Social Business Summit Keynote—Stan Rapp, Engauge

Social Business Engagement Summit Keynote—Stan Rapp, EngaugeSocial Business Engagement Summit Keynote—Stan Rapp, Engauge kicked off the first day of Alterian’s 2010 User Conference, Engaging Times Summit. He picked up David’s theme but drilled down into the history of (mostly direct) marketing to explain how powerful the transformation will be.

    • We now have the most narcissistic consumer ever, they want total engagement, personal connection.
    • Marketing priorities are all wrong: marketers invest in TV and print for which they get low returns while they underinvest in social media. Mass media is dying.
    • Their leaders don’t understand social media (“one to one to every one”), so they can’t create appropriate strategy. New technologies like iPad, mobile, geolocation need strategy.

  • Facebook has 2 billion views per day, far more than the Superbowl, but CMOs invest in the latter and not the former. Facebook is phenomenal for marketing, it’s personal mass media.
  • The average Facebook user spends 55 minutes per day on the site. Women aged 55+ represent the fastest growing demographic. Facebook Addiction Disorder is starting to be recognized by doctors. In Australia and Denmark, court summons delivered by Facebook are legal.
  • Meanwhile, only one person in eight believe brands; the answer is to create a private mass market of believers in your brand.

At this point, Stan articulated the change in marketing with these simple ideas:

  • Doing to is what old-style marketing does: brands are producers and people are consumers; Doing to’s attitude is to minimize the costs of interacting with the consumer because costs are expensive, and brands are focused on selling. An example was bank and credit card fees and fine print gotchas.
  • Doing with is joining in with things that people are already doing, collaborating and supporting these activities. This is very worthwhile and effective at growing engagement. The example here was Pepsi’s campaign to giving to contest winners’ favorite causes. L’Oreal’s “Life is too short” campaign is another example.
  • Doing for is serving people proactively and drives the highest engagement. Stan took more time for the Chick-Fil-A example that featured reservations, “behind the curtain” contests and crazy promotional activities like Cow Appreciation Day. Notably, these things are (mostly) run from their Facebook Page.

Then he returned to the key theme: transform marketing or you’ll regret it later.

  • Get into the 21st century, when you can connect to people. P&G now has $6 billion in online sales (direct?).
  • There’s no such thing as “interactive marketing” or “idirect marketing,” but you need a direct marketing mindset. There’s no excuse now for not knowing what’s working and what’s not. Lord Leverhulme’s famous quip, “I know that fifty percent of our advertising isn’t working, but I don’t know which fifty percent,” is a dangerously outmoded 20th century relic.
  • One half of mass marketing is total waste. Business Week has some of the worst advertisements, more than 50% of its print ads are total waste. In 150 ads surveyed, only one had a Facebook logo, much less a call to action to go to the brands’ Facebook Pages.
  • Advertising is 20th century, dialog is 21st century.


  • Having had my marketing executive stints in professional services firms that emphasized relationship marketing, I’ve had to work at understanding consumer product marketers, whom Stan was mostly addressing. Traditional marketing uses advertising as an intermediary, but in B2B and professional services marketing, one is focused on the individual.
  • I loved Stan’s simple rubric of “doing for.” It is deceptively simple, very powerful and core to social business. Serving people inspires trust, and trust grows relationships. Serving means being focused on improving the lot of a person or organization, without being focused on yourself or a payback. Serving is an act in itself, a complete act. People feel this and respond to it.
  • We all have desires and needs that are very powerful for us. That’s probably why it’s universally inspiring when someone serves another; it shows they had the strength to put the served person’s needs ahead of their own. Most people aren’t consciously aware of this, but they understand it unconsciously, and respond to it.
  • Obviously, serving others in a transparent many-to-many environment like a social network is several orders of magnitude more powerful because your act of service is seen and appreciated by many others, many of whom have some level of personal or professional relationship with the person you are serving.
  • I’ll even venture that serving others is the new marketing. If you think about it, striving to inspire others to talk about your products and company would tend to make companies better. The most talked about acts by companies are when they exceed expectations, either higher or lower than normal. Trying to “sell” products and features is lower on the curve because it’s a selfish act to benefit the company that sometimes doesn’t consider the individual customer’s situation.
  • Stan called Facebook “personal mass media.” I’d like to ask him more about that concept because I don’t think it is at all: when I think of “mass media,” I think of general messages being sent to unknown people. True, some Facebook friends are looser connections than others, but by definition you can interact directly with all your friends. In mass media you have no two-way communication.
  • Stan’s talk reflected the profound change that will happen in “marketing.” As I wrote here, I think that most products and services will come to depend increasingly on their social channel to generate value, as I showed in the retail example.

This is part of a series of my notes and thoughts on Alterian’s Social Business Summit 2010. To see all of them, hit the Alterian tag (also in the gray box under  any post in the series). Next up: Don Peppers’ Day Two keynote.

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