet are breaking through walls. iPod in Music, World of Warcraft in video games, Netflix downloads in movie rentals and IM/VoIP in communications.

This is leading to a user-centric fluid media lifestyle. Barriers to entry are lowering and will continue in next 3-5 years. Media companies will see an upheaval. New media companies must drive new strategies. Divergent paths will be forged.

Drivers of change. Devices, access, content innovation and buyer and consumer behavior shifts. These are predicated on the devices. The next inflection point will be around 3G+ mobile and broadband, connected devices.

As far as broadband is concerned, cable-to-home has the most US capacity. WiMAX has the most capacity in wireless, but is slow compared to the wired options. A song download from iTunes on wired access is <1 minute. The same song would take 33 minutes on WiMAX.

Primetime TV shift to digital is opening doors for other media. Outcomes include show willingness of consumers to pay, increase total consumption, creates piracy alternatives, shift downstream demand, challenge funding models (PPV) and opening service providers. YouTube traffic bigger than MTV.com. New models are shifting the revenue streams. iTunes = more revenue to the creator, YouTube = 100% to creator.

Business models and leading players are shifting to user contributed open platforms. traditional media is stuck in professional, proprietary quadrant. MySpace uniques in January 2007 close to Super Bowl viewership. Spending is not following the shift to new platforms.

Four prime business models:

  • Walled communities (user contributed, proprietary) - Apple iLife, Apple podcasts, Current TV
  • Traditional media (Professional content, proprietary) - BBC, ABC, EMI
  • New Platforms (user contributed, open) - SL, YouTube, Google, Facebook, MySpace
  • Hyper content syndication (professional content, open) - Amazon video, BBC player

Proprietary networks can either open up or shift to include more user generated content to move models. This shift can lead to more attention, first-hand learning and user intimacy and refresh their brand. Traditional creators need to figure out how to leverage these changes to capitalize on the changes from a strategic perspective. Music industry prime example of waiting and doing nothing.

Ad spending will change as well. TV spending will take the biggest hit by 2010. Internet spending will continue to grow. Newspaper and magazine will shrink, but not as quickly.

Current.tv model. 1 minute of TV programming costs between $1000 and $10000. Same cost on Current is around $500.

10 recommendations for media companies in the new media world:

  1. Put consumers at the center of the business
  2. Convert knowledge of user behavior to competitive advantage
  3. Give control to consumers to get share
  4. Deliver experiences, not just content
  5. Leverage virtual worlds
  6. Innovate business models
  7. Invest in interactive, measurable ad services and platforms
  8. Redefine partnerships while mitigating fallout
  9. Shift investments from traditional business to new models
  10. Create flexible business model

hollistowns_small.jpgKeynote from Hollis Towns, Cincinnati Enquirer
"Gannett and the Enquirer's response to it"
News media is shifting. Content is being created faster and looking at new platforms. Community conversation is very important for the Enquirer. Feedback through message boards, etc. is the new engagement strategy. Using moderated boards (why?) instead of open boards. Cincinnati.com is one of the top traffic sites in Ohio. 226 community web pages on the site now. Moving into digital in every way possible.

Moving to "total audience reach" instead of circulation. Community + web + print. Heavy focus on boomers. Abandoning the young reader print reach and trying new models of outreach (Cin Weekly). Readers are skewing a bit older than they'd thought.

Reaching out to local communities. Using "get published" platform to allow local officials and residents to publish hyper-local content.

CincyMoms.com site is hugely successful. Attempted to inject experts and other content, but was rejected by the community. Unfiltered community where the users are the subject matter experts. Self-policing area with a single, known moderator to look for libel or slanderous content.

Big push into video. Partnering with Scripps TV station. Have installed editing suites in the newsroom. Doing a daily webcast that is unpolished and unscripted - getting highest page views on the site. Have hired three full-time programmers to integrate 3rd-party data sources. Creating a community-centered resource for residents.

Created a boomer focus group. Reading styles are different. Boomers lean back and read, younger readers lean forward to read. Subtle differences, but important. Reporters are mobile working in Starbucks and Panera looking for new stories and rarely coming into the office.

joshuagreen_small.jpgKeynote from Joshua Green, MIT
"Losers, users and producers: what happens to the audience in a participatory age"
Consumer value chain is shifting. Where, what, how, who are all shifting. Loyalty is shifting as well, could be there today and gone tomorrow. Measurement and categories are changing quickly. Terminology is outdated and tired.

"Convergence Culture". Old and new and merging, shifting in unpredictable ways. Social, cultural and technological shifts = convergence. Transmedia texts - flow across multiple platforms. Conglomeration and cooperation of multiple media sources. Strategic cooperation growing. Media audiences are migratory; consume what they want when they want.

Living in a networked society, growing knowledge communities -> collective intelligence. Participatory culture is emerging as people rework content to be personal. Acquiring skills through play that are applied toward more serious ends. CSI driving interest in science, drives education down the road. Non-linear roadmaps to success.

Four ways to think about consumers:

  1. Old consumers were compliant, new consumers are resistant (GMC UGC ad example)
  2. Old consumers are predictable, new consumers are migratory
  3. Old consumer isolated, new consumers socially connected
  4. Old consumers silent and invisible, new consumers noisy and public

Convergence altering distinctions between platform, medium, audience, channel and "content". Fans are not on the edge any more. Watching Sopranos on DVD through Netflix is still watching TV content, just not as part of the audience. The relationship between content and form is shifting. Content is being dis-embedded and re-embedded as consumers like.

"Viewser" - combines viewing and using content in ways not intended by creator. Watching shifting to interacting.

"Produser" - audiences are becoming content creators, making the flow of information easy to reverse.

"Collaborative media creators" - Wiki applications allow groups of users to great joint content.

Fan production operates in a different economy than the professional production. It's more of a gift economy than transactional.

Measurement. How to measure expressions vs. impressions. Hard to measure and compare.

Ideas changing. Control, value, reward, niche (collective niches).

johnwest_small.jpgJohn West, KSU
LCD: the Next Generation
KSU was the originator and is a top innovator in LCD technology. Industry is moving toward flexible technology and making HD fit smaller spaces. Display technology has kept up with science fiction. Technology is changing design patterns in major industry including automotive.

Kent Displays is introducing flexible LCD into small, commercial applications. Kent is using small, continuous improvements vs. introducing the killer display. Switchable LCD technology (used on glass windows) is moving to consumer products like ski goggles.

New displays will be printed/sandwiched, not in high-tech manufacturing facilities. The material is getting more like cloth and less like molded plastic. Interestingly, LCD technology is born from molecules in cholesterol.

Thoughts from afternoon student panel discussion:

  • News is coming to them, not having to go find it
  • News is coming from non-traditional sources
  • Using mobile to gather and read news
  • Top media option they'd give up is overwhelmingly newspaper/magazine, then radio and then TV
  • iPod is the new radio
  • Using MySpace for music
  • People's friend counts don't mean anything, more about quality
  • Using Facebook to communicate (shift from email/IM is massive)
  • Limited use of virtual worlds

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