What’s the point. Bid or Buy?

So if bid or buy or anyone else wins the prize for the best ecommence site – who are they fooling, what did they prove, that’s not all if you click the link you will get an improved chance to win an iPad by liking the Facebook page. 

So their Facebook page will have hundreds of iPad fans.


Pointless – wouldn’t they rather have bid or buy fans. What’s so hard to understand?




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Posted on August 18, 2011 at 4:33 pm by Walter Pike · Permalink · One Comment
In: Uncategorized

CellC will miss Lars Reichelt … and so will we.

I am very disappointed to hear that Lars Reichelt the real CEO of Cell C has resigned My personal experience of the man was very positive. I met him after I had roundly slammed the CellC Trevor Noah campaign in blogs and on the radio. He invited me for a cup of coffee to discuss my views a discussion scheduled for half and hour that went on for hours. I still hate the campaign but think the strategy that it was communicating was brave and spot on.

I think that he is one of the very few CEO’s around whom I believe have the both the vision and the drive the change that the industry needs. 

I don’t know what went on behind the scenes but to quote Bill Bernbach “Now as always, the future belongs to the brave” and Lars Reichelt was brave. 

Congratulations Lars – you made a difference.

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Posted on July 13, 2011 at 1:12 pm by Walter Pike · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Social Media is a very African concept.

A striking tall black lady stopped me in the corridor at the #imcc conference today. 

She observed “Social media is a very African concept isn’t it?”

Think about it – the whole concept of Ubuntu (Ubuntu: “I am what I am because of who we all are.” ) sharing, community and the tradition of story telling.

That kind of sums it up.

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Posted on June 7, 2011 at 9:19 pm by Walter Pike · Permalink · 2 Comments
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Why you don’t get marketing in the social world.

Marketing in the new world is very different to marketing in the world we think we are in.

The Internet changed the game when for the first time it created a communications medium that allowed the one to one conversation (like the telephone) and the one to many conversation (like TV) and a many to many conversation to take place all at the same time and when for the first time the source of information also became the site of coordination. When it connected people in a different way than was ever possible before.

It changed the game completely, and it changed it perfectly.

When you are traveling down a straight line and perfect change occurs it gets you traveling in exactly the opposite direction. You were traveling west at 120 and suddenly you are traveling east at 120.

It looks like the same road, its exactly like the same road and every time you look at the road you can’t figure it out because it’s exactly the same. However instead of driving into the setting sun it’s in your rear view mirror. You are going someplace else.

It’s as fundamental as that.

Completely, perfectly different.

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Posted on June 2, 2011 at 9:49 pm by Walter Pike · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Kulula how hard can it be?

I am 6ft2in tall. If I sit with my back to the seat back and my knees slightly apart I can just fit into the kulula seat. So every time I fly I get to the airport early and check in asking for the emergency aisle and it’s extra legroom. You can’t check into those seats online. Today I was more than 2 hours early and when the smiling ground staff checked me in and assured me I was in the seat I wanted. I walked through the security check smiling. Phew its really worth the effort to get there early.

I am sitting in Seat 15C It is the row immediately ahead of the emergency aisle, it is the only row on the plane in which the seats cannot recline.

In fact if you had to chose the worse seats on this flight – they are in this row.

In the seat next to me the lady has a headache she wanted some space to rest. I am grumpy and very irritated. I am also a Kulula jetsetter (their frequent flyer program).

Really HOW HARD CAN IT BE? Just put me into the seat I asked for.

Kulula has a strong presence on social media, the person behind their twitter profile is great, she is caring and engaged. It just doesn’t matter though because although she can try to fix problems it’s just band aid she can just try to repair the damage. There is an operations problem and it’s not fixed and unless Kulula fix it they may as well close their social media presence. I had a conversation on twitter today talking about measuring social media. I will enlighten you in a different post. But you can measure Facebook friends, engagement all you want but this is where it happens the conversation between those seat 15C and 15B. What was that conversation?

It went like this. “Do you know that Mango now fly from Lanseria?

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Posted on May 31, 2011 at 7:01 pm by Walter Pike · Permalink · Leave a comment
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The killer conversation in marketing.

Broadcast media gives you the one to many, one way method of spreading ideas. The telephone gives you the one to one two way or interactive model. The person with whom you are talking can talk back. The Internet gives you the many to many and interactive model.

The most important conversation for your brand and your business is the conversation between your current customer and your potential customer. It’s important because it’s authentic and so it’s trusted. It’s also scary because you aren’t involved.

Marketing including digital and social media is still obsessed with producing communications to tell it’s story in whatever medium it uses one to many or interactive that they lose sight of this vital conversation. Purchasing remember is not a percentages thing, you can’t buy 67.2% of a car. It’s binary, on or off 100% or zero.

What would happen if instead of trying to tell the brand’s story you focussed on helping those willing to tell their own story about your stuff so that in telling that story they can do it more convincingly?

If they are telling their friends about your stuff – maybe that friend’s decision will change to on instead of off.

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Posted on May 24, 2011 at 4:32 pm by Walter Pike · Permalink · Leave a comment
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A rant about conference organisers

I was invited to chair day 2 of the Social Media World Forum in Cape Town on June 2. I agreed even though there had been no talk of a fee. Keep in mind that I am a professional speaker, so its like expecting your lawyer to work for free, although you won’t accomplish this you can find really affordable lawyers, if you want to find one you can call now and find the right for you. I did so because there are a couple of people on the programme I wanted to catch up with and didn’t mind donating my a day to be in Cape Town to do so.

Now this is a conference for which delegates need to pay around R5000 to attend – a profit making concern.

When I sent a mail to confirm travel arrangements I got a reply telling me that there is no budget for travel and accommodation, sorry for you.

Why do we let conference organisers get away with this? They make money by packaging content provided to them by the personalities on the stage, they market it by selling the people on the stage and now in this case they are actually asking me to not only to forego income that could have been earned on that day in my consulting practice, forego the fee, but even to subsidise their costs on top of it. The least they could have done is fly me down on low cost airline Kulula and offered me some sort of accommodation.

This comes hot on the heels of the Thinking Mobile conference in which the organiser, delivered close to no audience to my talk, charged delegates a fortune, messed up my logo on the website and when I pointed this out showed zero concern. His rating system gave me a high response for my contribution, I would give him zero for his part of the deal.

This is in contrast to the IMC conference and The Advantage stand at Markex both of whom are going out of their way to generate a return commensurate with the speakers input.

The reason is that they take advantage of us because we allow them to. 

From now on conference organisers – if you want me to speak you need to guarantee your part of the deal – for example if you say there are going to be 300 people in the room and there are 7 you will get a bill pro rata. 

In fact better still please get a sponsor.

I will deliver to my audience – I care about them.

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Posted on May 24, 2011 at 2:07 pm by Walter Pike · Permalink · 2 Comments
In: Uncategorized

Never hire a social media expert

There is a rant on business insider http://www.businessinsider.com/why-i-will-never-ever-hire-a-social-media-expe… about social media experts.

Like so many who talk about social media it misses the point. If you think of social media as just a different channel or are focussed on making money INSTEAD of delivering experiences and before I get the normal myopic reaction I want you to refer you to one of the key google philosophies (look after the user and all else follows) then the article is on the money.

But if you remember that the really useful insight is more about connections, more about coordination, more about the rapid spread of ideas you would quickly realize that it’s superficial.

Marketing has changed because people have changed, because the way they share information and get information has changed and that needs some insight and some guidance

So please whatever you do don’t hire a social media expert, hire a guide.

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Posted on May 24, 2011 at 9:02 am by Walter Pike · Permalink · One Comment
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The Election SMS furore

Further to yesterday’s post Paul wrote a great legal take on the situation on web.tec.law called Local elections, SMS campaigns and privacy

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Posted on May 19, 2011 at 9:18 am by Walter Pike · Permalink · Leave a comment
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SA Election – SMS Spam discussed.

I hate SPAM SMS, I think that its the pits and my reaction is usually to put the sender on my “I will never buy from you” list.
During the last few days of election campaigning both the ANC and the the DA have sent out SMS to whatever lists they have to urge people to vote for them – neither gave an opt out option although the DA message had a telephone number to call and was signed by the party leader. The message invited engagement, calling the number resulted in an engaged tone so not sure whether there was a person at the other end or a recorded message – but it would seem that the number is being used.

The message is also designed to appeal to the emotions of the DA supporter and hits the trigger points.


The quality of the ANC messaging is very different, very “election poster” and no engagement – kind of looks like the ANC or their agency were going through the motions or maybe don’t really understand the medium, but then just a short while ago the ANC was kind of writing off digital platforms as irrelevant to its followers so its a great step forward in the understanding of the power of digital.


There has been a bit of a backlash on twitter regarding the political nature of the message and clearly both parties are sending out SPAM. To them however to the political parties the risk is low, I am going to vote and all this would have done was to make sure that I will, there is absolutely no ways that I am going to boycott a party, like I might an insurance company because of this type of SPAM and we also know that it will stop pretty soon so I don’t really care (although if all the parties did it, maybe I would think differently.)

Be kind of interesting to see how this all grows for the next election.

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Posted on May 18, 2011 at 9:39 am by Walter Pike · Permalink · 11 Comments
In: Uncategorized