The summit had a great list of speakers from some of the leading global brands such as Intel, Google, Twitter, Unilever and Visa. With leading minds from so many great brands, it was certain that the event would not disappoint, and it did not!
One of the best things about the event was that the guests gave a lot of what we would call “Straight Talk.” It was a no fluff zone where Return on Investment was at the center of every one of the speaker’s short but powerful talks.
With so many events littering our calendars every year, one of the things I try to do at each event is boil down what is usually a mass of content into a few highly relevant and meaningful tidbits that are neatly packaged for easy consumption.
Here are what the leading brands and agency minds are saying about Social Media, Influence and Brand Building in 2014
Bob Pearson, President WCG: In his brief talk he helped the audience enter the “Never Cloudy Era” because we are entering a time where Data will provide brands with the ultimate clarity. Some of his “Big Picture” ideas included wearable technologies creating the “Human Data Center,” and that Earned Media will use automation to trigger Paid Media opportunities for brands in a highly targeted capacity.
Penny Baldwin, EVP and CMO Intel Security: Penny delivered a high energy presentation on brand influence that quickly caught the attention of the audience. Pointing to Forrester Research’s data point that 6% of influencers drive over 80% of impressions online, she asked the question, “How do brands create content that influence the influencers?”
Brian Goldfarb, Head of Cloud Platform Marketing Google: When Brian came into the Google Cloud Platform team, Social Media was surprisingly not well nurtured for his group. With lagging engagement, limited content and less than stellar pageviews, Brian shared how his team turned it around and drove massive growth in reach in a short period of time. One of the highlight moments of Brian’s presentation was when he said “We grew our reach by Caring about our Audience.” While highly subjective, Brian summed up what many brands miss in a word. Content and Social alone aren’t enough. People need to feel like the brands they support genuinely care about them.
The next 3 Insights came from a panel discussion led by Market Wired CMO Kurt Heinemann.
Adam Messinger, CTO Twitter: Owning “Technology” for Twitter is no small task, but Adam is up for the challenge. His input on the panel was terrific and most of his talking points focused on two areas, Security and Product Development. Besides generously offering the room the opportunity to suggest updates and changes to Twitter, Adam left me with two really thought provoking ideas. First, he said “What we share on Social Media should be public (obvious) but what we click on should be private,” which the room then added “Facebook has this wrong.” The second thing he said that really got me thinking was that Twitter is studying based what truly constitutes great content through Big Data. I can only imagine how much value the release of this input could be to most content creators?
Stan Stanunathan, SVP Marketing Unilever: Stan was without question the comedian of the bunch. His best punchline was when he compared most brands using social media to teenage sex (Yes, this happened!) because all of these brands are doing Social Media and they all think they are great at it but really they have no idea what they are doing. On a more serious note, Stan provided some great insights, one story that he shared that I loved hearing about was how Unilever’s CEO is using his blog as his primary means of communication with the company’s more than 173,000 employees. With so few Fortune 500 CEO’s really doing social or content well, this story made me excited for what is to come.
Shiv Singh, Head of Global Brand Transformation Visa: One thing you wouldn’t guess about Shiv is that he also wrote “Social Media for Dummies,” you know, those yellow books that make life a little simpler for all who read them? Shiv did a great job of rounding out this power packed panel. Shiv added one particular insight that validates something I have thought for a long time. He predicts 2014 (late) is the year when the Social Media Ecosystem dies. Social will just be a part of business and will no longer have such a distinct silo. While I wasn’t sure this would happen so soon, what I did know was that this day was coming.
My overall impression of the event was that it was a great event with some terrific thinkers. The event drew a great stream on Twitter that engaged readers in the room and around the world. I highly recommend (if you haven’t already) that you check out the event on Storify.