CEO Brett Hurt started the day by showing the trajectory and evolution of the importance of online user-generated content – welcomealongside the trajectory and growth of Bazaarvoice. In short, both are growing exponentially, faster each year.

CMO Sam Decker humorously suggested that, had Eve written a review of the “shame apple,” the Bible story may have turned out completely different. He went on to show how innovators in social media within a corporation act as parents, hosts, and prospectors – ushering in a wealth of information that transforms business, especially far beyond the website.

Surprise guest Dennis Maloney, VP Multimedia Marketing at Domino’s Pizza, spoke about how the company not only listened to consumers in focus groups, who said their “pizza tastes like cardboard.” They took this information and spent two years revamping all aspects of their pizza. Once the pizza was improved, their marketing campaign was directed at their harshest critics: their customers and former customers. They spoke directly to them and said, “We listened.” They even put their live Twitter feed right on their website, showing positive and negative comments, showing they are truly transparent.

The honest marketing campaign – along with a real product improvement – led to positive results, according to Dennis, and he pointed to the 75% increase in their stock value.

Douglas Rushkoff, author of more than 10 best-sellers, including Get Back in the Box, said that a brand can never be authentic because brands were created to replace authentic relationships with people. A brand can’t be real because by its nature, it’s a representation of an idea, a mythology. In short, brands were created once large entities began mass producing goods so you would buy from them, rather than from a local provider who you may have a personal relationship with. And mass media was created to introduce you to the brand before the product even appears in your town – for example, so you’ll relate to the Quaker Oats character instead of Joe, the local oats provider in your town.

Brands and marketing were created to distance the actual product and producers from consumers, making things less authentic. He advocates creating organizations that begin with the “geeks,” those who create products, then building social media with competency at the middle, celebrating the geek, then let your “true believers” – those who personify your actual culture (not your “brand”) sell for you.

Manish Mehta, VP Social Media and Community, Dell, who was one of the founders of Dell.com, talked about how Dell has experimented to create incidental value and ROI. He highlighted five phases of evolution for social commerce (or, really, any innovation): experiment, create a product, create an application for the product, build out, then connect and scale. The ultimate challenge in measuring ROI lay in the value of relationships, networks and connections.

Golfsmith’s Director of E-Commerce, Jamey Maki, suggested that brands start with goals they wish to meet, then track “hard impact,” such as sales and “soft impact,” such as keeping a brand top of mind.  Golfsmith built a score card and trended traffic, sales, likes, posts, customer services, mentions, and retweets, among others.

Kelly Mooney, CXO of Resource Interactive, interviewed a panel of four “millenials,” a generation that’s bigger than Baby Boomers and makes an annual $200 billion contribution to our economy. The panelists, ranging in age from 13 to 23, talked about how they shop, how influential their friends are, and gave input on some popular websites, such as Chat Roulette. One common thread? They’re all addicted to Facebook.

The last featured speaker of the day, Seth Greenberg, shared the innovations TurboTax uncovered this year with its “Friendcasting” campaign, which let TurboTax users share opinions with friends via Facebook, and helped prospects narrow down reviews to hear exclusively from “people like me.” Their innovation? They used the 15 reasons people don’t use TurboTax to help people narrow down their choices.

A rousing round of interactive roundtable conversations preceded the dinner and networking party at the Mexican American Cultural Center.

Tune in live tomorrow to hear from Mitch Joel at 8:30 a.m., and select speakers throughout the day. Read more about the event on our event site. And watch this space – in a few weeks, we’ll have a full recap of event and social commerce trends available for download.

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