Traditonal Publishing & Social Media New BBF?


Book and mouse This morning, after I washed the news print off of my fingers from the Sunday New York Times, I downloaded some sample chapters on to my Kindle. Several of those books were recommended to me by my dear friends at Others I found on blogs and through Twitter. The world of publishing is not simply changing .. it is colliding with technology and the world of social media.

Don't just take the word of a digital author but people in traditional publishing are taking out their red pens and looking at their current models with a critical eye. If the publishing business is to stay in business I would encourage publishers and editors to take a cue from the lessons that marketers have learned over the past few years. What is important to understand is that these changes come with options for the reader/customer. The "delivery channel" choice may be as important as the content. Do your readers want digital or traditional or an integration of both?

 This month Debbie Stier @debbiestier - SVP, Associate Publisher, Harper Studio, Kaylie Jones @KaylieJones - best selling novelist ("Lies My Mother Never Told Me." "A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries"), Kevin Heisler (@KevinHeisler - literary executor and Ron Hogan @RonHogan - curator, gave their insights about the future of publishing at the 140 Character Conference. The video  is well worth a view.   

Then there is the other Big Question: How are readers finding books in the new world of tweets, Facebook, blogs? Is the library still important? How has the promotion and building a readership community changed? Publishers and agents tell me not to even consider submitting a proposal without a comprehensive marketing strategy that includes social media tactics. The rules of engaging with editors are in flux also. If you follow me on Twitter or you Friend me on Facebook does that mean it's okay to send you a proposal without an agent?

Nathan Bransford, Literary Agent recently asked his readers- "Where did you hear about the book you're reading?" Over 300 people responded. I was curious about the break down and did a very informal tally. What is probably valid is not the count but the weight of each category.

  • Friends (including book clubs) - 78
    Blogs (including author blogs) - 62
    Bookstores - 45
    Websites/reviews sites - 33
    Library - 22
    Amazon recommendation/reviews - 22
    Twitter - 19
    Book tours/met the author - 11
    Blog promotion/contests - 5
    Read other books by author - 4
    Other (ezines, book fairs, TV, Radio, book reviews, podcasts, cover/jacket - 29

It will be interesting to see how social media impacts traditional publishing, what emerges as new publishing model/s, who will lead the innovation and who will close their doors. In the mean time I'm curious .. "Where did you hear about the book you're reading?"

Social Media Marketing: Listening and Participating


White_paper_listening_and_participa Social media is providing marketers with an array of tools and opportunities that offer an unusual entree into understanding the good, bad and ugly of how customers use and perceive brands, your company and even your employees. In today's world, it is increasingly critical to understand your specific customer needs and to build business relationships both on a local and global basis.

Those strategies become more challenging, however, as the landscape grows more complex. New media strategies present a means of closing the communication gap brought on by time and distance. Valuable global relations are being created through tools that range from text messages to microblogs, podcasts, vlogs (video blogs), social networking communities and traditional blogs. By leveraging these new technologies, people exchange ideas and information, and discover common experiences that transcend cultural differences. Listening and participating in ongoing conversations enables organizations to develop a stronger emotional engagement with customers, prospects and other stakeholders.

So begins my white paper, Listening and Participating, that was recently published in Montgomery Research's new online publication Perform, the marketing 2.0 authority. Thanks to Patricia Witkin for the opportunity. 

In addition to building relationships, I also explore how social media is impacting the business of doing business.

Although the customer purchase decision is complex, and social media is but one influencing factor, information gleaned from listening to digital conversations can have an impact on how an organization conducts business and, in turn, can set internal cultural changes in motion:

  • From a C-suite perceptive, the challenge becomes how to integrate this new type of information to support customer focused business decisions.
  • From an operational perspective, the challenge becomes how to develop internal processes that will quickly pass the right information to the people with authority to take action.
  • From a marketing perspective, the challenge becomes how to leverage the information to develop a better customer experience that supports the brand identity.
  • From an R&D perspective, the challenge becomes how to use this type of customer insight to create new products and services that tie back to the brand.

The paper concludes with a few suggestions on how to get started and a gentle reminder that at this point the cost of ignoring social media may be greater than the investment in the strategy itself.

In summary, a successful social media strategy is one that involves two elements: listening and participating. Step one is to develop a continuous, action-focused listening strategy that tracks your customers' conversations. Step two is to engage your customers with simple and genuine "people talk."

The bottom line is that people want to do business with people they know and like, and consumer-generated media strongly influences the way your brand is perceived and how purchase decisions are made. Whether through Facebook, YouTube, blogs or another new media entity, your company forfeits a critical competitive advantage if it is not an active participant in the conversation.

I thought the article was too long to post so for your reading pleasure here is a Download PME1_WP_Bloomberg.pdf of the full article.

If the saying, you are known by the company you keep, is true then I must be doing something right because the other authors in the "New Brand Dialog" include celebs such as: C.B. Whittemore, Geoff Livingston, Lewis Green, Brian Solis, Chris Kenton, Ken Pulverman, Paul Gillin, David Binkowski, Ross King, Guy Kawasaki, Keith Piques, Dennis Morrow and Cory Van Arsdale. C.B has a great recap post at Flooring the Customer that links to the authors.

Creative Writing Class Circa Social Media: Twitter


Teens_computer Twittory stories. 140 middle school students from around the world are writing a story on Twitter. Each student writes a line.  Innovative use of micro blogging that teaches creative writing, about different cultures and perhaps a few students will make a new friend or two. I remember doing something similar at camp and as a theatre exercise. It was great fun to see how the story would unfold. Girlfriend I think this is ultra cool .. I wonder what writers like Nettie Hartstock and Peggy Payne and Beth Kepart have to say.

The many voice story thus far -

In the depths of New York City, on top of the Empire State Building, a creature rested. That creature was me.

As I feel my life slipping away from me, I can barely remember a time when I was happy. I remember my friends and family. Like a dream.

I feel like I'm totaly lost. It's like I'm in a scary movie. I can't even see because it's so foggy. What am I going to do? Where can I go?

Maybe I'll slowly creep away tonight, while the city sleeps, and make my way back to the depths of the ocean. A place I call home. 

As I start down, I can still see movement in the city. So I creep lightly through dark alleys so nobody can see me. Suddenly,

I see a light turn on in a window. My eyes lock with a young woman holding a baby. She screams and I start to run.

Heard it on Twitter (of course!)from Cameron Reilly, GDay World and The Podcast Network. Seems Cameron came up with the original idea. Pink_boaToss of a pink boa to the guy down under and to George Mayo the teacher who is coordinating the project. Alison Stewart, NPR picked up the story.

Perhaps the next Age of Conversation book .. the book that was written by 103 bloggers from all over the world .. will be created via micro blogging (winks to Drew and Gavin and the mahvolus authors!)

This seems to be micro blogging week at Diva Marketing: The Party Line Circa Social Media: Twitter

Diva Marketing Talks with Peter Kim and Marianne Richmond


Diva Marketing Talks: Analytics tonight. Diva Marketing Talks - a live, internet radio show. 30-minutes. 2-guests. 1-topic related to social media marketing. Why? To help organizations understand social media marketing and how to join the conversation without getting blown-up. Can't join us live? The show morphs into a podcast!

Topic for July 31, 2007:
Time: 6:30p - 7P Eastern 
Call-in Guest Number: 718.508.9924
Guests: Peter Kim, Forrester Research and Marianne Richmond, Resonance Partnership

Tonight Diva Marketing Talks focuses on social space analytics. We're calling this one Blog Analytics A Step Towards Credibility??  Social media is fast taking its place at the grown-up marketing strategy table. With the respect, as a credible strategy, comes things like keeping elbows off the table and Accountability and the "M Word" - Measurement. Before you can measure "it" you have to define what "it" is. Our 2 guests are not only highly respected in the social media marketing world but bring the perspectives of agency and client side to the conversation.

Peter_kim_1_2 Peter Kim is an analyst at Forrester Research in Boston. His coverage area focuses on marketing strategy and organization, including advertising and accountability. Prior to joining Forrester, Peter was international marketing manager at PUMA AG; part of the strategy network at Razorfish; and a research analyst at Coopers & Lybrand focusing on the energy industry.

Marianne_2 Marianne Richmond has held senior level marketing positions with some of the largest consumer brands like Nabisco and Purina. From the agency side she's worked with Ally-Gargano/Marketing Corporation of America and DIMAC Direct. Her career direction has led to opening the doors of her own shop Resonance Partnership based in St. Louis.

Tips From The Diva Bag: Blog Analytics A Step Towards Credibility?? 

Complements of Marianne Richmond

  • Forget trying to find the Holy Grail definition or measurement and focus on what you want the end result to be...what you want your customer to do, believe, experience or think OR what role you want a specific media channel to play to achieve the end result.  Once you know the desired outcome, then what it takes to get there... the metrics should fall out from there.
  • Accurate targeting is critical success factor. Bad targeting=false metrics.
  • All or nothing statements like "the page view is dead" will kill you....there never was and never will be one single one size fits all measurement except for sales and profits.

Complements of  Peter Kim

  • Be free.  There are many good packages available for no cost that provide excellent metrics.
  • Think simple.  Social media analytics work differently - focus on a few key indicators to start.
  • Don't obsess.  Metrics should help fine tune your communication strategy, not drive it.

Can't call in but have a question for Marianne and Peter? Drop a comment and I'll ask it for you. What would you like Diva Talks to chat about?

The show is available for download as podcast to your favorite MP3 player. Or play it right on your computer!

What's The Big Deal About "The New Conversation?"


No talking please. Popcorn optional.

The Break Up
Uploaded by geertdesager

This little video is brilliant at getting to the heart of why it just makes good business sense for marketers to pay attention to the new conversations. The story shows what is really the heart of the new conversation.

The surprise for some might be the heart of the new conversation is what good marketers have always know. It's all about your customer's needs. However, in 2007, those needs are not the same as in 1997 or even 2003. 

Greer Geert (sorry!), Bring Back The Love, graciously shares the behind the scenes of how and why the video was produced along with lessons learned.  More back story at Bad Idea, indeed. Microsoft was behind this one. I'm thinking that Greer Geert just might be the next "Robert Scoble" for the Big M.

By the way, did I ever tell you I hated technology? Well I do. Not because of the changes it brings .. it's just not my thing. BUT I love the results technology can bring. So if you are not a geek, like me, think end game results. Those results are what excites me.

Technology End Game Results
>Would you like to talk directly to your customers? Try a blog.
>Would you like to create little movies that people can watch anywhere and anytime? Create a series of vlogs.
>Would you like to bring together lots of your customers in one place where they can have fun learning from each other?  Build a mash-up community.
>Would you like to create mobile groups giving people on the move a way to interact with each other? Use Twitter.

In the meantime, important conversations about your brand, customers, employees and competitors continue to whirl. Why would you not want to be a part? Divas and divos .. it's just good business sense to listen in and join in. Pinkie_promiseKeep top of mind -  the heart of the new conversation is about your customer's needs. Jump in. The water's fine. Pinkie Promise!

Crisis Management In The Year 2007 And Beyond0.


My heart 18virgi2600_2 goes out to Virginia Tech's extended family .. students, parents, facility, staff and beyond.

There will be many who analyze the situation and review the hows and whys and what shouldas. In her post,  Virginia Tech: Social Media in Crisis Planning, Marianne Richmond takes a different view. Based on how students in the year 2007 communicate ..

Students at Virginia Tech used mobile phones, digital cameras, social networks such as Flickr,  Facebook and MySpace, blogs and video to communicate with each other and to document the tragedy in real time.

Marianne offers a simple but brilliant solution that every school should include in their crisis management strategy: Twitter. Create Twitter groups to relay important information during disasters.

Sidebar: Twitter is a mobile text messaging systems that allows groups to be formed without regard to provider. The history of the content is retained on a web page which can be public or private. 

If I were a betting kinda diva, I'd say that the majority of college students have cell phones. Those who don't have cells phones would learn about the situation through friends, as well as from the buzz happening on campus. Faster, more effiecient than email or blog posts.

Last week I spoke at the Center for Disease Control and Preventaion about promoting public health through blogging. After the panel discussion some of the CDC's EMarekting team and I explored how Twitter could be used as a crisis communication tool.  They immediately saw application in using this type of simple technology in remote areas during a disaster or disease out break. Overlay Google Maps and you have a visual Free alert system.

Crisis management in the year 2007 and beyond must incorporate processes and systems that reach people in ways in which they communcate. And then make it easy for those who have the information to extend it to those who do not. What would have been the result if Virginia Tech had a Twitter Group in place this week?

I encourage, no I challenge marketers involved in healthcare, education and the non profit sectors to step out of your comfort zone and present these types of new solutions to your clients. Not only will you appear innovative but you may just help to save lives.

Pink_boa Toss of a pink boa to Marianne!

NYT Runs An Ad For A Blog


Nyt_blog_ad_1_107_1Divas and Divos here's one for your social media scrapbook .. an Ad For A Blog!

The Sunday New York Times - January 7, 2007. The first half-page ad I've seen for a blog. The Carpetbagger.  Not a product or service with a supporting blog but for the blog itself. Granted it's an ad in the NYT for a NYT property but still.

Diva Marketing's One 2007 PNyt_blog_ad_2_107rediction:  Watch for more mainstream media ads promoting social media: blogs, vlogs, podcasts, Second Life etc. etc. etc. 

Couldn't scan the entire page in one graphic so here it is in pieces top and  bottom. Sorry for the page cut off.

Oh .. and what is the focus of The Carpetbagger blog? It's a seasonal blog that covers all things Oscar authored by David Carr, a culture reporter and media columnist at the NYT.

It's All About YOU - For 15 Minutes


On my way back from Boston yesterday I picked up a copy of Time at Logan Airport. After playing with the Mylar cover and hoping that the Person Of The Year 2006 .. which is me - you - and everyone else who has access to the Big WWW .. didn't really belong  in a carnival sideshow, I jumped into Richard Stengel's (managing editor)To Our Reader's column. It was my first of several hints that Time's understanding of social media is more like the acts under the big top than walking the midway with the people.

Now don't get me wrong, I appreciate the visibility lift that Time has given social media. However, in taking a closer look at the Time Person of The Year issue, I'm not sure that Time gets it.

It's the little things that make the difference. Girlfriend, first I want to know why Time_richard_stengel_cover_2006 Richard Stengel's Mylar image was not blurred or disorted like mine or yours but looked like a professional photo. Oh .. perhaps because it was not a Mylar image but it was an air brushed professionally shot photograph. Very un bloggy.

Stengel wrote, "Journalists once had the exclusive power of taking people to places they'd never been." Hmm .. my kindergarten teacher told me that books would do that .. perhaps I was too busy coloring .. I don't recall mention of journalists or reporters having exclusivity on that concept. Very un bloggy.

Time dedicated over 30 pages to 2006 Person Of The Year. Cool. Lots of great stories about people who are using technologies to tell the world about their lives. However, what I found even more interesting was that the Person Of The Year - YOU - didn't spill over into Time's stories like People Who Mattered or Farewell or 10 Best Movies, Books, TVShows, Albums, Sports Moments. So okay perhaps YouTube videos don't make it as a real flicks and social media authors are not really important enough to be part of the 10 Best and no YOU people mattered enough to be sung Farewell to ..

That was my last tip off that Time didn't get it. There was no integration. Rather it was like a carnival show with YOU as part of the side show and THEM as the main acts under the big top. Oh well, as Time's last story, Andy Was Right, reinforced. It's an Andy Warhol 15-minute of fame world .. and YOU now have had yours. Collectively YOU might be important but not too many of YOU will cross over into Time's People Who Matter.

But don't fret .. in addition to some interesting blog posts about the You as the Time Person of the Year, it's great for the late night comedians. And there's always 2007 for Time to get it.

Part II Bob Prosen - Kiss Theory Good Bye


Kiss_theory_good_bye_1 In Part II of Diva Marketing's interview with Bob Prosen author of Kiss Theory Good Bye Bob offers marketers two keys on How To Rub Shoulders With the CXO’s, Five Positive Habits That Get Companies Places Fast and more. (Part I of Diva Marketing's interview with Bob Prosen)

2 Free Kiss Theory Good Bye books to Diva's readers.

Before you get into part II, Bob has generously offered 2 Free Kiss Theory Good Bye books to Diva's readers. The first 2 people to drop a comment on this post and request the book will find themselves with quite an interesting read.

Toby/Diva Marketing - I believe it was President Truman who said, “The buck stops here.” However, how involved should employees be in developing processes and in decision marking?

Bob Prosen - Yes, the buck stops with the leader. But every decision shouldn’t end up on the leaders desk. It’s important to remember that the higher up you go in an organization the fewer decisions you should be make.However, the magnitude of those decisions is far greater. For this to work others within the organization must take responsibility for day-to-day decisions or the organization will become stymied, slow to act and less competitive.

When it comes to developing processes, I use the following rule of thumb: Managers work on the process and employees work in the process. Meaning, managers are responsible for approving processes that employees help design. Because process changes generally require reallocation of resources, its management’s responsibility to approve such changes since they control the budget.

Toby/Diva Marketing - I found Kiss Theory Good Bye to be very insightful. The book addresses leadership, sales, finance and operations and customer loyalty. However, strategic marketing seems to be relegated to a step-child role. In fact, one example even placed the responsibility of developing the product mix in the hands of the financial team.

“The products with the smaller margins were being sold to make quota. The solution recommended by finance was to change the sales incentive plan to encourage the sale of the higher-margin products.” Page 88

The decision to sell higher-margin items did not appear to take into account, the market or customer dynamics. Perhaps the lower-margin products were loss leaders that led to the sale of higher margin items. Perhaps the lower-margin products were a strategy to enter a new market. Perhaps the lower-margin products were the glue of a customer loyalty strategy.

That is not to say, that sales and marketing should not be ROI-based or accountable. However, it appears that this was a short-term fix to what might be a more complex situation.  It also seemed that the organization was comprised of tightly held silos if the marketing team wasn’t brought into the discussion. Perhaps the conversations should have begun with marketing and included finance.

That said, where do you see strategic marketing in the c-level suite?

Bob Prosen - Toby, I agree with you that today most companies do relegate marketing to a step-child role which is very unfortunate. Often times marketing is like a diamond in the rough and will only show its brilliance when the CEO respects the ROI it delivers. So for any marketer who wants to rub shoulders with the CXO’s here are the two keys:

First - Marketing must understand and communicate in the language of business leaders, this includes knowing how their programs impact earnings, cash flow, ROI and NVP. If not, marketing will be underutilized and viewed strictly as a discretionary expense that is continuously targeted for budget cuts.

Second, make sure your best friend in the company is the head of Sales, because he or she is always seated at the planning table. Here’s how it should work. When sales is asked to commit to the top line they should agree only if the required marketing plans are approved. A tight relationship with sales makes marketing invaluable.

Smaller companies rarely have to deal with this because they don’t have a dedicated marketing department. Instead, the CEO and head of sales take on the responsibility with accounting in the background keeping score.

Toby, your question is spot on! I recently delivered a keynote presentation at a Business Marketing Association conference on this very subject – What Top CEO’s Expect From marketing. It’s a hard-hitting presentation packed with specific actions that, when employed, will dramatically enhance the power of marketing.

Getting Places Fast

Toby/Diva Marketing - To wrap up our interview, you describe five crippling habits that get companies no where fast:
1.    Absence of clear direction
2.    Lack of accountability
3.    Rationalizing inferior performance
4.    Planning in lieu of action
5.    Aversion to risk and change

Can you give Diva Marketing readers Five Positive Habits That Get Companies Places Fast?

Bob Prosen -
1.    Hire people smarter than yourself
2.    Deliver on commitments
3.    Develop an accountability based culture
4.    Under promise and over deliver 
5.    Reward results not activities

Toby/Diva Marketing - Looking in your crystal ball, would you share your thoughts with Diva’s readers about the challenges and opportunities you see in store for the next generation of businesses and business leaders?

Bob Prosen - We’re entering that next generation as we speak. One of the biggest challenges is information overload and how do you stand out given the unbridled accessibility to the customer and all of the social and Web 2.0 bombardment they are subject to.

What will separate the winners from the losers is the ability to use this technology in such a way that future clients want to hear from you.

The other challenge is the changing work ethic of the Generation Y employee who demands a balanced life. Winners will have created an environment where employees are encouraged to “kiss theory good bye and kiss their life hello” thereby attracting and retaining top talent.

The answer is creating the right work environment combined with state of the art technology that enables this life balance.

Notes From Services Leadership Symposium


It's about the stories.

That's how Steve Brown, Executive Director and Professor of Marketing at W. P. Carey School of Business opened day two ofServices_symposium The 17th Annual Compete Through Service Symposium

Last week I had the honor to speak at one of the best bloggy conferences around. The 17th Annual Compete Through Service Symposium presented by the Center for Services Leadership W. P. Carey School of Business at the University of Arizona.  The focus of the symposium was service as a competitive advantage.

Girlfriend, I can hear the bloggers now. "That doesn't sound like a Web 2.0 or Business Blog Conference or even a BlogHer event." And they would be right. It was not. But the Service Symposium was just as bloggy. Maybe more so because the speakers that Steve Brown and Mary Jo Bitner brought together walked the talk of combining transparency, culture, customer and employee respect into their organizations. Sure sounded bloggy to me.

Sidebar: The icing on the cake was an article written about my session, Is your company ready to blog?, that is included in the prestigious Knowledge@W. P Carey, an online resource of the W.P. Carey School of Business that offers business information and trends. My favorite line from Carrie Barrett's article -

" ..  (a) well-executed business blog is part marketing, part magic -- a 24-hour opportunity to interact with customers, impress Wall Street, spark business-to-business opportunities, track industry trends, spot brand deterioration and spook competitors, all maintained at a low-rent cyber address.

I intended to post a recap of my favorite take aways, however, there were so many interesting and important points I wanted to share, to make an easier read, I've split them into a series of posts. Next year live blogging. Right Steve?

Globalization of Services

Gary Bridge
, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Global Lead, Internet Business Solutions Group
Cisco Systems

  • My notes to self about Gary read, "Elegant, passionate speaker."
  • Watch the growth of China. Did you know that Wal-Mart is the 8th largest trading partner of China?
  • Dell is building a multi million dollar call center in Ireland to support customer service of its mid and large size customers. Seems there was a culture challenge with their outsourced labor (surprise!). Which reinforces the importance of understanding the culture of both/all countries involved in off shore out sourced initiatives.
  • The healthcare industry is off shore out sourcing claims management and even radiology analysis
  • Question: Can service innovation be out sourced?

Atul Vashistha, CEO, Author of The Offshore Nation: Strategies for Success in Global Outsourcing and Offshoring neoIT

"Boarderless services" is how Atul positioned the increase in off shore outsourcing. As companies look for competitive advantage off shore out sourcing of core activities will play a more prominent role in the new business model.

7 Secrets of Successful Globalizers

1. Embrace globalization - Understand the advantages of operating in different countries beyond cost saving to growth and quality improvement opportunities.

2. Welcome globalization as a transformation lever - Determine how can globalization be used to build competitive advantage.

3. Adopt a life cycle approach - Build a plan to manage the entire process on an on-going basis.

4. Align business and globalization objectives - Determine if your company is right to adopt a globalization strategy. Is business strategy driving services globalization? What part of the business strategy does globalization help us execute?

5. Assign the best people - Strong, well-placed internal leaders help ensure support of the initiative and maintain the quality.

6. Implement a strong governance model - Prevents the breakdown of the initiative after the roll out.

7. Embrace a continuous improvement mindset - Develop measures to establish benchmarks, goals and expectations. 

Seems everyone I meet has at least one horror customer service story about off shore customer/tech support service. Let's hope companies put resources against this strategy to do it right.