Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Biz School Chronicles :: Fire Your Marketing Manager and Hire A Community Manager

Fire Your Marketing Manager and Hire A Community Manager - David Armano - The Conversation - Harvard Business Review
A community manager actively monitors, participates in and engages others within online communities. These communities can be on Twitter, Facebook, message boards, intranets, wherever groups of people come together to converse and interact with each other. A traditional marketing manager is likely to have little experience with this function. Historically, community management developed outside marketing, in areas such as community organizing (politics) or in niche verticals such as the video game or software industry, which are no strangers to digital outposts such as message boards.

Spending four semesters in b-school, makes one knowledgeable enough to sort out genuine marketing efforts from nonsense. The world has enough marketers who talk about social media and blogs without maintaining neither of their own, and throw around phrases like "unique proposition" and "brand image" because they sound and look good. It's about time organisations prioritise their marketing evaluation metrics correctly. From the data I gathered for my thesis, it's clear that generated revenue is THE metric to use. Click-through-rates and visitor counts are fine, but you really can't put them in a balance sheet, can you?

I came across the post from HBR above, on the same day I read the results from the "Old Spice Man" campaign. Why is this relevant? Well, the old spice campaign is a case study of how to mobilize social media to revive a brand. At the time I'm writing this, that particular video on youtube (one of many used in the campaign) had 16,243,818 views. Other videos included odes to Alyssa Milano and Demi Moore, as well as a marriage proposal. In one clip, Mustafa provides the audio a Reddit user requested to construct a do-it-yourself voicemail recording application.

Now that's as viral as it can get. BUT, did it work?

According to Nielsen data provided by Old Spice, overall sales for Old Spice body-wash products are up 11 percent in the last 12 months; up 27 percent in the last six months; up 55 percent in the last three months; and in the last month, with two new TV spots and the online response videos, up a whopping 107 percent. "Our business is on fire," Moorhead says. "We've seen strong results over all of our portfolio. That is the reward for the great work." (Source)

Yes! a 107% increase in sales. Now that's what most can rightly call measurable ROI. But the most important points to take away from this campaign are how they engaged the community and how they identified key influencers within social media circles.

The social media experts initially identified a crop of popular bloggers in key areas like entertainment (Perez Hilton), technology (4chan) and advertising (Adweek's own AdFreak), as well as regular YouTube and Facebook commenters. Some videos were pre-shot, but Tait said Wieden has done the vast majority over the past 48 hours from a studio in Portland, writing and producing them on the fly. (Source)

So that's how it was done. Oh, and quoting that last paragraph made me realise that none of the buzz-word-crazy, wannabe social media marketers I mentioned at the very beginning will know who the hell Perez Hilton is :) <-- That's your litmus test right there. Until next time ....

Silver fish hand catch!!!!