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On The Big Brand Theory: The Ritz-Carlton Uses Social Media to Create Indelible Memories

I'm not sure that Apple or Zappos qualify as "luxury, over-the-top, best-in-the-business customer service."  

September 4, 2013    View Comment    

On Empire Avenue – Social Gaming with a Purpose

I have not been able to find out how many people are currently on Empire Avenue (EA), nor any data as to the typical profile.  Intuitively and from my experience, the early adopters are clearly all closely linked in one form or another to social media -- in other words, not necessarily representative of the broader population. 

Re your second question, I see EA as a hybrid.  Its success resides on being fun (game) and purposeful (business). As such, you will find a wider audience appeal, making the reasons for playing broader.  Were it to become too businesslike, I believe the buzz would be taken out. 

To that end, I have seen many participants that are only playing the game based on the investment opportunity (the pure game aspect) and who do not themselves have a social media presence to speak of.  Between gamers, self-promoters, heavy bloggers, brands and EA enthusiasts, to my understanding, it is quite a mixed breed.

To answer your third question, I find that the networking is different from the other social media platforms in particular because of the different communities to which I belong, where the membership is different from the people I have been following or know in the other SM circles.  I haven't yet transformed an EA acquantaince into a real-life meeting, but I have had a few unique exchanges that I am sure will one day convert.

May 31, 2011    View Comment    

On Social CRM: Can Your Customers Find Your Brand Online?

One day one could envision having a brand's Facebook and/or Twitter address on the back of the packaging (or even on the front)?  The lead times are long for many types of products, but I think it would be a great way to innovate in certain spaces (toys, cosmetics, etc.)

In the B2B space, the salesforce is a strong way to communicate offline to clients... and yet many salesforces do not get sufficient training on online media (much less be kept up to date on the marketing communication plans).

January 16, 2010    View Comment    

On People Don't Leave Organizations... They Leave Managers

I thoroughly agree with your article and your guidelines for good management/leadership. This holds true at all levels in the company, although one may find a strong link between the CEO's style and that of the managers underneath; so it is worth keeping an eye on the top boss' management style. 

Even at the highest levels in the organisation, if there are strategic differences of opinion, these strategies are driven by a person, the top boss.  I believe that, if you are not feeling like you are able to learn from your boss, then over time you lose respect. At a certain [ie board] level in the company, though, you are the one that is destined to bring the learning  to the organisation -- in this case, the learning can or should come from the peers on the board.

Rule #1 for entrepreneurs is to go into business with the right people.  In essence, for any size company, Rule #1 remains : have the right people.  Of course, it is still important to have the right strategy and organisational structure...but these are borne of the people.

August 15, 2009    View Comment    

On Technology is Soft

Ed, I would have to agree with you, although I recognize how hard it is to "unwire" the mind from considering technology as "hardware."  But, fortunately, accompanying the hardware is the software... And, essentially, software needs training, upgrading & sharing to become effective in an organization.  When I work on web tools and how to make them effective for an organisation, I like to discuss "web attitude" -- which involves how the company integrates the tool into its functioning (buy in, responsiveness, processes).  Many new software programs absolutely need HR (or, at least, the softer skills of upper management) to be involved in order to be implemented effectively.  Back when email was being introduced, employees needed to learn how to use it (and they still do, in far too many cases) and it only worked when all the team was on board.  Social media tools -- technology's latest gig -- have "soft" implanted in the DNA by their very social nature.  So, in summary, I have to believe that technology has grown up to take a preponderant place in the soft underbelly of companies.
August 10, 2009    View Comment