Archive for the ‘Customer Insight & Relationships’ Category

How Big Brands use Social Media Marketing – GasPedal

January 9, 2011 3 comments

Just stumbled upon a wonderful resource for gleaning insight into how large brands use Social Media marketing and Word of Mouth marketing (WOMM) to reach and engage audiences around their products and brands. The resource is GasPedal, a consultancy that specializes in Word of Mouth Marketing. The real find, however, was the collection of videos from events that GasPedal hosts where industry experts and leading brands talk about their advice and experience in Social Media Marketing and WOMM. GasPedal also runs the Social Media Business Council, which is a community for social media leaders at large companies to share their insights, experiences, and best practices around social media.

To access the collection of video presentations at GasPedal events, please see the GasPedal site on Vimeo. Many of the slide decks from these presentations can be found on the GasPedal Slideshare URL.

My favorite videos

The are a lot of really excellent video presentations to choose from, but here are a couple of my favorites. My favorite is Geno Church of Brains on Fire delivering a presentation in October 2010 talking about helping Fiskars create a passionate, loyal group of Brand Ambassadors:

Church is also a co-author of the book Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable, Word of Mouth Movements.

I’ll highlight five additional presentations (but there are MANY other excellent videos). The first is by Jake McKee titled Diving into LEGO’s Strategy Behind Connecting Their Amazing Network of Fans:

I thought this presentation was particularly insightful, because McKee travels back to the days of the late 1990’s/early 2000’s, and talks about how they initiated a new conversation with Lego’s customers – whom Lego no longer knew very well – largely based on the principles of the Cluetrain Manifesto.

The second is by Virginia Miracle from Ogilvy PR titled How to work with Bloggers and Influencers:

The slides from Miracle’s presentation can be found here.

The third is by Kira Wampler of Intuit from December 2009 titled How Intuit is Creating Word of Mouth by Connecting Small Business Leaders:

Great insights around Customer Insight and “elevating the conversation above your product or brand” into some “higher calling”, or some topic your customers can become passionate about. For Intuit, this higher calling is Small Business Success. Wampler also talks about how this focus on the “higher calling” of small business success did wonders for employee engagement.

And I loved this part in the talk. Quoting Wampler:

But the most important thing, and I think this goes back to the Customer Insight [is that], for us, the way that you really drive customer engagement, and the way you really drive business results, is that it’s not about Intuit. In fact it has nothing to do with us. We’re not the hero. The small business owner is the hero. And we ALWAYS succeed when we put them first.


The fourth is by Beth Reilly of Kraft Foods from October 2010 titled How Oreo Learned to Fish Where the Fish Are:

The slides for the Reilly’s presentation can be found here.

And finally a presentation by Alex Wheeler of Starbucks from May 2010 titled Starbucks: Powering Product Launches, Building a Sense of Community, and More:

The slide deck for the presentation can be found here.

As I mentioned, GasPedal has a whack of great presentations at their Vimeo site. Nokia, Scholastic, Pfizer, GM, Coca-Cola, Whirlpool, Xerox, Intel, Dell, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, and a whack of other large brands share their experience in Social Media Marketing and WOMM. It’s a great resource if this is your cup of tea.



Developing deep insight into your Customers – XPLANE’s Empathy Maps

August 2, 2010 9 comments

OK, more thoughts on Alexander Osterwalder‘s new book Business Model Generation – see my previous related blog posts here and here.

The topic of this post is an innovative technique for developing a “deep” understanding of your customers – their environment, behavior, concerns, and aspirations – called the Empathy Map. The Empathy Map is presented by Osterwalder in his book, but was originally developed by Dave Gray at XPLANE .

Introducing the Empathy Map

Here’s a snapshot of what the Empathy Map looks like:

The Empathy Map is both a framework and a technique, and it’s typically developed collaboratively by a diverse team by placing sticky notes on a wall. If you’d like to download a template of this poster, you can do so here.

Developing a deeper understanding of your customers by understanding:

  • Who they are in their world
  • Where they spend their time
  • Who their friends are
  • Whose opinions influence them
  • What they SAY their deepest aspirations and beliefs are
  • What feelings and beliefs ACTUALLY guide their behavior

You get the idea. Also, pay special attention to potential conflicts between what a customer might say, and what they may truly think or feel.

Empathy Map in Action

The image below is an example Empathy Map taken from the Business Model Generation book that models the customer profile of a CIO.

The motivation, in this instance, for creating the CIO profile is to understand the key factors that weigh on their decision to renew Microsoft Office product licensing agreements.

The details are not so important, and they’re a bit hard to read, but the important points are:

  1. The value of formally modelling a customer’s beliefs and motivations in their world
  2. To assemble a diverse group of stakeholders to develop this profile of the customer
  3. And to use this profile to gain insight into new Value Propositions that speak to a customer’s most important problems, values, aspirations, beliefs.

Osterwalder has a nice blog post titled The Power of Immersion and Visual Thinking, where he describes a workshop he hosted with Dutch company JAM that led a group through the Empathy Map exercise. It’s a nice post.

In conclusion …

So that’s the Empathy Map – a simple and easy way to gain deeper insight into your customers to develop new value propositions and products and services.