• "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena..."

Last Friday I attended a presentation by my boss.  He’s not a neuro-scientist, but has an interest in the brain’s ability to process information. I won’t go through the whole presentation, but basically, the “logical” brain can only hold 5 to 9 bits of information at a time. That means above 9 bits of information, the brain can’t make a logical decision, it’s overloaded and cannot weigh all the elements offered to it to make a rational decision. Therefore, at that point, the brain relies on emotional input form other brain sectors (hearing, vision, smell,etc.) to make a decision.  If there is no emotional tie, the brain basically freezes up and can’t make a decision.  9 bits of info is not a lot – that means that to make most decisions, the brain relies on emotional input!

What this means for company sites

Keep your sites and applications simple so that the user can quickly understand what to do.  Don’t overload with information and options. Two nice examples are Pandora’s site and iPhone app and the new BBC site.

What this means for company clients

This also demonstrates the importance of building relationships with existing customers and potential customers. If the brain uses emotional responses to make most decisions wouldn’t you want your brand to evoke positive feelings so your customer will choose you without thinking? Think about it (pun intended).

What this means for me

I find this is why I have a hard time writing posts…too many ideas flow in at the same time that I get a brain freeze and I end-up not writing anything. I’m happy I found the cause of this brain freeze and can start working on this.

What do you think?

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A while ago, I was stuck in a job I hated. I was a Database Marketing Administrator for a manufacturing company. I pretty quickly realized I needed a change. And so I did what most of you would do, I went through my list of contacts that could maybe help me out get out of that place.  In the end it was an online job posting that got me back on track… But I did have a great conversation with one of the founders of a top Canadian airline.  What he told me was something like this (I’m paraphrasing, but I think the point is there) –

It’s great that you realize that you don’t like it there are looking for something new, but take your time…make sure you don’t get lost again along the way by simply finding a new job. Young people these days are so inpatient, they’re in such a rush – it’s taken me years to build this company.

So I stopped an thought about it…and thought about it again.  I finally realized I wanted to go back to working in the web – more on the marketing & biz dev side of things in downtown Montreal. So I started looking for that instead of calling up all my contacts at random. I like to think that I have taken my time and I’m very happy about where I currently am and I’m happy I took the time to figure it out…I got to work at an small and interesting dotcom in a cool part of the city; I got to be an Account Manager/Web Strategist at Canada’s largest home-grown ad agency and now I’m the go-to social media guy at the largest provider of English and French language pay and specialty television in Canada.

Come to think of it, I can even say that ever since I did take that step back, great things have been happening at a much faster pace.

What about you? Have you ever had to stop and “figure stuff out” or did you find your passion right away? Are you in a rush to get there or are you happy with taking your time?

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That’s a question I was asked following my previous post which I admit was a little dry and not very insightful.

So what does happen next? Well as Chris Brogan mentions in the video I had posted, he spends most of his time listening. He uses Twitter Search. There are other tools such as Google Blog Search.

If the next question are: Who does the listening? or What do we say?

I guess the answer to the first question is – that depends on you…who will be communicating and connecting? That’s who should be doing the listening.

The answer to the second is – well what are people saying? Answer them, engage with them…make them feel special. They are your customers, your viewers, your listeners…

Does that answer part of the question? Anything more to add?

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Social media is not a new broadcasting forum

Social media is not a new broadcasting forum

Social media is not a new broadcasting forum

Social media is not a new broadcasting forum

Social media is not a new broadcasting forum

Social media is not a new broadcasting forum…

Check out Chris Brogan’s latest talk for some great insights…

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Hello readers, yeah all 4 of you!  I realize that we don’t really know each other…and I’m sorry about that!

For me, I’ve been working in web and marketing since I’ve graduated from McGill.  After close to 3 years at Cossette, I’m now a Social Media Specialist at Astral Media — the Specialty TV division more specifically.  I’m there to help develop and implement strategies for projects and their brands.  I’ll also be training internal teams.

And that’s what I try to talk about – My experiences with social Media in the broadcasting/media industry.  I also talk about my experiences and stuff that I read. You should also know that I’m trying to improve my writing skills so that the read is more plesent for you…

I’ve been here for about a month and so far I’m noticing that the industry is having a hard time implementing social media and communicating directly with their customers.  The media industry has always been about one-way communications – that’s the nature of the industry.  If I have my say though…things will change :)

What about you? Who are you? Leave a comment, say hello!

Talk to you soon!

(Photo credit:  Roc 78)

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Those are the lines of the Metallica song Damage, Inc. off of Master of Puppets (Affiliate link). The song is about honesty and rebellion. The reason I thought of it is Fagstein‘s latest post – A plea to end media hypocrisy. The key takeaway of the post is:

What I’m asking is for the media to understand that bullshitting your consumers just isn’t going to work anymore. They’re too smart to fall for it, and they’re going to look elsewhere if they don’t feel they can get the full story from you.

Actually, this is pretty much true of ALL industries!

A similar point was raised by Mitch Joel and Joseph Jaffe during a recent Podcast Nurturing Your Best Customers.

Do social initiatives really affect consumers that are not “social-techno-geeks”? Are we all smarter customers now? What do you think?

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Last week Wired released a video of what they think will be the future of publishing.

As Mitch Joel has mentioned, this is more of a brand extension than the death of publishing.

I would argue that the same is true of TV. The advent of video online on sites like YouTube, Hulu and Tou.tv as well as iTunes have already made TV content available on a multitude of platforms. Similarly, sites such as Facebook and Ustream have made it possible for users to comment during live events. The consolidation of these services is the next step for TV. Much like what Adobe is doing with Wired, the advent of products such as the iPad will enable users to consume their TV in a much more dynamic way – delving further into sub-plots, looking back at character histories and so on.

The ones that will benefit the most will be broadcasters that also have a print presence. Imagine reading your National Geographic and switching to a full length documentary with the touch of a finger. Media companies with multiple branches (print, broadcast and radio) will easily cross promote content.

What do you think?

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Today I was reminded of a presentation Cossette did on the 7 elements of a social media strategy (I admit, I’ve helped write these up):

  1. Monitor and listen
  2. Define your objectives
  3. Identify your target
  4. Determine your strategy
    1. The content
    2. Blog or account guidelines
    3. The frequency of posts
  5. Determine the tonality of your account/blog and its personality
  6. Share your content and dialogue (80% conversation and 20% enterprise/commercial)
  7. Evaluate the results and adjust

I think I was really green (or hadn’t had my coffee yet) when I helped come up with these points.  This almost sounds like a recipe .  Some points are really valid, but these are more like 7 tactics to a social media strategy.  What’s really important to remember is that you are trying to participate in a conversation with your community to build trust.  That’s the major point.  These 7 points will help you identify interesting communities and identify your objectives and strategy, but never forget that social media is all about the community and not a to do list.  So the points should read a little more like this:

  1. I have a product or service and I want to ad value to my customers (remember don’t call it monitoring)
  2. Listen to what is being said about your product/service and industry
  3. Define your objectives – See where you can add value and how can you engage your community
  4. Identify where you want to contribute
  5. Your strategy and tone will depend on your community – some are more active than others, but the more value you can add, the better
  6. Add value…always.  Don’t worry about how often to talk about your products and services (it will come naturally)
  7. Evaluate the results and adjust

Also – read Trust Agents by @chrisbrogan and @julien – honestly…do it!

What do you think?  Sometimes I feel lists are too reductive.




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I was going to write something about Google Buzz, but it’s really too early for me to really have an opinion.  I know Steve Rubel isn’t a big fan of it and his points are valid.  I think it does have a chance depending on what Google does with it (ie.: Facebook integration, further Twitter integration so that Buzz updates will update Twitter, etc.).

In the mean time, I will talk about Brand Monitoring.
It’s pretty well accepted that monitoring is important and there are plenty of free and paid tools out there.  But this morning I read an article on Marketing Profs Daily Fix – Four Steps to Obtain Budget for Monitoring in 2010.
The four steps are –
Step 1: Call it “Strategic Listening” – It’s actually more than monitoring, it helps you “solve business problems”
Step 2: Demonstrate Due Diligence – Do your research, there are plenty of tools out there (I think it’s also important to include pricing information here).
Step 3: Create a Listening Team – Figure out who on the team will do the listening.  Ideally you want to include “people from market research, consumer insights, marketing, PR, product development and customer service”
Step 4: Develop a Workflow To Respond – Determine who will respond when people talk
Basically, this says, come prepared, which obviously makes complete sense.  I like how it helps identify the key issues at hand with monitoring (or should I say, with strategic listening).
Another big plus is that, when you get the go-ahead, you’ll be already fully prepared.
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Can this Onion Ring get more fans than Stephen Harper? This being Friday afternoon and all, I have a story for you. One of an Onion Ring…

This week a Facebook Fan Page opened up — Can this Onion Ring get more fans than Stephen Harper — I have actually signed up to the page.  In the meantime the Canadian Prime Minister has roughly 30 000 fans.

Well the Onion Ring has won…hands down! Close to 70,000 fans and just under 100 fan photos and over 300 links submitted in less than a week.  I don’t know if this will have any sort of political impact, nor do I know if it was set-up to have an impact. I think it was more for fun.

One noticeable impact is on businesses.  A company — South St Burgers — is using this social media initiative for marketing purposes…they are offering free onion rings to any fan of the page. I had never heard of them because they have no franchises in Montreal, but I’ll definitely swing by when I’m in western Canada. It’s great to see that a larger company that leverages social media and is using it for marketing purposes.  I wonder if it will work out for them?

The moral of the story is — listen to what’s going on, it’s surprising what you can get out of it…

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