August 31, 2012

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Digital Digest #91: The Citizen CMO

Digital Digest: What Edelman Canada is reading in digital marketing, technology and strategy. Fresh links served up Fridays. This week’s edition of Digital Digest was edited by Matthew Hayles, Devon BurkeAlison FlemingDave Fleet, Leigh LePage and Kyle Brown.

Research released last month by Bazaarvoice found that more than three quarters of CMOs are confident that social has a measurable impact on brand awareness, brand loyalty and sales. This shows a surprising evolution in priorities: the same group in 2011 was laser-focused on tying social media to revenue generation and ROI. Does this demonstrate that CMOs are shifting from hard to soft metrics for social media?

Sort of. Increasing sales is a venerable goal, and it is unlikely to go away. But a renewed focus on awareness and loyalty is refreshing for three reasons. First, it shows that CMOs recognize social can be used to grow and shape public perception. Second, CMOs are reenergizing efforts to provide value to existing customers. Lastly, CMOs know they need to behave like model citizens, not shills, in order to earn customers’ attention. That’s why this week’s edition of Edelman Canada’s Digital Digest shows how brands and politicians are insisting on participation and transparency to earn public trust.

Tech Updates:

Case Study: Barack Obama’s Reddit Q&A

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama participated in an AMA (short for “Ask Me Anything”) on Reddit and responded to live questions on everything from youth unemployment to the corrupting influence of money in politics. While Obama is not the first American politician to take to Reddit, he most certainly has the highest profile. And while going live on any social media site, can open the floodgates for a disaster, Obama’s Reddit debut demonstrated smart transparency, an ability to relate to an unlikely audience, and also humanized an otherwise inaccessible global leader. Reddit

Google Showing Fewer Results

Google is moving from displaying 10 to 7 results on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), and more results from the same domain. With this change, brands can own more of the first page results, but will need to fiercely protect their top positions or work to get to top if they’re not already there. Strong organic and paid search strategies are more important now than ever. Search Engine Land (eBay, mentioned in this article, is an Edelman client.)

How Technology is Making Honesty the Only Policy

As one journalism professor once said to this writer, if you can’t scream something comfortably on the street corner it shouldn’t go on the Internet. Where discreet inquiries or information could previously be masked through phone calls or letters, now brands and consumers alike are accountable for any and all texts, emails, tweets, et cetera. Honesty isn’t just the best policy, it’s the only one. Digital Trends

Case Study: Amazon Buyers Roast BIC “For Her” Pen

Anyone paying attention to the social landscape in recent years already knows that the social media has provided everyday people with the means to talk back to companies when they disagree with their activities. Rarely, though, do companies face a backlash of the kind that BIC found itself contemplating in recent days. The cutting sarcasm of the reviews of the BIC Cristal For Her Ball Pen is a reminder that, as Econsultancy points out, social media extends beyond Facebook and Twitter, and that consumer reactions can come in various forms. Amazon.com

Edelman Canada’s Digital Digest is a weekly bundle of links, served up on Edelman Canada’s Our Ideas blog on Fridays. It’s also available by email. If you know someone who would like to be added to the mailing list, have any questions or just want to share some thoughts on anything you read here, email me. Let’s get a conversation going.

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