‘User generated’ Chief Marketing Officer

>>> 'User generated' Chief Marketing Officer<<< was the recommendation of a reader when Heineken announced they will replace their current CMO – the third in a row.

$100 Million in advertising and no success. Here is why:

In accordance to a study that was done a few years ago by John Todor Ph.D. an average American adult is confronted with about 4,000 brand messages every day. It's like living near a train station and no longer hearing the train, living near an airport and no longer hearing airplanes, or like living in Gilroy and no longer smell the garlic – we are living in "Advertising Gilroy".


Continue reading “‘User generated’ Chief Marketing Officer”


Sales just took a new leadership role

Everybody wants to grow their business. But what can you actually do to make it happen?

A) Think

Most educated purchase decisions are based on recommendations and influenced by what people say about the product they purchase. Now here starts your first obstacle. Not enough people say anything about your product. In addition to that, you don't have the marketing budget to make a big push. Don't settle with – "ok we are small", "we can't compete with the big boys" – yade yade yade

B) Decide

Decide that you need to find a way to make your existing customers talk and contribute to the recommendation volume. "They won't", "I can't force them"… is just not an option. Decide that you will take every step to get to public conversations – no matter how long it will take. It's the "Fly with the eagles or scratch with the chickens" decision.

C) Conclude

Conclude that you will engage with your existing customers. Develop a social relationship and have public  conversations that draw other people into it. It may take some time but you will get the conversation and a benefit for all participating parties.

Here is how:

1) Start with approachability

The best way to start a conversation is by  being approachable.
Take your Xeesm and tell your existing customers how they can reach you.
If they are not social help them to become social – it's one benefit you can provide

2) Initiate Conversations

You may write a blog and invite customers to read and comment
Stop sending out white papers. Have the content on a blog instead
Stop sending emails with news – instead point to the blog or page where the news is shown
You get the idea – create a gravitational force around your content in the public space
Use your Xeesm to send XeeNotes to your clients to introduce those news individually

3) Focus

Stop sending out manufactured mass mails which land in the waste
Create Xeesm Flights with 20 – 50 people and initiate very personal and individual connections
Visit your customers on their profiles at least weekly and know what's on top of their mind
Track the visits and the places to stay focused
Keep track of the objectives in your flights to not loose sight of your goals
Xeesm does all the tracking and visiting navigation for you
Every visit is an opportunity for a conversation

4) Provoke

With the conversations you are having by now you may start provoke your clients
Ask a provocative question and ask for comments
Let everybody engage and accept critical or aggressive comments
Create a situation of exchange, learning, contribution and rewards

5) Shift Gear

At that stage your clients began to open up and are most likely thankful for the experience
We humans are inheritably social – and people who help expand that skill are welcome
Asking your customers what they think about your products or services is now much easier
They won't be your marketing agency – they will talk about the good and the bad – but they talk

The level of cooperation between you and your customer will significantly change. Their influence will grow and you will need to be more responsive than ever before. The customer will shape your business more than you think – but that also means your customers will take more ownership and will be more involved in your success than you can imagine.

Xeesm Flights…

…also known as the "social spreadsheet", is only a tool and the relationship part is your major contribution. But Flights! will become your most critical management tool to execute your plan. Flights will keep you close to your objectives, reduces the risk of social media distraction and helps you focus on the most relevant contacts.


As you get your team behind the concept of socializing with customers you will want to understand their performance differences, level of engagement, relationship strength, contact intensity and the overall development of their social capital. Flights! can be shared and as such a manager can help the team navigate through the social engagements. Measuring and comparing social capital development, relationship strength, contact intensity are important KPIs in this new world and help managers further develop the skill sets of their team.

You can do all that on your own, create your own Xeesm and go. If you need any help, let us know and we are happy to support you and your team in any way we can. The network of Xeesm partners is around the world and helpful to support implementations any size.



(connecting the way you like)


ROI From Social Media! Think Again?

Thankfully, I think we are almost at the point of having serious conversations about how social media can be utilized in most organizations, rather than still asking the question “Is Social Media just a fad?”. However, there are some massive misconceptions on what social media will do for the organization. As a result, often we aren’t even hiring the right skills today to build a competent social media presence. We’re also looking to measure social media in a way we measure other marketing initiatives, channels, advertising campaigns and media, but social media is neither a channel, marketing, media or simply an initiative. More>>

Social Capital, Relationship Strength and Influence

Business opportunities depend on relationship strength to customers, purchase decisions are made based on relationship strength to peers and other connections, product launch successes depend on relationship strength to market influencer, event successes depend on relationship strength to the audience – you can easily add many more examples.

Xeesm is releasing an early version of its Social Capital Reporting system

Xeesm today released the first version of its Social Capital Reporting system. The Xeesm social capital score indicates the relationship strength to other business contacts such as customers, prospects, partners, peers, and so forth.

In order to calculate somebody's Social Capital, Xeesm developed a sophisticated algorithm comprised of network size, contribution and attention.

The report in "Contact Details" inside Xeesm shows the relationship strength index as stars, The aggregated social capital is the sum of relationship contribution (activities of the person) AND relationship attention, the attention the person received from the other. To make it easier to "translate" Social Capital for everybody, the report shows how often one engaged with the other in the social web. Hereby it doesn't matter whether this was a visit on Facebook on LinkedIn, a retweet on Twitter or reviewing a video clip on YourTube.


A two way street

It's no news that relationships are based on reciprocal engagement. Managing relationship strength was always difficult. Business managers know the great importance to learn and understand how relationship building works and good their teams are in relationship building. The relationship power or Social Capital influences business outcomes and therefor not only forecasts but also levels of investment, in time, money and resources. Xeesm's Social Capital reporting system is created to shed some more light on relationship strength from business teams to their respective contacts.

Developing and measuring Relationship Strength

Xeesm is one of the most successful social media business applications with probably one of the most advanced technologies, The Social Relationship Manager in Xeesm as well as Xeesm Flights now leverage the full potential of a Social Capital Analysis. Data aggregation just started in October – yet we see very interesting results.

Your Social Address Book

If you have already a Xeesm Business Edition, go to "MyContacts" and see who is interested in you. You also see your own engagement with the respective person. Stars indicate the relationship strength. Blue stars show you that you are putting more into the relationship than your counterpart. Red stars indicate you receive more attention than you put in yourself. Gold stars indicate that you are having a well established reciprocal relationship. It will take a while to really develop a deep relationship and that will be shown with platinum black stars.

The current version is only available to Business Edition users.

We are working on a new license model to provide this functionality to all Xeesm users for a low fee.

The CPU capacity requirements for those reports are pretty high so that we won't be able to provide the service for free. However for those with a license we provide the data for all connections whether they use the free Xeesm or the Business Edition.


The most unique hiring process you’ve ever seen

Consider yourself warned – this is not the way you typically apply for a job – but it’ll be a fun ride!

Xeesm is making great progress and is at a stage where we want to expand. We grew from 1,000 users in January to 30,000 in March and over 80,000 in June.

We are hiring agile people who can help grow our customer base even further. Check out our Jobs Page, learn about our Company Culture, and please review our (very unique) Hiring Process (don’t send us resumes).

Xeesm is not your typical company. Already in the hiring process you will learn that you are going to engage with a different beast. Because: selected customers and business partners will be part of the hiring process. yes, we live and breath social media and why should we be different when we expand our team. You will want to know what it is like working with us, our partners and customers and we’d love to get to know you but only in an “interview” but in the way you connect with us and our world. Today we are looking for a

Customer Engagement Manager


Latest Social Media News

* British Research Institute Esnesnon releases new social media study:
38% of social profiles are shared profiles and shared by an average of 6 people,
Bringing the total number of Social media participants to 1.96 Billion which is greater than the 1.7 Billion Internet users.

* Polaroid is introducing a new technology expanding it’s instance development to instance publishing. The company is keeping a reference photo on site to ensure no photo is being manipulated.

* Ashton Kutscher is rewarded with the Golden Lemming for having the most followers

* Google’s Eric Schmidt posted a question in LinkedIn today:

Continue reading “Latest Social Media News”


Help With Choosing and Using Social Media Tools

A week in November dedicated to how to use social media tools for business

In some recent social media workshops I’ve been struck by how much appreciation there has been when we presenters have taken some trouble to explain and demonstrate how various social media tools work. Even down to basics like how you go about signing up for Twitter or Facebook or on other sites.
Social Media Tools Week
It’s made me realise how mysterious and even confusing some of these tools can be for people who are new to them.

Come November, there will be an excellent opportunity for people to learn, from a range of social media practitioners, how various tools work and how they can be used effectively in a business context.

Spread over five days, from November 16 to 21, the Social Media Tools Week will feature a program of keynote presentations and what are described as “career development sessions”. There is a detailed agenda on the event site.

And according to the web site “Early bird registration will get a free pass …”. I’ve registered, not just because I love free, which I do, but more importantly because it’s an impressive group of speakers, from whom I am confident I can learn lots.

A special feature of the programming is that the timetable has been devised so as to accommodate, as far as possible, a range of time zones from US, Latin America, and Europe, to Australia and parts of Asia. Nice one!


Social Media’s impact on brands, branding and marketing

We’re probably in the 2nd year of trench warfare between brands and social media, and while we see regular reports of battles the winner has yet to emerge from the fog of war. In fact the prophets of this war go back much further, including The Cluetrain Manisfesto 10 years ago, Communities Dominate Brands in 2005, and several others.

It’s only with the advent of new and mass social media platforms that the war has finally erupted on several fronts. Social media advocates have indeed raided the territory of brands and their agencies and owners. Major battles are now being waged over the future of brands, if any; the worth of advertising is of course also in the wars; the role of marketing is being questioned and not only questioned but redefined; and new means to achieve customer loyalty are being run up flagpoles to see who salutes.

What I find confusing, although this may be my own ignorance, is the terminology. Perhaps not just the terminology but any common consensus on what we are talking about when we say "brand" and "branding". If we could get that agreed, then I think there are trends with which most of us would agree.


There is one strong element of the social media "push" which says that "brands are dead", and often this is sensationalised across the commercial and social media. Surely brands will always exist, and have positive or negative or neutral business value. One reason we know this is that the strongest advocates of the power of social media and its impact on brands would generally be considered to have established a "brand" for themselves.

So if brands are a promise, and translate to fulfilled experiences and satisfied expectations, then they will represent value to customers and return value to their owners. The delivery of the promise is the brand depth.

Social media, as part of the total customer engagment and experience, will accelerate the rise and fall of brand value because of the power of communities. Where the brand promise is not matched by brand depth the social media will enable the relentless exposure of that weakness.

Your brand is what your customers make it, and the customers and their networks are becoming more powerful and playing a bigger role in defining brands and brand value. And what’s interesting is that social media, through facilitating easier customer engagement, is empowering employees across an organisation to have a much more powerful impact on brand value. Not just in being able to "communicate" with customers and partners but in how they are empowered to communicate and how they feel about the company and product or service about which they are communicating.

In this context social media plays a very important cross-business role which embraces the whole breadth of customer engagement. It’s this whole engagement and the holistic business planning and implementation which is missing from most social media discussions today.


Currently, most discussions of social media are focused purely on its relationship to branding. Yet it appears to me that in contrast to brands, which will survive, branding is the most likely victim of the rise of social media.

By branding I mean the efforts of marketers to convince you of the value of a brand, usually by trying to short-cut the rather arduous process of delivering consistently on the brand promise over time. Of course marketers may often find themselves in inenviable positions, with dud products and enthusiastic owners who wish to make cheap grabs for market share or profit. Unfortunately most marketers and agencies embrace and even encourage these opportunities as a chance to show their "creative skills". And unfortunately it is with this brush that much "social media" is tarred today. It’s essentially creative crap!

In the world of communities, social media, and comprehensive customer engagement and experience models, this kind of "branding" is dead as the dodo.

This kind of branding also embraces the associated advertising which is equally worthless and it is this category of advertising which some social media experts proclaim to be dead. As an advertising category I would agree – it is as dead as manipulative branding.

The Marketing Challenge

For all of its current weaknesses and current falling credibility marketing and advertising is not going to go away, except that associated with the "branding" as discussed above which will certainly self-destruct.

It’s going to reinvent itself in the context of not pushing messages to a market segment, an audience, but by seeing itself as part of a total customer engagement and experience model. This model will embrace the whole company, and the important spaces and places in the social media where relevant conversations take place. These "relevant" conversations could include any or all of conversations about the company, its products and brands, its people, partners and competitors.

When Marketing does this it will again create the link between brand promise and brand experience, and be part of the overall creation of real brand value.

Organisationally, Marketing will become a member of a real-time cross-functional team which as a whole embraces the customer engagment. This is in stark contrast to today, where most Marketing has degenerated to branding. And make no mistake, this degeneration is the big problem that has led to the undeniable trend of declining influence of advertising and marketing today. It is disconnected from the experience and total customer engagement.

There’s nothing new in all this to purist and forward-thinking marketers as marketing was always intended to be only one part of a customer experience, and everything was meant to interact and to be consistent. It’s just that it has mostly failed to deliver and been taken hostage by "campaigns" and short-term thinking. The rise of social media is important because it exposes this "state of the art" for what it is – treating customers with contempt and ramming "messages" down "channels".

Future Brands, Marketing and Advertising

Branding, in the above context, is dead. Brands will always have a place in our B2C and B2B ecosystems, and some will rise far above others, as now.

The ones that rise the furthest will reinvent their Marketing function and their marketing to become a true part of the long-term engagement to build brand value through the execution of the tangible traits, through coordinated cross-organisational and social media contributions and participation.



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