April 29, 2011

Book Review: The Thank You Economy

Filed under: Books,Social Media — Emily Reeves @ 7:52 am

“Our morning social media browse to check in on what everyone has been up to became the equivalent of the old-timers’ early morning stroll to the diner for pancakes and coffee. We check Facebook and comment on a friend’s photo of her new shoes (which we know without asking are Kate Spades and were bought at Nordstrom’s because she said so in her status update) the same way we once would have remarked, ‘You look lovely in that hat, Margie,’ as we passed our neighbor.”

For those that don’t understand the draw of social media, the excerpt above can help put it into a context they may understand. In “The Thank You Economy,” Gary Vaynerchuk does a fantastic job of clearly explaining the significance social media can have on a business and its customer relationships.  For those that are still wondering if and why they should engage with customers through social media, Vaynerchuk knocks down the arguments. The book is bursting with real examples of brands that have used social media to make a difference in the business engagements and the brands range in size, awareness and business type. Vaynerchuk shows that you can be a dentist and use social media with successes to show for the efforts.

Some quotes from the book that hit home for me:

“When given the choice, people will always spend their time around people they like. When it’s expedient and practical, they’s also rather do business with and buy stuff from people they like. And now, they can. Social media has made it possible for consumers to interact with businesses in a way that is often similar to how they interact with their friends and family.”

“Social media has transformed our world into one great big small town, dominated, as all vibrant towns used to be, by the strength of relationships, the currency of caring, and the power of word of mouth.”

“People thought they had seen a massive cultural shift when the public adopted the Internet into their daily lives, but the bigger shift occurred when the Internet began to allow for two-way conversation. Learn how to implement a culture of caring and communication into your business, scale your one-to-one relationships, and watch your customers reward your efforts by using their new and massively powerful word of mouth to market your business and brand for you.”

“The drawback to resisting social media engagement is clear: the longer you wait, the farther the competition can pull ahead.”

“Some people try to use social media…by pushing sales pitches and gimmicks. Their efforts might get brief attention, but the message will fade and it certainly won’t have long-term value; it’s just not worth thinking about. If you’re going to launch a campaign, it has to be one that evokes an emotion–positive or negative–so that people feel compelled to share. Give them something to talk about, unleash the power of word of mouth, and allow them to pull you into their consciousness.”

“The Thank You Economy works when you build a sense of community around your brand, not when you simply sell to it.”

I heard Vaynerchuk speak at SXSW this year where he enthusiastically revved up the audience with his passion for social media. You can feel his personality, enthusiasm and passion come through in this book.  This book can make a believer out of the biggest skeptics to social media.

Recommendation: read it.

April 22, 2011

“You are not really an AE, are you?”

Filed under: Account Management Training,Advertising — Emily Reeves @ 7:57 am

The best compliment I could have received at the conference I attended this week was in the question above (and my new friend that asked the question endeared himself to me forever). This was a compliment in the context of this conference because I had just come off a presentation about my takeaways from SXSWi, an interactive and creative conference and not something one would expect account people to attend. Account Management (account managers, account executives, etc.) gets a bad rap in the ad agency business; there is an assumption in many agencies that they are order-takers and simply a go-between. However, the truth is that they are saddled with a lot of responsibility (at least, in our agency): communications strategy development, budget management, revenue management, deadline management, scheduling/traffic, relationship building both inside and outside, ensuring integration across the agency in the strategies we recommend for the agency, meeting leaders, proof-reading, research, maintaining knowledge of industry trends, maintaining knowledge of their clients’ business trends, and the list goes on. But they get none of the “glory” when a creative project is deemed successful, although without a good account person on the team, the project likely would not have come to its fruitful results.

Because I was the only account person at a conference of creative directors, digital strategists and media directors, I heard much complaining about the roles account people play in agencies. Some of the complaints were legitimate, some were blame-shifting (perhaps), but regardless, these conversations have inspired me to think about how to improve account management in agencies. I should be proud to be an “AE,” not flattered by a question that implies I am “better than” an AE.

I have been thinking on this challenge for several days and know that more concentrated training is in order, both for the account team and for their agency partners.

Starting in May, we will begin weekly training and sharing sessions with our account teams to not only improve their skills, but also their confidence in the roles they each play in the agency.  I am interested in any thoughts readers here have for what kind of training is needed for account people, or examples of how account people are trained in your own agencies.  I plan on sharing our training methods here in a weekly series and look forward to your feedback.

For our agency partners (creative, media, interactive, PR, production): what would be the best way to earn respect and understanding for the work that we do and the contribution that we make?

April 18, 2011

What did SXSWi teach us?

Filed under: SXSW,Technology — Emily Reeves @ 2:19 pm

Below is a Prezi I put together for a couple of agency presentations I was scheduled to give post-SXSW. It sums up my key takeaways from SXSW 2011.

April 4, 2011

Talk Business Interview: 2011 Trends Discussion

Filed under: Talk Business,Technology — Emily Reeves @ 7:36 am

Thank you to Roby Brock at Talk Business for the discussion about 2011 tech trends.  Check out the video here: