Obama 2012 And The Future Of Media Buying

June 20, 2013

2012-01-26_1327587338This is an awfully long article to slog through, but it was from the NYT Magazine, so I guess the long form is understandable.

The callout on the article “The Obama Campaign’s Digital Masterminds Cash In” is mostly true to form – focusing on the people and personalities involved – but somewhere around page 5 (can’t believe I got that far) it grabbed my interest.

Behavioral TV Ad Buying; It’s Time to Ditch Demographics

The Obama campaign used social data to guide their media buying.  They had a list of 15 MM persuadable voters (culled from FB and other sources) and a plan to focus on putting messages in front of those 15 MM people at the lowest possible cost.

They did not do this with demographics.  They did it with behavioral data.  They crossed the “persuadable voter list” with actual viewing data sourced from set-top box data provider Rentrak who had lots and lots of individual level viewing data.  (For instance, Rentrak had 100,000 people in its Denver sample, some 20,000 of whom were on the Obama list; Nielsen had a total of 600 people in Denver.)

They crossed these two data sources using a third-party to “anonymize” the data, avoiding privacy concerns.  The output guided them to buying micro-targeted ads – think “Judge Joe Brown” in the middle of the afternoon instead of the evening news.  The Obama campaign ran twice as many cable ads on more that twice as many channels as the Romney campaign did.  Over 566k ads on more than 100 cable channels.

Remember the key driver for this optimization – observed behavior – not demographics.  They identified 15 MM persuadable voters (mostly via Facebook) and then figured out exactly which TV shows those people watched.

Implications for marketers are obvious.  The technology is available for behavioral segmentation (persuadable voters) and targeting (what shows they actually watch) right now.  All marketers will be doing this within 10 years, but who will do it now to drive competitive advantage?

@tomob

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7 Secrets of Social Media Success

March 26, 2013

tweetThis post is a summary of the Twitter Chat hosted by @TheSocialCMO.  The guest was Wendy Clark – SVP, Integrated Marketing Communications & Capabilities at Coca-Cola, know on Twitter as @wnd(You know she’s an early adopter because she has a three letter handle!)

I’m pretty jaded about Twitter Chats because most of them are vapid.  Not this one.  I went to the TheSocialCMO Blog to read the transcript of this #MMChat and discovered some great information and insights. It is pretty hard to read b/c of all the re-tweets, so I thought it worth excerpting the questions (@TheSocialCMO and answers (@wnd).   Nice job all around.

#MMChat Transcript

Q1: What are the 7 Secrets of Social Media Success?

#1 Be Shareworthy. In a social world it’s abt an initial audience u can reach sharing ur content w/ an ultimate audience they reach

#2 Listen & Engage. Brands are listening but listening alone is not enough. We must engage in the dialog of our brands-in real time.

#3 Think big, start small, scale fast. Key to rapid innovation is testing, learning, failing, fixing – & then scaling

#4 Social’s an amplifier not a silver bullet. We’re big believers in the power of social to make everything else we’re doing better.

#5 Content is the new currency. Social network cache & success are incredibly important to teens & young adults. Create accordingly.

#6 We might be shepherds, stewards and guardians of our brands, but we no longer control them. Co-create & participate w/ your fans.

#7 Be Flawesome = awesome w/ your flaws. Consumers aren’t interested in ur corporate veneer. Brands must be real, authentic, human.

Q2: How easy or hard is it to really drive adoption of social media at a company the size of Coca-Cola?

A2: The key is supportive leadership. With our most senior leaders as believers we’ve been able to fuel change & adoption internally

A2: Another key is employee engagement. Our PR and Employee Comms teams have been masterful at training our associates

Q3: There’s been some press recently on Social not working as hard as you’d like it? Is this true? How do u determine ROI on Social? 

A3: Social works really hard as an integrated part of our Connections plans. As studies point to, Social + other media = better ROI

A3: Our core metrics for social are reach, engagement, brand love & brand value. All of which we achieve through integrated plans.

A3: Social works really hard as an integrated part of our Connections plans. As studies point to, Social + other media = better ROI

Q4: You’ve also said publicly that corporations particularly have to embrace failure. Say more about this?

A4: We must fuel a company culture that accepts and learns from failure, if not we will miss key learnings as we innovate.

A4: I feel really strongly about this. Failing to learn is the real failure that I fear, not failure itself.

A4: Our CEO Muhtar Kent says it’s ok to fail once, it’s not ok to failure twice at the same thing. Not learning is the failure.

Q5: Is there a failure Coca-Cola’s made in Social that you’d like to share?

A5: Ha! How long is this chat?

A5: Plenty. That’s how you improve.

A5: Early on we replicated successful content. Of course those versions didn’t spread far. We learned originality is critical online

A5: We also thought early on that we could plan real-time engagement — turns out real-time is, er, real-time.

Q6: How does Coca-Cola feel about user generated content?

A6: I’d say 80%+ of the content & conversation online around our brands is not from us, so UGC is a big part of our engagement

A6: That said, I don’t think brands should completely delegate their proxy to consumers. The best UGC is co-created.

A6: Brands and consumers participating and co-creating together can be a 1+1=3 scenario.

Q7: Can you talk more about the innovation model Coke’s using in terms of 70/20/10?

A7: 70/20/10 is a now/new/next model to ensure we’re innovating in our marketing investment.

A7: 70/20/10 = 70% on what we know works now; 20% on things that are new to our plans; 10% on complete unknowns (next)

Q8: 61MM+ Facebook likes makes Coke FB’s largest brand fan page, how did you grow to that size?

A8: We’re humbled by the size & growth of our FB page. We don’t take it 4 granted & try to fuel a Community that’s of & for our fans

A8: #CocaCola is among the most well-known & ubiquitous brands in the world, our growth on FB has been largely organic.

A8: #CocaCola’s FB fan page typically grows by about 1MM Likes every 10-15 days.

A8: BUT! When we activate poorly or don’t put our Fans First in our FB Community our disconnects can go up by 4x. #BeShareworthy

Q9: How do you think about aggregating Social as a company operating in over 200 countries?

A9: At #CocaCola Social is executed locally. We use internal publishing tools to aggregate, clear & share good content across mrkts

A9: The currency of conversation on social networks manifests locally. It might spread globally, but social is inherently local.

Q10: Are there brands you envy in the Social space? Who do you benchmark?

A10: We envy many – we try to constantly innovate & improve in the space – b/c standing still & the status quo is unacceptable to us

A10: We had Troy Carter (@ladygaga’s manager) at our global marketing mtg. There’s much to learn from the way celebrities use Social

I have been working in and around social media since 2003 (before Twitter . . .) and this is some of the best advice I have seen.

@tomob


On the move – NM Incite

July 5, 2011

I am pleased to announce that I have recently joined the leadership team of NM Incite – the Nielsen McKinsey joint venture.  I will be leading the North America Client Services team – responsible for sales and client service.

NM Incite provides leading marketers and enterprises with “social media intelligence” that enables them to develop a sustainable competitive advantage through high quality insights, metrics and advice. Our world-class analysts and social media consultants leverage Nielsen’s unique technology platform and global footprint to interpret social media trends and insights. Our strategic thought leadership and problem solving approach brings out the capabilities of our clients to fully participate in the process, confidently transform their organizations and make a measurable business impact.

 NM Incite provides the opportunity to expand my work beyond simply using SM for research (powerful though that is) to helping our clients transform their businesses for lasting competitive advantage.  We have a unique set of assets to enable this transformation ranging from brand monitoring and social CRM through SM Research (and hybrid research combining SM research with other streams of data from Nielsen) and finally the capabilities of the NM Incite/McKinsey team to enable business transformation.

My thanks to everyone I have worked with over the last 4 years (8 years, really) working in this business – I’m sure out paths will cross again soon. 

(Yes, the title let me use the only good picture of me windsurfing!)

Tom O’Brien
@tomob


Social Media ROI: Advocacy for BMW

April 11, 2011

This is the real “one number you need to grow”.  I’m sure most of you are familiar with Net Promoter Score.  This is the MotiveQuest version of NPS; observed, organic, real.

We measure advocacy, which is the number of people recommending a brand above any others, and have seen strong relationships between the metric and sales in a number of categories including automotive, cellular, CPG, pharma and others.  The underlying concept is similar to NPS – namely that if people are recommending your brand to others, that you will be better off than if they are NOT recommending your brand.

Here is where it is different from NPS.  We are observing naturally occurring recommendations.  There is no suggestion, no survey, no artifice.  People are either recommending your brand to others or they aren’t.  We have tested this extensively (working with a team at Northwestern’s Kellogg School) to validate the correlations between change in advocacy and change in sales or market share.

Example below from the luxury car category showing the correlation between changes in advocacy and changes in share for BMW.

While the scales are different we can see the positive correlation in advocacy and luxury market share for BMW. Looking at the scatter plot and doing the regression confirms the relationship and it’s statistical significance with a p-value of 5% (we’re 95% confident that there is a positive correlation between advocacy and luxury market share). 

Given the complexity of the automotive category and the economic conditions in this time frame it’s amazing that a single factor model can so nicely line up.  With an understanding of incentives to dealers/buyers, advertising spend and supply issues I’m certain the model could be improved but at the end of the day we’re validating that social media does matter. 

Social media clearly has an impact on sales in this category and others.  Many times the relationship will not be this clear or the category may be so complex that a single variable model cannot tease out the results or there could be errors in the metric (source spam/problems, bad language model, etc…)  but if you believe in the 3 tenets, it’s not surprising and quite intuitive that there should be a link between a social media metric and sales.

Of course, to change advocacy you need to know what drives it – but we do that part too!  We have an underlying analytic model to understand in detail what drives advocacy for any category, brand or competitive set.

@tomob


What if Social Media Doesn’t Matter?

April 7, 2011

Guest Post from MotiveQuest CTO Brook Miller (@brookmiller)

As I’ve worked the last 7 years in building metrics and tools to help companies understand the reasons why people do what they do, 3 facts have become evident:

1) Pretty much everyone is online

2) Online communities are reflective of or an enhancement to traditional social relationships

3) People I know are the best source of product recommendations

The digital trails consumer conversations leave online are a good approximation for the world at large.  The latest pew Internet research report show online population reaching  79% of all Americans.  Furthermore, rather than asking people questions about what they think, we can just observe what they say.  We don’t have to ask people if they do or don’t do something we can observe them.

Online communities are as real and vibrant as any other and are built around long term relationships.  Whether it’s a community like Facebook that looks like friendships I’ve developed throughout life or LinkedIn, the connections I’ve made in business, or on a forum like Rennlist, my boss’s favorite Porsche aficionado site, the community is strong and vibrant, with lots of on-going relationships that grow and fade with new people coming into ask questions from experts or lurkers that keep up with the community without contributing or the occasional visitor that just wants to see what the experts think.  These communities are strong, vibrant and have their analogs in social situations in the offline world.

The impact of person to person recommendations is stronger than advertising or other methods of company sponsored communications, when you want to know what car to buy you ask a car nut, when you want to know how to get the best deals on frequent flyer miles you ask a friend with a passion for travel.  Increasingly, though you’d find your friend saying “go look on flyertalk” there’s a thread for that (can I trademark “there’s a thread for that?”).  I was recently browsing flyertalk to figure out international fares for a 2 year old ( I’ve never booked a child fare before and didn’t want to get screwed) while I was there I saw a new miles promo on United it had been posted and had hundreds of comments before it even reached my inbox from United later that day.

Given that people online are pretty much everyone, the communities represent real social relationships and people I know give the most trusted recommendations we should clearly expect to see that a social media metrics measuring peoples’ recommendations to each other would be reflected in sales.

We measure advocacy, which is the number of people recommending a brand above any others, and have seen strong relationships between the metric and sales in a number of categories. (I’ll post more in the future specific to the nuts and bolts of it)

While the scales are different we can see the positive correlation in advocacy and luxury market share for BMW. Looking at the scatter plot and doing the regression confirms the relationship and it’s statistical significance with a p-value of 5% (we’re 95% confident that there is a positive correlation between advocacy and luxury market share).

Given the complexity of the automotive category and the economic conditions in this time frame it’s amazing that a single factor model can so nicely line up.  With an understanding of incentives to dealers/buyers, advertising spend and supply issues I’m certain the model could be improved but at the end of the day we’re validating that social media does matter.

Social media clearly has an impact on sales in this category and others.  Many times the relationship will not be this clear or the category may be so complex that a single variable model cannot tease out the results or there could be errors in the metric (source spam/problems, bad language model, etc…)  but if you believe in the 3 tenets, it’s not surprising and quite intuitive that there should be a link between a social media metric and sales.


Salesforce + Radian6: What does it mean for you?

April 5, 2011

This is a guest post from David Rabjohns – CEO of MotiveQuest LLC.

In case you haven’t heard, Salesforce.com (the leading B2B Customer Relationship Management software company) bought Radian6, the leading Social Media Monitoring platform this week for $326m.   Forbes Article.

We think the deal marks an interesting inflection point in the social media age. Here is a software company that helps businesses manage their one-on-one relationships, jumping the divide to buy a company that lets brands manage one-on-one relationships. For us it is a glimpse into the possibility of the post mass media, one-on-one, world.

As Forbes imagines:

“Say a consumer tweets that she hates her cell phone service provider (I name no names). This is what a Radian6-Chatter-Salesforce.com combo could do, Kingstone says:

First the company would actually know that the tweet was sent. It would then decide whether to reach out to the customer or wait to hear from her or dismiss her entirely. The response will be dependent upon whether or not she is an “influencer” and, hopefully, has a legitimate gripe.
If it does decide to respond, it will then use the platform to decide what is the right response to make her happy.

Only bits and pieces of this is possible today and usually after a massive investment or internal realignment. Getting to this point won’t necessarily be easy, Kingstone also says. “It will take an integration of Radian6’s listening platform, with Chatter and with Salesforce.com’s 360 degree view of the customer. But it is feasible.””
Nobody really knows what this purchase will mean for the future. But if you are in the social business it is worth keeping in the corner of your eye.

Cheers,

David
@rabjohns


Wikileaks, Obama, The Tea Party and Ford

December 21, 2010

11 years ago, the Cluetrain Manifesto (the end of business as usual) was published.  The only really surprising thing about it (looking back) is that the predictions didn’t happen faster.  Well, I guess it is surprising in another dimension.  The challenges to the modern business corporation were articulated, but it is clear now these same challenges apply to all large hierarchical organizations including governments, political parties, news organizations, etc.  This article is focused on:

Thesis #6: The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media.

Thesis #7: Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy.

Here are four examples of how people are  connecting to each other across the boundaries of time, space & institutional hierarchy using the Internet to subvert authority and established channels of communication..

WikiLeaks: Think what you will of Julian Assange – but he has certainly used the power of the web to attack powerful institutions.  His 2006 essay posits that organizations (like governments) can only gather and hold power IF they are able to keep secrets.  As soon as they can’t keep secrets they will be crippled and doomed.  He has recently acted on this hypothesis in a direct attack on the US Government.  The publication of these materials (by the NYT, Guardian, LeMonde, Der Speigel and El Pais)  certainly made a bigger impact, but he could have acted without any collaboration with mass media and achieved roughly the same result.

Obama: Barak Obama was a long shot underdog early in the 2008 Presidential campaign.   His campaign did many, many things very well but in one particular area, they absolutely trounced the competition.  Obama used the Internet to organize, motivate and dramatically expand his supporters and fundraising.  He did this better that any presidential campaign ever has – and it paid off.

NYT:  How Obama Tapped Into Social Network’s Power.
Wired Magazine:  Obama’s Secret Weapon – Internet, Databases, Psychology.

Tea Party: Of course Obama and the Democrats don’t have a monopoly on using the Internet to subvert the established order.  In the 2010 mid-term elections, the Tea Party used the power of the web to connect a widely distributed group of people who shared distrust of the established political parties – especially Republicans.

The Atlantic:  How the Tea Party Used the Internet to Defeat* The First Internet President

Ford: Ford Motor Company won AdAge 2010 Marketer of the Year accolades for among other reasons being the most aggressive car company on the planet when it comes to using social networks to sell cars.   Ford didn’t fight about whether marketing or public relations owned this channel – instead they collapsed the two into a single communications function.  For two examples of how Ford is reducing their media spending dramatically while reaching ever more people – see below:

Wired Magazine:  Ford Bets the Fiesta on Social Networking
USA Today:  New Ford Explorer to make debut on Facebook

These four examples demonstrate how powerful a force the Internet has become in society – not just for corporations, but also for all large institutions.  We live in an age of disintermediation where each of us can get our information from any source we like and no longer have to accept anyone or anything as the “expert” or the final authority.  There will be much more painful change ahead (mostly for large organizations) as people band together in their own interests.  The smartest of those large organizations will understand the implications of these trends and figure out how to get on the side of the people.

Tom O’Brien
@tomob