H2H – or Human to Human – and other highlights of CM1 2014

As a follow up to my previous blog post, these are the highlights of my day at the CM1 Community Management Conference last week, of which Camaraderie was a proud community partner. There was a really great group of organizations represented, from universities to big brands, private enterprises to some non-profits, and we all got to enjoy the beautiful space at Glenn Gould studio.

In my last post, I highlighted the three presentations I was most excited about: “The 10 Golden Rules of Engagement” by Clarke De Pastino, Vice President Engagement of Ipsos SMX; “Tapping Into Your Community for Support” by Andrew Zimakas, Chief Marketing Officer of Tangerine; and “Surprising and Delighting Your Community” by Mitchell Fawcett, Founder & Agency Director of Motive Communications.

While “engagement” is such a hard word to define, I was really impressed with how the team at Ipsos SMX developed a very clear set of values to clarify how to get it:

From the presentation The 10 Golden Rules of Engagement - Clarke de Pastino

It really became clear to me throughout the day how important it is in all organizations to keep everyone on the same page and engaging.  Even in large companies like Ipsos, the value of having VP’s and other senior personnel engaging is important to maintaining a brand voice, staying transparent, and relating to your community.

It was also really interesting to hear about the transition that ING made into its new form, Tangerine, and how they used community loyalty and engagement activities to maintain a strong brand association with their clients even while making so many big changes.  While it was a fascinating inside view into the workings of a large corporation, I’m not sure I gleaned any specific lessons which we can apply specifically at Camaraderie.  But then again, our community is already amazingly supportive, so we have a head start!

For me, by far the standout presentation was by Mitchell Fawcett of Motive Communications, on how to Surprise and Delight Your Community.  He regaled us with stories of how brands, including the Westin Vancouver, surprise and delight their customers by learning about them through social media, and engaging with them in novel ways.

Some examples include Taco Bell:

From the presentation Surprising and Delighting Your Community - Mitchell Fawcett

Purina, who sent personalized cards to people on their pets’ birthdays. (So cute!):

From the presentation Surprising and Delighting Your Community - Mitchell Fawcett


And the Vancouver Westin Bayshore, who sent a get well message to the child of a regular customer:

From the presentation Surprising and Delighting Your Community - Mitchell Fawcett

He made the point that you don’t need a huge budget to surprise and delight your community. A simple message at the right time is all you need to let them know that you aren’t just a brand, that you’re a real person! And if you have any hesitation about using social media and other channels to find out information about your customers, Mitchell provided a great reassurance: If you can find that information about them, they wanted to share it in the first place.

I didn’t know what to expect from “How to Build a Brand with Youtube” by Bob Cornwall (Brand Activation Lead with Google), but he provided a lot of information about how to create and structure a Content Strategy using a “Hero, Hub, Hygiene” model:

Hero content is that large scale, least frequent content that will have mass traction, “viral” movement”, and will really get eyes and interest on your brand. The example he used is the famous Jean-Claude Van Damme splits commercial (which you can see on Youtube here: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7FIvfx5J10&feature=kp) as an example of how Volvo consistently produces epic Hero content.

Hub Content is medium frequency content that is tailored towards a brand’s prime prospects, and which is a “push” product to get them interested. He used the Volvo example again to detail other videos showing Volvo driver stories and information which is appealing to the subset of viewers who are potential Volvo fans.

Finally, hygiene content is the “always on” regular content that people will seek out often, and which helps to maintain the relationship between the brand and the fans!

Overall this talk was a great introduction to how to use a medium that so far I’ve been reluctant to explore.  While I’m not sure video is for me, you might want to consider trying it if you think you can produce good Hero, Hub and Hygiene content (and don’t worry, I’m pretty sure you won’t need J.C. Van Damme to star).

Another standout talk from the conference was by Destin Hayes, the Director of the Freemium community at Hootsuite. While Hootsuite has had to adjust to rapid growth and changes since their startup days, it’s clear that their strategy of tailoring their platform to local markets and providing culturally appropriate service to their community is working out for them, and maintaining a high level of connection with their community despite such rapid growth.

Destin made the great point that business is no longer B2B or B2C (business to business or business to consumer), it’s H2H (Human to Human!).  As such, it’s important be a genuine participant in a relationship with your community members, rather than simply relying on standard marketing techniques.

The panel for the conference was also quite interesting, as the panelists spoke about the future of community management, and the challenge of how to prove the value of community management.

Sherry Jean, Community Manager for the Toronto Marlies, made the point that unlike traditional business communications, community managers don’t have to wait for contact with a fan or a community.  Through their networks, they can reach out to fans and engage them in much deeper conversations than might otherwise be possible.

Jamie Cuthbertson, who is a CM with Zulu Alpha Kilo, followed up with that to explain how community or brand managers are able to respond to and manage organizational threats much better, because they have a deeper connection with the community and can stop issues soon after, or even before, they start.

The panelists agreed that to be a Community Manager is to wear many hats, from graphic designer, to photographer, to linguists.  The challenge for many community managers now is to keep up with content creation, and to justify the budgets needed to produce awesome content that will actually engage the community!

CM1 was a great conference, and I’m sure it’s going to get even better as the field of community management, and the way we talk about it, develops further.  Stay tuned to our blog and social media, because when CM1 is on again, we’ll be there!

If you want any more details about CM1, feel free to reach out and I can let you in on the details.  You can also check out the slides of the presentations, and find out more information on what went down at CM1 2014 at http://cm1.ca/a-look-at-cm1-2014.



This is a guest blog post by Angela Bepple of Skilltree Toronto