Air New Zealand, Social Media Breakfast 2013

I have always liked how Americans back themselves. Their unashamed, keen to take a gamble and have a sense of humour. Air NZ gave a group of people the chance to meet two new age tech marketers from the US. Here’s the gist of what they presented:

Mr Ross Dawson, The Social Media Philosopher:

Key Points:

  • NZ is currently number 1 for using social networks.
  • Google Goggles are real and they are on there way. This means that companies should register with as many Google systems as possible (Google maps, Google wallet, Google Review, Google Plus). If these goggles take off, a company’s online Google identity will be paramount. It reminded me that last year I selected a physio because they had multiple 5 star ratings in the Google Maps customer review section.
  • Crowd sourcing is the new “in thing”. In America it is seen as the future of innovation. Collective intelligence can give a small company incredible reach and power. Many sites now cater for this new online ideal.
  • Online identity is set to become an industry. Google your name and see what your current online identity looks like. Companies may have the ability to cater to wealthy individuals who are willing to pay others to manage and create their online identity. This will become an industry in itself. 
  • Experimentation in social media is important. This is an interesting fact. SM campaigns can be launched at a minimal cost. This should allow for more experimentation. The only danger is pushing the ledger too far and offending your customers. Be edgy without risking your reputation.

Introducing Teddy Goff, President Obama’s Digital Maestro:
Teddy was responsible for managing a truly monstrous digital campaign. He spoke quickly and rifled off some interesting thoughts relating to today’s online environment.

Key Points:

  • Show honour and respect in your social media
  • Have a sense of humour. Teddy spoke about how the digital re-election campaign created a Mitt Romney tax policy web page. The joke being that the “click here to find our policy icon” kept jumping around the web page.
  • Analytics and metrics were/are super important.
  • People trust their friends. This re-enforces the power of social media and highlights the emergence of social media online group strategy and segmentation.
  • Create good content and don’t be lame. “Lame” being the key word. Teddy emphasized how it can be easy for organisations to fall into the lame category. This included playing it too safe
    or simply not understanding your audience.
  • Reddit.com is big in the America. Google it.
  • Your social identity is the intersection of 1 what you care about and 2 what you are perceived as caring about. Both are not granted and are certainly not the same thing. Management will decide what 1 is but the audience will decide 2.
  • All e-commerce sites should create a saved payment system. It creates new opportunities for revenue generation and increases conversion. Example: Email a top up donation form and have a “click here to donate”. Customer does not have to re-enter their credit card details.

Click to check out our video of Teddy describing how to MAXIMIZE REVENUE with email campaigns.

Iphone’s impending……………downfall.

In the first quarter of 2013 NZ consumers can be assured of three things. Milk isn’t going to get any cheaper, power prices will probably rise and Apple is wobbling.

The tech giant has had an amazing run over the last decade. Apple experienced a level of success that was the antithesis of it’s surrounding economic environment. The world wondered whilst Apple rose, and my goodness that rise seemed like a long time. Success is even sweeter when everyone else is in the pit, and Apple had found a nice ledge 1000 feet above the rotting global economy. As long as Jobs was at the helm, Apple looked like a sure thing. The last 18 months have proven that all good things must, and will, come to an end.

Samsung have recently launched the Galaxy S4. The S4 has a larger screen, faster processor, and a staggering 5 megapixels over the Iphone 5. Apple fans of the world will say “Of cause it’s better, it’s a new release!”. The sad truth for Apple pundits is that the Iphone is becoming less unique, less fashionable, and to put it bluntly, awfully boring.

I remember when I first purchased an Iphone. It was 2008 I was in Tokyo and the world was yet to realize what can now be argued as one of the greatest leaps in consumer technology. My American flatmate repeatedly proclaimed “Bro I want the Iphone, have you seen that thing? Its sick!”. I looked at it through the glass display at Softbank Harajuku and decided to take a punt.

The craziest thing about having an Iphone in early 2008 was the feeling that it was almost a niche item. Every time I pulled it out of my pocket on the train I felt a little ashamed. Other passengers would sneak a peak at the strange device with the large screen. Nobody else seemed to have one. As I started to familiarize with the device I realised it’s significance. Google maps, youtube, mp3′s and a fully functional online experience were now continually within reach. It even made phone calls. It was smooth, spookily intuitive and had amazing sound quality, something which is still brushed over to this day. How the hell did Apple pull this off?

On my return to New Zealand I ditched it. It was sayonara to the super-device. “Good bye Iphone, it was fun but you had one crucial floor”. Apple went on to correct the “battery issue” in later models but for me it was a relationship killer. This fact, backed up by the $1000.00 price tag made me disregard the Iphone as a viable option for future purchases. It was just too much for a phone. Rich or poor, to me the price tag seemed offensive.

There’s one other key word I should mention for the Iphone: “Snobbery”. Upon returning from Japan I realised that the Iphone was exceedingly popular in the west. It’s popularity was almost scary. I realised that half of the people using them didn’t want the device for its practical implementation. Many people just wanted to fit in. Others wanted status. There was even a few who thought that the Iphone could make them smarter. It was “fashiontech” in it’s truest sense. Soon every career orientated professional who lacked confidence decided that the Iphone would be the ideal placebo.

Fast forward to 2013 and the Iphone is now battling for supremacy. Even die hard Iphone users will be sneaking a peak at their colleagues new S4. Apple is at the cross roads. Will the Iphone star gracefully become a cash cow, plummet to the kennels or will it rise again?

This leads me to the unenviable trait of arrogance. Do all successful people become arrogant? Do all successful companies become arrogant? Apple’s success in my opinion has undoubtedly developed a level or organisational arrogance. This is certainly reflected in their products. I cringe at the fact that you can buy an Apple device and be denied access to it until you plug it in. Oh, but it gets worse. Not only must it be plugged in, but you must also use the ever user friendly Itunes to get your $1000.00 masterpiece to work. No Itunes on your computer? Download it. No Internet? Hahaha, shame on you. Only an arrogant company could expect consumers to “work” for device activation. Apple isn’t alone in this type of consumer bullying. Microsoft and the IE saga was of a similar ilk.

For me a new device isn’t defined by its numbered index. Until the S4 was released this week I was unaware that the Iphone 5 even existed. A new device should bring something new to the table. Some may say that every Iphone gets a little better. I say better isn’t good enough anymore. The first Iphone was better than better. It was groundbreaking, head turning and inspiring. Apple needs another game changer.

Life is definitely harder without Steve. Maybe the next tech guru will be a Korean. I know one who definitely has the ability to bend fortune to his favor.