Interview with Gavin Heaton by Adam Fraser
This is a transcript of this podcast interview with Gavin Heaton.
Adam: I’m delighted to welcome Gavin Heaton to the EchoJunction podcast. Currently Gavin is the founder of the Disrupter’s Handbook, an agency he describes on his website as a un-agency that brings startup culture to the challenge of digital transformation and works with clients to help them see opportunity into disruptive technologies and business models. Gavin blogs at servantsofchaos.com which is ranked as one of Australia’s leading business websites. I’m really looking forward to talking digital marketing and social media with Gavin today. I am delighted to have him on the show. So Gavin, welcome to the EchoJunction podcast.
Gavin: Great. Thanks, Adam.
Adam: Great to have you on board. So look, I should tell the listeners that was actually just an extract of Gavin’s vast experience. So just to get into this Gavin, if you could just give people sort of a brief backstory as to how I guess your career panned out and how you ended up working in digital marketing as you do today?
Gavin: Sure. So I guess talking about a long history means that you are actually quite old and that means that you’ve got a lot of experience and it makes it very difficult sometimes to pick out the bits and pieces which you think are most important. Because obviously, from my perspective, everything I have done has been very important to myself. But I guess, many years ago I started out in publishing and I was starting out in publishing just as the publishing industry was really starting to die. As a result, I ended up moving relatively quickly into digital. So online publishing and those sorts of things were my early interests. And then I worked with technology companies like IBM and Fujitsu and SAP and brought some of those sorts of innovations from publishing into the e-business space or into the online community space. And in between working in those organizations, I also worked for agencies where we looked after things like happymeal.com. So that was more of a business to consumer side of things.
And what I found is matching the up the two, the business to business and business to consumer side, brought something interesting to the mix. And in the process, social media started to evolve and come to being. So I was really looking at social media as something that really was a little bit early for my clients at that stage but was able to be harnessed and maybe used further on down the track. And now we are further on down the track and it’s becoming much more interesting as a result.
Adam: Sure. And look, I want jump into, you have social media and Australian business today and there is one particular blog post you recently wrote, which I think will give us a good framework to do that. But before we sort of jump into the [inaudible 00:02:41] that is social media, could you just, I guess, look at say the last decade and you know terms like the digital revolution are thrown around. But if you look at the last ten years, how would you summarize I guess what’s been happening to the canvas that the marketer works in today?
Gavin: Okay. Well, it used to be so easy. It was you’d write a marketing plan at the beginning of the year and really it didn’t change all that much through that year. You would set your budgets. You would say, this is what we are going to do. So we are going to spend in these channels. And then you’d keep a little bit left over just in case something popped up. You would have your two or three campaigns that you were going to run through the year and you’d have your activations at various different points through that. And that was your life. Like, it was a nice set rhythm. I guess the thing with digital is that it seems that these cycle times have accelerated. So we don’t really have these campaign cycles that run in the same way anymore. And that’s been I guess one of the biggest changes for marketers is that you don’t have that sort of certainty in planning anymore. You’re really building strategy on the fly. You’re executing against that strategy really quickly. And then you are changing things based on the analytics and the results that no longer wait. You don’t wait for a month or two months for the results to come back. It happens in real-time. So you’ve got more data, you’ve got more activity. You’ve got a need for responsiveness from your customers and your audiences so they can speak back to you relatively quickly and easily. And you’ve got to be responsive and I guess that’s the fundamental change for marketers.
Adam: Sure and I guess social specifically just added fuel to that fire.
Gavin: Social was really the enabler for that. So you know, before we had social tools and social publishing, it was really hard for your clients or your customers to actually reach out to you and say, hey, I saw this news release. What do you think of this and is this the future and is this part of the trend? Like really, you had a one-way communications channel and there was no way to come back unless someone really wanted to greet you. These days, social is that enabler and I guess what we’ll be talking about and part of that transformation is that this is becoming the everyday. This is business as usual now. It’s no longer something that is different and separate.
Adam: Sure. Look, I want to jump into effective use of social media within enterprise. And often people ask here very open-ended questions. What should I be doing in social and it’s like clutching at something that’s very hard to grasp. It’s such an open-ended question. I’ve found a framework you developed back in 2011 called the social majority model, a sort of useful anchor point on which to sort of base an assessment of performance. So before we jump into the blog post, can you just talk the listeners through your social maturity model and what it was trying to represent?
Gavin: Sure. So the idea there was that, I guess, many years ago I was working with IBM. And we were looking at a maturity model for software development. And back then it was called CMM3 or CMM4 or CMM5. It was a capability maturity model and that’s kind of really resonated with me as a way of managing change at an enterprise scale. And that’s really what we’re trying to do here at social media these days or social business as we are calling it variably. And they were kind of five main key points in a maturity model that you need to be aware of. And that’s, that you’ve got, you start off in an ad hoc way. So someone finds a new technology or a new idea and they try it out. So it’s kind of ad hoc. They do it and they get some success and then they start to repeat that. And then once they’ve repeated it a few times, they go, ‘Okay, I’ve got a sense of how this works. So I can define that and this is how I can do it.’. And then once you can do it well and you can do it and you can repeat it and you can share with your friends or your colleagues, then you want to move into like a management role where you’ve got this opportunity to manage some scale in this new initiative.
And then once you’ve got that management structure in place, then you look at optimization and how do you make it better, how do you build best practices and how do you scale that over time. Because the entire organization and pretty much that’s what we are kind of seeing in the enterprise is the use of social media starting to bed down in exactly this way. And then once you’ve got those pillars, then you look at particular elements of the framework itself to try and figure out how you evolve as a practice within your business.
Adam: Sure. And I will be linking up in the show notes to your model and I’ll also link up the blog post I want to dive into that you recently wrote which is headlined ‘The True Value of Social Business Is Still To Be Unlocked’. And you referenced a report from MIT Sloan and Deloitte who do a survey, I think it’s over 4000 execs around the world and they look at themes and I guess behaviors within social business. I mean, what were your take outs from that study in terms of a score card? How are businesses tracking when it comes to embedding social within their business processes?
Gavin: Oh, I think they’re doing relatively well, even in Australia which tends to be a little bit behind the times from say the US. I think the important thing to remember in this and that’s the maturity model [inaudible 0:08:30] is that a lot of innovation, whether it’s social media, whether it’s digital, whether it’s business transformation, whether it’s technology, everything needs to go through a bedding down process. And I guess that’s effectively what the maturity model is trying to uncover and help organizations to understand. It’s no good just to dump something on your organization and expect teams and technologies to actually just adopt it and make it work. So you need to go through a phase of settling in and building capability and building process and so on. The good thing about this report is that it’s saying that this is happening. That yeah, there is pretty clear benefit coming out of social media, but it has taken a few years now. So I think this report has been running for a number of years. And they’re seeing some growth. So they are kind of breaking it down into organizations that have a deep sense of social business. And then you’ve got the rest that are still sort of just starting out and getting there. So early stages of maturity.
Organizations that have started earlier are starting to see the benefits now. And those organizations that started later are going to take another couple of years before they start to see the real benefits. Although, you know, they’ll have to accelerate relatively quickly through that because they have the opportunity to learn from others. But we are seeing, I guess, positive impact on business outcomes from social media or social business. And I guess that’s really key. I think the second point is that as with almost any change that you’re trying to make in an organization, that you need that sort of C-level enterprise support to drive the kind of transformation you want to see. And those organizations that have done that have tapped into the executive level to sort of drive support and sponsor programs of social business change and transformation are seeing the benefits faster.
Adam: Sure. And look, Gavin, I want to unpack a couple of things that you touched on there. I guess firstly, it might be helpful for some listeners to understand some more granular examples of how social can impact our broader business and wider business processes and operations. And I guess that’s where I am coming from. Is there still people that probably think almost shiny new toy, Facebook pages, it’s a marketing tool. Perhaps it’s a sales and marketing tool but that’s it. Can you just give some sort of meat on the bone to how best practice businesses are using social across, like I said, a wider operations?
Gavin: Yeah, for sure. So often you are right. Often social media starts off in the sales and marketing theme. So you might find it being pioneered as a Twitter feed or something like that. And that might be just a link to engaging your customer base. But as you start to experiment more and as others start to pick up on social media and as you start to move with the maturity models, so if you look at as a business program or transformation program, while it might start in one of your business silos, say marketing, you will find that it starts to become quite useful in others. So it could become useful in HR in terms of talent sourcing. Of employer branding, where you’re able to put out really useful information to start attracting the right style of talent into your organization. You might find that it’s starting to do a great job for you in customer service. A good example of that is the Telstra Twitter channel where they are using, folks in their call centers were trained in how to use Twitter as a customer service channel.
And that meant that they were able to go take a whole bunch of calls out of the call center and out of the phone line system and put it straight through social. And then that became a much more responsive channel. And we’re still seeing that today. We’re still seeing those sorts of improvements. And so that’s not just, I guess, it’s partly of that sales and marketing side. But it’s actually part of that customer loyalty, customer experience part of the business. And it’s truly starting to transform the way that they do things. And it’s impacting their brand in very positive ways. So there’s a range of different areas there that you can look at. But the challenge, I guess, like most organizations is figuring out where you can start. where you’ve got the best sponsorship and where you have got the burning need for it. And then once you’ve got that burning need for it, that makes executive focus and resourcing and strategy much more available within enterprise.
Adam: Yeah. And look, I agree with you about, you touched on earlier about C-level or even board buy-in 20 key strategic initiative across a business. I was interested that the Sloan report actually talked about the Aha moment when senior execs and boards realized the importance of social across their end to end business, not just in the marketing space. In terms of Australia versus the world, do you think as a general observation, our boards and senior managers have experienced that aha moment yet? The sort of themes that we’re talking about. Like, are we taking social media seriously as a business tool?
Gavin: Oh, I think we’re starting to see some seriousness. I think part of the challenge is that we have an aging board population. So there’s a dearth of skills at board level around digital and strategy that is really have enough insight into the way it can be used at an operational level. So there might be an interest but really there’s no sort of strategic level demand for it in general. Obviously, we’ll see some fast movers being able to adopt and change that approach. And that’s often driven by technology or telecommunication or even we’re starting to see with places like com bank. So financial services are starting to see benefits here. Those benefits are quite significant. I think there was a McKenzie study not so long ago that was tracking the value of social business worldwide in the trillions. So even if we think that there’s just going to be a small percentage here in Australia, that’s multi-million dollars worth of value that can be unlocked through social business. And that’s just the starting point.
Adam: I mean, it’s often talked in marketing and even broader cultural thematics that we track the USA with a, I don’t know, 12, 24, 36-month time lag. It’s kind of an easy observation to make. But you think in this space generally Australian businesses are lagging global contemporaries and I guess the US in particular?
Gavin: I think that is true without a doubt, certainly in the leadership space. So if you look at organizations that are leading the way with social, they are way out in front of Australian businesses in general. But the other thing to remember about the US is it’s a massive market. There’s lots and lots of organizations that in Australia would be classified as enterprise, large enterprise scale. And in the US, they’re kind of mid-tier organizations. So the scale of change and opportunity in the US is different. But that also means that there is also lots of opportunity in the US and lots of untapped potential still in the US that is yet to be accelerated. But in general, yeah, the leaders are going to outstrip us in the US and the fast followers are going to outstrip us in the US as well. And the challenge I guess for us is that we are competing in a global marketplace. And so even though we’re not ready and we’re not there yet, it doesn’t mean that we don’t need to be. It just means that we are not quite aware of being outcompeted by organizations that aren’t on our radar.
Adam: So Gavin, can you see some sort of catalyst to sort of turbo charge or probably arguably more cattle prod Australian business to make that change? Or do you think it’s as simple as market forces like you say eventually on a global scale will start to lag and lose out to people that are performing more in a more advanced manner in the space?
Gavin: Yeah, I think, it’s this is I guess the space of disruption that I am most interested in. And understanding where those scale opportunities are. And you know, I guess we have some fairly significant businesses in most industries. But it’s only one or two there. So if you think retail, we’ve got a couple of major players. If you think telco, we’ve got a couple of major players. Same in energy. Same in utilities. You know, those sorts of things mean that we’re kind of insulated a little from these kinds of innovations because there’s a lot of regulations and there’s a lot of compliance around these things. But what we’re also seeing is massive consumer adoption. And just because these businesses, say for example banking or finance are, just because banking or finance is tightly regulated doesn’t mean the consumers aren’t going to easily jump out of an Australian marketplace and into a global marketplace or US-based marketplace or European based marketplace or even an Asian based marketplace if the deals are much, much better and the coverage is enough.
Sure, there might be some hiccups along the way but all these do is take a very small percentage of market share and then that can grow really, really quickly. And that’s something that we have seen from various failures of businesses over the years is that these changes take place, not over decades like they have been in publishing but over years and months. And it’s just often starts with a trickle. And that’s the model that we’re seeing with places like EBay, with places like PayPal. Organizations like Stripe that are doing online payments. It’s a hugely exciting space and they’re just taking small chunks of market share at a time. A trickle leads to the stream and that stream leads to the torrent. And that’s the challenge businesses face here.
Adam: Sure. Look, Gavin, there’s a couple of other, I guess thematics in the Sloan report I wanted to jump into. So if we just shift gears into a couple of different topics. There’s some great insights in the report as a whole. And again, I will link it up in the show notes and I’d encourage people to plow through the details. It’s a little bit out of date but I think the messages are clear and useful. And one of the ones I liked particularly was the section on the B2C myth. And again, you know, I hear that all the time. You can just in a sort of elevator pitch about EchoJunction, what I’m doing. People immediately jump to the fact, oh that’s a B2C play. And this report kind of dismisses that urban myth and talks about the fact that B2B respondents are confirming equal value accretion from social as their sort of B2C cousins. I guess just taking a step back, what’s your general view on the whole B2C and B2B thing? And both from a marketing and a social media perspective and do you agree again from the businesses you observed that B2B in Australia can and are extracting equal value from social business?
Gavin: Yeah, I think the big challenge to get your head around when you’re swapping from B2C and B2B is scale. So you might be looking at millions of visits that go to business to consumer side where the millions of followers or thousands of followers that you might get on the B2C side. That’s great, you know, that’s the kind of scale you want. But think about the unit cost and so the unit cost of the thing you are selling for business to consumer purchase may be in the tens or hundreds or even maybe low thousands of dollars. So they might be significant to individual but they’re not significant in terms of mass business scale. Whereas in the business to business side of things, you are looking at purchases that are tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of dollars. So you’re not talking about the same sorts of scale. So while we might think that a thousand followers of a brand page or a brand Twitter account isn’t very much, those thousand people could be purchasers of hundred thousand dollar projects. And that’s the big difference. So the scale that we’re talking about in B2B and B2C is different. So there, I think there’s that need to make sure that we’re sort of keeping in mind. And the experience that comes along with that is very, very different.
So you know, the selling process or the buyers journey that you’ve got from the B2B sale is very different from a business to consumer sale. So understanding the nuances of that and the role that social plays in that cycle, whether it’s early stage in terms of building awareness, whether it’s down the track and you’re looking at customer service and building loyalty and engagement that way. Whether it’s customer service, whether it’s using crowdsourced insight to power those communities of customers. Or whether it’s helping people choose what they’re going to buy and working that mid-funnel space. They’re very, very different processes. They have different content strategies, they have different engagement strategies and so on. So there is lots and lots of moving parts there. But I guess it comes down to understanding your goals. So understanding your customer, understanding your goals. And if you understand what your customers need and want and then you map that against what you’re trying to do from a sales point of view or from a ROI point of view, then you’re able to match the things you’re doing in social that complement and accelerate all the other things you’re doing in media or in selling, in customer support, in HR, in supply chain. All that does come together. But you need to have a comprehensive strategy around it.
Adam: Have you sort of experienced that myth firsthand where people almost say to you, Gavin, that’s all great. But we’re B2B, we don’t need Facebook, we don’t Twitter. Maybe we’ll have a LinkedIn page. Or do you think the myth is dissipating? And people now even in B2B space in Australia acknowledge the value social can play across the organization?
Gavin: I think the nice thing that I am seeing is that we have a sense of where there might be some value, but we also know largely that are organizations aren’t yet ready for what that means. So I have just been working with a client recently and we’ve been talking social media, their social business for about two or three years. And they’ve been very resistant to it. And this year we started with, again, we are talking strategy and said okay, how are we going? Is this something we want to pursue? And I said, yes. Come back to us with a plan. So we went through the planning process and when it was presented, they said, this is great. This is really, this is manageable. This is, I understand this. And we went back over the previous couple of years and they said, you know, really what we are looking at here is an appreciation for that things are changing. Things were changing too fast for us and we weren’t able to catch up. So now we’ve made some changes internally. And we’re able to catch up now and now we want to invest in doing these things. So it’s almost not necessarily a resistance to that change. It’s that organizations take longer to build that sort of even base level foundation capabilities when it comes to social business. So I think, we are starting to see some of that kind of activity starting to flow through and people do have a sense that we do make decisions differently from a B2B and B2C role. But that also we’ve got some movement and momentum towards having to participate because our customers are just there. And we’re seeing that more readily and more visibly.
Adam: Sure. And look, just segue across Gavin to a related aspect of the Sloan report and it was question nine. You know, I’m intrigued and fascinated by the whole CMO, CIO convergence, chief marketing technologist in the US, you know. That marketers today have to be so up to date with data analytics and technology. But interestingly, question nine of the Sloan report and it’s a sliding scale answer about where the businesses participate to a great extent, moderate extent, small extent, etc. But only 27% of businesses are integrating social data into their CRM or ERP platforms. I guess a couple of sort of related questions to that. Do you see that as a significant flaw in approach to what we are talking about earlier in interview about if it’s going to impact your end to end business? I am assuming one version of the truth and one sort of common data pool would make sense. So is that, do you see that as a flaw?
Gavin: I think it’s to do with the maturity model itself. So you know some organizations like I said, are ready and able to take on that challenge and others are not. And I guess, it’s interesting sort of when you are dealing with businesses that have an ERP suite or they have CRM in place. And they are happy with it and bedded down. So this is the other challenge is you know, if you’ve got say a CRM system that you’ve just implemented or you have implemented maybe one year, two years ago and it’s still bedding down in the organization, to throw social on top of it can just make it feel like it’s, that you are trying to chew too fast, that you are not really getting the value out of the investment enough to be able to take it to a new level. So there are things that you know, obviously, you need to look at in terms of accelerating that consumption of licenses, of technology, of training and building that capability. So again, the maturity model is really sort of useful there to help you build out a plan for doing that.
But then also looking at where the best bang for buck is. So it may well be that it’s not worth integrating your social media channels for sales and marketing. It might be better for HR. It might be better for in terms of, if you know that it costs you $20,000 for to hire an employee then all you need to do is find five employees on social media and you’ve saved yourself a hundred thousand dollars. Those sort of costs add up really, really quickly and you can actually prove out the model that you’re trying to achieve and then roll that into other parts of your organization. So it’s one thing to have a strategy, it’s one thing to say, is this going to work. The second one is, what you are measuring? And I think this is the analytics piece which is fascinating is often we struggle to find the right analytics to be looking at. We might think that we’re just going to measure the same things we always have measured. But with digital everything has changed. And so we need to recast our business models and our measurements in ways that we are going to make sense for this changed landscape. And if we are not, if we are still looking at say old marketing measures like reach and frequency for example and try to apply those to social media, then they’re going to be kind of strange and not really applicable to the changed conditions you’re operating in. And the data is freshly available and so you are finding the ways of yielding that data, making sure you’re measuring the right things. Are you doing the right things? So the basics of strategy allow you to then choose where to invest, which programs to take forward and which things to do.
Adam: Look Gavin, it’s really interesting Gavin to hear so many of your answers come back to sort of change management and the ability of enterprises to sort of bite off programs and changes and I guess EchoJunction being born out of an SAP consultancy, I’m pretty familiar with the mindset of larger enterprise SAP clients. And absolutely [inaudible 00:29:25], I think that’s a reality. I guess the corollary of that 27 percent stat, it may not be a reality to sort of have an end to end customer experience view and integrate all your systems. But my flip side concern is that marketing sort of remains a sideline and there are some nuggets of great data that are just sitting in their separate department and you’ve got many other sort of arms of the organization sort of acting on completely different sets. I guess, I don’t know, if it’s not so much a cause but more an effect that I guess, when you see an enterprise that has integrated, would you take that as a sign that they are far more advanced down the maturity model?
Gavin: Yeah. So a good example is the SAP online community for example. So they’ve developed a community crew from being about fairly large scale, 20, 30,000 people into many millions. And they did that over five or six years. And it was really interesting sort of to see how that transformed. And you know, it started as a very small group on the side of the business. And as it grew and as it grew in stature and in volume, it became much more powerful. And to the extent that eventually they moved the entire group into the marketing team. And what they are finding is that they didn’t need to use the community to sell tickets to the big SAP events, sapphire events and those sort of things. What they are finding is was immense value in reducing the number of calls to the customer support lines. So by understanding the data flows there and so obviously it’s all integrated. But what they were able to do is they were able to understand from a value point of view where there was some ROI that was being yielded in a completely different way. It wasn’t as obvious as we first thought.
We were sort of thinking that maybe what we wanted to do was use that community to sell tickets to something because that would bring in money which gave us a profit center. But really what we’re finding is there was immense value that was not being regarded by the business and by taking that understanding and saying okay, there is really immense value here. It normally costs us X dollars per call. That has been, and now we are getting this number of calls. What we have seen is a drop off in the number of calls. We’re seeing a growth in the number of forum posts and questions and answers. And so each of those are starting to provide some value that takes away from the cost of running these call centers. And so there was an ROI case that was being built out in a completely different way based on data, based on integration, and based on understanding what was changing in the business from this digital revolution.
Adam: Now, that’s an interesting case study and I guess pulling together the last two or three topics we’ve covered, the old question who owns the social media strategy within an enterprise? I have already touched on the CMO meeting to CIO, but you know some of use cases or examples we’ve talked about straddle customer service, HR, chief operating officer. Arguably chief financial officer with the analytics or the customer data side. Gavin, what’s your view on sort of best practice of who should own the strategy or to the extent it’s pulled across departments? How does that work in reality from a day-to-day management point of view?
Gavin: Good question. So I’ve always found this immensely difficult to actually navigate. Generally, what would I do is I work with the idea of steering committees. And I find this works out particularly well because we effectively speak different languages in the enterprise. So we have different KPIs, we have different measurements, we have different ways of explaining the same things. And we have different responsibilities. So a CMO is going to be looking for different things from a CIO. A CFO is going to be looking at a very different set of numbers than the marketing guys. So understanding how that all fits together is a real challenge. And just because you want things to be the same. So you want some sort of consistency in your organization, it doesn’t mean you’re going to get it. Because you have got a culture of and a history of doing things in a certain way and that always takes time to break down. So I’ve always found that establishing a steering committee across the organization is super useful when it comes to this kind of transformation.
So you have someone from the marketing team and you have someone from the sales team. And you have someone from HR and you have someone from technology and you have someone from finance and you have someone from legal and compliance in the room who are able to make decisions on behalf of their divisions. And then from there, you actually start building out strategy in saying what’s important to you. And the legal guys are going to come in and say oh you can’t possibly do that. There’s this and this and this we need to look at. And then the marketing team will be going but you know, we need to have access to this. And the IT guys will be saying we don’t let Facebook through the firewall. And so then everyone’s going but hang on a second, that’s our main route to market. So all these things come into play and so it starts to necessitate coordinated changes across the enterprise. And to do that under one auspice is very difficult. And maybe that’s where that chief digital officer comes in, where you have a key sponsor, an executive level sponsor of these kind of steering committees. We say okay, someone is going to pay for this. You know, that’s the big question.
If someone’s going to have to pay for this, I’m going to need 10% of your time, 10% of your time, 10% of your time. We’re going to need some execution time. We are going to need an agency to help us. We are going to need some consultants. What are we going to need in here to make this work? What kind of budget do we have and how are we going to manage that? And then how do we keep this and programtize it across the organization? That’s where it gets interesting. And then how do we measure it and how does it roll out? So it’s going to have an impact in marketing. It’s going to have an impact on sales. It’s going have an impact on HR. Which ones of these are working? Which ones are not? And do we need to bring someone else in? Etc., etc. So the steering committee works very, very well and has worked really well in practice with a range of clients that I have worked in the past. And I tend to favor that because it builds that sort of management consensus that you need to have it flow from the top through the management to the employee base.
Adam: And again that’s talked about change management a few times and that certainly sounds like an ideal approach. But obviously again, the reality of herding cats and getting enterprises to behave that way is not insubstantial.
Gavin: Very true.
Adam: Look, Gavin, I feel like we have sort of barely scratched the surface of so many of these topics. But yeah, I do want to be respectful of your time. So I just want to finish up with one question and then we’ll have a bit of fun with the quick fire round. But yeah, looking forward coming into 2015 and I guess, let’s be brave and say 24, 36 months. If I said, five years, we really aren’t the realms of who knows because things are moving so quickly but what are some of the key trends you are seeing coming into 2015 in social business and social media?
Gavin: So I’m seeing two key trends and they’re kind of a little bit retro. And I’m a little bit excited and I am a little bit trepid, worried about them shall we say. So the first one is branding. So I think in the past, we really just let go of the concept of branding and we’ve adopted technology and we’ve adopted social and we’re giving it a try. But what we’re finding is that brands deliver the emotional engagement that we need with our products, with our services and what we are doing in the world. And that’s vitally important and what they also do is they give us a trusted platform from which to have an authoritative view. And that’s something that we also tend to discount. So we’re seeing lots of people saying, you know, how do I trust this? Why should I trust this and so on? So the reason you trust is one, that you know who it is. So that’s the branding piece and the person piece, so having the right talent in place, having the supportive processes, that stuff’s really important. So I’m seeing a revisiting of brand. I think it’s going to be very important, but it’s going to have to be branded a new way. So I think that’s kind of exciting.
I’m also seeing creativity. So as we bed down the social stuff, as it starts to just become part of the way that we do business, it’s not a standalone business unit, it’s actually integrated into lots of different parts of what we do, we’re going to see the reemergence of the art of what we do. So you know, marketers are going to see a resurgence in creativity. We’re going to see what I call the A pattern, the [inaudible 00:38:42] model, the art of piece is really, really exciting because we’re not seeing just simple tweeting anymore. We’re seeing integration. We’re seeing TV commercials working with product placement in TV shows which is working with cable providers which is working with second screen applications that allow you to go deeper into the experience of a TV program or an on-demand purchase of a piece of technology you saw on a TV show. Those sorts of things is where it’s all going. And that’s hugely exciting. So I think the artistic practice and the branding piece is going to come back. And I think this idea that technology ceases to be technology when it just becomes part of the way that we do things is really super exciting as well. So I think it’s also part of this absorption of social media into business is that the technology that we currently use is just going to become part of the way that we consume the world. The internet of things or the internet of everything is where we’re going. And that just becomes part of our daily lives.
Adam: Sure. Yeah, all interesting stuff Gavin. Thank you. Look, I want to finish up now. And we dived into some pretty heavy business enterprise topics there. So I like to end these podcasts with just a bit of fun and a bit of light quick fire round. So you are all set for this?
Gavin: I’ll try.
Adam: Okay. Question one. What is the most influential and impactful business book you’ve ever read?
Gavin: Gary Hamel’s books I just love. I just read his ‘What Matters Now’. And again, it’s a great read. So anything by Gary Hamel is the way to go.
Adam: Okay. Sounds good. I’ll add a link to the show notes there. Question two and I think I know the answer Gavin, but I won’t lead the witness. If you could only use one social network for the next 30 days for any purpose, personal, business or anything which would you choose?
Gavin: I would choose Twitter. Only at the moment because I think, [inaudible 0:40:57].
Adam: Okay. Yeah, I am not surprised. Okay Twitter, it is. And lastly, look just big picture, I won’t hold you to this ten years time but we’ve got driverless cars, connected cars, smart fridges, etc. The future is almost here now. But putting your futurist hat on, fast forward ten years. Is there any outrageous prediction you think is going to come about in ten years time?
Gavin: I will say, here is my outrageous prediction. And that is that driverless cars are going to fail.
Adam: That is outrageous. Keep going.
Gavin: They are. I think driverless cars are going to fail for a number of reasons. One is that they discount the vital human experience that we will come back to that we think that we are currently giving up at the moment and we’re giving up for convenience. But I think, it’s going, vital of human experience are moving fast through space, through time, we have a sense of mastering control and purpose. I think, it’s really, really important and I think to bring human movement back to a transactional element is going to fail.
Adam: Love it and that is certainly outrageous because there is a huge momentum for the driverless car things at the moment. So, Gavin, that’s great, thank you so much. Before I let you go just let the listeners know where they can find out a bit about more about you and what you are doing online.
Gavin: For sure. So you can follow me on Twitter at @servantofchaos. You can find my blog at servant of servantofchaos.com and you can find out about my business at disruptershandbook.com.
Adam: That’s great. Gavin, thanks so much for being on the EchoJunction podcast. I really appreciate your time.
Gavin: Thanks for having me.
Adam: Good stuff. Thanks, Gavin. There we go, Mr. Gavin Heaton. So I hope you enjoyed that interview and took some lessons and learnings out of the discussion with Gavin. I know I did. Always learn a lot when I chat to Gavin. Some really good thoughts. So thanks once again to Gavin for being on the EchoJunction podcast and being our first Australian guest.