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social business summit, london / part 2 April 18, 2011

Posted by nicholas gill in dachis group, social business.

This post captures the afternoon sessions of the London leg of the Dachis Group Social Business Summit. You can find part 1 here. Over lunch I had the chance to properly catch up with the lovely Ross Taylor who I had the pleasure of working with in my time at TMW. After much catching up and gossiping, which will stay off the record, we agreed that the missing ingredient in all the good thoughts so far is creativity. Not surprising when we both work on the creative side of the world but the theory side can come across as quite text-booky without an injection of creativity. Of course we didn’t solve it there and then but a thought to ponder for another time.

Michael Gold, Jazz Impact

Jazz and business. Collaboration. Different instruments can come together. Creativity and risk. Finding the liminal zone – the state of being in flux, on the cusp of something new. I literally have no notes to go from and just my memory as it became an audience participation session. While I got the concept, I really don’t like this kind of thing. I’m just too British obviously. Although plenty of others seemed to enjoy it. So I artfully used the moving around encouraged by the session to move to the bar at the back and sup a coffee and quietly observe.  All I could think of this entire session was the Fast Show Jazz Club sketch – “Nice!”.

Game on! Charles Hull, Archrival

Why would Dachis Group buy Archrival? A-ha! Gamification. So the learnings of Archrival can be translated into social business. Smart move. Gamification is a word that causes a lot of people to throw up a little in their mouths but the basic concepts of which are applicable to almost every walk of life. And the concept upon which we can get the kidz to do anything. Apparently. Sarcasm aside, Charlie (I liked to envisage him more of a Charlie than a Charles, Charles seemed to formal for him) took us through the themes of youth engagement.

To underline the importance of the internet to Millenials, Charlie shared a survey where 33% would give up sex rather than the interwebz. There is no future for the human race.

Usage between age groups has shifted too.

Charlie then shared in painstaking detail a game they had developed for Red Bull stepping through the playability, the levellling up, the sharing options etc. The game was fun so no surprise why it had some phenomenal figures attached to it. But I did wince when he suggested every client should have a game in their playbook. The hype that gamification is getting is interesting and where applicable, gaming architecture can enhance your communications but it’s in danger of becoming the new viral the way it’s being talked up and becoming a tick box on the marcomms to do list.

Ming Kwan, Nokia: Share to connect.

A client! A living, breathing client. Doing social business. Yes, really. Making it happen. From theory to practice. Does it work? Does it? Here we go.

At the core, the Nokia Share to Connect programme uses customer insight to improve business performance. They want to maximise the brand productivity by turning it into a conversational brand. I understand the first part of this paragraph only. The second sounds like all the bad social things we’re trying to eradicate.

The key thing for Nokia in analysing the social data they can get on the Nokia brand is the “so what?” factor. As you can imagine there is a huge amount of data out there. The key thing is synthesizing it and turning it into business impact. Working with Headshift (also part of the Dachis Group – damn them they appear to have this social business worked out!), they created the SOCIALIZER! I am not kidding. This is the internal name. It sounds like a Dr. Evil contraption – how could you not like it? So how does the socializer work? A bit like a uber-analytics dashboard. Ming showed a complicated diagram. Here’s my interpretation:

The key to the Socializer is making things both discoverable and actionable; key themes that have so far run trough the day. And if you thought the socializer was good, Nokia also have a Visualizer to visually show the output of the Socializer to management teams. So, as mentioned in Part 1 of this review, where’s the human cost in all this? I asked Ming in the Q&A and her answers were both honest and revealing:

5% of Nokia employees are actively engaged
30% have been exposed
They have 100 people in the digital team
30 people in the social team.

What these numbers tell me is that social business is easy to talk about and hard to do. Clearly the socializer has taken significant investment and Nokia already employ 30 people directly in social – that’s a big investment. And the internal impact is so far small. And Ming was honest in pointing out that they haven’t yet put tangible business performance data over it and are indeed still finding their way. They are using a variation of Jeremiah Owyang’s ROI model to track performance. But at least Nokia are doing something while others just talk so kudos to them for this. And for sharing a work in progress in an industry that tends to hide until results are good. It was also good to see a female presenter in a male dominated speaker set and attendees.

Dave Gray, XPLANE, The Connected Company

Dave likened the creation of a connected city to urban design. Why? Because cities are the only place where large-scale social interaction occurs. In cities you also see the effect of de-centralization, the impact of strong identity and also the active listening that happens. He also provided some information into productivity and teams including that for most corporates, for every 3 employees that are added, you get half the profits – back to the more for less discussion at the start of the day. Whereas in cities, the opposite is true. As they expand, they become more productive. So change from territorial, product/silo based output to connected, organic “flocking” as Dave called it. He also cited Arie De Geus’ Living Company as a great bedtime read to become more acquainted with this area.

The social business key to the boardroom – Panel discussion

Although the Imagination Gallery was a fantastic setting, especially as you could go out to the balcony and take coffee, the panel didn’t work for me. You couldn’t see any of them as they were all sat down at the front. This makes it hard to concentrate on what they’re saying as you can’t connect with them. So you find yourself zoning out much as you do when you’re on a conference call. I also wanted to hear more from Jeff Dachis as his observations were concise and actionable. But the key gist of this session was the CEO needs to drive social business. The marketing team will more naturally focus on the media element of social. The CIO however has the budget which is a key consideration. How do you get the attention of the CEO? Show him operating metrics. Not ROI. because ROI can be made to look however you want given a set of assumptions. Tangible proof, ie we will reduce churn by x%.

Lee Bryant, Headshift. Business intelligence

The finale. Data-driven business intelligence. And an English voice which was most welcome. After a brief recap of some of the inter-linking themes of the day, Lee was refreshing in pulling no punches and slamming most social media monitoring efforts as purely decorative. We have to move beyond pretty charts that show volume of mentions and sentiment (which, rightly, got another bash) and understand behaviour. Organisational transformation can only happen if data is evolved and we start to look at it holistically rather than in silo.

The role of creativity in sharing and understanding data is important; because data in it’s current form doesn’t appeal to all. Innovations like Flipboard are getting people excited about the possibilities of visualising data. New models such as Klarna (receive the goods, pay later trust model) are changing the paradigm. Lee described data as the new oil: organisations are sitting on huge datafields. When you socialise that data, it becomes more valuable. And amen to that, brother.

And with that, Peter Kim was once more called upon for MC duties, wrapping up instantly and hit the bar.

Overall an excellent day that provided plenty of thought fodder as well as challenging your own views or re-affirming them. I look forward to next year.



1. social business summit, london / part 1 « [bluurb] stuff and things - April 19, 2011

[…] One year on, the Dachis Group Social Business Summit was back on it’s global tour to share and spread the social business gospel; where are we today and what does the next year hold? This year I was more selfish and bagged a ticket myself as the content looked more interesting than most of the other social events that just preach to you about what you already know. I wanted to learn something new and be inspired. So did I? I’ve tried to capture my notes from the day below and created some crap visuals to illustrate. Be warned, this is long and in two parts – part 2 here. […]

2. the networked business of the future « [bluurb] stuff and things - September 15, 2011

[…] social business internally and externally. It picks up on themes from a couple of previous posts on social business if you fancy checking that […]

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