Famous Jaffe

Last Friday I was invited by Famous to come to their annual BBQ at the Africa Museum in Brussels. They also had arranged for Joseph Jaffe to come and talk about The Conversation to the audience of marketers and advertisers. I had wanted to see Jaffe present again as last (and first) time I saw him was in November 2005 and it was good. Given the post about that presentation was only the second one I had ever written on a blog, it’s fair to say it was part of the reason that I got into blogging to begin with (just like reading “Naked Conversations” was another one). Another reason why I was interested to go was because it would be a good opportunity to finally meet face to face, after several conversations online.

And just like in 2005, Jaffe never seems to disappoint as a presenter. Reading his books always leave me somewhere in the middle, I like them because they’re well written but most of the content is not new to me so that makes them less interesting. But then again, I don’t belong to the core target audience for these books either. The marketers and advertisers invited by Famous do belong to that audience though and I really hope they will read the book. Since everyone received a free copy that shouldn’t be too much of a challenge :)


One of the slides that interested me most was the one above about “The Conversational Marketing Construct”. I thought it was an interesting exercise on defining the innovation process, and something we ought to use to check on our own progress with Bring The Love Back.

Overall, very good presentation and glad to finally meet Joseph in person. There were a lot of good statements being made during the presentation but since Clo captured most of them in her Twitter stream, I suggest you check that one out. My favorites:

… And this is my social security number and my bank account. Since you’re all marketing professionals I know you’ll be too lazy to use the data to get into contact with me anyway” (when showing his AMEX, bank account, etc details on his ‘who’s Jaffe’ slide)

Or this one…

It’s not enough to get your foot in the door. Consumers are now so powerful they would break it. They would have to ask you in.

Consumer terrorism

I was rather surprised just a few minutes ago while reading a blog post from fellow Belgian blogger Ine. The post is in Dutch so I’ll translate a bit for you. Ine talks about an email she received from the BDMA – association from Belgian Direct Marketers – about their new congress: “Revenge of the I”. The email has some of the almost standard mumbo-jumbo in there like ‘in ages of consumer empowerment, social networks…’ catch my drift? And that’s all fair to be frank, but then there’s this rather odd sentence saying (and it’s a translation, I’ll do the best to keep the original sentiment):

“During the congress we’ll deepdive into the current era of ‘consumer terrorism’ that is coming up with the rise of digital and social technologies such as blogs, social networks and email.”

Consumer terrorism?! No speakers have been announced yet but I expect to see people from the Computer Crime Unit and others to learn direct marketers how to deal with dangerous bloggers and Facebookers.

Although on a slightly different note, it reminded me of another marketing event/congress organized in Belgium: Customer First… or should I say Digital Marketing First, since that’s what they’ve changed the name to for this year’s event. What’s the idea behind that? Who decides these things? It’s like saying: forget about the customer, this event is about us against traditional advertising and stuff so we have to change the name here!”

In the meantime the Belgian marketing publications ‘MM’ and ‘Pub’ are still as they were 5 years ago, so are their websites (and yes it’s still forbidden to link to MM.be) so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised of all this Belgian Digital Marketers against Consumer Terrorism stuff anyway I guess…

Taxi driver vs advertisers

I’ve just started reading ‘Round Ireland with a fridge‘ a few days ago and (apart from being a good funny book) there was this one part that reminded me so much of advertising that I had to copy it right here. And yes, not all advertising is bad ;)

“The taxi driver helped me with the fridge but had failed to see anything in it worthy of conversation. He has his own agenda and he wanted to chat about traffic congestion in the city, unnecessary roundabouts and the mindless introduction of one-way systems. Taxi drivers are the same throughout the world – great levellers. Never mind that Nelson Mandela, President Clinton or Michelle Pfeiffer has jumped into the cab, they’ll get no specialist treatment, none whatsoever. The driver will bore them just as shitless as you and me”

For those who don’t know the book, it’s basically about Tony Hawks who hitchhiked around Ireland with a fridge after a bet he did with one of his friends.


Great quotes galore

I just stumbled upon an interesting presentation that was made by a Belgian friend of mine who works for Naked Communications in London. The presentation is named: “Great Quotes to Use and Repeat When You Can’t Find a Better Way of Saying It” … and that’s exactly what it is. Maybe you had noticed it already since it’s 5 months old by now, if not check it out. I suggest you download it as well, might come in handy one day… when you can’t find a better way of saying it ;)

And allow me to add a nice one from our chairman Bill Gates:

”We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.

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What is web design?

There’s a very good post about ‘understanding web design‘ on A LIST apart that you should definitely read:

"Web design is the creation of digital environments that facilitate and encourage human activity; reflect or adapt to individual voices and content; and change gracefully over time while always retaining their identity."

[Via VisitMIX]

For a better presentation

Powerpoint, Keynote, … as I said before I don’t think of these at the reason for a good or bad presentation. This was also the reason why I didn’t see the purpose of Slideshare’s World’s Best Presentation Contest. This week I found something that is valuable information for creating better presentations.

“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” – Jerry Seinfeld

Brett Tabke at the PubCon conference blog posts a long list of tips on giving better presentations and it’s quite a long but good list. How to start the presentation, how to work around one theme, how to be prepared, … definitely something you should check out. Whether you think about internal 5 people presentations, a presentation for your board or clients, a conference presentation, … these are all good tips.

At the last line they say everyone should take all speaking opportunities they can and that’s exactly what I do. Here’s my next ‘gig’ by the way: The Social Media Forum for Communicators Europe. Don’t judge me too hard ok ;)

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Overhyped and undervalued

Last week Philippe made a great post on the (not so) global conversation, talking about the still rather limited reach numbers of most of the web2.0 services out there. Before looking at the number he quotes from a blog called Gaping Silence which I found rather interesting:

“You get a myth which diverges radically from the reality. The myth is that this is where the Web-for-everyone comes into its own, where millions of users of what was built as a broadcast Web with walled-garden interactive features start talking back to the broadcasters and breaking out of their walled gardens. The reality is that the voices of the geeks are heard even more loudly – and even more disproportionately – than before”

Now we do forget sometimes but this is very true, especially the comment about the disproportionate loud voices of the geeks. I do sometimes as well get sucked into the web, reading blogs, twittering, etc… but this is definitely not what the vast majority of the global audience is into.

Looking at some of the numbers, this strikes me even more. Youtube, Wikipedia, MySpace all have very decent reach and that is not suprise, but they’re only the top of the iceberg. It’s when you look at Delicious (0.5% global reach), Twitter (less than 0.1%). And we could go on for a while…

That said, this doesn’t mean at all the whole movement is insignificant of course. Only 2 days before Philippe’s post about this, I saw a presentation of Marc Bresseel that seemed like a perfect extension to this story. That presentation was given at the IAB Interact European congress in Brussels and started with a quote:

”We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten.”

That is also were Marc used the words ‘overhyped and undervalued’ and that resonated very well with me I must say. I think we many of the web2.0 services that are out there are indeed overhyped for now, which doesn’t mean they are not valuable, they’re just made bigger than they really are. But nevertheless, all of this will have a big impact on how this industry is going to evolve, on how we will all interact with each other in the future. I like that. That last quote is from Bill Gates by the way. Here’s the video from Marc’s presentation:

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Don’t be negative about rejection

This weekend I flipped through the pages of this new book I got (Whatever you think, think the opposite) I stumbled upon this funny (but true) quote:

“When I was Creative Director at Saatchi’s I gave a young man a grilling for production an underwhelming piece of work. Later in the day, somebody told me he was in his office crying. I went along to console him. I said, ‘Don’t worry, I was useless at your age too.'”

An IM conversation earlier tonight reminded me of the quote and made me blog it, so this one’s for all the ‘interns’ out there.

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Made to Stick (Cont’d)

I said it before, this is a great book and I still think so now I finished reading it. Just like with Naked Conversations a couple of months ago, I first didn’t want to write too much about it since you just have to read it, so I’ll keep it short. Every time I read a book like this, I’ll put a small piece of paper between the pages that I want to re-read later on. Normally I’ll end up with about 3-5 pages ‘bookmarked’ this way, but not this time… the book is full of little pieces of paper (a bit like this). Here’s why.

The whole book is built around SUCCES, where SUCCES is an acronym for Simple Unexpected Concrete Credentialed Emotional Story, a sort of checklist for creating a idea that sticks. To explain this, Dan & Chip use a whole lot of concrete examples throughout the book that help you understand what they’re talking about. Read on about the Curse of Knowledge in Tappers and Listeners, the definition of a watermelon, the Sinatra test, … and much more interesting stuff.

” Memory is not like a single filing cabinet. It is more like Velcro. If you look at the two sides of Velcro material, you’ll see that one is covered with thousands of tiny hooks and the other is covered with thousands of tiny loops. When you press the two sides together, a huge number of hooks get snagged inside the loops, and that’s what causes Velcro to seal. Your brain hosts a truly staggering number of loops. The more hooks an idea has, the better it will cling to memory. Your childhood home has a gazillion hooks in your brain. A new credit card number has one, if it’s lucky.”

Today I notice that when I’m working on a new strategy or creative idea, I remember the key elements in SUCCES and I cross-check to see if I got enough elements in my idea to make it work. The same counts for when I see work/campaigns of others that I like, I’ll go over the list to see why that is indeed a good idea.

I definitely recommend it to everyone, and not just everyone in marketing. This works when you are in education as well as when you are in advertising. Let me know what you think of it.