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The Pivot Conference: Your Questions Answered, Part 1

The Pivot Conference is designed for brands and their agencies and will take place October 17th and 18th in New York. This year’s theme focuses on an important shift in marketing as brands respond to “The Rise of the Social Consumer.”

As the host and editorial director for the event, I asked early registrants what it was that they wanted to know as they prepare for the event this Fall. I took some time to answer their questions and will run them as a three-part series for those with similar questions.

If you’d like to join us, you can register here. Please use SOLISVIP for a special 20% discount.

Part 1 of 3:

Q: What made you choose to focus your career on social marketing?

Social marketing was something that I was pushed to discover in 1997. That is because I was tasked with finding alternative marketing methodologies for linking direct consumer engagement online with outcomes. At the time, I was working mostly with emerging technology companies. Those companies all shared the same challenge, the need for missionary marketing to create markets for their products before there was demand. Online forums, discussion boards, groups, early frameworks for social media, forced me to relearn and in turn innovate around a new form of marketing through engagement. It was then that I embraced a motto that I still live by today, “constraint forces creativity.” The rest will be in my autobiography. JK.

Q: Why shouldn’t a brand’s social media strategy be owned by a PR or ad agency ?

How can brands can get help to set governance of social media in through the organization ? In social media, the brand grows new limbs. Whereas before the brand was controlled by marketing and executive leadership. In social media brands are democratized. It’s not what we say that counts, it’s what customers say that adds up to a brand experience in social networks. As a result, consumers require engagement to steer brand experiences positively. Consumers have different needs; some are customers, some are advocates, some are prospects, some are employees, and they look to the brand as one company, not business units. Inside, a brand executive must “socialize” each department with a delegate, each connected to one social media hub for governance, training, and strategy.

Q: How are the big ad agencies embracing the ‘small’ world of video for social media?

Wieden + Kennedy set the bar for how agencies can take a commercial idea and then repackage content for the social web. Once it gets traction, there is an opportunity to extend the video experience and resulting campaign goals through episodic series that works within the unique constraints and dynamics of a real time, social web; that is, relevant, consumable and sharable. We can also look at Ford’s Reveal campaign that launched its new Explorer to see how original content can displace traditional commercials. In this case, they opted out of the Super Bowl and withdrew from a major auto show to design a launch experience in Facebook. Ford will tell you that for a fraction of the cost, designing videos with purpose for the social web can and will out-perform broadcast commercials. But, they must be designed to connect and also compel viewers to interact and share. And, that is a different recipe than television.

Q: Where will “social media” be in 5 years?

Social media is evolving from a technology standpoint and it is affecting us from a cultural perspective equally. Technology is maturing faster than our ability to find a place for everything in our everday life. This will only accelerate. What that will cause is a greater sense of human curation and qualification where the appeal of new and active networks lose to the ability to align functionality and need. So, the main players in social media are going to continue to grow in size, shape and reach. They will also connect the dots between online and mobile and real-world and virtual to the point where they are one and the same. I am also looking at how gamification lures us into engagement on all fronts. The one thing that we can count on is that the consumer will become sophisticated in how they use social networks to dictate what they want within those network. In turn, they emerse themselves in this new social economy.

About Pivot

The Pivot Conference is focused on helping brand managers, executives, creative teams, and agencies bridge the gap between brands and the emerging market of Social Consumers. Combining inspiration and education through a series of keynotes, discussions and workshops, Pivot teaches through immersion how to captivate attention where and when it’s focused and how to steer experiences and actions beneficial to the brand.

The two-day conference will engage the heart and the mind of attendees through a structured approach to understanding strategies and tactics to effectively attract and engage social consumers. Part inspiration and part education, together we’ll walk away with ideas and programs we can put to work immediately and throughout 2012.

Pivot will be limited to 500 brand and their agencies in 2011. (Click here to register. – Use Code SOLISVIP to save 20%)

Contact Mike Edelhart at to inquire about sponsorships.

For more, please read our first report, “Brands Pursue the Social Consumer.”

7 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “The Pivot Conference: Your Questions Answered, Part 1”

  1. Renee says:

    That was very thoughtful to run these questions for those of us with similar questions, it was most helpful especially the response to where social media will be in 5 years. Thank you.

  2. Extreme John says:

    I have to agree that technology is indeed greatly improving that people have to take the challenge to even improve the quality of knowledge in order to grow with the improving technology. Great questions and answers. Very informative and useful for those engaged in social media marketing. 

  3. Thank you for sharing. I’ve learned a lot from this conference, hope you’ll have a lot more.

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