How to make it in America

Timely topic, while americans are choosing their next president, Kristin Kunasingam shares her experience from the time she spent at the Chicago Performics offce

Marie Sornin

Saltmotion single surfers auction

Which Distribution Networks Are Best for Your Digital Media & Marketing Plan

I will be participating in a panel at ad:tech in Melbourne on March 31st and thought this would be a good opportunity to get my Blogi boulga readers involved!!!

The discussion topic is:
Which Distribution Networks Are Best for Your Digital Media & Marketing Plan

E Marketer just released a survey about the integration of social in the marketing mix: only 10.5% of interrogated CMOs feel social media is very effectively integrated into their marketing strategies. So, I suspect there is a lot to say on the topic. I’d love to hear your thoughts & ideas to fuel the debate.

As a social media enthusiast, I see it as very broad topic that brings social right in the centre of the discussion: we are not talking media channels any more but distribution networks! From there, the debate opens around the integration of social into strategic planning, content, measurement… even media valuation. What makes me think that? Here are some my initial thoughts around 3 main points: strategy/content/ measurement

          We can’t think straight
Social now impacts channel planning: Strategists and marketers can’t think straight any more, by straight I mean: one dimension. It is not about pull or push it is about circle of influence, content amplification and advocacy and that is “3D”.
How do you think media, advertising & marketing professionals should approach this “3D” job?

          Is the ad break over?
The material we give to customers is shifting: Not all content is created equal: as you can imagine a TVC, a product tutorial is not going to have the same social momentum as piece of branded content… Brilliant example produced by our friends @ ensemble for Splice bringing the Hoff in Australia for Splice ice creams:

This video got apprx 100,000 views over a few weeks.

How does content fit in the brand & media strategy?

          Get more than what you bargained for One impression might worth more than its price: I believe that the TRUE value of a “paid impression” should include the weight of the “earned impressions” it generates. With social monitoring abilities we could be adding a new set of data to media valuation and ROI. In that light, conversation tracking seem very disjointed from traditional brand health survey and sales reporting as well as media evaluation to measure the impact of a campaign….

A nice case study put together by Andrew, digital strategist at Publicis around the recent NAB #break up campaign. Andrew says that “NAB usually hovers at about 22% – along with line with the big competitors ANZ, CBA and Westpac. These last few days things certainly have changed…. Not only are there significantly more mentions for NAB but the data also suggests mentions are overwhelmingly positive.”

Are volume of conversation and sentiment enough to understand brand goodwill and the impact of social on ROI?
How can media owners evaluate talk ability in their negotiation?

Share your point of view on these topics, feel free to comment or send me your thoughts.
I am collecting information and starting to articulate my thoughts to participate in the Panel.
Hope to see you at Ad:tech


Marie Sornin

Getting your start-up on the map

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I recently got contacted by Andrea Shphocleous. She is a journalist and was writing an article for start up smart on location based applications and how small business could/should use them.

I put the following thoughts together to give her some input for her article…

Geo localisation is definitely one of the most interesting movement that social media is currently going through. It opens up fantastic new opportunities for communication integration. The “one screen” strategy becomes more relevant than ever. Users want to be able to consume & share content seamlessly from their TV to their PC and on to their mobile and even in store… Web consumption is booming on mobile (especially at commute times) all the social networks are available through mobile apps… Businesses need to adapt themselves to those trends and challenges! A task that is certainly even harder for small businesses!

I think that companies can win when they understand what their target audience need/want and bring them services and content that match those needs. Since people are consuming media in a different way, they need to bring them content/services/ products in a new way…

Looking specifically at location base platforms: Foursqaure does offer interesting solutions for retailers to drive traffic in store by adding promotions to their location. You don’t need to be Starbucks and have the world’s biggest community to leverage that, some corner coffee shops are generating revenue from it by posting daily specials! Ideas can also come to life within Gowalla or Mytown!

Facebook places is all about sharing with your network (130 friends on average). I believe that Facebook now potentially has the power to win over the other platforms, simply because its reach is much stronger, its audience more engaged and because the other location based platforms haven’t had have a very strong point of difference (so far). Plus, with Facebook deals launching in Q1 2011 in Australia, this point of difference becomes even weaker…

We are now seeing new “social gaming” platform like SCVNRG, sticky bits… emerging. They claim to be more fun (what do you think? have you used them?). They are interesting for commercial integration and that is where we might start seeing point of sale activation linked to social media…

The full article is much more thorough, and well written can be found here: Getting your start-up on the map

Includes Ashadi Hopper and my own contribution

Marie Sornin



What are the three words that will guarantee social media success?

Surely, you will agree with me when I say that social media is a mini revolution in the way people use the Internet. Actually, I feel more accurate in saying a “mega evolution”. In this field marketers can’t assume that users will engage with their brands thanks to high awareness or because they are launching a promotion. Power to the users is more relevant than ever before and this is what makes social media such a complex discipline to master.

Once you’re in, your audience will get in the game (you might not be sure how but they will!). You must lead this game by pushing users to create positive feedback through engagement/ endorsement/ advocacy and eventually purchase intent.
OK pretty obvious, but how? Of course, training, strategic thinking, pro activity and reactivity are all actions that you will need but what is the magic factor that will make it happen?
To me, without a doubt success in social media is linked to three simple words: utility/ value/ entertainment

There are a lot of great campaign examples, such as Burger King Whooper Sacrifice, Tourism Queensland Best Job in the world, Virgin LA-4321, Old Spice, Cannon EOS Photo chain, Best Buys Twelpforce, Ikea Facebook catalogue, Gap Groupon promotion, etc…
Look no further, one way or another all those campaigns are based on one or more of these three magic words! The marketers at the origin of those activations brought to life a strong element of utility and/or value and/or entertainment. On top of that, they have leveraged the fundamentals of social media by letting people own their campaigns.

Firstly, they perfectly analyzed and understood their audience’s social media usage. Accurate insight is the very basic requirement for building engagement. You must know what users do in order to infiltrate and add, improve or influence their behaviors.
They were also ahead of the curve and came up with unique and ground breaking ideas. This is a must in social media: average doesn’t take off.
Finally, because they believed in the power of their strategies, they went ahead without compromising and focused their efforts and resources in developing best in class executions. Unfortunately, diminishing initial creative ideas is a mistake that still happens too often due to the difficulties in evaluating return on investment in social media.

Over the last couple of years a handful of campaigns stood out for me. I have briefly summarized some of them below. As you will see the results and awards speak for themselves.

Burger King Whooper Sacrifice


– The insight: the majority of your social network connections do not belong to your close circle of friends and family. Only 9% of your Facebook connections are friends you would call to go out for a beer. This percentage goes down to 3% on Linkedin and 0.3% on Twitter*.

– The business problem: sell more burgers!

– The campaign: trade each of your unwanted Facebook friends for $0.37 worth of fast food.

– The results**: even though Facebook considered the Burger King application to breach the privacy regulations (“de-friending” notification messages) and eventually pushed Burger King to discontinue the campaign, it was a major success.  In about 2 weeks nearly 234,000 Facebookers were “de-friended” for the sake of a hamburger and Burger King capped Whooper coupons to 25,000.

This is an old campaign but still one of my favorite! Burger King brilliantly turned the consumer insight into a useful, fun and valuable application, no surprise that users jumped on it and we still talk about it years later…

Best Buys Twelpforce:


– The insight: customers want to access help service the way that suits them best. 

– The business problem: how to deliver “dream support”? Ultimately the goal was to increase business and customer loyalty.

– The campaign: use the strength of the Best Buys sales specialists and customer service representatives and enlist a legion of them to respond to questions and concerns about Best Buys products and services that arise in the Twitter stream.

– The results***: after three months of activity (supported by a TV launch) the Twelpforce had grown from 400 to 2,200 Best Buys employees. They had responded to over 13,000 public questions, concerns, and opinions. The Twitter feed @twelpforce now counts over 29,000 followers and the number of questions averages 100-125 per day. This campaign won the 2010 Bronze Cyber Lion award in Cannes.

The great thing about this campaign is that Best Buys did encourage their employees to actively take part in the program. They provided training and guidelines and gave them a voice to express their passion and knowledge. Spontaneity, involvement was all it took to get this project to fly… What a useful and valuable tool for the customers, and for the employees!


Gap & Groupon back to school promotion:




– The insight: break back to school sales record

– The business problem: break through in the midst of back to school offers and drive more customers to Gap stores nationally.

– The campaign: 50% discount exclusively available through Groupon: get $50 worth of Gap apparel and accessories for $25 only.

– The results****: the volume of takers was immediate and massive: nearly 300,000 purchases on the first day. This is Groupon’s best seller ever! (about 10 Groupons per second).

 Gap is clearly heading into social and geo localization and is putting its marketing powerhouse behind it. It was the first retailer to launch a massive 25% discount on Foursqaure earlier in September and then moved on to this partnership with Groupon. One might argue that such discounts are not necessary and have a huge cost to Gap but I think that the buzz and learnings generated by the campaign will be very valuable for the future of the business.

Canon EOS photo chain



– The insight: the photographers community is made of various levels: from total beginners to professionals.

– The business problem: how to position Canon DSLR products at the heart of the photographers’ community?

– The campaign:  photo chain is an online platform where each shot taken by an individual inspires the next. It’s about a community of photographers working together and contributing their photos to keep the chains alive and growing.

– The results: throughout the campaign 18,709 images were uploaded, while photo chains images have been viewed almost 2 million times and 19,271 people signed up as members of the Canon EOS website.
This campaign won the 2010 IAB Australia social media award.

This is a beautiful creation from which emerged an active community. It is a fantastic way to produce earned content and build advocacy naturally. Definitely worth checking out, some of the images are stunning!


To finish off, I would say that when implementing a social media campaign, think of yourself as a user. As simple as that: evaluate your idea by asking yourself if you would engage with it? If the answer is yes: define your measurement metrics, set up organization processes within your team, a listening platform and go for it. Test and experiment…. and remember the 3 words, the 3 magic words: utility/ value/ entertainment


*Publicis worldwide research 2009
** Adweek
*** Quotes from John Bernier, a Social Media Manager at Best Buys**** Quotes from Julie Mossler a spokeswoman for Groupon


Nielsen inaugural digital agency forum- Social and mobile key facts

On June 17th, the Nielsen Australia team got in front of the digital media industry in Sydney to present an update on the company’s strategy, new upcoming tools and their latest findings on social and mobile measurement:
Here is a summary of the key facts around social media and mobile

1- Social media:
All the data about who is using social media is very straight forward. It was interesting to see that Australia is setting the trend globally in terms of engaging with social media: Australians spend the most time on social sites: over 7 min in April 2010.  As comparison, the USA are just behind with approx 6 min,


Nielsen also revealed the findings of their social media marketing study, here are the highlights:
–        50% of Australian businesses agree that they risk losing touch with their customers if they don’t employ social media activities
–        They should be 71% to participate in social media by the end of 2010 (from 40% prior to 2009)
–        The main barriers to using social media are around measurement of ROI and difficulties to set up KPIs and a lack of knowledge/ expertise to get involved in social media
So as a conclusion, we could say that social media is being embraced by Australian companies but in an unstructured way and there seems to be a great need for education and measurement.

2- Mobile:
Number of daily UBs has pretty much doubled since the beginning of the year


The first ever mobile measurement was released in Market Intelligence on May 12th 2010. Nielsen is now looking at integrating mobile and web reporting with device reporting on local markets
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