Author: Harris


The ROI of Digital Communications is… Relationships!

The future of marketing is about to rely very heavily on marketers who know how to integrate technology throughout every process of a customer’s experience. The biggest question that faces everyone right now is: How do I leverage online and mobile experiences to produce successful ROI?

Again, what is ROI? Return on intelligence?! Seriously… We need to ignore ROI when it comes to marketing. I get it; we need to measure our results to understand what is working and what isn’t working. Marketing should not be driven by revenue. MARKETING SHOULD BE DRIVEN BY RELATIONSHIPS!

“Twitter is not a good tool for a lot of things. It’s great for conversation, it’s great for relationships, it’s horrible for sales, it’s horrible for marketing, it has no shelf life, and I love it because it creates relationships.” ~ Scott Stratten

What if we took the question, “How do I leverage online and mobile experiences to produce successful ROI?” and re-wrote it to say, “How do I leverage online and mobile experiences to produce valuable experiences?” Better yet, let’s think in terms of the customer:

“How do I leverage online and mobile experiences to produce valuable returns on investments for my customers?”

After all, we are asking our customers to talk, engage, research, and ultimately buy from us. We’re either producing valuable experiences for them or incompetent interrupted experiences that reflects positive or negative on our brand experience.

Remember, there is never a neutral experience with a brand. It goes up or down!

So let’s answer: “How do I leverage online and mobile experiences to produce valuable returns on investments for my customers?”

That depends on the size of your company, industry, and whether you’re a B2C or B2B. There are many factors that go in to creating heuristic experiences, including:

  • Business Purpose
  • Business Values
  • Business Objectives
  • Marketing Objectives
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Marketing Goals
  • * Digital Objectives
  • * Digital Strategy
  • * Digital Goals
    * Digital objectives, strategies, and goals are limited to only a select few companies in the world that have large brand recognition, such as Pepsi, Starbucks, Coke, ect

As you can tell, there are numerous variables that go into answering the above question. It’s not as easy as you might have though. Consider all the above factors for your business and let’s revisit this in the next post. Here is one tip: I repeat, don’t create a separate Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube strategy! You would never have a separate telephone.

What are some successful strategies or activities that have worked for you? I’d love to hear them! A follow up post will highlight case studies with key do’s and don’ts.

The Rise Of Social Tourism

In 2009, the world saw its first major international online “Best Job In The World” tourism campaign. Queensland, Australia set out on a mission to create what they called “The Island Reef Job”, holding an online crowdsourcing initiative, collecting videos from contestants around the world. Several Canadians entered the contest, including Vancouverite, Erik Rolfsen who represented Canada in the top 16! Ben Southall from the UK, won the prestigious competition and has since been described as the“caretaker of the Great Barrier Reef” traveling around Queensland blogging, photographing, videotaping, tweeting, and ‘facebooking’ his journey.

The success of this particular campaign can only be summed up it one way:

“No single tourism campaign (and potentially no single campaign) has ever had such a significant global reach across the spectrum of media and generated such a high volume and highly impassioned response from consumers.” Vikram Kharvi, PR Next

• In 56 days had 6,849,504 unique visits, 47,548,514 page views with an average of 8.62 minutes spent on the site.

• A Google search for “bestjobintheworldisland” achieves about 52,500,000 listings, 231,355 blogs and 43,600 news stories.

Wanting to know what happened to the unsuccessful candidates of the competition? Well some of them were fortunate enough to travel there on their own dime and still passionately blogged, photographed, and shared video of their own adventures. In fact, Anny Chih from Vancouver who made the top 50 decided to undertake a three-month road trip throughout Queensland documenting her travels along the way. Her own adventure resulted in local publicity as well!

The Queensland campaign was the first of its kind spurring on numerous spin-off campaigns by other major brands and cities. This past summer was the Flight Center competition dubbed “Best Travel Job Ever”, in which Vancouver’s own Sam Macmillan was fortunate to win with a free trip to Eastern Europe (semi-finalist prize) and Australia (grand prize). It appears that the Flight Center campaign was quite successful, but nothing has garnered as much attention as the Queensland campaign.

After Sam came back from his trip in Australia this past September, a new campaign started called“Transat Vacationer” that Sam has since submitted another successful entry. Sam is fortunate to be in the Top 10 once again for a year long travel position that allows him to explore his newly found passion of documenting travel adventures and telling stories through video and photography. This past week, I was privileged to sit down with Sam and discuss some of his travel highlights and insights into the rise of social media in tourism.

It’s my opinion that a lot of the case studies have missed out on one important fact surrounding these types of competitions. The PR buzz around the competitions is great for immediate returns, but as Sam points out, the amount of content generated and archived in digital format and stored on the web for years to come is invaluable to any brand or country. Travel blogs that don’t highlight the “marketing speak” of popular attractions, but rather share insights into the unique unknown portions of a city is what can make or break a possible destination for someone.

I encourage you to check out Sam’s final part of the interview to learn about his skills and benefits for becoming the Transat Vacationer!

Vancouver’s Now Revolution Tour Is Excited To Announce Two New Sponsors With The Vancouver Sun & Urban Barn

In addition to yesterday’s announcement, we’re very pleased to announce sponsorship with two local amazing businesses, The Vancouver Sun and Urban Barn.

The Vancouver Sun has been breaking news to the local community since 1912. As B.C.’s largest newsroom, they continue to evolve and deliver compelling, engaging content across all platforms – in print, online at, on your mobile device, iPads, through news alerts, community blogs and a wide variety of social channels.  The Vancouver Sun will briefly share how navigating change is part of that commitment.

As one of Canada’s leading furniture and home décor retailers, Urban Barn is one of the leading local businesses engaging in social media. During the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, Urban Barn embraced social media head on by providing an interactive in-store experience both online and offline for many of its customers and viewers. In fact, their campaign was so successful, that it gathered international attention from major media outlets and is featured in The Now Revolution book. Our panelist, Mark Smiciklas will highlight some of the activities and successes Urban Barn achieved during this promotion and how it’s used social media since then.

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