The Mountaintop Insights, Inspiration and Perspective for Enlightened Marketers

June 6, 2010

Redeeming KitKat the Old Fashioned Way – Give Away Money!

So it seems Nestle didn’t waste much time in attempting to rebuild some positive share of mind with their KitKat brand after a very public debacle involving Green Peace, orangutans, Face Book and a very silly Nestle rep. The drama even included a neat play on the KitKat logo you can see in a previous post of mine, but turned out to be the spark that lit the social media bonfire.

So what did they come up with to redeem KitKat? Why no less than “Instantly winning $1 million dollars cash!” – and aptly named “Kit Kash”. The program to reclaim some positive ground seems to be only in Canada from what i could find, but comes complete with contest website and TV commercials in Prime Time.

Meanwhile, the UK site and international home of Nestle’s KitKat, has the “Win Your Perfect Break” and “Cross Your Fingers” contests for far less cash than the Canadian counterpart. I checked out their FaceBook group page (still referred to on the website as “Become our fan) and what a difference a little contest makes from the hate fest they experienced just several months ago. It is literally all bubbles, rainbows and chipmunks as hundreds of Facebookians (new word I’m TMing so hands off!) extol the virtues of free Kit Kats and cash.

FaceBook “Likes” it or do they in Canada?

So was it that easy? I mean, for the love of Pete, is that all it takes to get back into the swing of things? Give away cash and chocolate? Seems that way and what a testament to the human condition. According to their FB numbers, 144K people like this group. Don’t know what this reflects as far as number of people in the group or Like icons peppered about the internet bu it seems to be working in their favour. Well done people; way to hold your ground on the issues.

But what better Red Herring is there than chocolate and money? I mean honestly. Me personally I’d like to see Orangutan shaped KitKats or at the very least Orange KitKats to pay homage to red haired tree brothers!

But looking at the Canadian website, it seems they are a little gun shy about linking into social media. The only way to share is the tired old form to tell a friend and this puzzles me, particularly when you are giving away mad cheddar like a million bucks. What a missed opportunity to get back on the horse and prime the social engine in Canada. I get that they want to capture customer data through the website, but the bigger opportunity is to build a grass fire through 4Square, Twitter, and FaceBook giving them access to millions of consumers.

Just think about the potential of mobile engagement allowing GenY to enter their codes via mobile for instant win chances right at the store. Why it’s almost a form of really tasty gambling at the point of sale appealing to instant gratification, greed and chocoholics. Just think how many extra KitKats they could sell based on impulse? Maybe a partnership with OLG? That might be going too far now…

Anyway, shame on all of you for falling for this.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the corner store for a much deserved break and the chance to win a million bucks!

June 5, 2010

Engaging the Business Elite with Mobile

Filed under: Customer Loyalty — Jeff @ 5:18 pm

A week or so ago, I wrote an article for  called ‘Want to Engage Senior Executives? Think Mobile“. Since this post, I have been speaking with some of my customers about advancing this notion.

Here is what we have come up with:

  • The problem with direct engagement of Business Elite is that it is only possible once –
    • You have successfully engaged gate keepers and influencers; or
    • You already have existing relationships with them, i.e existing customers.
  • It must be integrated with strategic sales and account executives, in fact, these folks are the best at leading the charge to engage senior execs
  • It must be integrated with other marketing tactics such as executive events-seminars-round tables, blogs/newsletters, and sales material.
  • All mobile content must be targeted at senior executives, which means really being brutal in terms of brevity, message and alignment to customer need.

The big thing we all agreed to was that it all had to be strategically planned and integrated into a long term demand generation program starting at first contact with potential influencers to working in support of sales.

The approaches and tactics we use to develop and maintain customer relationships are converging as quickly as technology is converging, but it doesn’t seem to be on the radar for most B2B marketing organizations.

The approach requires us to build programs that are horizontal in nature engaging mobile, experiential, social channels as well as seamlessly integrating sales teams and specialists; and ensuring that it meets the requirements of their busy lifestyle in and out of the office.

I’d be interested to understand what you think of this and how your organization is currently engaging senior executives.

Cheers and thanks!

Jeff – Sensei

May 13, 2010

Mountain Top update

Filed under: Customer Loyalty — Jeff @ 4:54 pm

First off, sorry for the huge delay in posting! Business has been crazy with lots of great things going on.

A couple new posts are coming to the mountaintop over the next week, including:

– A new Darwinian article on Social Dominance – How to build a brand with socially dominant traits

– An online demand generation case study based on a very recent and highly successful project for a mid size B2B client in the services sector

– A new behavioral series that will be going up at as well.  This series will look at some advanced theories on online human behavior including: building positive obligation, the value of appreciation, and why CRM doesn’t benefit the customer.

Also have some upcoming articles being published through some very cool folks that are helping me build some awareness. Should be an exciting May and June!

Thanks for your patience and updates to the Mountain Top coming early next week.


Jeff – Sensei

April 5, 2010

Nice Guys Finish First – Natural Selection in Social Media

Oh the irony.

For centuries, the bad business guy has perceivably won every encounter. He has manipulated and lied and under delivered and gotten away with it every time because we were all kept in the dark. With marketing on their side, we were lured into the spider’s web only to be caught in contracts, given poor service and saddled with products that didnt meet expectations. This was the natural way of things. We were prey, they were predators.

The good guy suffered, sometimes achieved great things, sometimes not. He suffered, not by his own hand, but because we had no trust anymore – a shared fate resulting from the bad guy’s destruction of consumer faith. And really, don’t all companies look and sound the same? Not anymore. Social Media has finally given the nice guys a way to prove themselves; a way to show through listening and action that they are indeed different and worthy like my beloved Starbucks.

I look at it as karmic revenge. Social Media has given nice guys the ultimate tool to win the hearts and minds of customers. It is an evolutionary cycle in the making between companies that only take and companies that give and take equally.

How would Darwin have seen it?

I think that the best example I could find was how Darwin looked at the selection of favourable traits over injurious traits. In new environments such as Social Media, old corporate traits like greed and not listening would be considered injurious; a factor that leads invariably to extinction. Whereas a trait such as listening and reacting (in a reasonable amount of time) is a favourable trait in Social Media; a factor that contributes to dominance in nature and the expansion of the species, or the brand as the case may be.

Is it possible to evolve or take on these favourable traits? Of course, but not many companies today can do it easily, if at all. To those nice guy companies though, Social Media has ushered in the dawning of a new era in business – an era where nice guys finish first.

How big does the apple have to be?

Now all we have to do as customers is wake up and get over our own self-limiting behaviour of being in abusive relationships to realize that there are nice guys out there who want to earn our business and not take advantage of us at every step. A company that will love us and hold us figuratively close.

What is the business equivalent of spooning anyway?


Jeff – Sensei

March 28, 2010

Is Our Greatest Enemy in Social Media Time?

Filed under: Customer Loyalty — Jeff @ 8:44 am

As human beings, we are ruled by time. In every aspect of life, we seem to struggle against it to try and gain an advantage of some kind. For me this has been top of mind of late.

I started to think how time was affecting me (and my B2B clients) of late…

  1. Planning and Prep – The time necessary to properly plan Social Media programs is deceiving. This is due in large part to two factors.
    1. Doing it properly versus just jumping in. Developing a strategy that is aligned with the brand experience and integrated with other marketing/sales programs takes a lot of work. It is well beyond just making a Twitter or FaceBook account.
    2. Finding the right people. This goes well beyond all the smoke and mirrors of having a so called “Social Media expert”. Finding the right people to be involved including strategist, management, content writers, analysts, and researchers, not to mention third parties like partners and content contributors is very time consuming.
  2. Commitment – In my mind, this is the one that almost everyone has underestimated. Because of the nature of Social Media relationships, the medium demands much more time than one way communication channels. The difference is traditional communications (the ones we are all used to) work on a “burst” type model. You prep, send and watch results, much like chess – you have time to think about your next move. Social Media on the other hand, is constant and dynamic which means it is very difficult to automate around and needs constant human intervention of all kinds. In Social Media you have to think on your feet and that is very different and difficult for large enterprise.
  3. The Great Unknown – Social Media really is an unknown to almost every large enterprise and that means risk.
    1. Executive and management make decisions slower to try and understand what they are getting into; certainly the lawyers want to make sure the enterprise is not exposed.
    2. We are learning as we go. Contrary to what the self proclaimed gurus say, this is a complex medium that is continuing to evolve rapidly. The unknown factor means that large enterprise should be using a cautious, risk managed approach; one that grows organically and is constantly adapted to fit social and community need.

For me personally, time hasn’t been kind. I am admittedly struggling to find balance on 5 crtiical areas of my business and personal life.

  • My family and being a Dad to three small children.
  • My business and my clients (and demand for services is increasing, not decreasing)
  • My book (and with a publishing deal pending, the demand on that is going to increase significantly)
  • My blog (unfortunately lower in the totem pole than i would like)
  • My personal life (making time to work out and look after me)


What I am finding is that balance is being created naturally as I re-align my priorities and adapt my work habits to accommodate positive change.

  • I am using the blog to support the book and my clients which increases the priority of the blog and enables me to accomplish 3 goals through one channel.
  • I have begun to doing very active things with my kids incorporating exercise into almost everything. This has worked so well on many fronts as the kids love being active with me and I get even more time with them.
  • I am really being fussy about the projects I take on and have leveraged a couple great people to help on current projects. End result is a time gain for me without affecting the results to my clients.


As I work with clients, I am working with them to help find natural balance to make time our ally instead of an enemy. Maybe time isn’t an enemy after all – maybe it was my perspective that was flawed…

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