Will Blogs take over News Media?

March 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

Today at 13:30 (Madrid) Julio Alonso (@JulioAlonso) founder and CEO of Weblogs will join our “Managing Tech Startup” Class with Enrique Dans (@edans). I will be liveblogging from the session via twitter #ietechstartup and see how it goes.

My own experience with blogs has been fascinating. Before I came to IE I did not understand what a Blog was and now, almost 10 months afterwards, I am an active blogger with over 3000 views so far. I also have changed my habits, for example, I am starting to read now more blogs than news website. Therefore my first question to Julio Alonso:

– If more and more journalist are becoming bloggers, when do you expect blogs to outpace traditional news corporations? What needs to happen for this to take place?

The thing I like about my blog is that it is very personalized channel I don’t need any intermediary (besides WordPress). I follow also famous bloggers because of this same feature. Additionally I follow Weblog-like blogs like TechCrunch, Engadget, etc. But there is a limit of blogs I can follow. I have already a queue of 1000 post in my google reader waiting for me =) (and growing!)

My second question goes more about the quality of the content of blogs. Reading TechCrunch I see more and more people complaining about the quality of the post. Some of them look sponsored blogs and based that bloggers are paid on the amount of blogs they write, quality issues are arising.

– How do you maintain bloggers happy and at the same time assure high-quality blogs?

A new feature was introduced by Facebook. Facebook Comments. TechCrunch is experimenting with it and they are some initial data that suggest that “trolls” (people trying to boycott the blogger with negative and offensive comments) have been reduced significantly. I am a pro Facebook authentication. Specially for blogs! Hence my third question:

– What do you think of Facebook Comments? Are they defining how we will interact in blogs and elsewhere in the future?

I look forward for this session to start. Follow the liveblog on twitter #ietechstartup

Managing Tech Startups

March 14, 2011 § 7 Comments

Panoramic view from my seat in class.

I am live from my first elective class “Managing Tech Startups” conducted by Enrique Dans. This is his first elective on the subject, so it will be fun to take part of this experiment.

As in my first class with Enrique, we are assigned to blog about all the topics discussed in class. So expect very interest post in the next weeks. Enrique will be bringing keynote speakers from the entrepeneurial community and I will do my best to liveblog from class and see how it goes.

Enrique expects us to interact with the entrepreneurial community in Spain or around the globe. So, if you have a question for Enrique or the class, please free to send me it per eMail or via this blog.

Update 14:27 – next class Julio Alonso from Weblogs WSL will be joining our class! Topic: how to manage a bootstrap company.

Update 15.03.2011 – Video discovered by Guilherme

Social Media in Enterprises, it works!

March 1, 2011 § 2 Comments

Roberto Carreras, Enrique Dans, Ana Nieto Churruca, Lasse Rouhiainen, Daniel Canomanuel, Tristán Elostegui

Spanish online celebrities: Roberto Carreras, Enrique Dans, Ana Nieto Churruca, Lasse Rouhiainen, Daniel Canomanuel, Tristán Elosegui

Today I attended a Social Media round table-session with spanish online business celebrities like Enrique Dans, Tristán Elosegui, Roberto Carreras, Daniel Canomanuel,  Lasse Rouhiain, and Daniel Canomanuel at IE Business School. The panel was moderated by Ana Nieto Churruca as an introduction to the presentation of her new book La Web en las Empresas 2.0 (Web in the Enterprises 2.0) produced together with Lasse Rouhiain.

Thanks to new technology, internet has penetrated already a major part of the population (for example: via smartphones) and this trend just keeps on growing. For now, it should be clear to most small, medium and larger enterprises, that Social Media is far beyond Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In or whatever what the end customer sees and uses to look, discover, review, share and/or purchase goods and services online. Companies need to be where their customers are, but the big question is how? and under which strategy? lead by who? As I commented on my Marketing 2.0 post, marketing fundamentals are still there and have become more important than ever! It is the channel, strategy and skills-set of marketers what have truly changed. Changed drastically! As Enrique Dans said regarding traditional Media Agencies “…I am watching how Media Agencies are just been faced with the new reality and making the same mistakes that the Telecom Industry and others did when their business model was disrupted…”

Social Media is more than just what end-consumer sees

The event was conducted in spanish, hence, I would like to share the most relevant insights about this event for non-spanish speakers and for those that could not attend the event. As the Social Media panel organizer of the 2nd edition of the IE Digital Forum next March 15th @ IE Business School, I am passionate about these topics and about how Marketing 2.0 has emerged that fast. It was only about 4 years ago, when I first directly interact with Marketing back at Siemens. Today for example, I was proud to see how Siemens has launched a creative campaign in Facebook called “/answers“. This is a great example on how multinationals are using Social Media channels wisely and professionally. For me, Siemens is providing a clear message that even the biggest b2b corporations can create innovative ways to connect with their communities.

In order of appearance:

Enrique Dans – Prof. at IE Business School – Blog: enriquedans.com, Twitter: @edans (126k followers). To the question “Is he a celebrity?“, he clearly answered that even though he has tremendous 126k followers online he is by no means a celebrity. “No one in the streets stops me to ask for an autograph“. Enrique did became famous online after hard work and years of experience on the field. He has been blogging almost everyday the past 8 years! He quoted Woody Allen when saying that “success after 10 years of work comes overnight”, and that of course “luck” is part of the process as well. About the question regarding what is key element for enterprises in order to be successful with Social Media, he mentioned just one word: Empathy. It comes all about relationships and how companies interact with their customers. Companies should ask what can they offer to their community. Each community is different and each company has to figure it out by themselves. Uni-directional marketing belongs to the past! Its time for some real marketing.

Finally, during the Q&A session, Enrique brought a very interesting point regarding the ROI of social media. “It is tricky and please don’t make the fool mistake to try to ROI-ize Social Media campaigns to its full extend.” “Not everything that you do with technology is related to ROI”. “Try to find metrics that make sense and that will somehow convert to ROI in the long-term. So far it is still not clear exactly how it converts and nobody knows how to do it”.

Tristán Elosegui – Online Marketing Manager at Secuoyas – Blog: http://tristanelosegui.com, Twitter: @tristanelosegui (6,8k followers). To the question “What are the common mistakes companies do with social networks”, Tristán gave a clear answer: 1. They use Social Media as they would use traditional media, 2. They lack of Marketing objectives and focus only on short-term sales. (Sales do come, but after there is trust! To enable trust, relationships have to be established first!). 3. They don’t allocate the resources required (People, money, time…STRATEGY!)

Roberto Carreras – Social media strategy strategist, Plan B – Blog: robertocarreras.es, Twitter: @RobertoCarreras (8.6k followers). Robert talked about the success of his Plan B project, which is a “Social music discography” concept where music is created by the people for the people. “Tech was always there, but before you needed to know how to program PHP and HTML to create content online. Now due that it is extremely easy to create content (any kind!), creating has hit mainstream”. In his blog, he mentions how Social Media is not only a new channel but also a new way of working!

Lasse Rouhiainen – Marketing 2.0 expert, Video Marketer – Blog: lasserouhiainen.com, Twitter: @lasseweb20 (11,2k followers). As a video expert, Lasse explained the importance of video marketing. “Videos are hardly replicable”. “Video marketing is a most in the marketing plan”. He mentioned 2 different types of videos: 1. The standard videos about products/services and 2. video from the people of the company like employees or the CEO. His experience showed that real employees have more impact on consumers. Finally, he said that it is important that small and medium enterprises (SME) should start to use more videos as a tool. SME are faster, flexible and can produce videos with fewer resources that could have greater impact.

Daniel Canomanuel – eCommerce Director of Telepizza – Blog: blog-e-commerce.blogspot.com, Twitter: @Canomanuel (2k followers). Daniel, the only one representing a consumer good company talked first about the importance of Social Networks. In Spain, there are more than 13 million Facebook users alone! (35% from a 40 million population!) He also stated that customers are switching more and more to the online channel (thanks to technology!). Because he believes that companies have to be where their customers are, Telepizza is now present in all online channels: Web, Mobile Web, App (iPhone, Android, Blackberry) and even they have just launched a Facebook Store to buy pizza without leaving Facebook, and with 50% discount! They are also in Twitter, Tuenti (the spanish Facebook) and are experimenting with foursquare as well. Each channel with its own strategy. To one of the question of the audience on how did he implemented his strategy? Daniel mentioned that he first started with some experiments with support of 3rd parties. After seeing the potential of social networks, they decided to internalize the process. Because the web is broad and Telepizza’s strategy is to be present in all channels, they currently use a mix of internal and external resources.

Finally, Daniel brough an interesting topic when mentioning the new entrants like Groupon and how Google’s monopoly has ended. Telepizza has currently 75k fans en Facebook and overall around more than 150k loyal customers (followers) in all Social Networks. His advices: “Make the community more dynamic, cause fans don’t come alone”. “Social media strategy has to be clear”. “Be ready to listen good but also bad reviews”. “Measure, measure, measure performance”.

Disclaimer: it was quite of a challenge to listen in spanish and transcribe to english simultaneously. Please let me know if I have interpret or express any  translated quote from some of the speakers incorrectly.

The Advantages of Failure

February 24, 2011 § 3 Comments

Today I attended the IE Venture Lab event: “The Advantages of Failure” at Auditorio Rafael del Pino where very interesting people like Jose Maria Castillejo (Zinkia International – Pocoyo), Jesus Encinar (Idealista.com & 11870), Alberto Knapp (The Cocktail), Gustavo Garcia (Ex-CEO BuyVIP) and other interesting speakers shared their entrepreneurship experiences and what they have learned from failure.

Every time I am at a great entrepreneurship event like this I get the same messages: “if you want to become rich and you want to avoid suffering, risking all you have, flying economy class and eating cheap food…then you shouldn’t become an entrepreneur!”

I believe all this is true. On the other hand, if you don’t want a Boss telling you what to do or you want to be independent and have control of your destiny, create jobs and most of all, learn the great experience of creating something new by meeting extremely interesting and helpful people, then definitively you should become and entrepreneur!

I guess this is why it is called entrepreneurship “spirit”, because it is all about the spirit! If you just look for making money, then you will be better becoming a banker. You want perfection and solve problems, then better become an engineer. You like to talk to people and motivate them to buy your product, then you should become a marketer or a sales man. But, if you really like to get things done and create from scratch with a 99% uncertainty and knowing that most probably, and not matter what you do, you will fail, then you are an entrepreneur!

Entrepreneurship is about the journey. The more experience the better and failing is just part of the process.  And this is why only people with a strong spirit can be entrepreneurs.

See below some interest quotes I gather from the event:

Jose Maria Castillejo (Board of Directors of Zinkia Entertainment SA, POCOYO)

  • “When you are an entrepreneur you have to be ready for total failure in 60 days”
  • “The most difficult part been an entrepreneur is to be able to pay the checks every month”
  • “Focus on opportunities, not the problems”

Jose Encinares (Founder of idealista.com)

  • “Investors give you money If they see you hungry”
  • “The safe bet is to be an entrepreneur in the long-term but you have to start young”
  • “The unthinkable always happen!”
  • “Entrepreneurs are people that goes hunt with the resources they don’t have”

Alberto Knapp (CEO The Cocktail)

  • “We start a company with technology we didn’t understand, with a business model we did not know how it would work.”
  • “You have to be ready to suffer! Every day you have to deal with failure”
  • “If you fail, you will have the opportunity to start something new.”
  • “If you want to learn and not get rich, start an internet startup.”
  • “In Internet you fail faster but lighter, so it’s not that painful. Buy you need a lot of money for Marketing to get your brand known”
  • “Entrepreneurs have to ask themselves where do you see yourself in 3 years if the company fails”
  • “Select your partners wisely! A divorse is easier that splitting from your company partner”
  • “The challenge of Internet is building a brand! It can take 3-7 years to build a serious brand!”

Book recommendation: Delivering Happiness (Zappos)

Gustavo Garcia Brusilovksy (EX-CEO BuyVIP)

  • “To do something big, you have to go out of Spain”
  • “Be strict with the strategy and flexible with the details and execution. Don’t lose focus, because you don’t have the resources to do so”
  • “You need someone to think other to execute”

Book Recommendation: Boo hoo a dot com story

Yaron Samid (Techaviv.com, register.com, Billguard)

  • “If you are not careful, a VC can become your BOSS!”
  • “The job of the VC is to fire the CEO when time is right. Entrepreneurs are good building stuff but not always maintaining them successful”

Notes from the European E-Commerce (EEC) in Madrid

October 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

Today I had the pleasure to attend the European E-Commerce Conference in Madrid. Overall great keynote speakers!

The whole thing was more USA and Social Media/Digital Marketing oriented and less eCommerce but I think it was good so.
The eCommerce tool is just the commodity and there is not much to talk about. In the other hand, there is much to learn on how to implement eBusinesses that are really successful using the newest of the trends like making eCommerce platforms more mobile, personal, social and local (as described by Google).

From the conference I missed only more questions from the public, I guess spaniards were shy to speak in English (for those who can speak it!).

See below my notes (unedited) from the conference:

Brian Wiegand (CEO Alice.com)
– serial entrepreneur
– important is also to create value for shareholders.
– innovation and passion (reinvent how things are done in the traditional way).
– Bizflings, Nameproject, Jellfish sold to Microsoft.
– CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods).
– Private levels challenges the industry. Retailers are making own products. Best customers are your worst competitors. Private levels growing fast!!!
– Media is changing. 3 to 3000 channels! Media fragmentation. Relationship of suppliers with Retailers not consumers! Consumers hate advertisements. Companies relying in traditional advertising are not getting the sales they use to make.
Responds of suppliers? More and more adds!!! (wrong approach)
– Desintermediation. Manufacturers are the fastest growing segment online.
– Alice.com specialized marketplace. Supplier decides the products. Supplier is the retailer. Suppliers get all the data!
– adding coupons in the future. Free samples.
– free shipping and better prices otherwise why buy online!!!
– Logistics: taking care by suppliers.

Victoria Ransom (Wildfire)
– facebook represent the biggest change to marketing. More than google. Facebook beats google.
– earned, owned, paid media. 3 tips of digital content.
Earned media: 90% trust friend recommendations.
36% becoming fan on FB are more willing to buy!
– more creativity and patience is required to build relationships with FB fans.
– Consumers do engage with brands.
– 3 ways to use FB marketing:
Grow: grow existing audience! cross promotion with newsletter, website. Encourage friends to spread the word. Facebooks ads (give them a reason to click, don’t drive people outside of facebook, advertise to friends of fans, check out blog.wildfireapp.com) Do promotions. (keep it simple, photo contest easier than video contest; make it social, price to winner and price to the one that referred to winner; personal! aim peoples interest! Passion!)
Engage: tell (careful with FB algorithm!) ask questions! (u need comments) ask for likes! tap. Quality>quantity. Deals, entertainment (games, quizzes), exclusivity.
Monetize: coupons. Special deal.

Ge Wang (Smule)
– social music.
– what people can do with technology and not the other way around

Clay Bavor (Google)
The evolution of eCommerce (The google perspective)
– 2005 The world was old back then!!
(presentation tips: context related, very good!)
– Trends: mobile, local, social, personal
People love shopping from their phone.
Google goggles. Google shopper. Visual, audio search enhance shopping.
Google product search. Already in France. Soon in other European countries. Ezevidra@google.com
– How to evolve: bet on the Internet, be found, try new formats (sitelinks), optimize for mobile, be social, personalize, get local.
– Google shopper. Visual, audio search enhance shopping.

Tom Ryan (CEO of Threadless)
– DIY day every quarter. Pitch of ideas.
-build a community better of what people are already doing.
– 3 groups: artists, recommendations, buyers.
– Act human: authenticity is non-negotiable
– learn to let go & give control to your customer.
– marketing is the result of great products.
– great products want to be shared.

Roundtable: Logistics
– customers pays one way or another for delivery. There is nothing like “free delivery”. If margin of sale is high enough, delivery can advertised as free.
– home deliveries is the easiest way to do. Deliver products where you are.
– enable delivery options (immediately, delayed, etc). Coordinate this with the logistic partners.

Reí Inamoto (Chief Creative Officer, AKQA)
– The best advertising isn’t advertising.
Storytelling + Technology
Storytelling + Media
“we are not in the business of keeping media agencies alive” CMO of Nike
“Advertising is the price you pay for having an unremarkable product or service” amazon CMO
Peoples behavior are changing fundamentally.
Production + Communication. New frontier of what we do.
Product development talking to Marketing (Chief Marketing Technology officer)
From Storytelling to Storyenabling.
Fiat Eco:)rive.
Product design + Storytelling
Functions + Emotion

Post from my iPhone. Sorry for all typos!

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