Monthly Archives: May 2014

Reflections on Ric Dragon’s guest lecture

Besides being a wonderful speaker and generous person Ric Dragon has a great name.  He began by telling us that it is the name his Great Grandfather handed down to him and not a name that he made up.  He confessed to being an internet marketer, artist, painter, drummer and writer.

Ric told us he would try to “riff off” the following questions that students sent to him:

Kwesi Keteni – Social media is becoming “the platform” for fast exposure. What will it take to be ahead of the pack?

Meghan Belinski – What major companies could be doing a better job with their social media presence?

Shoshana Filene – How do you measure the success of your social media campaign? How do you sell your company on the need to engage more people in social media processes?

Tsz Chung Wu – What is the most common web marketing strategy in use nowadays?

Luke Wallace – How do you see the maturation of disruptive media technologies/outlets (eg roku, apple tv, youtube, etc) playing a role in business to consumer effectiveness?  For example, greater sales metrics to measure effectiveness, closer communication and engagement C2B and B2C, etc…

Michael           Thai – Should a public relations team spearhead the company’s social media campaigns?

Ric launched his company, Dragon Search as a search marketing company before social media got underway.  He speaks to the executives or owners of a company about how they measure success, what are their desired outcomes and what are their purposes or visions for being in business.  He recommended Avinash Kaushik’s blog Occam’s Razor as an excellent place to read about analytics.  Ric taught us that goals are fuzzy and vague, in the distance like goal posts and balls are like objects that are very clear and lead up to the goals.  So Ric works at using specific metrics to build out a system for measuring the success of a brand.  Many brands aspire to increase sales but other brands have different goals such developing the brand’s vision or purpose.  He explained the AIDA classic marketing model and then used a hypothetical model to illustrate how the AIDA model works.

A fundamental question is whether social media boosts the advertising that a brand already has in place and how to measure this.  Ric and his colleagues recognize five modalities of social media:

Brand maintenance – This is being in social media, having your profiles, listening.  If you read Ric’s blog post about Pharrell and Arby’s you will recognize that the Arby’s social media person was listening to social media and recognized a great opportunity:  Please comment on Ric’s blog when you visit.

Any brand that has high customer engagement or numerous customer touch points has to be constantly listening and also be highly invested in brand maintenance.

Community – Some brands naturally have a community of advocates, people who love the brand or an internal community of employees who are willing to engage in social media to support the brand.  It si appropriate to give some attention to supporting and joining these communities.

Influencers – This may take the form of “professional stalking”.  If a person is very influential then somebody from the brand should “follow” him/her on FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and read his/her blog posts…. and every so often, as appropriate comment on things pertaining to his/her social media presence.  Eventually the “influencer” will acknowledge the follower and this could create the kind of free advertising that Pharrell gave Arby’s.

Reputation management – Proactive reputation management – Become part of communities, talk to influencers before something negative happens.  Using BP (British Petroleum) as an example if they had done their groundwork by connecting with ecological communities before the big oil spill they would have had a much easier time after the catastrophe.  Reactive reputation management – This is the kind of reputation management BP was forced to do after the oil spill.  He also explained how the Unilever campaign with the forensic artist drawing women to show them how other people perceive their beauty is an excellent example of content marketing.

The last social media modality that Ric described is the Big Splash and he used the Old Spice commercial with Isaiah Mustafa to demonstrate that.

Ric told us about his admiration for the Red Bull Passion Point marketing that focuses on an attribute that Red Bull shares with prospective customers – extreme living – instead of trying to convince these prospective customers that they should buy Red Bull.

Before he spoke about the ROI of social media Ric said that we need to read books by Brian Solis and Chris Brogan to acquire the vocabulary of social media evangelists.  Then he explained the concepts presented in the Cluetrain Manifesto, the ground breaking “how to manual” on how to carry out social media that was published before social media existed.

Emily asked him how social media impacts B to B marketing and then Luke asked him “How do you see the maturation of disruptive media technologies/outlets (eg roku, apple tv, youtube, etc) playing a role in business to consumer effectiveness?”  Michael Thai and Thomas Eckmier also posed their questions.  Ric answered everyone’s inquiries quite nicely so perhaps you should ask these four members of our class to provide a synopsis of what they learned from him.

Please read and comment upon Ric’s most recent Big Brand Theory post which is available: