Tag Archives: brands

Ideas.org private social networks breakfast

This morning I visited ideas.org who work with some orgnisations to run their own private social networks. At Endava we term these on portal communities rather than private social networks, but I’m splitting hairs.

It was worth popping around the corner to their wonderful Smithfield Market office for the hour and a half.

I wasn’t concerned with the technology aspect – we run on portal/private communities for hundreds of thousands to millions of users, I was interested in the case studies present how they encouraged users to join and participate. Our clients are fortunate to be able to afford large media campaigns or even automatically appear in the media (such as sports organisations). 

After visiting Internet World last week and hearing organisations such as Hilton speak, I’m continuously interested in how organisations succeed in gathering more signups and usage of on portal communities.

My notes are below. Rather than type them up, I’m afraid you’ll need to decipher my handwriting.


TV audiences v Web traffic part 2


I’ve always had a bit of a bee in my bonnet when it comes to BARB figures. Just the concept of extrapolating from 5,000 homes to an estimated audience of 26 million in 2011 starts gets me frustrated.

Two recent articles provide further evidence in my favour.

The first article was in an excellent interview with Keith Weed, the CMO of Unilever. In the interview he provides an answer to the ROI (Return On Investment) question of social media:

The measurement of ROI in this area is a big issue for us. We have different ways of measurement, some of which are more experimental than others. The good news is that I have enough evidence that says most of the time we can prove better ROI online than in TV. It is much more measurable.

So Unilever is the second largest spender on TV in the World (a statistic he mentions in the interview), yet he’s happy putting his faith in ancient, unscientific BARB figures, but when it comes to digital, Unilever want it to be scientific to the n’th degree.

There’s another way to interpret his answer though – I estimate that BARB figures are hugely inflated because of the extrapolation that was perhaps sufficient with 4 or 5 TV channels, but nowadays as useless as a chocolate teapot in the age oif hundreds of TV, IPTV and PVRs such as Sky+. ROI from a huge TV ad spend is then going to be lower, because the TV ad is at an inflated cost, and the returns (e.g. increased revenue) are much more measurable by the brand.

So no wonder that Mr Weed is experiencing an increase in ROI from social media and digital in particular.

The second article I read was from Cadbury, who can now measure their ROI on digital so precisely that they find a return of 3 to 1 for each pound spent in the new world (you need an NMA subscription for that original article, or click here for a copy of the article). Again, I think it’s because the measurement tools available on the web are so superior to TV measurement.

URLs for this article:

  • Unilever:
  • Cadbury:

Eat your own dog food


During the launch of Microsoft Vista, we implemented a number of projects with Microsoft. There were a few things I learned from Microsoft at the time, however one of them – the concept of ‘eating their own dog food’ – was something that sticks out.

The concept is simple. Get your own captive audience to try your products before the public. Understand how they use it. Be ready for the public reaction, because you’ve already been using it for a few months.

You don’t need to create your own products to have this approach.

I strongly believe and encourage the staff at Endava to use the latest social networks, tools, applications, so that we can have a view and opinion on them for our clients. What works better than Microsoft Project? Is Twitter useful? What’s the difference between Yammer and Skype? What’s the best task tracking system, or should we be using TFS? Is an iPhone better than an Android?

One specific client always follows up these types of questions with “And have you used it?”

The only way to answer these questions is to have experienced them personally before providing the opinion to clients.

Photo courtesy of nancybeetoo on Flickr

Why Facebook Connect won’t be the universal ID platform


I’ve read a few blogs and even a full front page FT article recently that the power of Facebook is that it’s joining up the web as a single ID platform via Facebook Connect.

The theory is that you won’t need to register with hundreds of websites to leave comments, read articles, etc. – just login using Facebook Connect instead.

There are two reasons I don’t think this will work:

  1. The smart (and big) brands will continue to want to own their own data. Most brands want a direct relationship with their consumers (see prediction #10), and for decades have had to let their retailers/ resdellers have that relationship. I don’t see those same brands rolling over and letting the social networks and App stores having a relationship instead.
  2. I don’t necessarily want my professional colleagues to see my personal information (including photos) and updates, or asking me to be their friend via Facebook. We use Facebook Connect on some of our sites, and the first few people who become a ‘Fan’ of a new Facebook Page are then displayed in Facebook widgets on our sites. Those first few fans are inevitably the employees of the brand or our partner agencies.
    Another way of saying this, is that the distinction between personal and work becomes too blurred. And don’t get me started about me being able to administer my own Facebook groups of friends. 
    This might change in the long term. There is a shift for younger employees to use personal electronic devices (especially phones) to connect to work email. Less employees want two computers at home, so they’ll do all their personal tasks on their work laptop. The distinction between work and personal devices will keep blending in the medium to long term.

One alternative is for LinkedIn to become a professional ID and Facebook to be the personal ID. I post professional updates to my LinkedIn profile, and personal ones in Facebook because I have two sets of ‘contacts’ on both platforms, with a small overlap between the two.

Another alternative is for the ID to be Skype. The beauty of Skype at the moment is that it’s portable (across all my devices and computers), secure (users can only login once, and it’s voice encryption is superb) and because it doesn’t store any personal information (especially stag party photos) it’s ideal.

The Facebook Village

We recently held an event with Facebook, where they showed a video of what would (could?) happen if you put RFID bracelets (a bracelet version of an Oyster card) on 650 teenagers and tracked them for a few days in a fixed environment.

OK, I admit that as a parent it’s quite a scary concept, however the teenagers took to the concept en-masse – statistics like 35,000 uploaded photos for those 650 teens would be classed at successful by virtually any brand.

So is this the future? Will our children have an RFID tag in their mobile phone which automatically tags where they are, what they’re doing, all their phone’s photos and uploads them to a central place on the Internet (for the time being, Facebook)?

England 2018 Sponsorship vs social networks


The latest newsletter from the England 2018 ‘Back the bid’ campaign shows the power of social networks – see the screenshot above.

Brands such as Morrisons, PWC, Umbro, British Airways and BT have spent a small fortune sponsoring the bid so far, and rightly see their logos at the bottom of all communications.

Below their logos are links to the social network where supporters of the bid can track any progress – and some of these logos are larger than the brands above!

When Yahoo! sponsored a Formula 1 team, they had to pay for it, however the market has changed so much, so quickly, that sports brands now embrace social networks (rightly so IMHO as a key traffic driver – no pun intended).