Local cafe using Twitter for orders


Lena was having a coffee at her local in Maroubra last week and found out that they are taking orders via Twitter from all the businesses around the area. This is definitely one of the best uses of Twitter I’ve seen by a small business.

Apparently this cafe has been around for ages, but they are being very smart in the way they are pushing forward for their existing customers. You can see below the flyer created by the cafe (very simple) to alert people of the offering.

Cafe using Twitter - November 2010

Cafe using Twitter - November 2010

I love this and love how rustic and honest the execution is.

Congrats Billy’s Cafe. Keep up the good work.

————————————–

LEARNINGS:

  • AWARENESS: You don’t need to create anything too fancy to let existing customers know you are doing something new. A thick cardboard flyer located at the counter is enough.
  • SPEND: You don’t need to spend a great deal to get something new up and running – just an appetite for something new and a desire to innovate.
  • MONITORING: You do need to monitor this service, so hopefully the cafe has a smart device or a computer close by to ensure all orders are fulfilled.

    Who is using Facebook? What are the stats? Check Facebook


    Check Facebook is a great site that allows you to understand the following about Facebook stats and who is using it:

    • Global users
    • Total users by geography
    • Largest countries
    • Fastest growing countries (penetration)
    • US vs global
    • Male vs female

    Not sure about you, but I constantly get asked by clients and colleagues about how many people in Australia are using Facebook. As at 2nd July, 2009 there were just over 5,800,000 Australian’s using Facebook and over 225 million global users.

    Checkfacebook home page

    Checkfacebook home page

    Checkfacebook % online population by country

    Checkfacebook % online population by country

    Checkfacebook US overview including age & gender

    Checkfacebook US overview including age & gender

    Checkfacebook largest countries (biggest users of Facebook)

    Checkfacebook largest countries (biggest users of Facebook)

    Checkfacebook fastest growing countries (biggest users of Facebook)

    Checkfacebook fastest growing countries (biggest users of Facebook)

    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Top 10 Most Popular Posts – Dominique Hind’s Collective


    Being obsessed with results and effectiveness, something I’m really interested in is what posts have generated the most traffic (views). If you remove the posts about my history, the top 10 posts are:

    1. Dell’s journey to listening – IdeaStorm
    2. Coles Supermarketin – great email communications
    3. Who is Ben Self? Obama’s social marketing guru
    4. The Viral Formula – what works?
    5. How to promote a campaign competition?
    6. How to sell cars in a recession? Offer Assurance – Hyundai Assurance
    7. Attitudes differ between Generations – Harris Interactive
    8. Dell IdeaStorm – the snapshot
    9. Traffic driver with results – commenting on blogs
    10. What’s working on my blog? Stats update

    COMMON THEMES:

    There are a couple of themes that come out of the popular posts:

    • Channels are important: email, viral, social media
    • Aquisition: selling cars, promoting competitions
    • Statistics: behaviour research, blog results
    • Companies: Dell, Coles Hyundai.

    CONSIDERATIONS:

    There are a couple of things that need to be considered when looking at these stats:

    • Duration: when did the post go live? I have been writing this blog since September last year (6mths) and some of the popular posts are ones from early on.
    • Frequency: has the post been posted live more than once? There are a couple of posts that I have used twice to keep the content fresh. These were ones that had an already high viewing rate and ones that I considered to be populare.
    • Topic: The most popular posts, given the duration, were on topical events. In particular, Ben Self, Obama, Dell, Hyundai and their reseccion plan.
    • External drivers: there were particular days/events over the last 6mths that drove a spike in traffic to the site. Posts that were live on that day had an extra boost in numbers

    DETAILS:

    Below is a screen grab of the top posts and the correlating traffic to each page.

    Dominique Hind - Top 10 posts as at 1 March 2009

    Dominique Hind - Top 10 posts as at 1 March 2009

    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Vote Earth – Earth Hour’s 2009 campaign starring Shepard Fairey


    While watching Earth Hour from afar (or while at another agency), I never thought that turning your lights out for 60 minutes would make much of a difference to global warming. I didn’t realise the campaign was created to encourage:

    • a behavioural change ‘get people thinking about the environment’
    • the big political powerhouses (EU, China, India, US, Russia, etc) to jump on the environment bandwagon and make some strong changes in Copenhagen (the new Kyoto).

    The 2009 campaign is themed around ‘Vote Earth‘, where you have the ability to either vote for earth or vote for global warming. The campaign targets and objectives are high: get 1,000,000,000 (billion) people to be involved. Involved is quite loosely defined, but it means to talk about, take part in, think about or be involved with Earth Hour.

    This year’s campaign is going to be big.

    • Shepard Fairey has already created the posters (see below).
    • Cold Play provided the music for the TVC.
    • YouTube are launching the TVC exclusively online.
    • Cate Blancett stars in the TVC.
    • WebCentral (Melbourne IT) are helping out with the microsite hosting.
    'Vote Earth - Switch' by Shepard Fairey

    'Vote Earth - Switch' by Shepard Fairey

    'Vote Earth - Ballot' by Shepard Fairey

    'Vote Earth - Ballot' by Shepard Fairey

    'Vote Earth - Blue' by Shepard Fairey

    'Vote Earth - Blue' by Shepard Fairey

    How do you get involved?

    1. Go to www.earthhour.org/voteearth and register your interest
    2. Tell everyone you know about Earth Hour (blog about it, Twitter about it, join Facebook groups)
    3. Go to YouTube and have a look at the TVC.
    4. Just get involved
    5. Turn your lights off on 28th March, 2009.
    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Online community driving offline change – Starbucks


    A lot of companies are talking about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and throwing their support behind it. There have been a few questions raised about the real reasons behind this support: is it just to drive sales or is it because the company is actually interested in it.

    When I worked on the Westpac account, I realised that they had been committed to the environment for years before it was the done thing. In the late 80s/early 90s they were focused on it. They actually believed in making a difference to the community and encouraged all of their staff to get behind it – whether it was by volunteering for a day a year to a charity of choice or working within their CSR team.

    Something I came across a couple of weeks ago was Starbucks starting to put their hand up in the CSR arena. Starbucks have been trialling a lot of things online and I’m not sure if this is another trial or something they are going to be committed to for years.

    Starbucks are trying to get people to donate 1million hours of time towards community service. They want everyone to donate 5hrs of time to a community service in their local area. In return for this, the pledger can go into Starbucks let the barister know that ‘I’m in’ and you will receive a free cup of coffee (see screens below). I took this screen grabs a couple of weeks ago and now the hours is well over a million and continuing to grow.

    Starbucks i'm in - home page

    Starbucks Pledge 5 'I'm in' - Home page

    Starbucks i'm in - Subscribe thank you

    Starbucks Pledge 5 'I'm in' - Subscribe thank you

    One of the best things about the site is that you can have a look at the community services that needs help in your area. Unfortunately, this is only relevant in the US but it is such a great tool. I would love to volunteer, but just don’t know how to. This is one way that removes the barriers and encourages people to help each other.

    Starbucks I'm In - Beverly Hills volunteering options

    Starbucks Pledge 5 'I'm In' - Beverly Hills volunteering options

    Starbucks have extended Pledge 5 to a Facebook page and an application that you can remind yourself of the 5hrs of community service that you have pledged.

    Starbucks I'm In - Facebook application

    Starbucks Pledge 5 'I'm In' - Facebook application

    In addition to Pledge 5, Starbucks have two other CSR projects: Starbucks Shared Planet and Starbucks V2V.

    Starbucks Community Involvement

    Starbucks Community Involvement

    Starbucks V2V is a volunteer to volunteer service (see below for screens). It launched in April 2008 and uses the V2V platform which is a global volunteer exchange. It is focused on helping achieve the million hours of volunteering.

    Starbucks V2V - home page

    Starbucks V2V - home page

    Starbucks V2V - Log in

    Starbucks V2V - Log in

    Starbucks Shared Planet is a site that talks about all of Starbucks CSR initatives to help the environment and the community. It’s a great site that makes you feel good.

    Starbucks Shared Planet - Home page

    Starbucks Shared Planet - Home page

    Starbucks Shared Planet - Details page

    Starbucks Shared Planet - Details page

    LEARNINGS

    • Get involved – particularly in these current times, it is important to get involved. I’m not a coffee drinker and didn’t have a connection to Starbucks, but now this has changed my perception about Starbucks. If I’m looking for a cup of herbal tea while I’m out, I’ll now consider going to Starbucks to support their commitment to CSR. I wouldn’t have done this before because I didn’t understand their values.
    • Consistency – make sure that you are consistent. Companies must continue their involvement and commitment unless they want to experience consumer negativity. If Starbucks stopped their Pledge 5 now, I would be extremely disappointed. I’ve already changed my perception about the brand and am happy to go to the store, if they were to stop now, I don’t think I would go there. I feel so positive about them now, but that can change very quickly.
    • Nuture – CSR is not a set and forget campaign, it must be nutured and their must be a focus on making sure it works. There must be continued attention and updates to the consumer so they feel part of the progress. It is a big committment, but one that is worth it.
    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Woolworths Get the Facts – ACCC price enquiry site


    While I was at Mark/M&C Saatchi, we created a site for Woolworths to help address any consumer questions that arose out of the ACCC enquiry. It was Woolworths Facts (see screen grabs below).

    Woolworths Get the Facts - website

    Woolworths Get the Facts - website

    It provided information about Woolworths: the amount of money they made, where their supplies came from, facts about the Woolworths business, how global changes affect food prices and a lot more.

    Woolworths Facts - Beef supply

    Woolworths Facts - Beef supply

    Woolworths Facts - Interesting stats

    Woolworths Facts - Interesting stats

    With so many businesses trying to guarantee their customers that they are being open and honest with them, if a company can’t sustain a blog this is a great alternative. It does need to be maintained and must have topical and relevant information.

    LEARNINGS

    1. Media support – the only place this campaign was promoted was via a small promotional tile on the Woolworths homepage. Because Woolworths are the only retailer within the Australian market focused on providing ‘The Facts’, they should be promoting it in additional places.
    2. Email support – building on the media support, there should have been an email sent to the Woolworths Everyday Rewards database. This could have been an element of a usual newsletter rather than a bespoke email focused on ‘The Facts’.
    3. Maintenance – to ensure a site like this remains fresh and relevant, it must be maintained and updated with current information. There needs to be a maintenance plan with regular updates scheduled.

    RELATED BLOG POSTS

    1. Get the Facts – Companies trying to be honest
    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Good use for widgets – Mini


    While I was judging the London International Awards, I came across a great widget that Mini created to promote their cars. The best thing about the widget is that it was totally customised and there were many elements that you could inclue on your desktop. You were able to customise colours (see screen grab below for a gallery of different widget options).

    Mini Cooper Widget

    Mini Cooper Widget - Customise your widget

    The colour customisation was consistent for all of the different widget elements (see screen grabs below).

    Mini Widget

    Mini Cooper Widget - Different widget options for your desktop

    The widget elements included the following:

    • clock in the shape of the Mini speedometer
    • note/memo pad designed like a checkered flag
    • calendar showing your schedule and displayed in consistent with your colour choice
    • photo viewer consistent with your colour choice
    • iTunes controler in the shape of the rear view mirror
    • an image of your customised mini with the ability to link through to the Mini website
    Mini Widget

    Mini Cooper Widget - Different Widget Options

    Mini Widget

    Mini Cooper Widget - In situ on Desktop

    SUMMARY

    I love this widget because it isn’t creating anything new. It’s reskinning widgets you already use. By downloading this, Mini isn’t asking you to start a new behaviour or add something additional to what you normally look at. These are the best type of widgets.

    LEARNINGS

    1. Understand the audience – you need to know what your audience is using and looking at and how you can tap into their current behaviour/patterns.
    2. Adapt, don’t create something new – work in with your audiences patterns and enhance how they are currently using this.
    3. Customisation – allow users the ability to customise the tools based on their own preferences. Consistency in elements, but customisation in look and feel.
    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Get the facts – Companies trying to be honest


    On the back of Dell’s success with IdeaStorm (see recent design update below) and the current economic climate, a lot more brands and companies are trying to be honest with consumers about what is happening within their company and how they are handling the economic changes.

    Dell IdeaStorm - design refresh

    Dell IdeaStorm - design refresh

    After Dell’s trial, an example I found was Tesco. About two years ago, when Tesco and the other UK supermarkets were being investigated by the government body around pricing (Competition Commission), they created a site that provided insights into how Tesco worked. Their example was a site called Talking Tesco. It included perspective of all levels of employees from within Tesco, gave people the opportunity to have a say and tried to demonstrate that Tesco were listening to their consumers. It’s a good example, but hasn’t been updated for a long time which is a wasted opportunity with the current cliamte.

    Talking Tesco Homepage

    Talking Tesco Homepage

    Talking Tesco - Have your say

    Talking Tesco - Have your say

    Talking Tesco - Listening to the Community

    Talking Tesco - Listening to the Community

    On the back of this example, Woolworths Facts was created. The content was initially produced for Woolworths employees, but because it was so relevant to the ACCC enquiry, it was created into a website. The only way consumers can find this website is via a promotional spot on the Woolworths home page. A little unfortunate becuase there is so much great information.

    Woolworths The Facts - Homepage

    Woolworths The Facts - Homepage

    Woolworths The Facts - Beef

    Woolworths The Facts - Beef Origins

    The opportunity for this site is to turn it into a blog or start collecting consumer insights or questions that they have of Woolworths. Obviously, it’s a big investment, but something that would show Woolworths are commited to honest communications with their consumers.

    Obama’s campaign included a negative spin on getting the facts. It was focused on John McCain and understanding who ‘The Real John McCain‘ was. Interesting spin, but not something I would recommend.

    The Real John McCain - Homepage

    The Real John McCain - Homepage

    Today I came across something that GM have created to provide justification about why they are requesting more money from the US government to bail them out, GM Facts & Fiction. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mention anything about the private jet or CEO pay cut. Not sure if it really is as honest as it could be…….

    GM Fact & Fiction - Homepage

    GM Facts & Fiction - Homepage

    LEARNINGS

    • Total transparency – A company must be honest with everything and not just the parts it wants the public to know about.
    • Two way dialogue – There needs to be an opportunity for consumers to share their thoughts and ask questions that they want answered. It also helps a company shape what content they should be creating and what press releases they should be considering.
    • Positive rather than negative – There needs to be a focus on what your company is doing to change, rather than competitors. Negativity breeds negativity and if people find out, it is never a positive outcome.

    FINAL THOUGHT

    I wonder how this approach would go for an advertising agency. An agency website (or blog) that is totally transparent and honest about everything that is going on within the agency. There is so much information leaked to the press (particularly trade press) around the hirings, firings, client wins and client losses that it might be one way of controlling (or influencing) the information flow out of an agency.

    Does anyone know any agencies that are trialling this? It must be more than just a marketing blog.


    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Tasmania – The Movie – Bigger than Australia


    How do you extend your marketing budget without outlaying extra media dollars? By piggy backing on the release of one of the biggest Australian movies since Crocodile Dundee.

    This is exactly what Tourism Tasmania have done. Not sure if you have seen it, but Tasmania – The Movie has been released. Riding on the dramatic, over the top production of Australia The Movie. It is great.

    Tasmania The Movie Home Page

    Tasmania The Movie - Home Page

    Tasmania The Movie - Trailers

    Tasmania The Movie - Trailers

    Tasmania The Movie - Gallery

    Tasmania The Movie - Gallery

    OBSERVATIONS

    I wasn’t at Leo Burnett’s when this brief came into the agency, but I love it. I think it’s a great campaign. Perfect way to piggy back on something bigger, particularly when Tourism Australia are spending a lot of money promoting and supporting.

    1. Launch and set up – a lot of effort has been put into the initial launch of the campaign. Based on most movie releases, Australia has a talkability life for the next two months so there needs to be an 8 week maintenance/optimisation strategy around Tasmania.
    2. Leveraging communities and assets – the client has done a great job seeding the video. It even received home page status on the Australian YouTube site (see screen grab below). Fingers crossed this is reaching more than just the Australians and will get international momentum over the next few weeks (after Australia The Movie has launched around the world).
    YouTube Australia - Tasmania The Movie

    YouTube Australia - Tasmania The Movie


    CONSIDERATIONS

    There are a few additional things that the campaign can be doing to ensure it is capatalising on all online channels. Stay tuned to see how these evolve.

    1. Search – It would have been great for a targeted search marketing campaign on Australia The Movie keywords. See screen grab below for what people were searching in regards to Australia.
    2. YouTube channel – dedicated Tasmania YouTube channel, currently there isn’t anything set up for Tasmania or Tourism Tasmania. The Premier has his own channel, so does Clemenger Tasmania, but no Tourism Tasmania.
    3. Facebook – There are a lot of groups focused on Tasmania on Facebook (over 500), how can these be leveraged? Even if it is just a URL that is fed to the group to see what impact it has on the web traffic.
    Google Searches based on Australia/Tasmania The Movie - 26 November 2008

    Google Searches based on Australia/Tasmania The Movie - 26 November 2008

    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Driving traffic to your blog – collection of posts


    After moving into a new house and changing jobs, I don’t actually have Internet connection at home. It is driving me crazy because I can’t keep my blog updated with thoughts.

    I saw a great post from someone for driving traffic while they were on holiday – creating a post with references to previous posts they had written. Seeing I am on Internet holiday, I thought I would do the same for driving traffic to your blog. 

    I have done several experiments with social networks, blog commenting, internal emails and article mentions to see what drives the most traffic. Here are the posts that detail the learnings:

    • What’s working on my blog? Stats update – this post provides an indepth view of my blog traffic and all of the stats for my blog, particularly looking at where the traffic is coming from (most popular social networks and other websites) and what people are clicking on while on my blog. 
    • Traffic driver with results – commenting on blogs – this post looks at how commenting on others blogs drives spikes in traffic. It is absolutely amazing how much of a spike it can create.
    • Driving traffic to your blog – what works? – this post provides an overview of what I have done to try and drive more traffic to my blog. What social networks I have subscribed to, what search engines submitted the blog to and other tricks. 
    • PR vs email – what drives more blog traffic?– this post compares traffic between an article in The Australian and an internal email (at M&C and Leo’s). Very interesting comparison showing that the internal emails drive more traffic. 
    • The impact of word of mouth – this post goes into a few more details about the traffic the internal emails generated. 

    LEARNINGS

    The top learnings from reviewing traffic are: 

    1. Nurturing – any blog needs constant nurturing and must be cared for. You can’t just let it go stale. 
    2. Involvement – you have to be involved in the blogging community and also all new social marketing sites. To drive traffic you need to spend the time understanding what else is out there and how you can get involved. 
    3. Consistent – you can’t have one week on, two weeks off. It is very damaging for your blog traffic and creates massive spikes. 
    4. Multiple mediums – you need to use more than just online media to drive traffic to your website. At every opportunity try and push your blog at every presentation, every email (put it in the signature) and even on your business card.

    What’s working on my blog? Stats update


    I’m a frustrated accountant and with that comes a love for numbers, whether they be campaign stats, JCRs or my own blog stats. I have had a couple of conversations with people about my blog stats, what’s working, what hasn’t, what I need to continue to do and what the average daily traffic is.

    I haven’t done any in-depth campaign analysis or planning for what I need to be doing to drive more traffic based on popular posts, search terms or referring URLs. Below are all of the stats that relate to my blog and some key learnings and actions I have taken out of reviewing these stats (scroll to the bottom for learnings).

    BLOG TRAFFIC – DAILY

    Dom Hind Blog Traffic Day - as at 1 November

    Dom Hind Blog Traffic Day - as at 1 November

    The huge spike was due to people investigating my blog after I commented on other popular blogs about topics I had written posts on. Traffic over the weekend dips, but as soon as new content is added on the Monday it usually goes up to higher levels than the previous Monday (except while I was on holiday when there was no new content).

    BLOG TRAFFIC – WEEKLY

    Dom Hind Blog Traffic Week - as at 1 November

    Dom Hind Blog Traffic Week - as at 1 November

    The peak was due to offline media coverage (Australian article and new job notification). The second peak is due to the commenting on others blogs, as detailed above.

    TRAFFIC REFERRERS

    Dom Hind Blog Referers - as at 1 November

    Dom Hind Blog Referrers - as at 1 November

    StumbleUpon has been the biggest driver of traffic to my blog. StumbleUpon is used as a downtime tool, therefore meaning the users spend more time investigating your blog (more time reading multiple posts). The other big driver of traffic is social networks (my own dedicated area). Within each social network, I have updated my URL or even my status to include my blog URL.

    SEARCH TERMS

    Dom Hind Blog search terms - as at 1 November

    Dom Hind Blog search terms - as at 1 November

    The most popular search terms that are driving traffic through are different derivatives of my name, whether it is my name by itself, connected to the blog, the blog URL or misspellings of my name. Overall, there have been 167 ‘Dominique Hind‘ related searches that have driven traffic to my blog. It is interesting that there haven’t been any searches for ‘Dominique Layton‘, my maiden name. The other search terms aren’t driving a high volume of traffic through to the site, but one thing to note is that there are so many different combinations.

    MOST POPULAR POSTS

    Dom Hind Blog top posts - as at 1 November

    Dom Hind Blog top posts - as at 1 November

    The posts that have received the most traffic are around my credentials: Who am I? Where have I been? Industry involvement. This makes sense due to me changing jobs. The non-me related posts that have driven the most traffic are around: emails, driving traffic, Dell Idea Storm, training and viral. It’s interesting that people are interested in email and what’s working [note to self: write more email related posts].

    CLICK THROUGHS (LEAVING BLOG)

    Dom Hind Blog Top clicks - as at 1 November

    Dom Hind Blog Top clicks - as at 1 November

    I’m really happy that Downstream is the number one clicked through site. The interesting thing is that there are only two links to Downstream in my blog: one on the Where have I been? page right at the bottom and the other in the blogroll under search. It shows that some people are reading all of the content in Where have I been?.

    LEARNINGS

    1. Offline coverage – This is definitely the biggest driver of traffic to my blog. I need to invest more time in writing offline pieces to help drive traffic online.
    2. Weekend traffic – As expected over the weekend, the traffic dips to an all time low. A lot of people aren’t looking at work related blogs or information over the weekend. To try and keep traffic consistent, it’s the perfect time to comment on blogs in the US/UK where there is a bigger population and potentially play the numbers game.
    3. Monday traffic – Traffic to my blog is always highest on a Monday, usually after I have had time to prepare a new post over the weekend. To make sure this continues, I need to ensure there is a new blog post every Monday to get people in the behaviour of checking my blog when they get back into the office.
    4. Commenting – When you comment on other blogs, it really does help to drive a huge amount of traffic to your blog (second only to offline coverage). Before I went on holiday, I spent some time on the weekend commenting on others blogs, the following week the traffic was really high even without any new content. I need to comment more on other blogs.
    5. StumbleUpon – Submit your site to StumbleUpon. After you have written what you think will be a popular posts, submit it to StumbleUpon. One thing to be careful of is not over submitting. I submitted every post on my blog and the traffic being directed through halted for three weeks and has only recently starting directing traffic again. My learning from this is being more consistent with submitting rather than submitting multiple posts at the same time.
    6. Social networks – Whenever you join a new social network, make sure you reference your blog URL. Interested friends, colleagues and associates will go and check out what you are writing about (even if it is only once). Tweets don’t drive traffic, but having your URL in your Twitter profile works. Updating your status and including your blog URL helps to drive a lot of traffic.
    7. Own name – The biggest driver of traffic from search has come from my name. Therefore, showing that most traffic is coming to understand who I am and what I have done (most would be attributed to starting a new job). It shows that a blog is the best CV you can have (more on that later).
    8. Tagging – Users arrive at my blog through so many different keyword combinations. It’s hard to tell what the most popular ones would be, so it’s important to include as many different tags and combinations on every post.
    9. Popular posts – The marketing posts that have been the most popular are about email, driving traffic, Dell Idea Storm, training and viral marketing. I need to make sure I am writing more of these posts and then referring to them on others blogs.

    Overall, it’s so interesting assessing all elements of your blog and looking at what else you can be doing.

    RELATED BLOG POSTS (MINE)

    Written by Dominique Hind (nee Layton)

    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Dell IdeaStorm – the snapshot


    My obsession with finding out more about Dell IdeaStorm continues. I came across this great post written by Ann All about Dell and customers being in control where she interviewed Vida Killian, Dell IdeaStorm’s manager. The interview is very interesting and provides a lot of details about Dell and their principles. The interview details the objectives for IdeaStorm, the metrics Dell looks at, the Dell difference, the staffing and the journey they have been on. Below is a summary of the interesting information.

    IdeaStorm start dates:

    • Customer run forums: early 1990s
    • Direct2Dell blog start date: June, 2006
    • Dell IdeaStorm start date: February 16, 2007

    IdeaStorm objectives:

    1. Extension of our relationship with our customers.
    2. Customer and company collaboration on ideas

    IdeaStorm metrics – how is the site measured:

    1. Not the normal ROI metrics
    2. Number of ideas
    3. Number of comments
    4. Number of votes
    5. Active vs inactive members
    6. Response rate: implemented, partially implemented, under review or reviewed
    7. All monitored on a weekly basis

    IdeaStorm results – how the site is performing:

    • The home page tells you the status and performance of the site
    • 9,674 ideas that had been promoted 662,176 times
    • 74,913 comments

    IdeaStorm difference – what makes it successful?

    • Dell responding to ideas and having a closed-loop feedback system. It’s not possible to do that for every single idea, of course. But Dell are listening and there are key things audiences can be pointed to.
    • Fortnightly update on ideas and actions. The visibility and the feedback mechanism make this different.

    IdeaStorm staffing – how many people are employed?

    • Two people focus on IdeaStorm: one to drive the technology part and the enhancements to the site, as well as the business engagement (Vida Killian), and the other to moderate the site full-time.
    • Dell have an approximately 40-person team called Communities and Conversations. Participation is usually broken up by topic or product interest: tech support backgrounds, customer support backgrounds, marketing, communications, engineering.

    IdeaStorm challenges – what is the biggest challenge?

    • Managing the ideas internally. It’s a challenge as to how to disperse ideas.

    IdeaStorm journey – has this been an evolution?

    • It’s been an evolution. Dell chose speed to market – get it out quickly. There have been a lot of technology changes: initially vote up, not down.
    • Making it easier for customers and for Dell employees to get engaged – more and more Dell employees are joining in.
    • A focus on innovation now.

    IdeaStorm Senior Management Beliefs – what is the culture?

    • “We’re direct. We listen to our customers. Let’s give them a place to get together and talk to us.”

    SUMMARY

    Great post and I would recommend everyone reading it. You will learn a lot, particularly the internal challenges and processes that need to be implemented for getting a program like IdeaStorm up and running.

    RELATED POSTS I HAVE WRITTEN

    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Online star struck – Dell IdeaStorm


    My best blogging moment happened earlier this week, Vida Killian (Dell IdeaStorm manager) posted a comment on my Dell post where I outlined Dell‘s journey to listening. I was so excited and star struck at the same time – everyone in my office heard about it, as well as any of my interested friends (sorry).

    The reason I was so excited was that I had only been writing my blog for five weeks and I already had the Dell IdeaStorm manager responding to one of my posts. As a blogger you want your posts to be read and enjoyed by other people, but when it is the manager of a site you have been holding up as best practice for so long, the thrill is even better.

    The other reason I was so excited was that it showed Dell really are listening to what people are saying and their team of people they hired to listen to conversations around the world do capture everything.

    In response to Vida posting a comment, I emailed her and within 24hrs she had replied to my email – what a week! In her email she provided me with a little more insight into how Dell had managed to make this massive cultural change. The key themes were:

    • Learn from mistakes – Dell learnt the hard way, but they were one of the first companies to do this and they have definitely learnt from their mistakes to be one of the pioneers. A lot of companies talk about test and learn, but Dell are actually doing it.
    • Embrace negatives – any negative customer experience can be changed into a positive. If companies know about the negative, they can resolve it. It’s the negative experiences you don’t hear about that hurt the company. Dell are listening to the negatives and sorting them out with the customer.
    • Top down – the cultural change was led by Michael Dell. He, personally, was responding and listening to what people were saying and encouraged the rest of Dell to get involved.
    • DNA – Listening to customers is core to Dell’s DNA – it’s their focus and their vision. Dell have a focus and all employees know what is expected of them.

    I love Dell, or at least their embracing marketing practices. All companies can learn a lot from them.

    If you want to read more about Dell, read my post on Dell’s journey to listening. The post that led to this post.

    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Driving traffic to your blog – what works?


    Over the past four weeks I have been testing out how to drive traffic to my blog. There are so many articles out there telling you how to increase the traffic, but I wanted to see what really worked online, so I tried the following:

    • Submitted the URL to search engines and blog search (Technorati, Icerocket, etc)
    • Submitted the URL to StumbleUpon
    • Subscribed to Traffic Generator websites
    • Updated Facebook, LinkedIn and messegner status with URL
    • Commented on other peoples blogs (usually high trafficked)
    • Commented on Election 2008 Twitter site
    • Joined so many different social networks (Tumblr, MeeID, Popengo, etc)
    • Added an RSS feed to the blog (Thanks Scott for your help)
    • Networked and communicated with bloggers
    • Thanked anyone who commented on my site (that I didn’t know)

    So what worked?

    Here is the blog stats for this blog daily over the last 4 weeks and then weekly since I started.

    My blog  - daily traffic as at 28 September 2008

    My blog - daily traffic as at 28 September 2008

    My blog  - weekly traffic as at 28 September 2008

    My blog - weekly traffic as at 28 September 2008

    The key drivers of traffic have been internal emails, status updates on my profiles and press. The other activities have helped spike traffic for the day and keep it higher than the initial levels, but this shows, like all campaign sites, there needs to be a level of focus and attention paid to driving traffic. If you just leave the site/blog to find it’s own traffic, it doesn’t happen. It is hard work, but maintaining sites is so important.

    LEARNINGS

    Throughout this process, here are the top five learnings:

    1. StumbleUpon – Constantly delivers around 20 people to the blog a day.
    2. Comments – High profiled and trafficked sites are a great place to start getting involved and making sure your presence is noticed.
    3. Search – A key drive of traffic, but most keywords have been around my name ‘Dominique Hind’.
    4. WOM – Leverage your own networks. Most people have a range of social networks they are members of – update you status to include your URL, send an email to your network, profile it in your website, etc.
    5. Dialogue – get involved with people who are visiting your site, include them on your blogroll, email them and utilise their networks.
    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

    Dell’s journey to listening – IdeaStorm


    Whenever anyone asks me what my favourite campaign is, I always answer with two: Dell IdeaStorm and Nike+. The reason I love Dell IdeaStorm is that Dell were a brand that was is a really bad position (financially and from an advertising/marketing perspective). Their batteries were blowing up, their customer service was really bad and there was so much negative chatter about them in the blogosphere. Rather than being a defeatest, they started to trial new marketing ideas and got involved with the online community – a community that was losing trust in the brand (see examples below) quickly.

    Dell Hell - Buzz Machine post

    Dell Hell - Buzz Machine post

    Dell Hell posts - where it gained momentum

    Dell Hell posts - where it gained momentum

    There was so much negative chatter and it was continuing to build momentum, so many other blogging celebrities were getting involved and channeling their negativity towards Dell. I am assuming at this point that Dell knew they had to do something drastic, so they started Direct 2 Dell (see initial screen grab below). A blog that was set up to provide an insight into Dell and some of the problems they were trying to overcome. However, rather than this being a proper blog (two way dialogue) all comments were moderated and edited prior to them appearing live.

    Direct2Dell - launch design

    Direct2Dell - launch design

    This caused even more uproar in the blogging community and Dell had to do something desperate to respond to the situation. Introducing IdeaStorm. One of the best crisis marketing responses. Awesome. IdeaStorm not only invited comments and feedback from consumers, but it was an ideal way to try and contain the negativity. It also provided users the opportunity to share thoughts around product improvements and enhancements. The perfect new product development or market research tool.

    IdeaStorm - Launch design

    IdeaStorm - Launch design

    Since launching Dell have updated the creative for both Direct2Dell and IdeaStorm, so they feel like they are from the same family.

    Direct2Dell design update

    Direct2Dell design update

    IdeaStorm design update

    IdeaStorm design update

    SUMMARY

    So the Dell negativity (Dell Hell) started in July 2005 and in just over three years Dell have managed to turn it around. To show Dell’s progression over the past three years, have a look at the following presentation.

    LEARNINGS

    What can a client take out of Dell’s learnings? A lot.

    Although, for something like this to be implemented and deemed a success there needs to be a fundamental change to the way a company works. Before any company starts a blog or an online research/support centre, the following must be considered:

    1. Feedback loop – what is the process, internally, that will be implemented to ensure that the customer feedback is not falling on deaf ears and customers are kept updated on progress within the company.
    2. Customer service (support centre) – when are the majority of comments being made? When are they being responded to? What time period or response time has been agreed within the company? Can the support lines (call centres) be trained to answer some of these questions?
    3. Moderation – what happens with negative comments? How will they be answered? Will they remain on the site/blog?
    4. Transparency – how transparent are you willing to be with the audience? What are you prepared to share? Where are the boundaries?
    5. Owner – this needs to be driven internally by a project owner. A dedicated person within must be driving this and ensuring it is used to its full potential.
    6. Campaign duration – is this going to be a short-term thing or will there be a company-wide change to ensure listening to the customers is ingrained into the company culture?
    7. Traffic drivers – how are consumers going to know the site/blog exists? Will it be an online only, integrated or piggy back off the back of another campaign?
    8. Measurement – how will success be measured? What will be used as benchmarks?
    9. Optimisation – how will the site/blog be optimised? How often? What is the plan?
    10. Shared learnings – how will the learnings be shared with the rest of the company?

    Overall, this is an awesome marketing campaign and shows Dell is listening to its customers.

    Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
    %d bloggers like this: