Millennials Unplugged: Insights into the World of Snapchat (#2)

Posted by: in Communication Strategy, Millennials Unplugged, Social Media Insights & Trends, W2O Group on February 25, 2015

More than 700 million photos and videos are shared each day on Snapchat, arguably the hottest service for millennials in social media.  We decided to look at Snapchat from the perspective of a millennial (Brittany) and a boomer (Bob) with the help of survey results from millennial friends, including the W2O Millennial Committee.   Here are our top 11 insights.

#1 – The Heirarchy of “Moments” – Snapchat is mainly used to show what you are doing in the moment.  The quick reveal.  If a photo is more historical, Instagram is the favorite and if you are sharing more than one photo for posterity, you go to Facebook.  There is a genuine hierarchy of moments that defines which social channel is used.

#2 – Entertainment Defined as How we Distract Ourselves – we have heard entertainment be defined as “how we choose to distract ourselves”.  Snapchat is most often used randomly, sometimes during school, often on the weekends, but less at work.  It’s becoming a way to entertain ourselves via a quick distraction.  We choose these seconds long time points to laugh, smile or just communicate.

#3 – Snapchats are Safer than Texting – most millennials believe their snapchats are kept and can be found in the future, but many don’t care.  With texting, however, you have to care, since a text doesn’t go away right away.  So millennials appear to feel more safety with Snapchat than texting, even though you can delete your texts.  That little bit of extra work makes texts feel very different in this regard.

#4 – Knowing Parents aren’t in Snapchat is a Gamechanger – millennials send messages on Snapchat they would not send on other channels.  And that’s because of a major bonus of Snapchat.  Most co-workers and almost all parents aren’t on Snapchat!  They are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.  You can also send a Snapchat directly to a friend or friends, so you have more control and far less oversight of “those people”, which includes parents, cousins, aunts, uncles and other potential snoopers.

#5 – Snap Stories is a rival to Facebook News – you can share stories that last 24 hours, everyone can see the story and once you watch it, it goes away.  Plus, you can see who has seen it so far.  This is competitive with Facebook’s news site and may even serve as a replacement for some.

#6 – Introduction to Mainstream News is Happening – Snapchat is sharing advertising videos from media outlets like CNN and Cosmopolitan where you can get the latest story and a couple of key facts.  A very smart way to introduce those on Snapchat to brands in a non-intimidating way.   And maybe news will get cool again.

#7 – Why We Snapchat – most reasons center around being funny, sharing an offbeat moment, sharing location or commiserating with friends.  Examples range from making a selfie with a doodle (drawing on face with your finger), making an odd face, showing a scenic scene, saying hi to a friend from a location or simply showing a picture of your face with the temperature on it and saying “ugh class”.

#8 – Stay Under 15 Seconds – any story over 15 seconds is considered to be annoying.  This actually makes sense, since the content is not all that serious.  No one really wants to see you drink a smoothie for 30 seconds.

#9 – Brand Loyalty is Low – 75% of those we talked with don’t care if Snapchat becomes available in a similar service or if it becomes old news.  This is showing us that millennials love Snapchat now, but they will also love what is next just as much.

#10 – Text is Favorite Way to Send a Quick Message – text still wins.  We think it is because with Snapchat, a message pops up with a person’s name, but a text pops up with a person’s name and the message.  Just like #3, making things a little bit easier makes a big difference in usage patterns.

#11 – Low Awareness of FTC Issue or Valuation – very few people were aware that Snapchat settled with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) due to privacy and compliance issues and even fewer knew what the valuation of Snapchat is (ranged from $100MM to $1bn to $2bn to $10bn).   Once again, what matters to GenX and Boomers for regulatory or financial issues is largely irrelevant and ignored by millennials for social media.  Millennials care about the channel and what it does, period.

Hope you enjoy.

 Brittany Pearson (millennial) and Bob Pearson (boomer)

By: Bob Pearson

Bob is the President of W2O Group, an independent network of digital communications and marketing companies. He is an author, frequent speaker and instructor for Rutgers center for management development. After the success of his book Pre-Commerce, Bob is currently working on a new book on the future of media titled Storytizing that will be available in 2014. Prior to W2O Group, Bob worked as VP of Communities and Conversations at Dell to develop the Fortune 500’s first global social media function -- an industry-leading approach to the use of social media, as highlighted in the best seller, GroundSwell. Before Dell, Bob was Head of Global Corporate Communications and Head of Global Pharma Communications at Novartis Pharmaceuticals in Basel, Switzerland, where he served on the Pharma Executive Committee. He also serves on a variety of Boards in health and technology. Highlights include serving as an original member of the P&G digital advisory board and being appointed by the Governor of Texas to serve as chair and vice chair of the emerging technology fund for the State of Texas.

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Pre-Commerce Check out W2O Group President Bob Pearson's new book, Pre-Commerce, in which he shares ideas for leaders to engage directly with customers to shape their brand and marketplace success. Now available for order on Amazon.com! http://amzn.to/bAmvFN. Join the conversation #precommerce.

My Key Takeaways from the In2 Innovation Summit

Posted by: in Analytics, CMO, Communication, Content, Insights, Social Media Insights & Trends, Technology, W2O Group on February 23, 2015

In2

Last week I had the pleasure of attending The Holmes Report’s In2 Innovation Summit in San Francisco, “a global network of events that explore innovation, disruption and evolution that has — and continues to —redefine influence and engagement.” That’s a lot to take in, right? “Redefine influence and engagement.” What does that mean? Well, here’s three things I took away from the conference:

- Storytelling is alive and kicking, but participation is key. Daina Middleton, head of global business marketing for Twitter discussed how today we are in the age of participation. In her book, “Marketing in the Participation Age,” she discusses how now is the time to evolve from the traditional marketing methodology developed over 50 years ago to one that embraces how people engage in conversations today. The world has become smaller and more complex. It’s not a competition in who can be the loudest. There’s so much content available and people are now choosing how, when and where they spend their time consuming content. Daina discussed how the key for customer participation is to activate all three elements of the framework:

  1. Discover: The human desire to continually learn, and the satisfaction of becoming competent at something. In what ways are you inviting participants to learn more about your product/brand?
  2. Empower: Inviting someone to have a meaningful contribution to the brand and/or product. Do you invite participants to connect with the brand: provide feedback, offer tips and suggestions, and help to create the product itself?
  3. Connect: Humans love to interact with others in meaningful ways. Brands often only think of creating environments that allow Participants to connect with the brand, but do you build environments that foster relationships with others who may share the same interest?

- Chief Marketing Officers are under pressure to show ROI. We heard from some of the biggest brands this week: Starbucks, MasterCard and one of my favorite brands, Method. These leading brands are all on the cutting edge of engaging in a more participative conversation with their customers. I am a brand advocate for Method. Why? I tell everyone how much I love their laundry detergent. I also proudly have their hand soap on my sink counter vs. in a soap dispenser that matches my bathroom decor. Why? I am proud of my decision to bring a brand into my home that is socially responsible. That’s all great and fine, but how does that translate into sales? Despite all the chatter around mobile and the term “big data,” many chief marketing officers (CMOs) are at a standstill in reaching digital and data-focused marketing goals. Why? Internal silos, resistance to change within their companies and limited expertise with emerging technologies and solutions. Here’s the Oprah aha moment: Companies can’t keep up with the pace of consumer adoption. How do you fix the problem? Baby steps. First, ensure you’re CEO is supporting the cause. Are business objectives clear and do they align with marketing objectives? Second, CMOs must get all functions of the marketing organization to talk to their finance and IT departments. The idea is to find an approach that works for all functions and to slowly identify ways to measure the connection of marketing to sales. That approach can include the use of CRM data, scan data from supermarkets, insights from digital conversations and/or measurement of influencer engagement, to name a few.

- Analytics and Insight – no longer just an afterschool special! During the conference, I heard one of our leaders Bob Pearson at W2O Group say that companies are starting to develop insights through analytics, but then they stuff it in their pocket and move on with their regularly broadcasted TV program. Worse yet, if they do use analytics, the insight is elementary… learning of “likes” and “RTs” is not a strategy. In the course of the conference, there was a panel discussion entitled, “Speaking CEO – The Next Frontier in Measurement & Analytics.” It was clear that the panel participants, including Seth Duncan from W2O Group, are on the forefront of analytics and insights. The idea is to actually use insight to help make strategic business decisions, not just communications decisions. Overlapping market segments with an understanding of where customers spend their time online, plus insight into what their passions are could be incredibly lucrative. It means not just counting the numbers, it means understanding human behavior. Once you do that, it’s not just about holding onto that data, it’s about identifying how to align with business objectives. It’s about creating the right conversation, identifying the right channels online and offline and it’s about having an engaged experience with your customers. Not only that, do it fast, be agile and evolve it over time.

So, you can see that the market is ready for us to redefine the way we influence and engage. It’s about participating in a conversation. It’s about understanding how people behave, what gets them excited. Where are they spending their time? It’s about finding ways to engage all parts of your organization to identify opportunities to link marketing to sales. Finally, it’s about taking those insights and turning it into action – FAST!

Diane Parrish, Group Director, WCG World

Diane Parrish, Group Director, WCG World

By: Diane Parrish

With almost two decades of experience driving award-winning communications platforms at Fortune 500 companies, start ups, and global PR agencies, Diane brings significant communications strategy and leadership firepower to WCG. Her experience spans various technology categories, such as enterprise hardware and software, storage, printing, cloud computing, mobile platforms, social media, personal computers, chip manufacturers, operating systems, interactive TV, and document management. Diane is driving change and growth through “pragmatic disruption” for the world’s leading technology brands by applying two decades of experience. The result: insight fueled by more precise planning; compelling experiences; increased influence and relevance for our clients among key stakeholder groups; and a competitive advantage. Before joining WCG, Diane provided strategic council and the development of content for executives at Cisco Systems. Prior to that, Diane held communications roles at Hewlett-Packard Company (HP), including Director of Executive Communications for HP’s Imaging and Printing Group. Diane also held roles at HP in business development, including management of Google, MySpace, Disney, and Viacom (MTV, Nickelodeon and NickJr). Diane received a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from San Jose State University and holds a marketing certificate from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business. She lives in Marin County with her husband and twin daughters. @dianeparrish

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Pre-Commerce Check out W2O Group President Bob Pearson's new book, Pre-Commerce, in which he shares ideas for leaders to engage directly with customers to shape their brand and marketplace success. Now available for order on Amazon.com! http://amzn.to/bAmvFN. Join the conversation #precommerce.

SXSW Will Be Our Best Ever! Are You Coming?

Posted by: in Content, Social Commerce, Social Media Insights & Trends, Technology, Thought Leadership, W2O Group on February 18, 2015

There are three certainties in life… death, taxes and the fact that our company, W2O Group, will once again be hosting some awesome events during SXSW Interactive. Unless you live under a rock, you know this is one of the largest interactive conferences on this planet. Over 100,000 of the top digital, social and mobile minds from around the world haling from companies large and small, agencies, startups, etc. come to Austin, TX to network, attend panels and catch up on the latest trends. Many of these attendees are influential bloggers, senior marketing and communications professionals and journalists who report back on who is doing what in the interactive space.

Because a significant number of our clients at W2O Group (WCG, Twist and BrewLife) are now involved with SXSW Interactive, over the last six years we have developed a series of events during SXSW that complement all of the activities that go on during that time. Our signature event, the PreCommerce Summit, takes place on March 12 (Thursday) from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM and is packed with speakers from well-known brands like H&R Block, Google, Twitter, Verizon, Patrón and Bayer. We will also have thought leaders from companies like Techonomy, NBC and Bloomberg providing industry insights. Did we mention that we are honored to have none other than Al Roker, co-anchor of the Today Show, and a special fireside chat between Tech moguls, David Kirkpatrick (author of The Facebook Effect) and VJ Joshi (former EVP of printing at Hewlett Packard)?

ALRoker

Jon Harris (former head of comms at Hillshire Brands and media personality), will be interviewing Al at our event. You can hear more in our Live from Stubbs interview with Jon here on what he and Al will cover.

This event will be attended by about 400 plus customers and other industry thought leaders. A cocktail reception will follow. The event is complementary, but invite only. If you are interested in attending, please email us at info@w2ogroup.com. In that email, be sure to provide name, title and company. We will also be live streaming the event via UStream if you can’t physically be there. Registration is open to the public (RSVP here).

We will also host a digital brunch at our (not so) new office located in East Austin. If you like food trucks (hint: Gordoughs will be one), music, cocktails and lost of interesting people, you will enjoy this.

Every SXSW, we do our best to cover “what’s next” in digital. This year, we’re planning to host our first GeekFest on Saturday at The Austonian between 10am – 2pm. We have 12 speakers including Becky Brown, VP of media at Intel and TK Keanini, CTO of Lancope to give 15 minute talks with some time for Q&A every 3-4 talks. We will have no more than 70 people in attendance. This event is being sponsored by Synthesio.

In addition to our PreCommerce Summit (selected talks from last year’s event), Digital Brunch and Geekfest, we will also host our sixth annual Geek-a-Cue Saturday night at the historic Charles Johnson House (on the Colorado River). This is the house MTV uses to host its SXSW Music parties so you know it’s good. We were sad to not host our Geek-a-cue for a fourth time at world famous Franklin’s BBQ, but with their new expansion we simply ran out of room. Not to worry, however, because we are pleased to bring you one of Austin’s newest gems, Terry Blacks. While we won’t pretend anyone can cook brisket like Aaron Franklin… the Black brothers (their grandfather is Terry Black who opened Blacks in Lockhart 83 years ago) come pretty damn close.

Oh, did we mention that we have two AMAZING bands this year as well? For openers, we’ll have Austin favorite, Monte Montgomery. And then for our main act, we are featuring Black Joe Lewis (yes, that Black Joe Lewis that has appeared on Letterman and countless music festivals).

Check out my 2014 wrap up post to get a better flavor of the awesomeness you will experience this year.

Here are eventbrite links/descriptions of the events:

  • Friday, March 13th: Digital Brunch (400+ director to CMO level brand marketers/digital/social folks expected)
    • RSVP Here (no password required)
    • 3000 East Cesar Chavez, Austin
    • 10:00 AM – 2 PM
    • Food trucks, music, innovative demos, coffee, brunch, and mimosa/Bloody Marys to fuel your first festival day
    • Shuttles available from the Stephen F. Austin Hotel starting at 9:45am
  • 6th Annual Geek-a-cue: Saturday, March 14th:  (800 director to CMO level brand marketers/digital/social folks expected)
    • RSVP Here (password required – email info@w2ogroup.com to request invite)
    • Charles Johnson House – 404 Atlanta Street, Austin, TX
    • 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
    • Roundtrip shuttle available from the Stephan F. Austin Hotel starting at 4:45 PM
    • To RSVP contact info@w2ogroup.com (space is limited)

As you can imagine, space is limited at these events so please make sure to RSVP soon. And if you do RSVP and decide after that you can’t make it, please be courteous and let us/me know that your slot is available.

We are over-the-moon excited to have Sysomos, DataSift, ClarabridgeSprinklr, Businesswire and Bayer as our sponsors this year. We greatly appreciate their support.

By: Aaron Strout

Aaron leads the technology practice at W2O Group and is a regular contributor to Marketing Land. In his spare time, he podcasts, speaks, Twitters and BBQs. He also loves his Instagram.

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Pre-Commerce Check out W2O Group President Bob Pearson's new book, Pre-Commerce, in which he shares ideas for leaders to engage directly with customers to shape their brand and marketplace success. Now available for order on Amazon.com! http://amzn.to/bAmvFN. Join the conversation #precommerce.

Jim Weiss – Innovator of the Year

Posted by: in Culture, executive insights, Innovation, Jim Weiss, Thought Leadership, W2O Group on February 18, 2015

Jim Wins In2

Back in October our CEO and Chairman, Jim Weiss, was awarded Innovator of the Year by The Holmes Report. As stated in the 2014 Innovator 25 post announcement by Aarti Shah of The Holmes Report, “We launched the In2 Innovator 25 in 2013 to celebrate those who have contributed great work or ideas that have pushed our industry forward. The 2014 Innovator 25 now takes another glimpse at our industry’s future, shining the light on those individuals who are shaping what influence and engagement will look like tomorrow.” Our fearless CEO has done just that.

Jim has been relentless in pushing our industry forward by hiring the best in the business, and transforming the agency from a strictly healthcare PR and IR firm to an integrated firm grounded in marketing and communications across health, tech and consumer, underpinning these offerings with analytics and software. Most impressively, Jim has done this without taking in any outside money, working on client (and new) business and maintaining one P&L even after splitting the firm into separate companies.

Jim’s passion for the business shows through not only his work, but also through the way he interacts and cares for his employees.  He is always encouraging and enabling people to maintain their personal brands at the firm whether it is through writing books, blogging on our company blog, teaching at schools or internally, or speaking at events. He even offers employees a  five week sabbatical program after 5 years of service (I can’t wait to take mine next year)!

For anyone that saw our recent announcement about W2O Group’s acquisition of boutique (and award winning) communications and media agency, ARC2, understands that Jim has an uncanny ability to spot, support and partner with fellow entrepreneurs. To that end, three of W2O Group’s clients — Becky Brown of Intel, Andrew Bowins of Mastercard and Mark Stouse (formerly) of BMC have all won this same award. Birds of a feather!

If that wasn’t enough, Jim has also partnered with leaders like Bob Pearson and Gary Grates to launch the W2O/Newhouse Center for Social Commerce (funded by Jim and his wife, Audra), which is the best and largest communications school in the country.

Congratulations again, Jim! This award is well-deserved.

p.s. The “IT Came from Syracuse visual was created by our Chief Creative Officer, Mike Hartman as an homage to Jim’s legacy. This cover was on the back program of the In2 Summit’s program.

By: Aaron Strout

Aaron leads the technology practice at W2O Group and is a regular contributor to Marketing Land. In his spare time, he podcasts, speaks, Twitters and BBQs. He also loves his Instagram.

Find me on: Twitter Facebook
Pre-Commerce Check out W2O Group President Bob Pearson's new book, Pre-Commerce, in which he shares ideas for leaders to engage directly with customers to shape their brand and marketplace success. Now available for order on Amazon.com! http://amzn.to/bAmvFN. Join the conversation #precommerce.

Why Two is Better than One

Posted by: in Healthcare Insights, Healthcare Technology, Innovation, Insights, Jim Weiss, Thought Leadership, W2O Group on February 17, 2015

In his book Powers of Two,” Joshua Wolf Shenk argues that the chemistry of creative pairs — of people, of groups — forms the primary basis of innovation. He makes the case that creativity is most commonly the result of two people interacting in a variety of ways: complementary collaboration, mutual inspiration and creative rivalry.

The publication of this book gave us the explanation of why our decade-long professional pairing had continually kept us moving forward together to seek the next interesting way or place to innovate on behalf of our clients. As a duo or creative team, we were more capable of pushing the envelope, challenging the status quo and breaking the mold on healthcare communications than we were on our own. Now it’s time to bring that philosophy to life again and pair our creativity with the innovators at W2O.

A little background:

We met in the communications department at Amgen and subsequently moved on to head the H+K Strategies West Coast Healthcare team.

But while there, we felt the ground shifting. We realized there were new ways to reach the healthcare consumer that involved the entertainment and media world that no one in healthcare was exploiting. Many of these companies and opportunities were in our backyard – Hollywood.

Although we were learning, growing and leading, we felt that we lacked the freedom to explore a new phenomenon — the blurred lines of PR and marketing. We knew we were missing an opportunity to reach audiences vital to the business objectives of our clients.

Therefore, we struck out on our own to form ARC2 Communications & Media. We had many supporters and mentors as we made the transition from employees to entrepreneurs. One of those was Jim Weiss, a name synonymous with bold entrepreneurialism and innovation in healthcare communications. From the beginning, Jim was both a supporter and a mentor. We wanted to be like Jim. In fact, one of ARC2’s first blogs thanked Jim for his amazing advice and friendship.

Our three years at the helm of ARC2 gave us the opportunity to create and execute award-winning leadership programs and take pharma companies into territory previously only leveraged by consumer companies. We will save details of that for another post!

We have stayed in touch with Jim and his leadership team and have watched as they have expanded beyond their roots in healthcare to bring innovation in data-driven insights and content creation to technology, financial and consumer clients. We admire the way W2O continues to evolve and challenge the status quo and to do things differently. Jim and his team are not afraid to experiment and take risks. And that’s why this “Power of Two” has decided that it’s time to exponentially expand on what we’ve created by joining the Power of the W2O Group.

- Andrea Rothschild & Christine Cassiano

Pre-Commerce Check out W2O Group President Bob Pearson's new book, Pre-Commerce, in which he shares ideas for leaders to engage directly with customers to shape their brand and marketplace success. Now available for order on Amazon.com! http://amzn.to/bAmvFN. Join the conversation #precommerce.