Gilbane Conference – Opening Keynote by Jeremiah Owyang

Opening Keynote – Jeremiah Owyang – “Your Corporate Website Can be Relevant Again”

Slides from Jeremiah’s presentation.

  • Two kinds of corporate websites: one focused on products / services and one focused on the customer
  • Customers and decision makers are making decisions on other websites about your company
  • Phase 1: No social integration on Web site (Example: Trader Joe’s)
  • Phase 2: Linking away with no strategy (Does it make sense to send traffic to a site like Facebook instead of your corporate web site; don’t add warning message when you’re sending customers away)
  • Phase 3: Link away but you have a strategy (More sophisticated way of linking to social sites is allowing customers to like things and/or pre-populate tweets, etc.)
  • Phase 4: Brand Experience is integrated in social channels (Wherever your customers go make your brand part of the experience; Example: Starbucks; Tiffany also has branded channels; One mistake some brands are making is that they are not noting things as “official” accounts)
  • Phase 5: Aggregate discussion on corporate site (Make sure that it is a trusted discussion – including both positive and negative feedback; Over 100 community platforms that are allowing you to include discussions on your corporate web site; Example: Whole Foods – bringing discussion from Twitter to corporate website; Sun was a frontrunner to aggregate blog posts via technorati to corporate web site)
  • Phase 6: Allow customers to come to your web site but use social IDs (Facebook Connect, OpenID, Twitter, etc.) (Downside: You may not know who your customer is and/or be able to access their information as leads; People are willing to opt-in to sites like Facebook – allow them to share that identity / information; Example: H&R Block – allows customers to ask questions about taxes and get answers from support team in real-time)
  • Phase 7: Allows users to stay on site but create a viral loop (Goal is to have an interactive user experience; requires a lot of planning and resources; Example: Pepsi Refresh project; Example: Levi’s allows users to “like” merchandise in store and share with friends on Facebook – creating a contextual shopping cart based on your friend’s interests)
  • Phase 8: In the future, you won’t be able to tell the difference between a corporate web site and a social network (websites assembled on the fly based on social profiles; URLs won’t matter; ads become useful because it’s stuff that you want based on contextual information, Example: VitaminWater)

Be deliberate in your strategy on how to integrate social.

Future of Web experience will be based around people – not products.

Don’t just arbitrarily jump into social space – make sure to plan out social strategy.

Question: What’s the impact of social on email marketing?
Answer: Said in blog that there is no difference between email and social networking. (Bacon vs. spam). Seeing social web connect with email systems. New type of social inbox.

Question: What about control for companies in a highly regulated industry?
Answer: 1) Allow moderation; 2) Don’t have conversations on your web site, but still allow them to be social – spread information out; 3) Let the conversation happen on other sites that you’re not liable for and sponsor it in a more traditional way

Question: Story about Exxon Mobile site and whether Jeremiah was troubled by it.
Answer: Goes back to companies making it really clear when they are the official site. Will continue to see spoofs, but they are usually found out.

Social networks don’t care about brands. What Facebook cares about in this order:

  1. Facebook
  2. Users
  3. Developers
  4. Brands

Question: Will the same trends continue in other markets (Africa, Russia, etc.)?
Answer: Every single culture is different. Other countries may be using social in every different way – cultural pressures and government pressures.