Archive for April, 2011

One particular question from last week’s Q&A session struck me as worthy of its own blog post. It was this:

You’re very active in social media, speaking engagements/traveling, etc. How do you go about scheduling your day/s — balancing work and family life? – Kristof

What about your scheduling and what are the most interesting activities of your day to day life? – Robin Clerk

You ask, I answer.

Just… whatever you do, don’t share this video with anyone. These are trade secrets I am only sharing with you, so shhhhh…

If the embedded video doesn’t play for you, you can watch it here.

One final tip: If your teenage son asks you for a video camera for Christmas, think twice before obliging him. You might just create… a monster.

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This week, instead of writing dissertations about brand management, social media operationalization, leadership or smart business, why don’t we open things up to your questions? Here’s how we’ll do it:

1. Think of something clever to ask.

2. Post your question in the comments section or shoot a video and link to it in the comments. (Do not send me questions via email. You can double down and send them to me via Facebook or Twitter, but if you do, link to them here. Let’s keep them all in one place.)

3. Starting Tuesday, I will start answering your questions right here on the blog.

Let’s give it a shot and see how things go. If this works well, we’ll make it a regular feature on the blog.

I look forward to your questions. 🙂

PS: If the video doesn’t play for you, go watch it here.

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Okay, let’s start answering your questions.

In no particular order:

Q1. Neicole Crepeau

Social media is another marketing “channel” but different. Of course, we want an integrated approach. I’m curious, when adding social media marketing to your marketing mix, what traditional tools and best practices would you apply to your social media strategy planning? And what new tools or techniques would you suggest using?


If the video doesn’t play for you, go watch it here.

Q2: Andra Watkins

I wonder why your dog isn’t on the cover of your book.

Ok, seriously.

It seems to me like Twitter is dying. How long do you think it has? What do you think will replace it?

I ask this question because you and I ‘met’ there. It used to be the place for me to be able to go and make connections with people I wanted to know, something Facebook and Linked In don’t lend themselves to as easily.

Congratulations on your book and on all of your success Olivier.


If the video doesn’t play for you, go watch it here.

Q3. Yvonne

I am very new to social media in terms of using them to “Build your Brand”. I have created a FB page for the company and am reading posts on Twitter and LinkedIn on a daily basis. My question is, how do I use social media to become an international luxury brand…we are currently a locally “Branded” company…or is social media the wrong route to build a luxury brand?

I appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback!! I always enjoy your posts!! Yvonne


If the video doesn’t play for you, go watch it here.

More videos are on the way.

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Q4: Dino Dogan

How do large organizations like Disney and Coke reconcile their brand’s image with their reality. As in, polished and pretty on the outside but socially unsustainable and even irresponsible on the inside.

And Im asking this from the perspective of leaders. I assume you’ve had dealings with leaders of many large organizations who want to present one image to the public whilst not matching that image internally.

I imagine having a polished image while being far from polished must take a tremendous personal tool on these people. The incongruence of it must wear on them. Or are they completely oblivious?

Moreover, Im more interested in your observations of people in these positions. The observations you’ve made to yourself without sharing them out loud.

Im asking you to share them out loud 


Q5: Cristian

Nice idea Olivier. I have a few questions I’d like to hear your thoughts on if I may.

1. What do you feel are some of the reasons that led to Pepsi dropping to the #3 spot in the cola wars recently. Do you feel “Pepsi Refresh” had something to do with the tumble, or do you feel it had more to do with other factors in their strategy and overall marketing vision for the brand?

2. How important do you feel social intelligence is when ideating social media strategies, marketing, and overall thought leadership?

3. What did you want to “grow up to be” when you were a kid? Does you current career path somehow connect with it?


Q6: Rob Frappier

Hi Olivier! Great idea for a blog series.

My question relates to “reputation scoring.” In the past, Reputation.com CEO Michael Fertik has written about the development of personal digital scores “that use our online information to rate our health, employability, financial index, romantic connection and so on.”

We’ve explored the privacy ramifications of this development, but I’m interested in your perspective on the social commerce aspects of a unified digital reputation score. Will companies like Klout find long-term success by quantifying social media influence?


Q7: Alastair Banks

Hey OB,

Hope you’re well. I would be interested in your thoughts on various types of monitoring software. Are they worth investing in and if so do you have favourites.

Look forward to seeing you for Likeminds again this year and hopefully getting my copy of the book signed


Q8: Chef Chuck

Hello Olivier, My name is Chef Chuck working on a brand name, Chef Chuck’s Cucina food line out of Italy. We have five companies wanting to use my name Chef Chuck’s Cucina as a testimonial, with me on the label. Very new and exciting for me can you give me a few pointers on how to spread the word wide and far, that these products are coming to America ?


Q9: Waqas Ali

Hi Olivier,

Want to know what’s on your regular reading for brand-building and web2.0 stuff? Other than sites like Mashable and TechCrunch.

Secondly, why you haven’t selected Tweet & Facebook Like button on your blog? Is there any specific reason?


Q10:  Jeannie Walters

Bonjour, Olivier!
I would love to know your assessment of the best way to “audit” social media success. I’ve seen it done many ways, and lots of times it seems success is ill-defined. How can you really evaluate if social media is working within a defined time/format?

Bonus question: have you read all those books behind you in the video?

Hope to see you in Chicago soon!


Q11:  Rick Rice


I’d be interested in your thoughts on the importance of the employee audience for marketing / branding campaigns and what you would measure for ROI on that part of a program.

A: 11

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With all the partisan bickering in Washington and the vitriolic anti-government rhetoric filling the airwaves across America, it can be hard to tell where made-up BS ends and reality begins. Before cutting programs like Medicare, shutting down the entire US government (sending every government employee home without a paycheck) or defaulting on our debt (say goodbye to the dollar), let’s all take a deep breath, step away from the TV and the radio, and replace opinions with facts, rhetoric with knowledge, and political religion with practical analysis.

Yes, something needs to be done about both the national dept and the federal budget deficit. That goes without saying. But shutting down the US government and asking the US to essentially… file for bankruptcy overnight isn’t just an overreaction, it is also counterproductive. The US won’t be better without the EPA, the FDA, the IRS, OSHA and the Department of Education. Americans won’t be better off without Social Security and Medicare. Those agencies and programs exist for a reason, just like the CIA, the Department of Defense and the Department of Justice. No matter how much some people want to go back to “the good old days” of 1792, we’re in the 21st century now, and the expectation of what it means to be a country, a nation, a society have evolved. High standards of living and food safety, a world class infrastructure, competitive public schools and access to affordable medical care have replaced the reality of high infant mortality rates, witch trials, fortified hamlets, slavery, and rampant illiteracy. Throwing the baby out with the proverbial bathwater is not the answer, no mater how angry some people are with government waste, corruption and abuse of power.

So again, let’s everyone take a deep breath, give the anger and rhetoric a rest, and begin the process of understanding exactly what is working, what isn’t working, and where we can begin to make the kinds of course adjustments that will yield real results. We will all be better off if we take the time to solve these problems calmly and carefully instead of just taking a chainsaw to everything the US has struggled to build for the last two hundred years, just because some jackass on TV or the radio tells us it’s the right thing to do.

First things first: Understanding where your tax dollars actually go. Forget the dept for a minute. Unless you have a PhD in macroeconomics, you might as well be arguing with each other about superstring theory. Once you grasp the basics, then you can get back to dept, trade deficits and surpluses, monetary policy, and the interconnectivity of global currency markets. For now though, start at the beginning. Start with the basics: Understanding why taxes exist, what your federal tax dollars pay for, and how everything gets parsed out.

Because this sort of information shouldn’t be a mystery to anyone, the White House created a handy interactive digital worksheet to help us see for ourselves exactly how our own tax dollars are put to work. Just go to whitehouse.gov/taxreceipt to check it out. Regardless of your political views, it’s a handy tool that will help you better understand how your taxes are actually spent. (Opinions are nice, but they’re a lot more useful when backed up by facts, aren’t they?) If you are still angry at the world and President Obama and imaginary socialist one-worlders after playing with the worksheet, that’s up to you, but at least you will know how your hard earned tax dollars are spent (and not spent).  It’ll be a good start.

Kudos to the folks at whitehouse.gov for creating the worksheet, and a big thumbs up for both clarity and transparency. (Especially the transparency.)

Happy tax returns, everyone.

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Dear UPS,

I don’t mind when you try to deliver a package after 8pm instead of… you know… typical delivery hours. I get it: Your driver had a busy day and he is working extra long hours to make sure I get my package today instead of tomorrow. I can’t fault you for going the extra mile. Kudos to you. I appreciate it.

But here’s the thing: When the note you leave on my door says that you will come back AFTER 5pm the next day to try again, at least TRY to stick to that little scheduling contract between us that you took the time to draft. See, I rearranged my schedule to make sure I would be here when you said you would be back. The least you can do is keep up your side of the bargain, right? … Right?

But this is what you just did: On 4/14, you tried to deliver a package after 8pm, taking a chance that I would be there. The note you left on my door said you would come back on 5/15 after 5pm. Check out the circled “FRI” (Friday) and “After 5:00” boxes in the image below:

Today is 5/15, so I made sure to be here by 4:30 pm, just in case you were a little early. Here is what my watch said ten minutes after getting home:

But guess what: You had already come by. When did you knock on my door, UPS? 2:00pm? 3:00pm? 4:00pm? Weren’t you supposed to come by AFTER 5pm? What’s the deal?

Your new note (see below) says you will try for the third and final time on 4/18 (MON) between 2pm and 5pm. See the checked boxes in the image below:

My question to you is… when exactly should I be here waiting for you on Monday: 8am? 10pm? Should I wait for you at all? Does Monday really mean Tuesday? Or tomorrow – Saturday?

This wouldn’t be a big deal if it didn’t happen regularly, and not just to me.

So… UPS, while I enjoy your cool “logistics” ad campaign, I want to bring to your attention the reality of your… “logistics” out here on the receiving end of your business, courtesy of CollegeHumor.com:

(If the video doesn’t play for you, go watch it here.)

Do you think that video would have been made if it weren’t a widespread problem? Maybe something you should look into?

And yes, just in case you were wondering, I have nothing better to do than play “wait for the delivery man” with you all day.  All week, even. Know what I mean? Me and tens of thousands of increasingly annoyed customers looking at FedEx instead of Brown.

Why are we all looking for an alternative? Because every time you waste our time AND don’t deliver on your most basic promises, you give us a reason not to trust you… and to stop doing business with you. I really want to like you. I do. But you’re making it pretty hard. Think about how many people and businesses you turn away like this every day. Every week. Every month. Every year. How much is this inability to keep your word, this chronic “let’s annoy our customers as much as possible by not delivering when we say we will” really costing you? Think about it.

So here’s an idea: Either make sure you deliver parcels when you say you will, or, if you can’t work that into your “logistics,” just leave the date and time blank on your delivery notices. The operational lesson here: If you can’t figure out how to deliver on schedule yet, at least do us the courtesy of not wasting our time.


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