OFFICIAL BLOGHER '10 LIVEBLOG: BlogHer Business Keynote: Funding Social Media Marketing

BlogHer Original Post

Welcome to the liveblog of the BlogHer Business '10 panel: Morning Keynote: Funding social media marketing programs: Where you gonna get the money?

This panel starts at 9:45am and ends at 10:45am Eastern time on August 5, 2010. Keep refreshing this page as the panel takes place for more liveblogging!


This frank and fearless discussion will explore the many ways in which social media is being funded, and what brands and agencies and communicators must do to get the dollars they need to fund the initiatives that they want to launch. Social Media is part advertising, part word of mouth, initiative-driven, promotionally-relevant and a great research tool. Does the money come from Media, PR, promotion, research, event, and/or product development budgets, or all of the aforementioned? BlogHer EVP and industry veteran Gina Garrubbo moderates a discussion with social media budget-wranglers extraordinaire, including Unilever’s Phyllis Joseph, MEC Global's Andrea Wolinetz and PepsiCo’s Bonin Bough. These panelists are navigating new waters, collaborating across departments, brands and approval levels to get big, innovative, market-changing social media initiatives done.


Welcome to BlogHer Business everybody! Starting the morning keynote session.

Gina Garrubbo talking to kick off the session. She's moderating, how do brands get started with bloggers. How are they going to get funded.

Gina: Please describe your role in each of your companies

Bonin (Pepsico): Thanks to BlogHer Business!!! (Yay...woo hoo) He loves the power of Bloggers. He loves that the mens room is open (laughter). Bonin is the head of social media at Pepsico. He's looking for opportunities and partnerships. He also wants to identify best practices. Out of all the platforms, BlogHer is one of the major ones for Pepsico. Helped shape programs with Tropicana.

Gina: How do blogs become a part of your overall marketing mix.

Bonin: It's a significant part of where our organization is headed. Not just what is happening right now but where the world will be. We want to understand it and be a leader in it.

Phyllis: Unilever's social media team. Working with brands to sharpen their story and build media and marketing plans. Also makes sure Unilever is educated about best practices to get programs going and share learning. Huge traction within the last 18 months to engage brands with different social media platforms. Huge interest and engagement from the top down.

Andrea: Social Media dept head at Media Edge. Huge growth currently about social media. Huge interest. 4 years ago her dept had only 2 people. Now they have 7 in their social media dept. Clients want to learn and also go really deep into social media programs and get conversations going so that brands are being heard and understood.

Gina: How do you advise the brands to plan and strategize to get the $$ for these programs.

Andrea: We beg them. We look at long term. Ways they can make a social footprint. We want to put them to bloggers that will speak openly about their brand. We look for the right balance of budget. Social gets 10% of the money but it is 85% of the conversation. We keep the CPM's low.

Gina: You funded a program?

Bonin: The smaller social programs are even harder to find. The bigger ones get adequate funding. Pepsi Refresh program. We gave away $20 million in grants for ideas to improve communities...environment, education, etc. Conversation and program took place on social media platforms. Go to the pepsigroup site to read about the amazing stories. The conversations show people bringing their passions to life. It changed the conversation about Pepsi.
Define funding: go big...big big project. And find the folks that really believe there is a change to do things differently. Find those groups internally. Social media is the next step.

Gina: Phyllis, what steps do you go through. What about measurement?

Phyllis: Measurement is tricky. No social GRP. It's more nebulous. What is the story you are trying to tell. Monitoring sentiment and conversation. Concrete measurements around call to action. The industry has a ways to go to capture ROI for this.

Gina: Your funds come from corporate media or a social budget?

Phyllis: What the channels are, what the specifics are helps drive who is doing what. Is it a PR effort, media effort? Nature of each initiative drives where the funding comes from. It's really organic.

Gina: Andrea, media budgets or pr groups?

Andrea: Most budget comes out of the media group. But we have to work with all the other departments. Work with media, strategy, PR, creative. If it is not good content...everyone works together.

Bonin: Also crucial to share market successes to help fund future efforts. Build case studies and a track record of success. For the right measurement, it has to be tailored to each program. I've never gotten a big PR budget (laughs). Lots of these programs are high touch. You have to bring a new mindset and use media to scale compensation.

Phyllis: The process internally has to be very collaborative. The human resources is as important as funding. It's all labor intensive, where do we find the people/time.

Bonin: Cost of manpower and organizational change is also a factor. Who has the role, who owns the role, what are the skill sets that are necessary? Gatorade project launched, we drop people in from multiple disciplines to scale the product. What is the right mix...brand, media, pr? Use scaled platforms to fund so 1 + 1 = 5. Dig deeper into the media budget.

Gina: What is the value of the social media consumer?

Andrea: Brands get stuck in a focus group mentality. What conversations are important to consumers, but not necessarily to the product design manager? Pay attention to the consumer conversation. Scale is minuscule what we spend in social compared to broadcast, but sometimes what we find in the social conversation can shift the entire media budget. We use it to get to the right people.

Gina: Do you use case studies?

Phyllis: Yes, we've used the big programs. Some big programs are very visible. Everyone wants to create a viral video, but that's hard to do.

Gina: How effective are traditional brand awareness metric tools?

Phyllis: Depends on the program. What are you doing and where are you doing? Brand lift is something we are always going to want. But maybe we also want something to be shared on social media. Measurement is going to be specific to the objectives and we can't retrofit them. Whether it is changing the sentiment of the conversation.

Gina: Are you using Radian 6

Andrea: Oh absolutely. Why are we making something viral? It's something that happens, but it is not the object. What are we doing to the success of awareness. How engaged were people, were they participating? What is the depth and what is the width. Conversation taking place in multiple places. We have to use tools to find this but have not yet found the one magic tool. How many people, how engaged and how far...three things we look for.

Gina: Bonin you have been an advocate for Social Media. Advice on how to evangelize internally to get the money for social media?

Bonin: Advice on how to advocate for it? You have to believe in the platform but also just show them. I'm bringing people to the BlogHer event tomorrow so they can see with their own eyes. It's better than a power point. We are going to bring senior Pepsi-Co senior leaders here to BlogHer 2010 and to BlogHer SHOW them. We are also a women lead leadership organization so they understand.

Question from Blogger in the audience: How can this help ME? Is there a way to make social media work for me? As a personal blogger?

Andrea: We also struggle to get people to trust personal brands. You can cut through the noise and be everywhere you can be. Hug yourself on your page and connect to everything.

Question from Audience: Pitching her businesses...Embed Tweetwil because it's free. It's really noisy out there but if you can get a few people to really here you.

Bonin: Building a credible audience. Give out tons of business cards every single day. Email every day.

Audience: Analytics are the new black. Everyone wants measurement now. Are you seeing an increased demand to show metrics?

Phyllis: It's starting. Industry, Nielsen are trying to wrap their hands around it. It's an ambition that will play out over time. Internal marketing and case studies for now. How did we change the conversation, before and after. There are tools to do that now. Some degree it's anecdotal but we also have to use the measurement tools that are out there.

Bonin: What does the business care about now? What we care about is are we relevant. How much are people talking about our campaign? What are the brand attributes they are talking about. How much are they talking about us online? What are benchmarks (norms) and are we going above those measures? Let's layer in conversation with cost per click.

Lynn Miller: (Audience) What are the brands demanding for more sophisticated analytics. What kinds are out there?

Andrea: Metrics are at the heart of everything we do. It's tricky to layer on CRM in social media. How we match up customers without their permission is tricky. Radian 6. There are about 150 different monitor tools in the U.S. Some are free some are not. How to get the analytics we need and put them in the budget. Also the time and energy and man power to do the analysis afterwards. Opportunities for partners to have metrics (like BlogHer) that you can tap into for analytics. Right now it is a matrix to get to the answer!

Gina: Thank you everyone!

Jane K. Collins

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