Archive for September, 2009

Social Media at the World Business Forum

Point: Extend the conversation of a conference beyond its four walls

Story: Open innovation, crowdsourcing, and new product development all depend on expanding the conversation from a narrowly defined in-group of people to broader, more inclusive global participation.  The World Business Forum, for example, is already the largest conference of senior executives in the US. But HSMAmericas, creators of the World Business Forum, wanted to extend the conversation beyond the walls of the conference’s Radio City Music Hall location. They’re doing this through the Bloggers Hub, a concept which they pioneered with sponsor Pitney Bowes at the World Innovation Forum in May.

First, HSMAmericas created the infrastructure to support a global conversation about the conference.  With the aid of hub sponsors IBM and ExecuNet, they wired a block of front & center reserved seating on the mezzanine at Radio City Music Hall.  The hub space includes ample power outlets and high-speed internet access.

Second, HSMAmericas invited a diversity of some of the best business bloggers to participate. (See categorized list below.) The featured bloggers will be blogging and tweeting the conference in real time as well as posting articles and interacting in conversations during and after the event.  Each blogger brings his or her own spin and segment of the global audience.  Some bloggers, like me, emphasize innovation. Others emphasize economic issues, entrepreneurship, technology, etc. This ensures that the conference reaches a wide variety of global participants and extends the conversion along multiple dimensions of specialization.

Third, HSMAmericas created coordinated points of contact and content access. This includes a Facebook page, a LinkedIn group, and a Twitter hashtag. Bloggers will be using the #wbf09 hashtag on their real-time updates of the conference.

For example, anyone — executives, managers, entrepreneurs and all interested parties — can participate in the action of the Forum in real time by following the #wbf09 hashtag on Twitter.  Bloggers will be using the #wbf09 hashtag on their real-time updates of the conference.  They will append #wbf09 not only to their updates from the Forum  but also to conversations they have with anyone using the #wbf09 tag. To join in, simply use the #wbf09 tag in your tweet. You can pose a question, share an opinion, or reply to anyone directly. To reach a specific blogger, just start your tweet with their Twitter ID.  (For example, to reach me, simply start your tweet with @andreameyer and use the #wbf09. I’ll see it and reply.)  Including #wbf09 in any of your tweets will make it visible to anyone participating in the conversation.

During the time of the World Innovation Forum (May 4-13), for instance, 4514 tweets mentioned #wif09. World Innovation Forum speakers Paul Saffo  and Fred Krupp are on Twitter as @psaffo and @Fred Krupp, respectively. Previous World Business Forum speakers on Twitter include management guru Tom Peters (@Tom_Peters) and legendary CEO Jack Welch (@jack_welch).

Here is a list of the World Business Forum Featured Bloggers and their Twitter IDs.

Business News
Wall Street Journal | Paul Glader | @wsj
The Huffington Post | Shahien Nasiripour | @huffbusiness | Reena Jana | @RJMAC
Reuters | Felix Salmon | @felixsalmon
Newsweek | Katie Paul | @newsweek

Innovation and Strategy
Working Knowledge® | Andrea Meyer | @AndreaMeyer
Working Knowledge® | Dana Meyer | @WorkingKnowledg
Business Strategy Innovation Blog | Braden Kelley | @innovate
Innoblog | Renee Hopkins | @Renee_Innosight
The Complete Innovator | Boris Pluskowski | @bpluskowski

Execunet | Lauryn Franzoni | @LaurynFranzoni
Execunet | Jeffrey Sherman Thompson | Graciela Gonzalez Biondo | @HSMAmericas
Fast Company Expert Blogger | Seth Kahan | @SethKahan | Zach Clayton | @bill_george
Insights on Leadership and Employee Engagement | Michael Lee Stallard  | @MichaelStallard
Chris Brady’s Leadership Blog | Chris Brady | @rascaltweets
Time Leadership | Jim Estill | @JimEstill
Orrin Woodward Leadership Team | Orrin Woodward | @Orrin_Woodward
Jossey-Bass on Leadership | Carolyn Carlstroem | @josseybassbiz

Sustainability and Social Enterprise | Adam Christensen | @smarterplanet
Triple Pundit | Jen Boynton | @triplepundit
Triple Pundit | Nick Aster | @triplepundit
Triple Pundit | Ryan Mickle | @triplepundit
Tree Hugger | Matthew McDermott | @matmcdermott | Michael Mossoba | @creativemichael

Path Forward International | Julie Lenzer Kirk | @YourBoot
Path Forward International | Renee Lewis | @chiefcatalyst
Awake at the Wheel | Jonathan Fields | @jonathanfields
Successful Blog | Liz Strauss | @lizstrauss

1 to 1 Media | Don Peppers | @donpeppers
Hank Wasiak | Hank Wasiak | @hankwasiak
Influential Marketing | Rohit Bhargava | @rohitbhargava
Marketing Thoughts Blog | Ken McArthur | @kenmcArthur
PR Mama | Stephanie Smirnov | @ssmirnov
5 Blogs Before Lunch | David Allen Ibsen | @daveibsen

Psychology and Brain
Brain Leaders and Learners | Dr. Ellen Weber | @EllenfWeber
Brain Based Biz | Dr. Robyn McMaster | @robynMcMaster
Ramblings from a Glass Half Full | Terry Starbucker | @Starbucker

Information Playground (EMC) | Steve Todd |  @SteveTodd
Social Media Blog Stu | Stuart Miniman | @stu | Ben Parr | @benparr
Collaboration Solutions in Industry Segments | Bob Preston | @BobPrestonCCO
GDGT | Peter Rojas | @peterrojas

Economist Mom | Diane Lim Rogers | @EconomistMom
The Big Picture | Barry Ritholtz
Angry Bear | Dan Crawford | @angrybearecon
Angry Bear | Ken Houghton | @angrybearecon

Women’s Business Perspectives
Hot Mommas Project | Kathy Korman Frey | @chiefhotmomma

Workforce and Career
Execunet | Robyn Greenspan | @Robyngreenspan
Execunet | Joseph McCool | Philip Stott | @VaultCareers | Linda Petock | @VaultCareers
All Things Workplace | Steve Roesler  | @steveroesler What Works for Business | Daniel Kehrer  | @whatworks
Training Magazine’s Training Day Blog | Margery Weinstein | @margeryw
Conference Hound | Jordan Enright-Schulz | @conferencehound
Conference Hound | Bruce Carlisle | @conferencehound
Thought Bright Blog | Robert McNeill
Business Boomer | Arabella Santiago | @businessboomer


  • To invite participation in your conference from anywhere in the world, create a central blog space that aggregates links to all the blogs
  • Designate a Twitter hashtag (simply choose an abbreviation or word preceded by a pound sign (#) You can register and define hashtags at
  • Create a page on LinkedIn and on Facebook to let individuals know which of their colleagues and friends are attending or interested in the event.

Further Information:

I will be live-tweeting and blogging from the World Business Forum on Oct. 6-7, 2009.  Join me in person or follow along on this blog or on Twitter @AndreaMeyer and @WorkingKnowledg or any of the above sites for full coverage!

4 Comments »How-to, Innovation

Saachi & Saachi CEO on Creating Loyalty During Recession

Point: Tough economic times call for different brand messaging

Story: We’re in a time of new frugality, said Kevin Roberts, CEO of Saachi & Saachi, at a recent HSM webinar. People are evaluating their purchases more closely. They’re comparing more products and contemplating switching brands more often. They will still buy luxuries, but they’ll buy fewer luxuries; and, they’re redefining what luxuries are. They’re separating true value from false economies. Roberts suggested three strategies that companies can use to keep their products and services on a customer’s “buy” list in an era of less buying.

First, companies can reframe the competition and the category.  In the era of new frugality, many people are eating out at restaurants less and eating at home instead.  Some companies see parallels in this inside/outside phenomenon to redefine their place in the market.  For example, P&G compares its premium-priced Tide Total Care with the cost of dry-cleaning, not with other cheaper detergents. P&G is reframing the category, positioning its detergent as a frugal way to achieve clean clothes in the home without the high-cost of dry-cleaning outside the home.

Second, companies can help consumers use products in a more cost-effective way.  For example, in a similar spirit of saving its customers money, Tylenol’s new ad campaign offers advice that helps customers ease the pain of a headache — without taking a Tylenol product.  Tylenol suggests that if you have a headache, drink a glass of water and wait 20 minutes. If you still have a headache, then take Tylenol.  Although the campaign may lose Tylenol some sales, the ultimate goal is to side with the customer and win in the long run. Empathsizing with the need to save money, Tylenol suggests a solution that can save customers money while remaining the brand of choice for tougher headaches.

Third, be honest and highlight the value if you can’t decrease the cost. If your product truly is a premium-priced luxury, don’t pretend that it’s a cut-rate necessity. Be honest. Customers still want joy in their lives, and they’ll still treat themselves to an occasional luxury. Rather then make a luxury seem cheap, highlight what makes it more special and more meaningful. The product may not cost less, but the emotional bonus makes it more valuable.


  1. Reframe your product’s category (e.g., detergents competing with dry cleaners)
  2. Offer useful advice on cost-effective use of your product
  3. Enhance the emotional value of your product

For More Information:

Kevin Roberts will be presenting at the World Business Forum in New York City on October 6-7, 2009.

Kevin Roberts is the author of Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands
and The Lovemarks Effect: Winning in the Consumer Revolution

2 Comments »CEO, Customers, How-to, Strategy

Where in the World to Invest During a Downturn

Point: Government policy affects foreign investment and innovation. Brazil is poised to do well.

Story: During a recent HSM webinar, Jeffrey Sachs (leading international economic advisor, sachs-largeColumbia University professor and author of New York Times bestsellers Common Wealth and The End of Poverty), was asked about the near-term prospects for Latin American countries and which countries he thought would do best. Sachs’ answer: Brazil is poised to do best.

For the last 15 years, Brazil has been investing heavily in education. In particular, Brazil made high school available to all citizens and invested in higher education, science and technology. The result is not only a more educated workforce but also a narrowing of the gap between rich and poor and between ethnically divided segments of Brazilian society. In contrast, countries with deep ethnic and racial inequities aren’t unified societies, which leads to mediocre economic performance. Brazil plans to invest $22 billion in science and technology innovation in 2010 and seeks corporations to join in additional investments in the country.

Sachs’ optimism about Brazil echos IBM’s sentiments. IBM is one of the companies investing in Brazil. CEO Sam Palmisano recently met with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva to discuss the creation of a “collaboratory” in Brazil. IBM’s  collaboratories match IBM researchers with local experts from governments, universities and companies. IBM’s Palmisano praised Brazil’s strategy: “Investments in innovation are critical, especially in a downturn. They can help Brazil and other countries, including the US, realize an economic expansion.”  Among the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), Brazil is seeing the highest growth in business partners that IBM works with, averaging 150% year over year, according to Claudia Fan Munce, managing director of IBM Venture Capital Group.

* Consider the benefits of locating R&D labs to another country, such as gaining  opportunities to see the challenges and solutions  not visible from a US-centric perspective.
* When evaluating countries for investment potential, consider their economic policies (business environment, trade policy, investment policy, infrastructure) as well as any cultural barriers (ethnic, religious, gender inequalities) that may be a barrier to integrating the best talent and to fostering economic growth


Jeffrey Sachs webinar: Economics for a Crowded Planet
“Big Blue’s Global Lab,” Business Week September 7, 2009
“IBM Bets on Brazilian Innovation” Business Week August 17, 2009
Jeffrey Sachs, Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet
Jeffrey Sachs, The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time

If you’d like to ask Jeffrey Sachs your own questions, you’ll have the opportunity at the World Business Forum in New York City October 6-7, 2009.

2 Comments »Capital, Growth, Innovation, Opportunity, R&D, Strategy