GAP: Turning shopping on its head

Isn’t this brilliant? I thought so. It’s from a few months back now but no they aren’t a client, lets get that out of the way first.

To announce and promote their customer loyalty programme Sprize, the GAP store  in Vancouver, BC completely flipped everything upside down and adhering to their tagline rather nicely of turning shopping on its head. This I like.  So all of the mannequins, displays and signs were flipped, as well as some cars and a hot dog stand outside of the store. Brilliant.

It seems to me like a clever customer retention tool and keeping those existing customers happy. I think its only open in Canada at the moment but they can sign up for a free Sprize account at participating Gap stores for an opportunity to collect SprizeMoney. Put simply, if you buy a shirt at £25 and within 45 days it goes down in price then you get credited to your account the difference. Now thats something I’d sign up to for sure. Isn’t it annoying when you buy something full price for it to be discounted some weeks later?

This is smart because the idea / hope is that people will return to GAP more often to see what they can get for their Sprizemoney and undoubtedly pick up a few more purchases than they had intended. Potentially increasing footfall and volume of purchases.

Nice.

Via PSFK and Suite 101

Another one of those social media ROI videos..

Feast your eyes. At least this one doesn’t have that Fatboy Slim backing track.

“You can’t buy attention anymore. Having a huge budget doesn’t mean anything in social media…The old media paradigm was PAY to play. Now you get back what you authentically put in. You’ve got to be willing to PLAY to play.”

– Alex Bogusky, Co-Chairman of Crispin Porter + Bogusky

A few key messages:

1. Over 300,000 businesses have a presence on Facebook and roughly a 1/3 of these are small businesses.

2. Gary Vaynerchuk grew his family business from $4 million to $50 million using social media.

3. Lenovo was able to achieve cost savings by a 20% reduction in call center activity as customers go to community website for answers.

4. BlendTec increased its sales 5x by running the often humorous “Will it Blend” Videos on YouTube.

5. Dell sold $3,000,000 worth of computers on Twitter

6. Obama Social Media Marketing resulted in three million online donors contributing $500 million in fundraising.

7. 71% of companies plan to increase investments in social media by an average of 40% because: a) Low Cost Marketing b) Getting Traction c) We Have To Do It

Via Socialnomics

TrendsSpotting 2010 Social Media Trend Predictions

I’ve omitted the word ‘influencers’ from the original headline because it still bugs me a bit but nonetheless this is a brilliant compilation of so many varying predictions on 2010 in the one place from some of the biggest movers and shakers. I’m merely there to fill up the numbers obviously and being next to Seth Godin has provided many with much amusement. But I’m all for a bit of self-deprecation every now and then. Hat tip to @tim_whirledge for the original heads up.

Everyone that is featured in the presentation is listed below with their @names, making it easy for you to follow as many as you wish.

Major trends that came to the fore out of all the predictions were:

Mobile, Location, Transparency, Measurement, ROI and Privacy.

Not much new there then for 2010. Mobile, Location and Privacy would be my three to watch in 2010. Transparency shouldn’t even be there because it should happen without a second thought. But in 2009 we have seen and still in 2010 we’ll continue to see ideas, campaigns and executions which will pretend to be something they’re not / mislead consumers in some way or fake its roots and originality. Sometimes it is purely for the sake of controversy and to get people talking about it but other times you wonder who initially thought it would be a good idea and then how it ever made it in to the public spheres.

It was concluded that 2009 did not meet expectations. What should we expect in 2010?

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In this report,  the 2010 Social Media trends are foretasted by:

@petecashmore PETE CASHMORE Founder, CEO Mashable
@armano DAVID ARMANO Senior Partner, Dachis Group Author, Logic and Emotion
@chrisbrogan CHRIS BROGAN President, New Marketing Labs
@peterkim PETER KIM Managing Director, N.America Dachis Group
@seth SETH GODIN, Bestselling Author, Entrepreneur & Agent of change
@litmanlive MICHAEL LITMAN Social Media Strategist Consolidated PR
@tamar TAMAR WEINBERG, Community & Marketing Manager, Mashable
@johnbattelle JOHN BATTELLE Founder & Chairman Federated Media
@mariansalzman MARIAN SALZMAN President, N.America Euro PR, Trend Spotter & Author
@mzkagan MARTA KAGAN Managing Director, US Espresso- Brand Infiltration
@danzarrella DAN ZARRELLA Social & Viral Marketing Scientist HubSpot
@emarketer eMARKETER Digital Intelligence
@drewmclellan DREW McLELLAN Founder and Author The Marketing Minute
@idc CAROLINE DANGSON Digital Marketplace Research Analyst IDC
@jasonfalls JASON FALLS Social Media Strategist Social Media Explorer
@charleneli CHARLENE LI Founder Altimeter Group
@gauravonomics GAURAV MISHRA CEO 2020 Social Online
@marc_meyer MARC MEYER Principal Digital Marketing Response Group
@emarketer JEFFREY GARU Senior Analyst eMarketer 2010
@jimmy_wales  JIMMY WALES Founder Wikipedia
@alecjross ALEC ROSS Sr Advisor -Innovation State Department
@CraigNewmark CRAIG NEWMARK Founder of Craiglist
@scobleizer ROBERT SCOBLE Technical Evangelist Rackspace
@dmscott DAVID MEERMAN SCOTT Marketing Strategist & Author World Wide Rave
@roncallari RON CALLARI Social Media
@ravit_ustrategy RAVIT LICHTENBERG Founder & Chief Strategist Ustrategy.com
@equalman ERIK QUALMAN Author Socialnomics
@pgillin PAUL GILLIN Writer, Author & Social Media Consultant Principal
@adambroitman ADAM BROITMAN Partner & Ringleader Circ.us
@cbensen CONNIE BENSEN Director of Social Media & Community Strategy Alterian
@mikearauz MIKE ARAUZ Strategist Undercurrent
@nenshad Nenshad Badoliwalla Co-author Driven to Performance
@adamcohen ADAM COHEN Partner Rosetta
@danielwaisberg DANIEL WAISBERG Head of Web Analytics Easynet
@communitygirl ANGELA CONNOR Journalist & Community Strategist
@trendsspotting TALY WEISS CEO and Head of Research TrendsSpotting.com

Is social media measurement really meaningless?

I’ve been reading and re-reading this article over the past few days and trying to fully understand Amy Kean of the IAB’s point of view who argues the ‘Yes’ side of the debate that social media measurement is indeed meaningless. I can understand her point of view but I’m of the ilk that believe in a different kind of measurement and that adopting the traditional ideologies of past successes is akin to putting a square peg in a round hole. I’ve said before that although ROI will always have its place (everyone will always wants to get the most bang from their buck), ROA (Return on Attention) will grow in importance in social media. You’re still getting a return on investment but in a different way.

Back to the article, the busker analogy doesn’t really work for me when comparing thumbs up to positive buzz and great reviews for a company. They aren’t directly comparable. For someone to go out of their way to generate positive buzz on a brands behalf or give a product a great review, there is value in that. Time spent plus insights provided, that’s definite value. Research also states that their message often has more impact than paid for marketing and communications.

It may not be in the traditional marketing sense of what ‘value’ is but for me, social media requires new metrics and benchmarks than to what has been tried and tested in years previous. Success now looks different. Instead of looking purely from a numbers perspective and at additional sales, is there value in increased levels of brand perception and awareness, along with the conversations and connections made because of the company activity? It’s intangible yet it’s still valuable.

Amy says that most senior management simply don’t understand it. While this may be a sweeping generalization across the board, there is some truth in it. This for me is where the paradigm of business control is changing. This won’t be for everyone, only the ones who are open to change, evolution and welcome new blood taking their company forward and in a new direction. The MD’s, the board members, all the ladies and gents high up who have been used to knowing everything they need to in order to take their business forward, are now bringing in new talent to change the culture, operations and future of the company. The MD will still be the MD but he/she has realised that a new set of skills is required for the ever changing business environment.  Edit – I had previously mentioned about Jean Wyllie leaving PN but as Kerry notes in the comments below this was out of context, my apologies.

Back to the article again, social media isn’t about directly increasing sales over a finite period. It’s more longer term than that, investing in and developing relationships. Potentially fruitful relationships that are seen to have a direct effect maybe not in sales but in other benchmarks like buzz / word of mouth. Let’s take the recent collaboration between BitchBuzz and Magners UK.

If you hadn’t heard about it, Magners UK decided to give away a case of its pear cider every day for a week on BitchBuzz. The target audience and the product was a perfect fit. The competition was cleverly integrated with Facebook Connect and as a result of the week long campaign, delivered approx 100 new fans to the Magners UK Facebook page every day for the duration of the campaign. They achieved over 8 times the fan conversion they had when supporting the giveaways based on engagement on Twitter and Facebook alone. Their objectives were simple, to build the community. The competition accounted for almost 40% of total Facebook fans.

Can you put a traditional value on that? No. What was the ROI on that? I don’t know. Is it important? Yes.

Amy also says that part of the role of the IAB’s social media council is to educate the industry about the opportunities in this space. Yet she’s declaring measurement meaningless? Sounds more like discounting a discipline rather than educating about it.

Will, Robin, Stephen, David and Drew what do you think? Is social media measurement meaningless? They are all much more knowledgable and experienced in this world than I am, so would be great to get their take on it all. Oh and feel free to disagree entirely if you think otherwise, interested to hear from other perspectives.