World Innovations Forum – simply amazing

A 3 day global online live event

Today we concluded an amazing 3 day innovation and entrepreneurship power play. Over 500 attendees from over 40 countries joined the online live event and in local ‘public viewing’ events.

Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, El  Salvador, Germany, Ghana,  Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia,  Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria,  Mexico, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland,  Taiwan, Ukraine, United kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan, Vietnam.

From physical to digital

What’s the secret sauce for the success? The whole event was online. Last minute we changed the whole format from a physical event which would have been only affordable for the wealthy countries to online – and made the access for free for all attendees. The cost to organize the event was significantly lower, we did not need to fly in 500 people – and feel good about the savings in negative environmental impact, carbon footprint and more than ten thousand hours in aggregate for none productive preparation and traveling.

Live Online Pitch from Nepal

Live presentation of a team of scientists who developed a new method to easily test animal pregnancy and getting results within hours. They don’t need any long lasting clinical tests anymore which would not be economically feasible in many countries. Startup winner from Nepal.

The Whole Ecosystem was here

It was extremely interesting to see innovative startups from various industries, tech, biology, health, and more to present. Investors discussed national and international investment strategies, valuation differences and due diligence processes.  Enabler such as incubators, co-working spaces, accelerators, mentors and technology and service providers shared their point of view and how startups from around the world could just go to any space and any enabler and receive help when going global. Government representatives and ambassadors shared what it takes to enter a country and how they can help to make the start and the stay easy and convenient. The 58 sessions in a highly intense 15 minute sequence was a firework of information.

Hot Investor discussion

Investors from all backgrounds explain investment strategies and experiences. Why investing in international startups is attractive but also the obstacles on the legal and taxation side are to be understood. Discussions about valuation, due diligence and what investors expect, how they evaluate and select startups and the best ways for startups to find investors.

Public Viewing of the otherwise global online event

Our ambassadors in Japan, South Korea and Nepal organized global viewing events. The global online event was supported with local on-site events to foster the regional and global community. The Japanese team together with Fabbit, a leading co-working space, organized the perfect show (see below).

Live presentations – streamed around the globe.

Here a startup in Japan is presenting on stage, the event is live streamed to all attendees around the globe, our Judge located in Switzerland listens and asks questions about the presentation. 500 people in 43 countries watch, learn and share.

Going Global – What can be done

Ambassadors from Japan, Vietnam and the team in Switzerland share how startups from around the world can travel around the world and ramp up a business in a new country possibly even within a few weeks.

Amazing Technology – literally from the kitchens of the future

Russian startup presents a new night vision technology, which is very affordable, light weight and easy to install in the next generation of automobiles. Imagine traveling at night and you can watch the scene almost as if it is a bright day.

A new dimension in high tech conferences

There was never any innovation conference of that diverse and complete audience from the whole ecosystem, on a global scale run all online over multiple days. And to be quite honest – most people found it a bad idea “conferences are networking events, it will never work online”. We kind of agreed but we still needed to try (The risk of regretting not trying is greater than the risk of failing). The dynamic of this first little conference is the spark, helping us to completely rethink global conferences.

Where we are going to take it from here?

  • Strengthening and growing the global community
  • Building the necessary platform technology and blockchain for permanent connections
  • Engagement such as discussing individual challenges, questions, ideas, marketing, acceleration, going global and countless other topics.

Please  JOIN  the community.

Thank you, attendees from 40+ countries, S3-Ambassadors from around the world, speakers, investors, enablers, supporters,  and the Society3 dream-team! Also thank you Swisscom for a rock solid 1 Gigabit glass fiber connection directly onto our desk – wow, flawless.

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Why today’s human minds are incapable to outperform AI

Today we may debate whether or not a robot will ever be superior to a human. Superiority has many angels. And a robot may not catch all of them. But in the basic work life, it is different. And maybe one robot may not be as good as a human – but a whole range of networked Artificial Intelligence-based robots will outperform us in almost any segment of work on all levels and all industries !!!

 

Our single biggest disadvantage

The vast majority of humans, still today, keep knowledge close to their chest. Sharing of knowledge, experience, and mistakes is not our biggest strength. Sitting in a corner, thinking through the permutations of what happens with a machine in certain circumstances – is our biggest strength. But we know that our brain capacity is not unlimited. As long as we continue to share only if really necessary, think for ourselves, hope we earn special attention for our knowledge – we are in danger that all our jobs get eradicated before we adapt to newer better behavior. Our physical limitations are too weak to stand up against a series of highly developed AI networked technology – whatever we call it.

Cultural Advancement

We are what we got introduced to by our cultural frameworks. Our parents teach us to be humble, not to share our experience unless it is necessary, to experiment for ourselves until we are sure that our experiments are successful. We are conditioned to not talk about things that are still uncertain. Our communication prison is huge. Some cultures however advanced already. And the most interesting thing is that it was actually that very advancement that brought the AI / Robotics technology to life – Silicon Valley. Now some may argue it was elsewhere and so and so already had developed that first version of AI years ago. Well – so sorry to say that, an innovation has absolutely no value unless it is brought to a broader market. “The initial value if any innovation is zero”. Without cultural advancement, we will maintain that widening gap between developed and emerging countries. As long as emerging countries do not embrace more openness, a culture where failure is not just OK but actually good and a key part of learning – the country will remain to be an emerging country.

Artificial Intelligence, biggest driver for human advancements

Humans have one extraordinary ability: humans can adapt to new situations within one and the same generation. No other life form can do that. Big Data is giving businesses who leverage big data a huge advantage over others because they simply know better and faster what is going on. If we learn that networked AI systems will be able to tap into those data and create analysis, able to make decisions and derive strategies from the results, They will be ahead of us and we will essentially do what they suggest. We can’t even verify in time so we simply go ahead and do it. Yes it’s still a tool – but we do what the tool is telling us what to do without even being able to debate it. But we will learn one thing: if we connect our brains we get a whole new edge – maybe beyond our own imagination.

Experiment at Society3 World Innovations Forum

Imagine we do what these AI networks do and network our brains, very simply on a daily base by sharing, communication, analyzing our own mistakes and come to new conclusions every day? The collective intellect when really in action has unknown and incomprehensible reserves. The least we can do is to explore them. And it is almost for free. We only have through some of the old cultural remains overboard. At Society3 this is exactly what is going on right now. Society3 is building a digital layer across the globe that exists to connect people and their ideas, challenges, questions and answers together. http://society3.com We are not here to win a competition with AI-based robots but simply bring human entrepreneurs to a level that has never seen before.

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Social Media Managers Keep Failing

Society3-SM-keep-failingNo question, those who studied the shift in our socioeconomic landscape come all to the same conclusion: Social Media holds a massive change for our society and our businesses. The change will be as profound as the industrial revolution 200 years ago.

Introducing that change to executives who run their business with a huge daily pressure is so overwhelming that it is a very natural behavior to go into denial. You hear “The more things change, the more they stay the same”, “I don’t see an immediate ROI”, “My fellow executives from other companies aren’t using Social Media either”… The reasons to ignore it are most likely equally diverse as the reasons to ignore the development of cities and companies 200 years ago.  My personal prediction is that it may take well another 5 to 10 years for the majority of businesses to recognize the impact of that change and what it means to their business. And the more people warn “If you don’t adopt, you will fall through the cracks”, the less likely business executives will even listen.

Denial is a mechanic of our psyche that sets in when the amount of information or the degree of danger is so large that the brain is not able to comprehend it.  So here is why Social Media Managers keep failing:

1) Thousands of people – like you and me – have gone through a learning curve, comprehending the seismic shift in our business society. But it took us a year or more of learning and thinking to get there. Most who began to recognize the shift are pounding on business leaders to recognize it too and get ready for change.

2) A business executive who is very focused on keeping the company or their division afloat and fighting on all ends for growth and profitability, competing in a taught global economy, has probably less time to even start comprehending the change. And the more people talk about apocalyptic business erosion the more those managers go into denial.

Even though people get hired to ‘manage’ Social Media – to many have zero pull through in their respective organizations and remain to be an alibi function for executives to be able to say “Oh yes, we did invest in social media, we even have a management position and doing it for quite a while. We are totally covered”.

In a recent research we asked 100 companies about their social media engagement and 72% confirmed that they are very active and happy with their results, 21% are exploring social media but will not engage before middle of next year and 17% stated that they don’t see a benefit and therefor have no plans to engage.

Now – checking out the level of engagement of the 72%, is very easy because everything is public and very transparent. We realized that nearly 80% of those 72% have only a very rudimentary presence, very low engagement level with customer and inquires or questions unanswered for weeks. Only a small group has actually recognized the opportunity and developed a highly engaging online presence with apparently very active customers.

The larger part of social media managers apparently work heads down, trying to keep a low profile (and the job) and don’t making any major inroads helping the business to make significant progress in this highly transparent and communicative world. They simply keep failing. We recognized this by seeing an increasing churn in social media positions.

The key reasons for failing are:

  • Lack of a profound social media strategy
  • Lack of comprehensive experience what it means to build a customer engagement
  • Lack of market research skills and reporting
  • Lack of management skills to present a business relevant plan without overwhelming executives with details and technical aspects
  • Lack of skills aligning social media activities with overall business objectives

 

Axel
Http://XeeMe.com/AxelS

 

 

 

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80% of purchase decisions based on recommendations

Society3-networked-worldSocial Media has changed the way consumer and business manager alike make their purchase decisions. The web has become the most influential resource in figuring out what to buy. Depending on the research, target audience, product or service, the percentage of new purchase decisions based on mentions and recommendations range between 72% to 90%. That is true for both B2B and B2C customers.

It is hard too imagine a manager making a  purchase decision purely based on advertising inputs and conversations with vendors. In the Tech industry estimations are that those purchase decisions are even at nearly 100% based on public mentions, reviews, and recommendations.

A business executive cannot stay put and just hope that their solutions are good enough and be recommended. They have to be proactive and stimulate mentions and recommendations. And in today’s wide open online world it is not too difficult to do so.

Smart executives focus on four business units.

1) Marketing
Marketing being the obvious one. Marketing was always the group that was responsible for sparking demand, responding to market changes and stimulating interest. A marketing department that is able to stimulate mentions and recommendations represent a huge competitive advantage over those who do not.

2) Partner Networks
Distribution channels, including resellers, broker, dealer, alliance partners are highly influential channels directly addressing certain market segments or geographies of a given vendor. Like the general marketing those channels need to be aware of the shifts in purchase behavior and able to address those changes with smart ways to stimulate conversations around their brands

3) Sales Organization
Sales people are typically the most social teams in an organization. However they are not automatically web savvy. Most have been trained over years, even decades to follow specific processes and have the hardest time to bring their sales processes in alignment with the new buying pattern.

4) Customer Experience Management
CX or CEM is a relatively new discipline in most businesses.  However, it has just become a very significant investment when it is coming to mentions and recommendations. Businesses providing a good customer experience are obviously much ahead of their competition that has only mediocre or even bad customer experience.

The ultimate Social Media objective

In today’s extremely competitive world being mentioned and recommended is one of the most important aspects of business success. Companies like Zappos, Star Bucks, Jet Blue, Virgine, SalesForce.com, BMW, SAP, coming from all kinds of industries covering both B2B and B2C, have outperformed their competition mainly due to the fact that their customers are happy and say it across the Internet.

It isn’t “Social Media” per se that makes any difference – but the way Social Media is leveraged in a globally competing world. A rock solid social media strategy is paramount to leverage the web to a degree that it positively affects the bottom line.

Axel
http://XeeMe.com/AxelS

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XeeMe’s 2nd Birthday

Happy 2nd Birthday XeeMe

Wow – being under the top 10,000 websites in the US and top 20,000 world wide is a great birthday presence.

A huge    THANK YOU to all XeeMe users for their never ending engagement. What a great community of very special people. It is a great pleasure for all the S3 team to work with you.

History: After a closed beta we acquired the xeeme.com URL and started our public Beta on August 5, 2011. Within 2 years we grew to over 1.5 Million users – that is twice as many as Twitter after 2 years :) Well those were different times.

Great Alexa Ranking and trends go UP :)T

AlexaStats-Aug-2013

 

There are so many contributors end engaged people that I hesitate to mention any the Wall of Fame is only a snapshot in time and a small selection from the 25 most engaged countries.  Thanks to all over 1 Million users driving us to do better, develop further and go where we all together want to go.

T H A N K   Y O U

Axel
http://XeeMe.com/AxelS

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Trust or not to trust?

Society3-ChannelTeamThis post was inspired by a post in Forbes Magazine from friend Louis Columbus, former AMR Research Analyst and a recent CSI Insights report.

I’d like to share a perspective we are working on since several years that just now lead to the development of Buzz and its official announcement next week. Marketing and sales are stuck in deep dilemma of trust. Even if vendor and customer have an excellent relationship, both know that one has to fulfill a quota and the other needs to optimize terms and conditions. Not exactly a perfect playground for limitless trust. And while knowing they need each other, there is this membrane between them just can’t be removed.

On the other side there are almost always enough, often times hundreds or thousands of customers, alliances and business partners who made the decision to work with the respective vendor long time ago. And many are willing to share their experience and be able to fill the gap between the two parties with authentic information. However most brands have the hardest time to get even their most loyal customer to talk. NOT because they don’t want to talk – the customers simply don’t know exactly what to say, what the questions are and where to say it. Stimulating those information exchanges seem to be still one of the bigger challenges. And in the past few years we recognized those challenges time and time again.

Eventually it lead to the development of Buzz. A new platform where brands can ignite some of the above mentions conversation based on what they know are frequently asked question and share the buzz page for their business friends and advocates to work with. All of a sudden sharing the information is just a few seconds adjusting some test or even just a simple click.

Making it extremely easy for customers and partners to speak and that way increasing mentions and reach with authentic clients and partners rather than the a corporate marketing department manufactured “message” can make all the difference in creating trust in an all new way.

Axel
http://XeeMe.com/AxelS

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By 2017 the CMOs may spend more on tech than CIOs

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Laura McLellan, Research VP, Gartner predicts: “By 2017 the CMO may spend more on technology than the CIO”

Laura will be presenting a Key Note at the “Marketing & Tech Partnership Summit 2013″ June 20 in San Jose California.  Do you think it is possible? And if so what does that mean to the IT world and their own sales and marketing channels? And what about the skills development of current, rather well settled CMOs?

Let me share some additional thoughts:

Big Data is NOT an IT job.

Big Data for instance sounds like an “IT” topic. Not at all – not even close. Big Data is ALL about marketing, demographics, customer profiles, user behavior….  Today we know so much more about everything including markets, market dynamics, demographics, decision evolution and every aspect of a buying process – only if we understand how to extract and use the information that is out there.

Are CMO / CIO careers are on the line?

Not right now – but like always in the past it only takes 2 years when emerging technologies flip to a mainstream topic. Online Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Social Technologies, Big Data, Near Real Time Market research… all require rather high sophisticated technologies to make a serious business impact and a difference to the bottom line. 1.3 Billion social media users are not all kids or freaks. Direct marketing to this influential while outspoken group requires a degree in sophistication that goes way beyond traditional eCommerce or direct mail. CMOs, who are not able to fully comprehend the impact of the new technologies on the brand development of their companies, are high risk candidates.

Marketing & Technology Partnership

All the above makes this years Marketing& Technology Partner Summit especially interesting. I very much look forward to it.

Axel
http://XeeMe.com/AxelS
(my entire social presence)

 

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When Your Social Media Scores Suck

There are lots of controversial discussions about scores. To some extend it is personal as people do not want to be measured against something, and yet other highly competitive people love the challenge. The deeper meaning of scoring however is the very basic concept of feedback. It’s a great way to support learning and improving whatever needs to be improved.

Activity Scores

There are many well known activity scores out there such as Klout and Kred and many others. They all evolved and went though a steep learning curve. Today more and more people look at those scores and use them to judge a persons networking and communication skills. Most take it with a grain of salt, yet see it at least as one of several key performance indicators. Activity scores measure the countless events of activities and to a certain degree responses to those activities. Social Media folks have learn to be highly active and through the evolution of the scoring algorithms also learn that pumping out content is not all – getting qualified responses are key and one good dialog is more worth than 100 posts without value. Action and reaction is key in the activity scores.

Return On Engagement

Now – over time business people have developed a great success pattern for themselves, yet struggle to “bring it home”. There is so much valuable content they created but most have a hard time to let every of their connections know where all that content is. It’s literally scattered around the global web. Much of the creative energy is evaporating and only those who are right at the time of the post on the respective network see the content. Everything else remains hidden – unless the user finds a way to always share their entire presence with all the connections on all the contributions with a simple and non intrusive “signature”. This nut was cracked by XeeMe. The more you share your entire social presence the higher is the leverage of the energy you put into content creation. If a user looking at a post, tweet, picture and video you shared and looks at other content you created through the little signature URL you doubled the Return on Engagement.

ROE Score – XeeScore

The XeeScore is a strategic counterpart to the engagement scores and you can see it all around. XeeScore is strategic because having a high engagement level is only have the story. Only having a high return on those engagement is actually bringing the success home. Just envision bringing the users “home” to your entire social presence.

Inbound data
The XeeScore looks at the “inbound visits” meaning people who visit your XeeMe. If they leave right there, you XeeMe is apparently not very attractive or the story that got people there was not so compelling.

Outbound Data
The outbound number are visits that are initiated by clicking on any of your sites on your XeeMe to the respective social presences. If people visit more than one site, you actually experience a great amplification because they see more than one item of your content. That amplification (the ration between inbound and outbound) is a key to a high XeeScore.

Uniques
It tells you how many unique visitors you have to your XeeMe. The more the better for you. And as such the XeeScore increaees with unique visitors.

Amplification
As mentioned before, the ratio between inbound and outbound visits, gives you the “amplification”. An amplification of greater than 1 is already good. An amplification of more than 2 is excellent. An amplification of 0.5 is ok but tells you there is some room for improvement. Below that you should review with peers and friends what they think about the value you contribute and the size of your network.

Tips to grow your score

Verify your social footprint with Google
One interesting idea is to check your google presence by clicking on the Google Search link on your XeeMe. You will find it under the profile tab. If you look at my XeeMe you find a high XeeScore but you also get about 50,000 findings from Google.  You will hardly find anybody with a high Klout score, a high reputation on Google and a low XeeScore. Even though Google is not a social tool you see an interesting correlation on the ROE.

Checking other resources
You will find a lot of helpful tips on the XeeMe website to grow your XeeScore. Check out the resources area

Axel
http://XeeMe.com/AxelS

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Social Media Engagement – How much value?

Still today, many business leader struggle understanding the impact of socially engaged brands and their teams. Is it just a faint background noise in a world of meaningless chit chat? Well it is if you don’t know how to use this new communication mechanism.

Democratization Of Influence

Brands just can’t any longer “control” the communication. If communication is controlled by a legal department and marketing preventing a free flow of open communication will die as much as businesses died who had one owner and 200 slaves working for him.

Understanding democratization of influence is the key to success. Massive noise level like in the case of Red Hat for example is not created, dominated and controlled by the brand, but created by the audience around that brand. By people who care, people who build on the conversation, take it as learning on steroid and share what they learn instantly. Mastering the conversation is by letting it go – an oxymoron? Not at all.

Red Hat and their teams mastered the conversation by providing highly interesting content, sparked conversations and never stopped engaging with their audience – but neither controlling it nor dominating it. As a result not only engineers cared about what is going on but all kinds of business or finance related groups.

This is the beginning of the end of dominance as a singularity, a brand or an individual. Influence is created when information spreads nearly at speed of light and many join the idea or effort. The drama in Boston crossed that stream paused it and very quickly the decision was made: no terror can any longer control our lives.  We all sent prayer to the victims and worried about loved ones. YET the terror couldn’t dominate any of us – not any more. Purposely we did not allow their “message” to disrupt our lives despite the tragedy. Not because we got ignorant, because we care about our freedom more than anything.

 

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Success Pattern — Social Media Agencies

In the past 5 years we’ve seen agencies come and go, raise and fall. A pretty typical scenario for a rapidly growing emerging market. As we helped hundreds of people starting their own company or  re-structuring their existing business, I thought I share my observation. This is not so much about skills but how those companies are seen from the outside.

 

What Worked and what didn’t

1) Portfolio

Successful agencies are having a very clearly defined and for newcomer easy to understand service portfolio. It’s shared right on their website and often has at least ball park pricing. They have often times a clear focus in terms of their offering i.e. Social Media Monitoring, presence setup, or apps development.

Less successful agencies have a high level list of buzz words that you can find everywhere in the web with no way of differentiating them from others. Most of the less successful agencies simply offer “everything” which in today’s stage of social media is very hard to do and very had to trust.

2) Target Audience

Successful agencies defining their range of expertise like B2B or B2C, company size, departmental focus even. Making it easy for a prospect to see a match of needed skills.

Less successful agencies have a “scaleable” offering from helping individuals to global enterprises, support all business disciplines and all industries.

3) References

Successful agencies share some references or at least have some stories without mentioning names or brands and share their experience – typically in a blog with frequent updates. The larger agencies who are working for larger clients have hardly a chance to get an official go for references but the sample stories they supply give important indications.

Less successful agencies are often just blasting out content for their clients without long term success and as such having a hard time to talk about any kind of success.

4)  Experience

Successful agencies share their experience either on their blog or in webinars or other media. Listening and reading about the way they think, how they approach things and what their experience is, is a key to better understand what they would be able to do for clients.

Less successful agencies hardly communicate about what they are doing but typically sharing what others do and say, simply due to lack of experience. While sharing content from others is a great thing to do, there are times one has to open up and put a stake in the ground about their own thinking.

5) Doing Business

Successful agencies make it easy to do business with them by having their phone number and social presence easy to find on all pages and make it very clear what they have to offer, for what type of client and in what industry or market segment.

Less successful agencies have hardly their own social presence listed. Often not even a phone number and it remains unclear what they actually have to offer.

6) Social Presence

Successful agencies have a rather complete social presence and update frequently. Many of the rather successful agencies are also seen on other sites and actually “live” in the social web, but most of the time at customers sites and presences.

Less successful agencies have often times a very good looking presence but spotty updates. If they are busy with one project they have no time taking care of their own presence. Less successful agencies follow more people than following them or have rather equal follower / following, have not much original content on their sites.

 

I purposely didn’t talk about skills as this is a whole different discussion. This post may help those who wonder why it is so hard to get clients, to re-evaluate their representation in the market.

Axel
http://XeeMe.com/AxelS

 

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