Spending the week in a lovely part of Hungary just outside of Budapest in a place called Siofok as I keynote at Internet Hungary, Hungary’s biggest national digital conference.
Early thoughts – The rotisserie of speakers is quick, the level of curiosity is high, all my tech doesn’t speak the same language or service providers as local Magyar standards and enjoying Hungarian conviviality (I just saw an Android mascot beat up on a Apple mascot) and Google’s smoothies were a great late morning tonic.
Attached is my presentation (click on image or scroll on embed below) as I try to squish 110,000 words of content and 17 chapters of good stuff about digital branding into a luncheon session.
Beyond given some background, providing the 6 benefits of wikibranding and exposing the FLIRT model, I talk about three very large paradoxes that exist in getting open and engaged digital culture to stick in companies even still in the mainstreaming of digital participation:
#1 – Social media is amazing, and really is a dirty word
When people think digital innovation, social media gobbles up the share of attention inside and outside companies. Make no mistake, I love discovering new apps and niche networks that make my life better, allow me to escape, entertain me. But the reality is the social media is a tool, not a behavior; social media is a media not a discipline. It is the small small thing in a much bigger conversation.
Even financially, the world of social media is quite small ($14 billion) in comparison to trillion-dollar sized industries that will be reinvented by better, more engaged use of technology. With Wikibrands, we endorse a larger palette of tactics, a bigger umbrella of what social means and a less tactical use of the open technology ( secretly we’d love wikibranding to become the noun and verb to describe this more holistic culture of collaboration, transparency and purpose-driven dialogue).
#2 – Business talks a good game about Wikibranding…but only in the long term
What we have is NOT a crisis of faith, most smart executives agree that rapid application of technology and implementation of social forums where customers can connect captures great untold value, offers a distinct competitive advantage and is the future of business. They talk a great game, just not on their shift.
For issues beyond my capability of understanding, including loss of control, cultural blindness, unwillingness to change, personal inexperience and insistence on first day ROI, most social initiatives in companies flounder from lack of sound strategy, dedicated staffing, good governance, encouraging experience, agency abilities and external outreach. Business needs to stop answering blushingly about why they are pursuing siloed attempts at the social web and start investing real time in the what and how organizationally.
#3 – Brands have never lost more control…and yet be so important
We all have seen the “flameouts” online when a brand chooses to do something stupid and instead of apologizing quickly becomes a quiet or obstinate resistor. However rare, they do impact a brand’s perception and become the social web’s schadenfreude (German term – pleasure derived from the misfortune of others). in 2011, people want great customer service and experience like never before – the bar is set pretty high. And when they don’t receive it, they have tools to make their vendettas more well known than in the past.
Talk to enough digital ninjas and web nerds and you would think that a brand has lost its swagger. Far from it, despite customer’s new found abilities to speak up, brands represent averagely 40% of a company’s financial value and growing (at Coke, this goes well above 90%). So although most brands suffer from bad practice online, 34 million people fanning Coca-Cola speaks volumes about the social capital good brands intrinsically have. And in the social web, there are plenty of examples of customers flocking in droves to brands more than they even would on the traditional web.