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Mike-Brown-David-SvetDavid Svet (of Spur Communications) and I presented at the Association of Fundraising Professionals AFP Forum recently on Dispelling Social Media Myths. We welcome you to look at a summarized version of the presentation at the end of this post or directly on Slideshare.

One question after the Dispelling Social Media Myths presentation related to what steps I would recommend to a fund raising professional on how to start social media activity when they have not done much yet. It’s a very relevant question based on the number of people at the AFP Forum who were still largely standing on the social media sidelines.

While the list below of near-term steps for how to start social media activity below is targeted to attendees at the Association of Fundraising Professionals session and their peers, the answer applies, with very few modifications, to any business development professionals still trying to determine how to start social media activity right now.

6 Steps – How to Start Social Media Activity for Business Development Professionals

1. Sign up for a few popular social networks.

This list of social networks covers the variety of opportunities a business development professional might need to address when starting:  Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram . . . and maybe Google+ (if you want extra credit).

2. Begin to build an audience on these social networks.

Begin building a social network audience by following these groups on the social networks you’ve joined. While you want to follow current donors, you don’t want to stop there:

  • Your current donors
  • Well-known donors in the community you know, even if they have not been directly involved with your organization (On Twitter, you can also follow targeted donors you DON’T know since the connections on Twitter are often more transient.)
  • Friends (especially those who have links with your target audience)
  • Prominent organizations you currently have relationships with or would like to develop them
  • People already in your professional network (Again, on Twitter, you can reach beyond people in your current professional network more readily)
  • Other prominent civic and charitable organizations

3. Create a list of (both personal and business) topics current and prospective donors will find interesting.

Social media content needs to start with the audience’s needs in mind and work backwards to what you can share that’s of interest for them. Create a short list of topics you will focus on for your social media sharing.

4. Begin sharing content related to the topics you identified in the previous step.

Begin sharing content on a regular and consistent basis, using this list of potential topic areas as a starting point for planning what content you’ll feature.

  • Resharing intriguing content from your organization as it is shared
  • Update and share older content from your organization that’s still relevant
  • Sharing photos, reactions, news, and other tidbits about your organization pulled from traditional communications publications and events
  • Share your own photos, reactions, and insider perspectives on your organization’s cause (making sure to do it within your organization’s social media policy)
  • Sharing content related to your audiences’ topics that you come across in your work and reading.

5. Affirm (i.e., like, retweet, share, etc.) content from others.

By responding to the social media content your target donors and other audience members are sharing, you let them know you are present, paying attention, and appreciating their efforts.

6. Launch the steps to expand your professional relationships.

Look through the friends and acquaintances of your current donors to see who might be new prospective donors for you and begin to reach out to start forming new relationships.

This Is Simply a Starting Point for How to Start Social Media Activity

Admittedly, this list is simply a starting point, but these six steps are fundamentals for getting started in social media if you’re doing business development – whether in a nonprofit or a for-profit organization. – Mike Brown

 

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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I asked a couple of regular contributors to the Brainzooming blog to weigh in with their own perspectives on the Super Bowl advertising for Super Bowl XLVII. Today, Randall Rozin (who you can find on Twitter under his @RandallRozin account) shares his perspectives on the common archetypes showing up in this year’s Super Bowl: 

 

Super Bowl Advertising – 8 Archetypes by Randall Rozin

Randall-RozinLiterature, theater, and yes, the Super Bowl advertising are chock full of general themes or archetypes that are used as models to connect you to a given point of view.  Advertising provides a unique emotional shorthand to these archetypes in the form of characters (real or imagined) and through situational placements.

Given a high percentage of ‘’average Joe and Janes” watching a telecast such as the Super Bowl,  it was not surprising to see this particular archetype played out many times throughout the telecast. It was not the only one, however, as this year’s Super Bowl advertising featured at least eight common archetypes:

1. The Average Joe or Jane

Volkswagen had an interesting take on an Average Joe from Minnesota turned Island Sage with its Beetle ad “Smile.” A dismal office scene and is turned into opine for the optimist that exists in all of us – if only we could bring our smile to the surface.  One manifestation of the smile we all need rests in the Volkswagen Beetle, whose anthropomorphized front end is a smile incarnate – sorry, but couldn’t resist that pun.  The call to action is simply, “Get happy.”  The line, “Don’t fret me brother, sticky bun come soon” is sure to be a classic.

2. The Damsel

Regardless of what one thinks about the ad’s execution, the most obvious use of combined archetypes in their purest forms was from GoDaddy.Com. The firm employed a Damsel (sexy Damsel in this case with Bar Refaeli) and a Smart Nerd to demonstrate a Match of sexy domain and smart website capabilities.

3. The Outlaw

Average Joe turns Outlaw in its new Audi “Prom” ad.  Our young hero goes to the prom alone, but his father’s Audi gives him the confident horsepower he needs to make his move on the prom queen.  He kisses the girl, get’s a black eye from her prom king boyfriend, and celebrates his new found bravery all the way home in the Audi.

4. The Devil

The new Mercedes “Soul” commercial – with an extended play online – provides a fun depiction of several common archetypes in one ad:  The Devil (Willem Dafoe), the Average Joe (the lead actor in the spot) whom via fantasy sequence, experiences the Damsel (Kate Upton) and the Hero models as well.  A wonderfully filmed fantasy spot with the payoff being an affordably-priced car you’d think you’d have to sell your soul to have.

5. The Trailblazer / The Traveler

The epic Play Date spot from Hyundai blends the Trailblazer/Traveler archetypes together with a bit of Outlaw prototype to answer the question, “What are we going to do today?” in a fun, energetic and engaging way. This Super Bowl spot features an average family in dynamic situations with the Flaming Lips thrown in for good measure.  Every day is an adventure in the new seven passenger Hyundai Santa Fe.

6. The Child

Hyundai delivered a second clever Super Bowl spot called ‘Team’ that utilizes the Child archetype to cleverly bring home the 7-passenger Santa Fe selling proposition in a memorable and entertaining way.

7. The Hero

The entry from Axe this year features the Hero (Firefighter) with the Damsel in Distress archetype. Spoiler alert….an odd deviation from the ‘hero gets the girl” ending exists in that a new hero enters at the end of the Axe Super Bowl commercial as an out of context astronaut that connects the girl to the name of the Axe product descriptor.  In this case the descriptor is “Apollo.”

8. Buddies

Budweiser, a perennial favorite in Super Bowl advertising, had an entry called, “Brotherhood.”  It’s a beautifully shot buddy prototype that strongly reinforces an important corporate symbol.  Seemed like a 60-second send-up of the movie Warhorse but done with a Budweiser Clydesdale.  Nice.

Preview Week before the Big Game

A strong Super Bowl advertising ‘preview week’ ahead of this year’s big game telecast was quite interesting. The Super Bowl advertising previews running ahead of the Super Bowl via online display, social media, and other outlets garnered significant impressions, buzz, and excitement.  The end result was greater anticipation when the Super Bowl spots actually aired during the game with the business result being enhanced amortization of the investment and greater potential for longer term exposure.

Speaking of longer term exposure, my favorite Super Bowl advertising example . . . no strike that . . . my favorite advertisement of all time, in any venue, remains Apple and its 1984 which was aired only once by Apple, but continues to get impressions to this day.  This spot’s use of the classic hero saves the day and opens us to new realities is a classic that endures with aspiration as much nearly 30 years later as it did the day it aired. – Randall Rozin

 

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Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic creative thinking and ideas! For an organizational innovation success boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

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Here’s part 2 to Woody Bendle’s exploration of retail shopper experience insights and innovation through a “Three I’s of Shopping” framework that allows a retail innovator to gain a stronger understanding of shoppers’ needs. You can click here to read Part 1, in case you missed it

 

Innovating the Retail Shopper Experience by Woody Bendle

Yesterday, we explored a framework based on the “Three I’s of Shopping” to better understand retail shopper experience innovation based on customer needs. The three I’s focus on the Immediacy of the shopping need along with the degree to which the retail shopper is seeking Inspiration and/or Information.

To inspire innovative thinking about the retail brand experience, we’ll consider VERY different shopping environments and the orientation of these stores’ shoppers.

High Inspiration, High Information, Low Immediate Need

Picasso-FishHere in Leawood Kansas, we have one of the COOLEST shopping experiences you will ever encounter with Picasso Exotic Aquatics. This store specializes in absolutely gorgeous fresh and saltwater fish and aquarium systems.  With every visit, I am profoundly awed by the living beauty on display.  It’s like visiting an aquarium – for free!

Picasso Exotic Aquatics TOTALLY delivers on the inspiration dimension – which makes sense for this type of a concept if you think about it.  It’s hard to imagine too many people coming into this store with an urgent or immediate need to buy some exotic fish or an aquarium (the exception perhaps being the need to quickly replace your husband’s prized saltwater tank that just fell over and shattered because your six year old son decided to help your family’s curious tom-cat out by pushing him into the tank – after all, he looked like he wanted in there).

Outside of this rare (but nonetheless real) exception, most people visiting Picasso Exotic Aquatics are probably there for inspiration and information.  This store’s job is to captivate the imagination and provide information to its shoppers to inspire a purchase – either now, or perhaps some time down the road.  And, I cannot imagine that anyone would leave this store without being inspired.  Job well done!

High Immediate Need, Moderate Information, Low-to-moderate Inspiration

When thinking of retail stores with a high proportion of traffic having an immediate or urgent need to make a purchase, grocery stores are among the first to come to mind.  Most of us can relate to that “dang-it” moment when we open the fridge only to realize there is no milk, or you are ready to start your dishwasher and realize you’re out of soap.

I had one of these moments this weekend – AFTER I had already successfully checked off everything on my Saturday morning grocery shopping list.  I had visited Hy-Vee, Walmart AND Costco that morning – because I can never seem to get everything at one place.  My shopper need orientation was highly “need” skewed, but not “urgent.”  I was on a mission admittedly, but there wasn’t an extreme constraint.  The “urgent” came as we began to make dinner and realized a critical ingredient was missing.  Yep, I made a speedy trip to Price Chopper – four different stores in the same day!

Grocery chains are really smart when it comes to shopper insights. They know there are certain things such as milk, bread, diapers, etc. that are often bought by customers with urgent needs.  If they were designing stores for maximum shopping efficiency, these items would be placed at the front of the store so customers with urgent needs could quickly get in and out.

BUT, these urgent items are nearly ALWAYS in the back of the store.  You’ve got to walk by all sorts of cleverly merchandised and promoted stuff – and of course, you now have this completely unforeseen need to purchase something that you hadn’t planned on purchasing – such as the family sized bag of nacho-cheese flavored Doritos and a 12-pack of Coca-Cola – because tomorrow is game day!  Sound familiar? THAT’s why I didn’t stick to 100% to my shopping list at ANY of the four places I shopped over the weekend.

TescoOver the years, grocers have done some very clever things to innovate the shopper experience. One of the absolute coolest is what the UK based grocery chain, Tesco, did in South Korea.

Faced with the challenge of growing their South Korean grocery business in the face of VERY LIMITED, and VERY EXPENSIVE real estate opportunities, the Tesco team developed a virtual grocery store allowing commuters to shop digitally in subway stations using smart phones, as they were going to, or coming home from work. The groceries are delivered to their home that evening.  Tesco recognized the shopper need orientation and innovated an entirely new shopper experience for time constrained shoppers.  These grocery shoppers didn’t need inspiration or comparative shopping information. What they needed was getting their groceries while saving time in their hectic lives.

This program has been so successful, Tesco has now launched it in the UK as well.

Let’s think about innovating!

As these two examples illustrate, shopper experiences can be innovated in unique and very compelling ways.  But chances are, you will not  be successful by just winging it; you have to start by deeply and thoroughly understanding your customers’ needs.  You also need to know the role your store (and its experience) is expected to, and might be able to serve.

To do, this you can start by learning about your shoppers’ three I’s:

  • Immediate Need
  • Information Seeking
  • Inspiration Seeking

Once you better understand the shopper needs orientation of your store’s customers, think about the following questions:

  1. Is the store experience optimized to best serve the primary need(s) of my core customers and deliver “wow”?
  2. How might we enhance the design to better meet (or even better) or exceed my shoppers’ primary need(s)?
  3. Might we be able to enhance our store experience (and potentially sales and loyalty) by dialing up design / service elements aligned against secondary or tertiary shopper needs?
  4. How else might we deliver an exceptional shopping experience and create even more “wow”?
  5. Does the shopper need orientation vary during different times of the day or different days of the week?
  6. What other retail stores or concepts have similar shopper need orientation profiles and what are they doing?
  7. Are there aspects of my store experience or design that are getting in the way of an exceptional shopping experience?

Admittedly, this list isn’t exhaustive. I’d love to hear what other questions you have!  If you are retailer facing growth challenges, one possible opportunity for growth might exist by innovating your shopper experience.

Now, let’s get innovating! – Woody Bendle

 

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Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic creative thinking and ideas! For an organizational innovation success boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

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6

Frequent Brainzooming guest blogger Woody Bendle showcases his extensive expertise on retail shopper experience insights and innovation with the first of this two part post on innovating the retail shopper experience through a framework and stronger understanding of shoppers’ needs:

 

Innovating the Retail Shopper Experience – Part 1 by Woody Bendle

woody-bendleA 2009 research study by the Verde Group, Wharton Business School and the Retail Council of Canada titled  “Discovering ‘WOW’ – A study of great retail shopping experiences in North America” states that only 35% of shoppers have had a “wow” shopping experience within the prior six months.  The study’s authors boil retail shopper experience elements down to the following five foundational pillars:

  1. Engagement – being polite, genuinely caring and being interested in helping, acknowledging and listening
  2. Executional Excellence – patiently explaining and advising, checking stock, helping to find products, having product knowledge and providing unexpected product quality
  3. Brand Experience – exciting store design and atmosphere, consistently great product quality, making customers feel they’re special and that they’re always getting a deal
  4. Expediting  –  being sensitive to customers’ time in long check out lines, being proactive in helping speed the shopping process
  5. Problem Recovery – helping resolve and compensate for problems, upgrading quality and ensuring complete satisfaction.

The study’s authors specifically note retailers often under deliver on brand experience.  Meaning, many retail shoppers feel as though they are experiencing a homogenized sea of sameness across retail concepts.

What to do?  –  Innovate your store’s shopping experience!

Innovation opportunities exist for every business type.  People commonly associate innovation with inventing, or creating a totally new (or new and improved) product or product category; but often, the most impactful innovations have nothing to do with a specific product.  If your business is retail, and you don’t actually make the things you sell, you can only innovate something other than the product.  And as the Verde Group / Wharton Business School authors point out, one glaringly overlooked opportunity for innovation in the retail shopper experience is the store or brand experience.

OK, so where to start?  – Understand your shoppers’ needs!

I’ve found retail shopper experience occasions can generally be classified into three need orientations.  I call these occasions the “Three I’s of Shopping.”

  1. Immediate Need – The shopper needs to obtain something reasonably soon; if not right now.
  2. Inspiration Seeking – The shopper is open to the possibility of making a purchase if something inspires, or captivates their imagination.
  3. Information Seeking – The shopper is “in the market” and is contemplating making a purchase, from somewhere, sometime in the near future but their current mission is obtaining information in order to make a better.

Innovating a retail shopper experience requires understanding the shopping need orientation of your customers and dialing up the experience to best serve their needs.  It is also important to keep in mind that shoppers don’t necessarily fall exclusively into only one need orientation. There might be an opportunity to improve the brand experience by catering to secondary or tertiary needs.

As you contemplate innovating the retail shopper experience in your store, it is also important to keep in mind that shoppers’ needs aren’t always purely transactional (meaning, they just want to efficiently purchase something and get out of your store quickly).  Regularly in retail, many needs consumers are seeking to fulfill are emotional.  Shoppers may want to “feel” a certain way when they are shopping at your store.  Or perhaps, shoppers want to be perceived a certain way as a result of shopping at a particular store.

Before you begin coming up with ideas for innovating your retail shopper experience, it is critically important to first understand all of your consumers’ needs and assess how well your shoppers feel their needs are being met in the marketplace and by your store.

In tomorrow’s post, we’ll look at specific, VERY different shopping environments with different shopper orientations – one that’s high inspiration and high information, and another that’s high on immediate need.

Between now and then, think about your own shopping experiences that fit into these categories, and tomorrow we’ll explore the innovation opportunities in each of these brand experience situations. – Woody Bendle

 

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the free Brainzooming blog email updates.


Download the free ebook, “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” to help you generate fantastic creative thinking and ideas! For an organizational innovation success boost, contact The Brainzooming Group to help your team be more successful by rapidly expanding strategic options and creating innovative plans to efficiently implement. Email us at info@brainzooming.com or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

Guest Author

The Brainzooming blog has a wonderful group of guest authors who regularly contribute their perspectives on strategy, creativity, and innovation. You can view guest author posts by clicking on the link below.

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