mckinsey study identifies benefits of networked enterprise

By on Mar 27, 2013 in social software |

McKinsey Quarterly has published the results of their survey on the Evolution of the Networked Enterprise. Buried in the results are some interesting benefits, reported by participants:

presentations from dublin and zagreb

By on Mar 27, 2013 in conferences/events, edelman |

A couple weeks ago, I spoke at two conferences – DMX Dublin and Marketing Kingdom Zagreb. Because the two were back to back – with a handful of missed flight connections in between – I used essentially the same set of slides for both. My main point? The “social media strategy” of most brands are really just tactical approach that generate social media specific measurements rather than measurable progress towards pre-defined business objectives. DMX and Marketing Kingdom from Robin Hamman  ...

happy 8th birthday… sort of

By on Mar 27, 2013 in digital history |

Last Sunday was the 8th anniversary of this blog – which I started on the 24th of March, 2005. I’d had a website for a long time before that, however, with versions captured by the Way Back Machine going all the way back to 1996. It looks like I began posting regular updates, in reverse chronological order – blogging – in around 1997 when I started publishing photos and stories from my travels. I also, around the same time, created a page called “dress Robin” where visitors to the site could help me choose what to wear. It was a strange time. The fact that I was one of the few people I knew who knew how to make a simple web page encouraged me to put the following strap-line on my pages: As well as being a starving student, Robin Hamman is also an experienced web publisher. If you would like more information on low cost web pages for yourself or business, please contact Robin. This page was created using Adobe Pagemill for Macintosh. Until recently, this site was maintained using a Macintosh Powerbook 520c. We are now using a Macintosh Performa 6400 PowerPC. Demon Internet and America Online provide the web space for this site. I guess use of the word “we” was an attempt to make it sound like I wasn’t a one man band. In the mid-90’s, I only sold one website, and that was a simple one page site for the estate agent who rented me a room in a shared house in Liverpool. I think he gave me a few months free rent in exchange for building and maintaining the page. Here’s a screenshot of my homepage in 2003 which, you’ll have to believe me, was a dramatic improvement on previous iterations:   So what was the internet like in the mid 90’s? Well, here’s a glimpse of what, back then, was the...

plugging the strategic void

By on Mar 21, 2013 in conferences/events, edelman, social software |

Over the past week, I’ve participated in three marketing and social media conferences, as a speaker at two and moderating a panel at the other one. Digital and social media has, of course, evolved significantly since I first started out in the industry over 13 years ago. The creativity expressed in brand activations has, over that time, lept forward significantly, just as the technologies that support them have evolved into sophisticated platforms for managing content, building participatory frameworks, and tracking behaviours. But there’s still, I feel, too often a gaping void where strategy and measurement of progress towards meeting strategic objectives should be. I’m not the only person to observe this. Back in January, Robert Philips, former EMEA CEO of Edelman and an astute observer of the PR and Marketing industries, wrote: “I suffered some sobering moments recently, while judging a clutch of industry awards. There was so much ’stuff’ (aka output) but so few genuine ideas. Worse still, the essence of PR had become badly polluted: here was a blancmange of ad campaign amplifications; phony product launches; ’news’ stories around, well, news; and a clutch of celebrity embarrassments. There was a sad but noticeable lack of original thinking – no genesis the likes of a Marks & Spencer Plan A, an Eco-Imagination, a Nike+ or a Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, conceived by PR folk – and a weird disconnect persisted between the commercial need (awareness, loyalty, sales etc) and the idea itself. We seemed to have grown ourselves into a vacuum. The PR industry – our profession – needs to think about where have all the big ideas gone and what is now closing our minds to their generation? We must re-connect the big idea with commercial need. Philips describes, in that same post, from which I’ve selectively quoted from below, what he refers to as the Four Heels of Achilles: 1. Outcomes over output: “PR needs a unified and coherent measurement system. It must be Outcomes based. This should be urgently adopted as a global standard and endorsed by all the professional bodies. The measurement must be scientific, provable and defensible. It must be delivered to scale and speak to convergence. Advertising Value Equivalence and/ or Opportunities To See should be banished forever…” 2. The truth of data: “…(readily accessible) data must now become the foundation stone for fresh insight and for the evolution of analysis for the always-on conversation; it must speak to communities and to networks and should be used in real-time in order to drive relevance and resonance…” 3. The imperative of organisational design: “…No PR campaign will therefore be complete without strong and sensible guidance from experts in organizational design – as businesses turn themselves inside out and as both states and industries begin to look at themselves, if not from the bottom-up, then certainly through a more relevant and democratic lens…” 4. The triumph of ideas: “…We have mistakenly grown to see platforms not as ownable sources of creative energy and monetisable idea flow, but either as transient technology channels or as confluence points for otherwise random tactics. Innovation has become more about a rush to market with piecemeal thinking, than about building a sustainable programme for competitive brand or corporate advantage….” Perhaps 4-5 years ago, I expected to see brands shift from rolling out tactical “activations” towards using digital and social media to make progress towards a set of defined strategic objectives – not social media objectives, but the grown up stuff coming out of the board room – and measuring progress towards meeting those. But far too often, I’m still seeing social media “strategies” that go something like “launch lots of channels and, over a period of time, increase the number of fans and followers”. That’s not a strategy. In the presentation I gave at two conferences last week, I used an analogy to try to illustrate the point. “Eating something” is a tactic. Following this tactic means that, on the way home from a boozy evening in the pub, you stop in your local takeaway and get something greasy to soak up a bit of the alchohol and alleviate your immediate hunger. It’s seems like a great idea at the time, but the next day you start to wonder if it was a great idea afterall. If you follow this tactical approach – eating something – as if it’s a strategy, so pop into that same take away with regularity, the effects will, over time, probably be negative to your health and wellbeing. “Living a long and healthy life” is a strategic objective. To meet it, you need a strategy that includes things like eating a well balanced and healthy diet, getting regular exercise, etc. Your success, attributable mostly, but not entirely, on following your strategy, is measurable in terms of your sense of physical well being, the comments of others about how well you look (your “brand reputation”?), and the length that you live. Many brands are, when it comes to social media, still merely counting their collection of a gazillion fans and followers, notching up new retweets and likes, and tracking sentiment. Creating a whole new lingo for measurement and reporting does no one any favours – and is likely to, eventually, erode the confidence that the boardroom has in the ability of these activities to drive progress towards tangible and organisationally meaningful objectives. It’s about time...