Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Moments of 2013 --- The Year That Was In Pictures, Tweets, Photos, eBooks and Digital Marketing Milestones

Zeitgeist 2013 :: Discover what the world searched for with Google's year in review? What were the hottest trends? Which buzzwords became household terms? Which fads entered pop-culture? Take a look back with Google Search | Trends.

From a new pope to a new prince, let's remember the biggest moments of the year with #Zeitgeist2013

  • The World in Tweets: Defining moments of the year that was 2013 on Twitter.

  • Top 10 Photo Gallery: A look back at 2013 via TIME

  • Top examples of Content Marketing: 10 Free eBooks - just for you!

  • Infographic by Exact Target: Major digital marketing milestones in 2013.

2013 Recap Infographic
This infographic is brought to you by ExactTarget.

  • Bonus Content: Another gripping throwback video by the artful Jean-Louis Nguyen.

What Brought Us Together: Everything that happened in 2013 - in 6 minutes!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Social Business - A Competitive Advantage [DECK] #SocBiz

The Social Business Guiding Star

This is a story about business innovation and digital transformation, and it's happening in our backyard. A business reality that's changing the way we use social media.

Let's look at some of the world's leading brands and analyze their social success stories? Coke, Nike, Samsung, IBM, Red Bull, McDonalds, Starbucks, Virgin, Disney, Intel, Google, Amazon - different industries, markets, audiences - but all with large, buzzing, engaged online communities.

What really makes them tick? 
  • They are present on platforms where their customers are
  • They are available when their consumers want to buy
  • They know their community and provide content that resonates
  • They empower employees to connect as brand advocates
  • They have built relationships with communities to generate sales, offline and online 
  • They have built their own digital ecosystem to offer a great customer journey
  • They transformed their business models, ever-innovating to fit changing marketscapes
  • They have evolved into a social business to offer exceptional customer experience

Mon, 26 August, 2013: On that note, it was my pleasure (and privilege) to be invited to Otago Polytechnic as Guest Speaker to present on Social Media for Business to Services Marketing Management students. My slideshare presentation: Social Business - A Competitive Advantage.

Thank You, Otago Polytech

Much Gratitude

Prof. Henry Ho, myself, Prof. Inna Piven, Director Freddy Variava 
Many Thanks! wonderful people (staff + students) on Auckland International Campus

Happy and humbled to have been invited... and poster-ed on the wall :-)

Social Business - A Competitive Advantage 

·         Social Business is a journey. It starts at the top, starts on the inside.

·         Social is not something you do. It's who you are.

·         Social is the way to go. Collaboration is the way ahead. Social Business is the future.

·         More than tools and technology, Social Business is about mind-shift and culture.

·         WE are the media now. The content ‘is’ the marketing. The experience ‘is’ the brand.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

IBM C-Suite Study: How CEOs view the future - Infographic

Early discoveries of a C-Suite Study conducted recently by IBM Institute of Business Value revealed how top executives see the future - upcoming opportunities + challenges, and how they envisage the work landscape changing. Register to receive the Study Overview in October 2013.

Click on the infographic to enlarge

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Rise Of Social Business. And The Benefits In 60 Secs!

Social Business is a journey.
Starts at the top. Starts on the inside.

Social is not something you do. It's who you are.

We (you + me) are the media now. 
The content 'is' the marketing.

Social is the way to go. 
Collaboration is the way ahead.
Social Business is the future.

More than tools and technology,
Social Business is about mindset and culture. 

While that's the best 5-pointer I've got, the smartest one-pager on Social Business I've come across is this infographic created by IBM Social Business, with gems like:

  • A social workforce is a smarter workforce.
  • It's your employees. And your customers. (Internal + External)
  • Turn customers into advocates.
  • There's no business but social business.

Click on the image to view enlarged version

Now that you're all stimulated, you may well ask: What are the Benefits of Social Business?

For detailed information on Social Business, visit IBM Social Business
For Infographics on SocBiz and more,

Get Social. Do Business. 
Let's Build A Smarter Planet.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Secret to Unleashing Genius - #Creativity #Innovation #Leadership #Culture

Just came across a brilliant Forbes article I just had to share:

The Secret to Unleashing Genius - Jeff Dyer and Hal Gregersen

It gives us smart insights into innovation, creativity, leadership... and answers Why? What? and How? market leading companies and their leaders (Amazon and Jeff Bezos, Salesforce and Marc Benioff, Starbucks and Howard Schultz) reach dizzying success, achieve growth, manage breakthroughs via teams, increase productivity and continue to innovate - in the face of challenges.

Many Thanks to Vala Afshar for sharing this via Twitter. Read full article.

Article also features a superb slideshow: "The Top 25 World's Most Innovative Companies."
and excellent content on this video interview: "The Four Behaviours of Innovative Leaders."

Bruce Upbin talks to Hal Gregersen 

Relevant infographic: 10 Best Practices for Enterprise Innovation

To sign off on a lighter note

some memorable words from a man of science, Albert Einstein.

I consider myself lucky to have met the man of amazing genius. (Who's kidding! :-)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How Brands and Marketers Measure Engagement [eBook]


What's Engagement?

How Data-Driven Marketers are Crushing Content Marketing
An eBook by Infinigraph

"The influence of social media feeds is now undeniable and has become the primary engagement and discovery point, requiring greater attention to content quality, and to inducing the desire to share that content."

One fine evening, I received a LinkedIn message from the uber talented Dr. Natalie Petouhoff with the question: "How do brands measure engagement?" With such a hot topic, the marketer in me got into overdrive and shot off a reply.

Two months hence, Chase McMichael, CEO of Infinigraph, tweets me to announce the release of their new eBook and thank me for my contribution. Truth be told, I'm just as happy to grace the cover of the eBook. Honoured (and grateful) to be in it.

Download your PDF copy

Read Chase's detailed blog on Engagement and how brands and marketers effectively create, introduce and advertise content that is both engaging and sustainable to their target audience.

This idea behind the eBook became realized after Mark Fidelman published this article on Forbes: "10 Lessons from the Top 25 Most Engaged Brands on Twitter

Acknowledgements with Gratitude: Thank You!

Full Credit to the driven team at Infinigraph who created this data dashboard (stats, maps, graphs, infographics) that allows you to search, sift, source content intelligence - by brand and industry.

Other tools include Competitive Brand Intelligence which compiles comparative reports, and
HyperCuration - which pulls up live social data filtered by type of content and social network.

All in all, it's been...

A happy story with a happy ending. Or, as they say: This. Is. Just. The. Beginning :-)

To sign-off:

"Ultimately, we know that quantity of the content does not matter.  
It's the type and quality of the content."

Master Content Marketing - in 7 Steps: Create, Curate, Integrate, Socialize, Analyze, Optimize, Monetize. Manage content holistically to build brand awareness, engagement, advocacy, loyalty.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Social Business - It's not B2B or B2C... it's P2P

IBM definition of Social Business (#socbiz)

It takes a tiny spark to get your gears going. This short, simple post by Ted Rubin on Facebook and Twitter got mine going and inspired this blog on innovation via social business.

"Shift your approach from Social Marketing to Social Business. 

The value of Social goes well beyond marketing. #RonR"

In 2011, when IBM coined the Social Business concept, the emphasis was on social media adoption and getting social infrastructure (tools & technology) in place. It has evolved a lot since.

An IBM 2013 Report defines Social Business as: "An organisation whose culture + systems encourage networks of people to create business value." Clearly, the emphasis is now on culture and enterprise-wide (internal + external) collaboration. It's about:

  1. Social Branding: See the organisation holistically - branding, content marketing, communicating as one integrated organism - to build brand influence, advocacy, loyalty. 
  2. Employee Engagement: Happy Empowered Employees = Happy Satisfied Customers. Optimize resources via social tech to jointly leverage data, insights, talent, comms...
  3. Smarter Commerce: Reaching today's connected customer and serving her where, when and how she likes. In a fragmented market ecosystem, access is advantage.
  4. Social CRM: Think customer-centric to build and develop genuine, meaningful customer relationships. That's where Return on Relationship (RonR) comes in. Before ROI.
  5. Greater CX: Enhancing product, service, brand, content to deliver superior, consistent, memorable customer experiences at every touch-point - digital, mobile, events, web, retail...

Some great reading material + useful resources on Social Business

Download The IBM 2013 Report which identifies 6 Social Business Success Patterns which organisations can apply to quickly realize business results:

    • Finding Expertise
    • Gaining External Customer Insights
    • Increasing Knowledge-sharing
    • Improving Recruitment and On-boarding
    • Managing Mergers and Acquisitions
    • Enabling and Improving Workplace Safety

Sponsored content on The Atlantic: Cool interactive infographic that explains the business value of SMAC - Social, Mobile, Analytics, Content - with insights, statistics and case studies.

Must-read Harvard Business Review article: (This post's headline is from there!) Social Business is not Business-to-Business (B2B) or Business-to-Consumer (B2C), it's P2P - People to People.

9 Cs - Nine Critical Components of Successful Engagement

Seven Success Factors of Social Business Strategy

As IBM's VP of Social Business evangelism, author of Get Bold!,
Sandy blogs about the latest developments in social business

  • A timely tweet via Talent Culture

  • A neat infographic

  • Get Social. Do Business. IBM Social Business

A dedicated web portal full of trials, demos, solutions, reports and downloadsWatch the TV ad/ video.

Inspired Workforce - Productivity - Better Relationships - Collaboration - Innovation - Value - Competitive Advantage

  • I believe...

"Social is the way forward. Collaboration is the way to go. Social Business is the future."

What do you think... Is social business the way to innovation, growth and success?

Friday, July 12, 2013

100 Quotable Quotes from Top Business Executives

It's my pleasure to share an excellent Huffington Post article. One of the best I've read in 2013, this is a keeper: "100 Tweetable Business Culture Quotes From Brilliant Executives"

A classic collection of quotes curated by the very clever Vala Afshar, it conveys much inspiration and wisdom in the words of top thought leaders and best business minds of our times.

Vala Afshar, author of "The Pursuit of Social Business Excellence", is a leading social media practitioner. Follow him on Twitter for a steady stream of top quality content.

3 i's of Awesome Content = Intelligent. Insightful. Inspiring.

For energising and engaging content, please follow my Twitter buddy, Emma Lloyd.

Welcome to Inspiration Central - Inspire and Be Inspired.

My humble attempt at creating a hub of great content on... Google+Pinterest | FaceBook

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Jack Dorsey, Twitter / Square @ Stanford Business School

"The future has already arrived. It's just not evenly distributed yet."

- William Gibson,
sci-fi author who coined the term... cyberspace

As the creator of Twitter, founder and CEO of Square (mobile payment system), Jack Dorsey doesn't really need an introduction. So his twitter bio simply reads: A sailor, a tailor.

Thankfully, his Wikipedia page divulges a little more. Techie, developer, double drop-out, geek royalty, start-up success, Silicon Valley veteran and Forbes billionaire, here's Jack sharing his story - his inspiring journey from curious teenager to globally successful entrepreneur - at Stanford Graduate School of Business, to an audience of future techpreneurs and digital innovators.

Inspiration in 40 minutes: I found this talk inspiring and I'm sure it'll get your mojo rising.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the above...

When Social Media and Music Collide - Video Interviews #smcakl

The videos are in. Here's an intro to the monthly event: #smcakl - the place to be.

Following my summary on Social Media Club Auckland : Tweet to the Beat: How Social Media has disrupted the music business, here are video interviews with three panellists at the June event.

Scott Maclachlan, Manager of Internet Sensation & chart topping artist Lorde

Paul Mclaney, AKA Gramsci - Artist & Music Collaborator

Dean Campbell, Music Commentator and Creator of Top 40 Music Tracks

Sunday, June 30, 2013

How Social Media has Disrupted the Music Business #smcakl

MC Angela March, Dean Campbell, Fiona Perry, Paul Mclaney, Scott Maclachlan

Julian Waters (drinking water), Camellia Yang, Simon Young, Ian Wan

Courtney Sit

Last fortnight, at the behest of our good friend, the wonderful David Gapes, Editor, AdMedia & Fastline, I attended Social Media Club Auckland - #smcakl (pronounced smackle) - with my roving reporter’s hat on, phone in hand, finger on the photo-trigger. Here's the pre-event report in Fastline:

Tweet to the Beat – Tune in to #smcakl

By Amar Trivedi (@Mr_Madness)

Aucklanders in the house! Make some noise… #smcakl is here and it’s all about the music.

The word is out. It’s on the wall. Social Media has disrupted the music industry. It has affected not only the way we consume music but the entire record industry. While song-laden smartphones and 4G downloads are music to consumers, music cos. are still adjusting to the new biz model.

#smcakl takes a look at The Battle of Monetizing the Bands, exploring significant industry changes from all angles of the record player, with an expert panel line-up of speakers who know the business of music like the back of their vinyl jackets:

  • ·         Zowie (Singer Songwriter formerly known as Bionic Pixie)
  • ·         Dean Campbell (Music commentator and creator of top 40 music tracks)
  • ·         Scott McLauchlan (Manager of Internet Sensation & chart topping artist Lorde)
  • ·         Fiona Perry (Managing Director at Media & Entertainment Royalty Services Ltd)
  • ·         Paul McLaney AKA Gramsci (Artist & Music collaborator)

Take off those earphones and download yourself for a spot of Spotify and socializing on Wed 19 June, 6pm. This month there is a collaborative playlist where attendees can add their favourite tracks for airplay during the informal part of the evening.

It’s The #smcakl-ers - Live at the Vodafone V’nue. This one’s sure to be a doozy!
Sign up at 

The famous #smcakl twitter wall... powered by

Q&A Time: The audience asks, the panel answers, the comments flow on the wall...

Anthony Gardiner, of 25 Most Played (Shiny New Things); Packed house @smcakl

Jennie Vickers, with K9 Social Media top dog, Nasby :-)

She was a doozy alright!

By Amar Trivedi (@Mr_Madness) < || > July 04, Update: The videos are in. --> Click to view.

It’s official. #smcakl rocked - knocked it right outta Vicky Park.

With 250 guests braving chances of a thunderstorm Wednesday night, the only storm worth writing about was the one brewing inside the Vodafone V’nue - in a good, musical, social sort of way.

The topic for #smcakl June was a catchy one. “Tweet to the Beat - When music and social media collide.” The evening featured an expert panel of musos, artistes and recording industry pros – who weighed in on the state of flux in the online music business, the disruption and emergent new technologies - sharing anecdotes and insights both from personal experience and popular culture.

There’s a saying in social media circles: The smartest person in the room… is the room. At most events these days, a tweet wall is common. At #smcakl, the tweetstream beamed out from many screens, is the unseen guest with the liveliest (and wittiest) voice in the room.

A genuine, unfiltered display of community engagement in real-time, the #smcakl hash feed is a merry mix of intelligent tweets on topic, social media commentary, random rants and whacky humour, incl. fart jokes – you’ve been warned!

In its 4th year now, Social Media Club Auckland (#smcakl) has come a long way. While the monthly event is more structured, the open chat format seems to be going down well with attendees. What also goes down fine is the pizza + cold beverage shout that every #smcakl begins with– thanks to the generous sponsors. Events are free to attend on sign-up.

For more on the evening and the event, read these blog posts by:

So, if you are interested in social (which you are) and use social media (which you do), saunter in on any of these dates for an enjoyable (even enlightening) evening with the coolest kids in town.

Keep in touch with all things #smcakl:

For some unreasonable reason, if you cannot make it to the event in real life, you can (thanks to Jam Mayer) attend #smcakl remotely, by watching the livestream here.

Angela March, co-organiser and MC for the night, said it best… “This one’s sure to be a doozy.” Right as rain she was!

Acknowledgements with Gratitude

For the above reports (and the event), many thanks going out to:

Monday, June 10, 2013

Disruption Is Good. It's Where Innovation Comes From.

Your competition may or may not finish you. But,
complacency, stagnation and lack of innovation surely will.

Not long ago, a discussion on Twitter got me thinking: What does the 'I' in CIO stand for? Good question. It could mean Information, Intelligence or Imagination. (My reply: I picked Inspiration). But today, the 'I' in CIO stands for Innovation. Yes... Chief Innovation Officer.

Two questions popped into my head:
* Why Innovate? Pretty straight answer --> Innovation means Growth.
* What does Innovation really have to do with Technology? By themselves, they seem independent enough. But in combination, they drive new discoveries, scientific inventions, and ultimately, markets, businesses and economies. To understand the Tech + Innovation connection, let's analyse the 'Why' in technology.

Why do we use Technology? 

Another good one from the insightful Brian Meredith. Essentially, all technology eases life for users by providing convenience, access, comfort, security, peace-of-mind... in two ways:

  1. Enabling us to do something better (faster, cheaper, simpler)
  2. Empowering us to do something new we did not do before

Thus, technology makes innovation happen. And innovation creates technology. But with 'social' coming in (more ideas, voices, influences), the traditional cycle has been disrupted in many ways:
  • Collective Genius - Crowd-sourcing, Crowd-funding, Twitter Chats, Group Blogs
  • Collaborative Consumption aka Shared Economy (P2P Rentals) - AirBnB, Gumtree, Etsy, TaskRabbit, car pooling
  • Community Intelligence - brand forums, ratings/ reviews (Yelp), consumer feedback
  • Collaborative Creativity - user-generated content, amateur videos, mobile blogging, curation tools, visual web (Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat)

Embrace The Social Innovation Ecosystem

The guiding principle of today's "social" connected era is: Don't plan for control. Encourage participation. Integrate social technology into the business model. Monitor engagement. Manage co-creation. Measure collaboration. Adopt social business. Disruption is good. It's where innovation comes from.

Social Technology leads to The Social Innovation Ecosystem. And vice versa. This new dynamic is changing the way we live. Go with the flow... even if it feels like going against the tide !! Embrace social. Embrace change. Change is the seed of growth. Disruption, the mother of all innovation.


Two thought-provoking quotes by Charles Darwin and Alvin Toffler - both germane to digital innovation and transformation, and equally applicable to individuals and businesses.

Are you ready for change? Watch: Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation

Recommended: I'll leave you with two excellent articles, ImageThink graphics and TED videos:

If you see any good articles on disruption or innovation, please share. Thanks.

Lead Image Courtesy: Alison Herzog via Twitter

Thursday, June 6, 2013

"Good Design Is Good Business." - Thomas J. Watson

Pure wisdom delivered through a legendary quote from the visionary IBM Founder, Thomas J. Watson, "Good Design is Good Business" is an often cited business and design mantra.

100x100 An inspiring film on a century of achievements that have defined and designed our world

One hundred people each present the IBM achievement recorded in the year they were born. The chronology flows from the oldest person to the youngest, offering more than just a whirlwind history of IBM, it's virtually a chronicle of modern civilization, a record of breakthrough innovations and technological developments over 100 years - (1911 - 2011) - and the prospects for the future.

Paul Rand’s popular Eye-Bee-M poster, a rebus was created in 1981 in support of IBM’s motto, THINK.

Update - July 11: Just found a good one. 7 Rules on Design and Designers. Had to share...