It’s no secret that 1) people like to pay with credit cards and 2) people spend a lot of time online. The Salvation Army has smartly taken these things into consideration when deciding to go digital with their 2011 Red Kettle campaign. This holiday season, volunteers in select cities will be accepting credit card donations through Square, a popular new mobile payment system. They’ve also launched iKettle, an online fundraising tool.
Sometimes browsing through the multitude of posts on social media topics leaves me feeling a bit dizzy; it’s simply too much. An exception to this avalanche of information is the added value and meaningful insights I receive from The Brandbuilder Blog.
However, I was a bit puzzled by the following golden rule outlined in the 10 Things about Social Media & Social Business you need to know article:
“You cannot outsource customer relationships to an agency. Can you outsource your presence at Thanksgiving dinner to an agency? Do you send your PR team to social events and parties when you have better things to do than attend? Social media isn’t any different. Why? Because it is “social media,” not “delegation media” or “pretend media”.
Being part of an agency that regularly intervenes on the operational side of social activities, I can testify that it’s not the coolest or most glamorous task, nor is it the easiest part of our digital work. But the relationship aspect of the business is the essence of our existence. It’s the part where everything comes together: marketing, PR, advertising, sales, and research and development. Giving this up suggests a lack of understanding about the significance of social. It’s about being social and not about “pretending to do” social.
I couldn’t agree more. But in reality, companies are not ready for this. The theory is not crystalized enough to have organizations, especially large ones, handle all the uncertainties and ambiguities of social activities in a timely and unsiloed way. This means that agencies need to come in as backup, helping out even if it’s not necessarily their specific role.
We were recently faced with a situation where the participant of an online contest threatened to mobilize opinion leaders on various social channels against our client. The participant was upset with the way the results of the contest were published. For a client that is not well versed in social, this can be an overwhelming and stressful situation.
However efficient you try to be when bridging the communications between the scared client and the almighty troublemaker, I think we as agencies need to train and arm clients as thoroughly as possible to manage the ups and downs of social media on a day-to-day basis. Doing so means we can get back to the activities that have a real added value, like social research and monitoring exercises, measuring trends and competitive movements, and recommending innovative solutions to gain a competitive advantage in the long run!
There’s nothing we like more than companies that use digital to improve the lives of consumers. Room 77, a new startup, is doing just that. They took the online hotel booking system and got rid of all the bad stuff (pop-ups, long waits, you know what we’re talking about), resulting in an easy to use platform that helps consumers find the hotel room that’s right for them.
Illustration: Dondy Razon
All over the world financial analysts, governments, companies and common people are facing one of the worst economic crises of the last 30 years. But, some good news seems to be emerging from digital.
A McKinsey Global Institute report (published May 2011) outlines the following:
“The Internet’s impact on global growth is rising rapidly. The Internet accounted for 21 percent of GDP [gross domestic product] growth over the last five years among the developed countries MGI studied, a sharp acceleration from the 10 percent contribution over 15 years. Most of the economic value created by the Internet falls outside of the technology sector, with 75 percent of the benefits captured by companies in more traditional industries. The Internet is also a catalyst for job creation. Among 4,800 small and medium sized enterprises surveyed, the Internet created 2.6 jobs for each lost to technology related efficiencies.” Digital technologies heightened the per capita income of 500 dollars as well.
Emerging from the McKinsey report, we can affirm that the digital revolution has been able to renew and redefine the paradigm of the whole worldwide industry: a sort of discreet Copernican Revolution or the real economy. Not to be compared to the most ephemeral and showy aspects of the worldwide finances we were witness to over the years: I think the dot-com bubble burst in March 2000.
At the very beginning, when the Internet was born, many people thought that the World Wide Web could change the world, promote tolerance and defeat nationalism: many fascinating expectations.
I don’t think anyone can precisely define which goals digital has reached at a global level, but from the more measurable point of view of the real economy, we can affirm that digital has improved the real life of people all over the world. This is what emerges from the McKinsey report.
How has digital improved your real life?
We’ve just put our camera, coloured markers and scissors away: we’ve finished the latest teaser on our digital in-store sprint!
This is a simplified introductory version of a longer document taking you through the universe of digital in-store. To explore the topic based on design thinking methods we were obliged to shop during work hours, hang out in change rooms and buy a few things here and there (as a work expense to access salespeople) as well as reading theories, observing everyday people’s behaviours and experimenting with prototype designs. We gathered ideas to develop convictions on the role digital things are having and will have on how we buy, make purchase decisions, love stores and share our tastes.
If you’re interested in what we’ve done or want to talk about it, contact us at nurun.lab(at)nurun.com