Monthly Archives September 2010

Live Matrix for What’s When on the Web™

This post won’t change your life, but Live Matrix might. Created by a former SVP at TV Guide and a pioneer in semantic web technology, Live Matrix promises to keep you updated on What’s When on the Web™. In a nutshell, it’s a grid of all the live upcoming events scheduled to happen anywhere on the internet, so you’ll never miss a beat—or a Gilt sale.

Like everything else these days, users create a custom profile and “follow” content channels that interest them.  I signed up yesterday, and currently, I’m following Wired for Wine, Mingle Media TV, G4 TV, The Indy Radio Factor, Gilt Women, and FORA.tv.  There have been some hiccups in this Beta version, such as unreasonable “account suspension” and the profile photo upload appears not to be working.  Little things like that are expected, though, so I’m not holding it against them.  However, as of right now, the whole site seems to be a little bit of an over glorified QVC timetable, as the majority of happenings revolve around product sales, reviews, and web infomercials.  That, too, I’m willing to let slide for awhile because, honestly, this whole idea is a beautiful step forward for the future of intelligent content streaming, channeling, and scheduling on the internet.

It’s refreshing that someone is wrangling up what’s useful on the web and organizing it in a practical way.  And as content improves, which it undoubtedly will, Live Matrix stands to become really, really important to daily life.  My best-of content scenario includes intelligent news hubs, niche lifestyle channels, and maybe even the return of music videos. I know that all of these things do exist out there on the web, but to have them aggregated, scheduled, and frequently updated is something truly advantageous.

The Transition to Being a Social Friendly Brand: Tasti D-Lite Tells All

I witnessed a compelling presentation from BJ Emerson, Social Technology Officer at Tasti D-Lite at today’s BDI Conference. The conference was dubbed “Mobile Social Communications” and BJ’s Case Study presentation was called “Using Social Technology to Reward Brand Loyalty.”

While far from purely focused on mobile, BJ recounted the path of his organization from analog entity to social media poster child, sharing a number of great insights along the way.

  1. Avoid Social Negligence: BJ explained that one of their first (successful) steps in the social space was to identify/locate existing brand advocates, connect with them and turn them into energized ambassadors. Engage with them directly and/or send them some freebies. This is a great way to get started.

  2. Leverage Search Engines: Cross-link between multiple channels (Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, etc.) for maximized search engine visibility in order to achieve the largest number of potential customer interactions.

  3. Use Targeted Twitter Searches: BJ told a great story about how he searched for “Empire State Building” within Twitter when they wanted to promote Tasti’s new ESB location. He hit the mother lode by identifying an ESB-dwelling blogger. Then, rewarded him with coupons and followed up with a delivery of physical goods to his office. This key influencer became a great ambassador/mouthpiece for the brand.

  4. Integrate Your Efforts: Tasti’s efforts peaked when they replaced their old-school loyalty punch cards with electronic smart cards that feed a master CRM database and even integrate directly with Twitter, automatically informing followers when you’ve made a purchase at Tasti.

  5. Foursquare Connections: Tasti D-Lite has effectively used Foursquare’s “Specials Nearby” engine to drive store traffic and spike sales.

Some of BJ’s final takeways included: “invest in relationships, “think long term,” “trust your customers.” From the mundane to the sublime, this set of actions has helped dramatically impact Tasti D-Lite’s growth. According their CMO, Bill Zinke, 90% of all of their marketing is now digital/social vs. 10% “traditional.”