Category Archives: Innovation

Put A Ring On It: Moving Beyond Social Engagement

Social media has significantly changed business but business is also changing the way we do social media.  How do you measure, monetize and optimize social interactions in a business environment?  Look no further than your marriage.  Everything I’ve learned about social media I got from my wife.  Kinda.

This is a quick share of the presentation slides and a video from the WCG Social Commerce event at SXSW 2013.  I was honored to speak to and learn from some of the most brilliant brands and digital minds around.  Check it out and let me know what you think.

ROI can come from the most important places.  Many thanks to my wife Alisha for being a good sport and awesome partner.

Video created by UPG

Slideshare presentation: Put A Ring On It: Moving Beyond Social Engagement

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Filed under Innovation, Interactive Marketing, intuit, Learnings & Insight

How Do You Drive Innovation? Intuit Wants to Know

Everyone has a story to tell about a time when their innovation made an impact on a campaign, client or in the community.  Intuit wants to hear your story.

We’re looking for 15 individuals to crown as “Intuit Innovators.”  From Nov. 8 until Dec. 19, small business owners and financial professionals from across the country can share their stories of innovation on the Intuit Accountants Facebook page. Whether it be serving clients with technology or supporting the community by giving back, they can submit their stories via video, text or photo.  Winners receive Apple iPads and Intuit Rewards Cards for up to $100.

Watch our quick Intuit Innovators video below for an overview of the campaign and how it works! 

Can’t wait to hear the stories.

Official Rules

Intuit Accountants Mobile Site

 

 

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What is Intuit’s Approach To Building Agile Content?

 

Back in April 2012 I led a discussion at the PR Newswire Content Marketing & Communications Leadership Forum in Dallas to discuss best practices and swap updates.  PR Newswire wrote a quick overview of the session that can be viewed on their blog.

During a video interview after the event they asked me a very simple question: what is your approach to agile communications and content?

I gave a not-so-simple answer.  Check it out below.

 

 

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3 Steps To Discovering Your Personal Brand

Q: What words best describe Adrian Parker?

In its simplest form, your personal brand is the answer to this all-important question: what do people think about me?

Or, stated a more complex way, what equity does my reputation have in the minds of those who matter?

For most of us, our personal branding efforts consists primarily of doing a good job, working hard and treating people with respect.  After all, this is what leads to promotions and positive job evaluations, right?  Maybe, but why leave something so important as your reputation to chance?  Why not invests a little time to discover how your peers see you now, before you need anything.

We recently did just that at our office and I’d like to share how truly easy and eye-opening it can be.  In fact, the word cloud above is my personal brand at Intuit (so far, wait till they really get to know me).  Follow these really simple steps to get an understanding of what your peers think about you and start managing your proactively personal brand.

  1. Make a list of people you work with. They should be familiar enough with your work style and personality so that their feedback is relevant.  Also try to mix it up between direct reports, your supervisors, cross-functional peers and even people you assume may not have the most positive opinion of you.  The goal is get a balanced point-of-view from a good sample audience.  Try to list between 8 – 12 people.
  2. Send this list to someone on your team to serve as your “survey administrator.”  This person will send a quick email to everyone on your list (blind carbon copies or BCCs are OK) asking a very simple question:  What 3 – 5 words best describe your feelings and thoughts when you think about [your name]? What words best characterize the impression he/she has in your organization?In this email, ensure your survey administrator promises confidentiality while encouraging frank, direct comments.
  3. Collect all of the words and create a word cloud that reflects the feedback.  Have your administrator dump all of the words (duplicates included) into a word cloud generator so you can marvel at your brand blueprint.  Wordle.comis a free and easy word cloud generator that I used when doing this exercise.  After generating the cloud, your administrator simply sends you the finished product – read ’em and weep.

I was surprised by a few of the descriptors on my list (Acquiescent? My wife wishes…) and also pleased that there were positive attributes to be found.  I’m so glad someone thinks I’m smooth and happy.  Give it a shot and see what brand positioning you really have.  Asking for feedback is a step in the right direction.

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My 5 Favorite RadioShack Social Campaigns

In the past 2 years the RadioShack social team has had just as many failures as successes.  For every article highlighting our innovative use of technology, there’s an equally as articulated report detailing what we learned from loss.

And, therein lies the sweet spot of marketing leadership: when you give your team permission to fail you also give them the tools to succeed.  So, just in case you weren’t following our every move these past 2 years (unimaginable!) here’s a recap of my 5 favorite RadioShack campaigns along with a “behind the scenes” factoid for each.

1. LIVESTRONG Team 28

This program started as a brainstormed solution to a simple question: how do we allow people across the globe to support Team RadioShack and the 28 million people battling cancer?  In addition to partnering with imc2 agency, we worked with UK-based shop Storm Ideas to build the custom “Twibbons” for the 2010 Tour de France bike race.  Users were able to display their support for Team 28 by tagging the number “28” on their social avatars. It evolved into a 4-month multi-media platform that included a Times Square takeover in NYC and profile pics being broadcast live across the globe.  Ultimately, it raised $30,000 for LIVESTRONG and the fight against cancer and remains one of my favorite activations.

FACT: The bright idea to transform the numerous Twitter and Facebook profile images into a mosaic of Lance Armstrong came from a Facebook fan.

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2. Twitter Powers Holiday Heroes

RadioShack’s award-winning 2010 holiday marketing campaign brought the “Holiday Heroes” theme to life by unleashing the power of Facebook, Twitter, foursquare and other emerging platforms.  I’d certainly love to say we knew it would be such a huge success, but the list of unknown factors far outweighed conventional marketing wisdom.  While our agency partners (and even some Twitter reps) thought we were crazy for using unproven, unknown hashtags for our Promoted Trends, we actually had a secret weapon.  Our consumers.  We used our fans & followers as an impromptu test audience to observe the shareability of the trends.  Not only did the campaign increase awareness and engagement, it also sold phones.  Imagine that.  The video below is a recap of our #IfIHadSuperPowers Twitter trend.

FACT:  Our first Promoted Trend flopped miserably.  We were redeemed a week later after the next trend when Twitter CEO Dick Costolo sent an email informing the team we had broken a record for impressions & engagement during a trend.

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3. Product Launch: HTC EVO 3D

RadioShack is 90 years old so we rarely get the chance to party like rockstars, let alone with them.  In this case, for the launch of the iconic EVO 3D phone we partnered with Sony, Sprint and HTC to release the device to the world in grand fashion.  Whether or not you’re a fan of Paris Hilton, LMFAO or our other celeb attendees, you must admit this is an unexpected way to celebrate new technology.  From Tweets and drinks to celebs and cars, the launch was covered across the country and came together in just 4 weeks.

FACT: The @RadioShack Tweets during the event were being curated & published by our intern back in Fort Worth as we funneled her pics, vids and updates. Long night.

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4. @RadioShackLIVE at the Tour de France

What do you get when you give 2 guys a box full of RadioShack gear and send them to France to experience the world’s biggest cycling race? More than 200 videos and 8 days of pure comedy.  imc2 agency procured 2 of Second City’s funniest improv comedians – Jordan & Steve – and we shipped them all over France.  In addition to our newly created @RadioShackLIVE Twitter account, our US audience followed the happenings on our Facebook tab which included a pair of virtual phones for tracking Tweets, videos, images and updates.

FACT: Honestly, though we received 100K views on YouTube we certainly anticipated more views.  This is the best campaign you never saw.

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5. #S0RightLive

This campaign is easily the most memorable.  Last December we hosted #SoRightLive, our first-ever live video webcast featuring RadioShack products and people.  Powered by Twitter, Facebook, and Ustream, the event included 5 broadcast segments showcasing “So Right” gifts: from smartphones and RC cars to headphones and DIY tech kits.  All segments were hosted by RadioShack’s own Ricky Cadden, Paige Guyton, Danny Ramirez and Lauren Kushnerick and we built out a full set at the Dallas Omni Hotel.  The video below has some must-see highlights.  The results? 80 million global impressions, 550 hours of video consumed in 1 day and an average viewing time of 20 minutes. Many thanks to Alyssa and Chris from Weber Shandwick whom I hope to borrow away from their agency at some point in my career.

FACT: We rehearsed until about 1 a.m. the night before the live shoot and were deliriously tired.  Luckily Ricky and Paige were camera-ready the next day and all turned out well.  Can’t remember being more proud of the team!

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Filed under Innovation, Interactive Marketing, RadioShack, Social Media

Groundswell Award Unlocks Social Media Super Powers

Last week I had the honor of accepting a Groundswell Award from Forrester Research on behalf of the RadioShack marketing team and imc2 agency.  We earned top honors for our 2010 Holiday Heroes social media campaign and it was a very humbling experience on many levels. When I started at RadioShack in January 2010, I was left with one lonely mandate: read the book Groundswell.

Two years after launching the social media practice there, not only were we being recognized by the very people who wrote the book on social, but also we were considered among 200 other entries, including Mercedes Benz, Starbucks, MTV, Sprint, Best Buy and *gulp* Britney Spears.

You can check out the winning campaign, press and other details online. For now, you absolutely must peep the above acceptance video imc2 created for the ceremony. It’s epic.

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Filed under Innovation, Interactive Marketing, RadioShack, Social Media

Will 50,000 People Like Oreo Cookies Today?

Probably so. The beloved calorie king is taking a run at the Guinness World Record for most “Likes” to a Facebook post in 24 hours. The Social Media guy in me wishes I had thunk it. My prediction: a World Record race will ensue as other lovable consumer brands draft off the idea. Old Spice? Red Bull?

As of 12:30 p.m. EST they had amassed over 43,000 “Likes.” Have you “Liked” Oreo today? Will you?

 

Thx to @applegirl for the heads-up.

 

 

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Why Blue People Are Better Leaders

Just read an interesting interview with Avatar writer/director/producer James Cameron on leadership, innovation & passion. I’m often intrigued by individuals who achieve monumental success, not necessarily for what they did, but for how they did it. Here are 4 interesting tidbits I took away from the brief article:

1) Adapt
To push teams to greater levels of achievement he had to adapt his leadership style from dictator to a respectful source of empowerment.

2) Create
An environment of fun, authorship and ownership gives people permission to make mistakes but also makes them less likely to do so.

3) Wait
Perseverance and patience pay off. From concept to screen took 15 years for Avatar.

4) Challenge
The biggest risk is not to be bold.

 

 

P.S.> Yes, more Avatar is on the way. 2 more films… can’t wait!

Source: Leadership Excellence Winter 2011 courtesy of SMU Cox School of Business

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365 Days of Social Media: How I Learned by Shutting My Mouth

One year ago today I traded in my brand consulting hat for a full-time gig as head of social media for RadioShack Corporation.  RadioShack (aka “The Shack”) was an iconic retail brand in the middle of an immense push to amplify their voice and give consumers a compelling reason to tune back in.  And there I was, a guy who made a living showing, telling and selling others on how to make their marketing work smarter. A love affair ensued.

Of course, as with interpersonal relationships, there were strings attached. To be quite transparent, though I was blessed with a career working with some really great brands and people, I was not a social media guru (imagine the shame). To effectively embrace the shift from employer to employee, marketing generalist to social specialist and agency to client, I decided to do something I’ve never done before. I shut up.

Why? After years of always having the answers, it was nice to listen, learn, unlearn and focus on asking the right questions.  Focus is a fruit of priorities so I chose to do a little self-pruning in order to make social media a professional priority, not just a personal hobby.

I went radio silent on my own social branding efforts. No more personal blogging. No more consulting sessions. Tweeting was sporadic at best. Though I love speaking at conferences and swapping ideas, you couldn’t find me on any panel. Equipped with only a handful of questions and a good attitude, I jumped head first into this space, determined to understand both social media and The Shack from the inside out.

There’s a material reason practically every business planning process begins with the same first step, research.  Afterall, being understood as a problem-solver requires that you first understand the problem. The not-so-obvious challenge to many in interactive marketing and emerging media, especially on the brand side, is we oftentimes must construct our own research through experience.  This isn’t research in the traditional sense of analytics, insights, segmentation and data mining, though that’s critically important too. The experiences required to birth and grow a sustainable social media presence on the enterprise level involve an additional layer of education.

I like to call it a Social Media Learning Plan. Essentially, it’s a hands-on approach to figuring out what to do while testing how to do it.  Mine consisted of 3 related, yet discreet, phases:

Phase 1: Identify and understand your audience from the outside in.

Phase 2: Transform social media goals into enterprise-wide objectives.

Phase 3: Test, learn and implement the strategy while building the tools to support.

It begins and ends with doing, learning is the hard earned by-product. A learning plan means making a deliberate effort not to pull the trigger and, instead, opting to educate yourself about your weapon, the ammunition and, most importantly, the target.  While considered table stakes in some industries, planning for interactive learning is a luxury in retail that often decays under tremendous pressure to perform, exceed and adjust simultaneously.

Over the next several days, I’d like to remove the virtual duct tape from my mouth and share this learning plan along with the fruits of my 365 days of social learning. From missteps and milestones to failures and discoveries, experience has been a great teacher. Of course, I’d love to swap learnings, resources and perspectives on interactive marketing with you. It’s also an exciting time to be in the Consumer Electronics and Mobility sector – I’ll discuss tech info when I can.

As always, feedback is a gift.

Thx for taking the time to read and feel free to connect with me on Twitter at @adriandparker.

AP

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Filed under Innovation, Interactive Marketing, Learnings & Insight, RadioShack, Social Media