Case Studies: Virgin America & Dove
These were presented at different times of the day but I had an epiphany after the second case study. Although these are clearly B2C case studies I realized the rules of Social Marketing for B2B companies are essentially the same. Here’s how Johnny Vulkan of Anomaly put it:
- Leaning into the Frame – you need to insert yourself into conversations, no room for wallflowers.
- Branding Utility – make brands useful in peoples lives, if there’s no point in remember your company name, they won’t.
- Fundamental Goodness – products you deliver need to be good, people have more reach than ever. They won’t tell 7 people if they’re unhappy, they’ll tell 700.
This is all starting to sound like a broken record. However I was particularly moved by the second point ‘Branding Utility.’ The power of an emotional connection and the ability to make a brand useful in people’s lives is strongly tied to its ability to be social.
Dove in particular has done this very well –it’s not just soap, it’s about real women and real beauty. I was particularly moved by their pro-age (as opposed to anti-age) and self-esteem videos shown below:
The ability to make an emotional connection is no easy feat. Luckily for me Cisco’s Human Network campaign took care of the hard part, now I just need to ensure that connection is communicated in everything we do. Hmmm, can you see me thinking between the lines…
Can Big Brands Change their Approach?
This sessions started with a strong statement from Tina Sharkey of BabyCenter, “Change is about re-staffing the organization.” I’m not sure I think it needs to be this dramatic - I think change within the organization can happen if the right leadership and support exists. Although there will always be nay-sayers, I think “re-staffing the organization” may be a bit dramatic.
Richard Tobaccowala of Denou nails the biggest challenge when he said ‘you need to make today’s numbers but be relevant tomorrow.’
Tina then talks about how Johnson & Johnson acquired the talent they were missing when they purchased BabyCenter. Although they own the site they manage it as a separate un-biased community where they own no more than 15% of voice.
The CMO is being replaced by the CFO
Richard says we need to start self marketing. Marketing as we know (knew) it has become outsourced to customers and the role of the CMO is no longer needed – we need to shift to the CFO ‘Chief Facilitator Officer’ role. When it comes to budget allocation spend more on making what you make better and integrate search into everything you do.
Marketing in Social Networks
I was particularly inspired by JP Morgan Chase and how they leveraged Facebook as the platform to initiate a conversation with its customers. In fact, they created a special credit card to promote solely on Facebook and they gave people a reason to talk to each other by allowing people in the group to come together and pool award points and buy things together. But Own Van Natta warns us that some of these conversations have no end so we need to be prepared to commit for a very long time.