Where is @iamreff?

where is iamreff?

Here’s where to find me in 2016.  I’ll be updating this as the year develops but here’s my event attendance plan:

MFEA Joint Distribution & Digital SummitMutual Fund Education Alliance

March 9-10, 2016 | St Petersburg, FL

Otherwise known as MFEAJDDC (no, no it’s not) the Mutual Fund Education Alliance Joint Distribution & Digital Summit is THE PLACE TO BE if you’re a digital marketer in the asset management industry.  As a member of the Digital Council I’m privy to all the awesome content being planned. [details here]

MarTech Conference USA

March 21-22, 2016 | San Francisco, CA
Scott Brinker is a local Boston guy. I met with him back in 2010 when he was working on the Chief Marketing Technologist concept. Since then he’s been taking things to a whole new level and I’m very interested in attending my first MarTech Conference. [details here]



October 4–7, 2016 | San Francisco, CA

Never been. I hear it’s a bit zoo-y. I like zoo-y so I’m looking forward to it. I’ll be learning more about the Salesforce ecosystem especially in terms of Digital Marketing.

[details here]



Forrester B2B Conferenceforrester

October 18-19, 2016 | Miami, Fl

I’ve been a fan of Forrester Research for probably 10 years.  Last year I attended the Digital Business conference. This year I’m planning to attend the B2B conference which hopefully will be very relevant to my learning interests.

[details here]


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Marketing Technology Trends You Need To Worry About This Year

New Year, New Marketing Tech?




Curated: 16 Digital Marketing Resolutions to Make & Keep in 2016

I’ve seen a ton of New Year Marketing Resolutions and this is by far my favorite. The post features 16 great reminders for Marketing Technologists most importantly – it’s not about the tech! Focus on customer needs and experiences. Reduce buying friction. Solve customer problems. Lastly, have an omnichannel approach to marketing to be sure you’re solidly covering all the basics.

Ah, the dreaded New Year’s resolutions. Every year, just like clockwork we spend time putting together a list of things that we’ll do better or differently

Source: 16 Digital Marketing Resolutions to Make & Keep in 2016

Social Media Disillusionment

Welcome to the season of Social Media discontent. Social Media is no longer the darling Marketing executives have become accustomed to. The bloom is off the rose. Social Media is actually following the normal course of technology adoption. Technologies are discovered, become overhyped, fall from favor when they cannot live up to the hype only to eventually find a niche where they can provide real value. Gartner describes this process as a “Hype Cycle.” (more on hype cycles here.)

hype cycle

Modified from Gartner source

Social Media has matured to the point where Marketers are realizing that it is not all it was hyped to be. And, to be fair, Social Media has changed too. For example, it’s less social. Twitter is closed to third-party development and you now have to buy your audiences on Facebook. Do you remember discussions on whether a company could forgo a website in favor of a Facebook page? Those discussions look silly now.

Twitter – On a Highway To Hell

I touched on this is in my last post, Twitter continues to sputter. Growth of monthly active users is flat and the stock is in decline  [TechCrunch]. A recent story in the Atlantic points out that Twitter is less social than in years past. There is less conversation and more broadcasting by brands. Now that Twitter is searchable and tweets can be taken out of context, people are less likely to have an open and honest conversation. In my circle of social media professionals, I find much less use of Twitter as a communication tool. Twitter users who once posted regularly now only post infrequently.

From the Atlantic article:

At some point early last year, the standard knock against Twitter—which had long ceased to be “I don’t want to know what someone’s eating for lunch”—became “I don’t want everyone to see what I have to say. – Source: The Atlantic

wsj facebook

Click for fullsize

Less Sharing on Facebook Too

According to a recent story in the Wall Street Journal, users are continuing to visit Facebook but they are sharing much less. Since Facebook generates revenue based on visits not sharing, this isn’t a short-term problem, but if sharing continues to decline it does become a revenue problem. To combat the decline in sharing Facebook is prompting users to share more. As a NHL Boston Bruins fan, if I’m on Facebook while a game is on, it asks me to share that I’m watching the game. Another share prompt is for photos. As seen in the example below, Facebook urges users to share photos from your camera or Instagram.


Facebook prompts you to share your photos


34% of Facebook users updated their status, and 37% shared their own photos, down from 50% and 59%, respectively, in the same period a year earlier. – Source: WSJ

So, just as with Twitter, Facebook activity has slowed, albeit less dramatically. I don’t suggest that Facebook is in decline, only that users are using it differently and perhaps less “socially.” That platform has matured as has user interest.

Walking up the “Slope of Enlightenment”

Although Twitter has stumbled significantly and user expectations of Facebook are changing, there are bright spots that indicate that Social Media is maturing and generating value for companies and consumers.

Customer obsession

Credit where credit is due. Social Media ushered in a new era of Marketing. One in which the customer really is king. Customer needs began taking precedence over brand messaging. In fact, If you told me “Customer Experience” eclipsed “Social Media” in terms of hype I’d believe you (or maybe a better example is “Content Marketing?”.) Social Media will remain at the center of the customer experience through social tactics like listening and customer management. Social Media begat Marketing’s obsession with the customer experience.

New Service Models🍕

Yes, You can now order a pizza via emoji – 🍕. It’s an innovative approach that connects customer ordering profiles to their social media and reduces the friction of ordering – facilitated by social media. Now if only I could get a local craft brewery to do the same with this 🍺.

Are You Marching Up The Slope of Enlightenment?

So all is not lost. Social Media is just growing up. I notice this maturation affecting my own use of Social Media. I share less and I’m more careful than ever in what I share. I expect most executives are beyond asking about the ROI of Social Media and will now only fund Social Media initiatives that are fully connected to and aligned with broader Marketing initiatives that facilitate business outcomes.


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Curated: How Facebook is Slowly Strangling Twitter

This excellent post by Jay Baer rings quite true.  I recently discussed this phenomenon with colleagues – no one is on Twitter except the brands. All the “social” has left Twitter and all that remains is the “media.” It makes me wonder what could turn the tide for Twitter?

Social Threads

One of the larger challenges with Twitter as a communication platform is that it’s difficult to have conversations with multiple people. If you try hard enough you can stitch together “who said what” but it’s tiresome and error prone.  The result is, it’s hard to have a conversation on Twitter when n > 2. Twitter could regain some stature, as related to Facebook, by creating semi-private message boards, I’m calling social threads, allowing participants to chat on any number of topics. I’m envisioning the threads being “semi-private” providing some reasonable moderation controls for rather obvious reasons.

Such an offering could attract established brands and Twitter fans alike.  And this is a feature that Facebook is unlikely to steal outright, an issue Jay calls out specifically.  Facebook users are less likely to enter debates because more personal details are exposed in Facebook profiles – Twitter is more anonymous allowing for more fervor and debate.

Read Jay’s post below…

Twitter is in rocky waters and Facebook is making it worse by copying new Twitter features and starving Twitter of oxygen. How will it end, asks Jay Baer

Source: How Facebook is Slowly Strangling Twitter

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