Brandon Hall Pre-Conference: Our One-Page Social Media Guides and Women Bloggers Jam
Liveblogging Stephen Downes on PLEs at Brandon Hall

Liveblogging Opening Brandon Hall Session--Lisa Johnson

Lisa_johnson Lisa Johnson--"Don't Think Pink: Marketing to Women"--Her blog has some interesting info to check out.

Lisa says, "Brandon Hall officially wins as most innovative conference in terms of technology that I've been to."

We've been living in the land of Push for awhile. When movie studios were buying rights to Harry Potter, saw that kids were writing fan fiction, writing about Harry and the gang going to the prom, etc. . Companies were saying we have to stop that--the kids are diluting the brand. Started sending threatening letters to parents--"suing 10 year olds."

Land of Pull--all about co-creation. Star Wars--when getting ready to do prequels, similar to makers of Harry Potter films, Lucas went online. Found fan fiction in the form of movie. There are Star Wars videos, like Chad Vader (Darth's Brother)--Day Shift Manager. George Lucas response--world has changed, we're changing too. What if instead of trying to fight them, we help them be better at making their fan films. He offered technology, proprietary tools--has a contest offering money, tools, media coverage, etc.

In land of pull, we're co-creating everything with the community.

Lisa realized that she was being judgmental about the new generation, so she didn't really see what was going on.

Decided to write about what she needed to learn, rather than what she already understood. Could feel her own resistance. Declared herself a learner and someone who's willing to change to figure out what happened with younger generation and how she needed to adapt. Wanted to learn about what this generation craves.

Hypothesis--you pull in what you need and crave. Came alive going on a journey of learning.

From her research:

  • People are moving from being isolated to being connected
  • Unaware to informed
  • Passive to active
    • People are connected in three ways
      • Connected to tech and new media 24/7
      • Connected to each other in tight circles and loose connections--about people--using technology to connect to people
      • Connected to brands as peers, advocates and partners--brands in a larger sense--people's identities, how they operate, how they treat employees, how/where they find their supplies, etc.

Key Values that are Shaping the Marketplace

Expression
--create it ourselves, embracing edgy/quirky. We're re-mixing and mashing up.

Connection--expressing and sharing, volunteering skills, help and advice. Tightening circle of friends. Seeking loose connections and fellow fanatics. Those who use technology actually have tighter connections because they're in closer, ongoing connection with each other.

Re-invention--seeking flexibility, seeing new opportunities. Changing channels , creating, re-mixing and modifying. Often innovation is coming from outside the industry.

Transparency--desiring authenticity. Blogging truths, helping the community make informed decisions. Exposing shortcomings. When you aren't transparent, people are watching and will do what they can to expose. If you make a mistake, the best thing to do is own up and fix it.

Experience--seeking to feel alive. Social currency is about having unusual experiences. Exploring edges, testing personal limits. Actively participating. Looking for experiences that transform us and stretch our personal limits. Need to find ways to engage people in a learning experience. People want to dive deeper into experiences.

What does the Connected Generation Crave?
Has to exist across all industries.

  • Extreme personalization, shining the spotlight. U of Oregon analyzed football players' personalities, created a comic book of these athletes as superheroes, gave them logos and taglines. Sent them to the guys in installments. Final installment was an invitation to come on campus. Sent posters of each one to them, too. Connected generation wants to feel special, acknowledge, recognized, celebrated.

Action--Create a power-pair. Working with Nike--power-pair senior leadership with younger people to create a mutual mentoring relationship. News will travel that you're giving people opporunities.

  • "Raise my pulse"--Vocation Vacations--lets you test-drive an occupation. Two days to pair up with someone who's tops in their field. Get a really deep sense of what the job would be.

Action: Scare them with challenging assignments and solve your own challenges at the same time. This generation is bored and they need more. Don't tell them how to solve the problem. Tell them the problem you want to solve and then let them figure out how to solve it.

  • "Give me brand candy"--About design--how easy and intutive is something to use? Not just about how something looks. It's how it feels to them. (Why I love my Macbook!) Men give you 10 seconds and women give you 4 seconds to decide if they like something or not. Design differentiates. It can change the trajectory of your company. And it can kill you. Need to invest in design and in creating content.

Action--Design an intuitive system (like iPod). Think about work space. How does it feel? Connected generation is drawn to companies that are investing in tech. Want to have "day-one" impact. Want a learning culture. They also want a flexible schedule. In designing a learning experience, how will you use musc, art, etc.?

  • Picture_1_2 Filter out the clutter--We're looking for people who will edit for us. Bloggers do this for us. People are overwhelmed by choice. Need to edit things out, offer smaller selection based on value. Example-- :Roll Bike Shops--Pick best in class for each kind of biking experience. People get measured/fitted for "perfect fit. More info on the approach here. Made things modular, accessible, remixable.

Action--Identify the ideal editor in your organization. Invite that person to start blogging their filtered tips and insider knowledge. Could be tips, your reading list, etc. Now the action online is exchanging, creating content. Have to create stuff that shows people how helpful you are, where you bring value.

  • Make loose connections--Shorter, less formal communication methods that offer greater flexibility and interaction. DON'T use social media in business without using them personally. Have to integrate into own personal practice first.

Action: Use existing social networks to community. Run your team meetings bar camp style.

  • "Keep it underground"--Toyota Scion did "underground marketing"--had people painting the Scion and then doing an art installation with it.

Action-- Create social currency and fun--find out who is the passionate core and do everything you can for them.

  • Build it Together--Swiffer and Crest Whitening strips not created by P&G employees. P&G wants 50% of their innovation to come from outside of the community. Sharing what the company is working on and then inviting a larger community to work on it. Have retired scientists working on cool things. How do we open up what we're trying to accomplish? Read Wikinomics.

Action--Pick a challenge/major need. Set up a forum and invite a core group of people personally to participate. Give them insider access to all necessary information. Post it on a wiki. Have to start with people, not tech. Never underestimate the power of a personal invitation.

  • The Giveback--create a closer connection to giving back. 90% of Gen Y wants to give back, make a difference in community at large in the world. Want to do hands-on--not just money. Taproot Foundation and DonorsChoose as two great examples.

FINAL WORD--Change is offense. It is your competitive advantage, your opportunity, your rocket ride. Will you change or will you stay back because you're afraid? In which ways am I open, where am I using energy to resist and oppose change? If you're not embracing collaborative media and the connected generation, then you're seriously missing a chance here.

(Note--This was my first serious liveblog--very interesting experience that I'll have to write about later. Also, no judging grammar or typos. Deal?)

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