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The Moses Method (not)

I’m back from the break at Social Media Influence 2010 and this’ll be a blog of the last few sessions of the day.

Adam Brown, Director of Interactive Marketing Communications, DELL, is on stage, talking about storytelling (not directly connected to the London 2012 presentation, but stories seem to be a popular theme here).

15.45: Adam: Some stats I pulled on the airplane yesterday: mobile web will be bigger than desktop web by 2015; The UK spent 65% more time onljne in April 2010 than they did in April 2007, more time on social sites than on search; 79% say they rarely click on display ad; 25% of search results for top 20 brands are user-generated content. All this tells us we must get our stories into the social stream.

This is why authenticity, transparency and disclosure are so important. Example, every blog post should begin with: “Hi my name is [Adam] and I work for DELL”. This is not the Moses Method (Moses didn’t conduct focus groups when he was revealing the 10 commandments).

Through the eyes of our audience, our home page isn’t Dell.com, it’s Google.com. The primary source for people looking for information about Dell is Google (I said this two years ago). Today you could add Facebook, Twitter etc to that.

15.55: There are four steps to social media outreach: Review what’s being said, respond appropriately, record your message (1bn videos are being served up every day online) and redirect your audience.

16.00: “Fish were the fish are” is the mantra I have on my office wall: look for opportunities in the communities where people are already talking about you – these may not be in communities you control or communities that you own. We have to realise that we are not the key keepers of the brand – the brand is in the eye of the consumer. Social media is not a broadcast medium. It’s a narrowcast medium.

16.05: How do we get management buy-in? The holy grail is attributed sales. We can now attribute over $6m worth of sales to our Twitter handle. (We were able to include cookies and codes in our 140 character Twitter messages.) Net promoter score (?), brand value, sentiment and cost avoidance (in other parts of the organisation) also matter. Cost avoidance is probably the one that’s easiest to implement.

Sentiment? We ran two days at Dell: one when we invited in 15 people who ranted about how they hated DELL; another when we invited in people who raved about us. Some things came from both our ranters (detractors) and our ravers, so when you hear an issue coming from both camps, you know you need to do something about it.

Be a data junkie: there’s a lot of data out there and you just have to learn to track it.

[Note: After Adam’s slides there was a talk by Jeff Dachis and a brief closing discussion about social business, but I’m afraid I was flagging by that point – as I think were most people – and although Jeff gave a great pep talk I’ve heard him speak before on this topic a few times – as compensation for the lack of live blog, here’s a taster of Jeff’s ideas on social business design.]

2 Responses to “The Moses Method (not)”


  1. 1 Benjamin Ellis

    Ironically I’d say businesses are suffering from a lack of the Moses method. So many business leaders are managers: do this, do that. Social Media and Social Business is about leadership: I’m going this way. I believe in this thing – And that is the Moses Method.

    You can’t lead an army (or a large business) via focus groups.

  2. 2 Jemima Gibbons

    Thanks Benjamin.

    We’ve chatted a bit about this and I’m still not sure that management and leadership should be so clearly divided (in line with what biz guru Henry Mintzberg always used to say (eg, http://www.management-issues.com/2009/10/5/mentors/henry-mintzberg-on-leadership-vs-management.asp).

    It’s true that computers/tech are taking on a lot of managerial functions, but the future’s so unevenly distributed, that I wouldn’t write off “managers” just yet.

    Look forward to reading your blog post on Trompenaars’ four corporate cultures and the leadership necessary for each. Just been reading about his work here (thanks for the hat tip): http://changingminds.org/explanations/culture/trompenaars_four_cultures.htm

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