Marco Montemagno BTO 2009 keynote: "Tourism and social media opportunities"

Uploaded by montymonty on 12.01.2010

We are ready to continue...
I don't even know where to begin when introducing our next speaker.
Everyone knows Marco Montemagno,
Blogosfere, Codice Internet, IO Reporter on SKY.
He is THE person to follow regarding Internet in Italy,
ladies and gentlemen, Marco Montemagno
Here we are, Good Morning Everyone!
I have been working and living on the net for over 12 year now
and quite frankly I still don't quite understand what it is.
To be quite honest, I don't really believe in experts
I believe in the people that take action
I believe in people like you,
people that live through experiences, who get their hands dirty
and have valid experiences.
This is a great crowd.
Let's give a round of applause to the team who made this all happen.
I have two children, 9 and 11 years of age,
And the other day my youngest son
approached me in distress saying:
Daddy, Daddy, something strange happened and I have a problem!
Ready to help I asked what the problem was.
He replied: My CDs have turned black
In an instant I started thinking up possible reasons for this phenomenon...
Fire? No...
Maybe a young hacker's attempt to destroy evidence
by putting the CD in the microwave? Unlikely...
I thought up the strangest explanations...
and then he showed me the problem...
A vinyl record!
I can't blame him.
He is living in the digital era, a time where records no longer exist
Anyways his attention span as every child his age was quickly diverted to Bakugan...
Does anyone know what this is?
Anyways it's an object that you plug into Nintendo DS
where he plays against the kid who lives above us via Wi-Fi.
So regardless of my expertise in the Internet field, what I am getting at is that
true understanding is always tied to personal experience.
Internet impels us to expand our consciousness by learning something new.
So today we are going to chat a bit on the subject of tourism which I know little about
and connect it to my expertise in the internet field.
Before we begin, we are going to connect live via live streaming
A few of my friends told me
I was wasting my time coming to the BTO saying that no one would show up.
So I would like them to hear just how many of us there are
Let's give a great big round of applause
Coffee on me for whoever gives a Standing-O
If there is a full-house standing ovation dinner is on the BTO
Did I go overboard? Yes OK...
To start let's understand what the internet and tourism are.
A piece of paper is going to be distributed to each one of you
Once each of you has a piece of paper in hand I want you to design something/anything
and when I say stop, give it to the person to your right.
Of course if you are the last one on the right hand side of the row, obviously give it to the person to your left
You have 30 seconds to release the Picasso within.
15 seconds...
10 seconds...
Now exchange the sheets
Now write the first thing that comes to mind when I say tourism
Let me know when you are done with a show of hands.
What did you write?
Other words?
"hotel", "work"
"vacation", "airplane"
give me another...
"experience".... perfect, who said that?
Re-exchange these sheets,
now draw the first thing that comes to mind when I say 'internet'
"exchange", "chaos"
"expensive", "connection"
Internet doesn't mean technology, it means people
The second aspect is tourism
Tourism is shifting from being a business based on trips to a business based on experiences.
If I have to sum up the business of tourism in one word, it would be the neologism I came up with
"CONDIVIVERE" (Sharing and Living)
The business of tourism is living and sharing experiences.
TREND Let's take a look at some emerging trends
The first being that Internet is here to stay
It seems banal but it is imperative.
Ray Kurzweil wrote a book
that I highly recommend reading entitled "The Singularity is Near"
It is a book which describes technological growth.
This is a graph of technological growth,
of the diffusion speed of all of the principal technologies over the years.
The time it takes for a new technology
to reach the masses is growing increasingly fast.
Let's take a look at some numbers:
Electricity 46 years
Telephone 35 years
Radio 31 years
Television 26 years
Computers 16 years
Cellular phones 13 years
The web 7 years
This is based on a quarter of the American population
What's missing here is the iPod which only took 3 years
and what about the iPhone and its applications?
An astoundingly billion downloads in only 9 months.
So this means that when teletransportation comes out,
within 24 hours the whole world will have it.
We have to be fast in the adoption of our business model
Another interesting trend is this:
we have a world that is going in the direction of
connection in all places.
It has nothing to do with being a fad, it is simply this way
I am just telling you what is happening
The internet of things means that
any object will be able to connect to the internet.
Information will reach any type of object.
It is an internet that becomes more and more an integral part of our lives.
People have the internet inside.
It is part of our daily lives.
The aspects connected to the internet of things is interesting.
Let's take a look at a type of technology that is gaining momentum
and has become widely discussed: Augmented Reality(AR)
Has anyone heard of it?
Practically every form of media, in my opinion,
will have the possibility to have information
related to anything coming from the internet
overlapping the real image:
a mixed reality, like this commercial from General Electric
We will get back to this later on.
When we say the internet is people
it is because there is a wave of people
who are using the web for millions of different reasons.
It is a type of democratic society
because new technology which was once deemed unfathomable, is readily available to everyone.
It is revolutionary,
it gives us the possibility to experiment risk free,
there is an excitement surrounding the internet.
Just so you can really get the idea of what I am saying; this Viagra commercial says it all...
There is this strong user involvement from all walks of life.
From your local crazy person to Nobel prize winners.
Everything is at our disposal.
I can put together a business online
and if it doesn't work, it cost me next to nothing in the first place.
This is the social media trend.
If you have a chance I recommend taking a look at this video called Social Media Revolution.
This video recapitulates online facts and figures.
Social media meaning the gathering of active people spread out all over the planet.
Let's look at the numbers:
1.3 billion visitors in the world,
23 million internet users in Italy,
320 million users on Facebook,
12.5 million users on Facebook in Italy
with an outstanding 700 thousand daily growth of users,
1.2 billion visualizations on YouTube...daily.
There are new worlds bursting online and the numbers are massive.
Ten years ago when the discussion of internet being here to stay would come up, the rebuttal was always the same;
a few million users cannot make a difference, especially when it comes to politics.
Today, Barack Obama owes his Presidency largely to the internet.
As we can see, a lot has changed.
I recall Barack Obama being named "Marketing Man of the Year 2008".
DATA Data has become another trend.
There is a massive wave of information that is coming in
which has varying impacts because
the data is now being produced by more and more sources: telephones, computers and so on.
There is this need for a scalable infrastructure,
where numerous resources can come in and be managed and supported easily
also known as Cloud computing.
Everyone has the opportunity to start up a project,
and the costs are variable.
If the project is lucrative I will invest more if not, my costs are limited.
Did You Know 4.0 summarizes the figures being produced online.
It could only have a huge impact on the business sector.
The problem then is how can I monitor and manage all of this information?
An organized monitoring system within the chaos;
a chaos where there is an unbelievable amount of interesting data,
ideas and stimuli.
Information is the new oil field,
when they say that Google is the ruler of the planet,
it's because it holds the power of information, it is the database of consciousness they say,
and therefore as you can see, information is essential.
REAL TIME Another trend is that of Real Time.
It is not just about customer service (which is lacking in this ad)
it means that if real time truly exists,
my response, even as an organization
has to be structured in such a way that it functions in real time.
Let's take RSS as an example. Does anyone here use RSS?
It is a system which publishes frequently updated works in real time.
Think of RSS as ANSA personalized.
Before people would say "I'm already in real time"
but now with PubSubHubbub, it's even faster,
meaning as soon as someone types in 'Montemagno' online I see it right away.
Reaction time radically changes!
So now what? How can I incorporate all of this technology in my business?
The fairy tale presentation on the wonders of the internet was intriguing
but it's not for me, it's too complicated.
At times, it seems that doing business online can appear temporary,
not having any idea where to begin.
This is instability.
This structure may seen as faithful as this guy,
who has to stick the name of the girl on her forehead in order to remember her the next day.
The internet may appear unfaithful
or as we said before chaotic and disorganized.
Before continuing I want to say, I love women,
but when the word disorder comes to mind,
I instantly think women behind the wheel.
I am bad I know;
women are always upset with me in the audience. You are right.
Let's give a round of applause to the women in the audience tonight.
Markets are Conversations (D. Weinberger, 1999)
I deplore theory talk; I like to work with practical examples.
If I were a hotelier or hotel manager and I would like to start something new,
I have to have an idea from where I would want to start and with which tools,
I have to consider the budget and everything that goes into it, my resources etc...
Let's try to come up with a base.
I need a volunteer, preferably a single cute and rich female!
Let's try to gather some ideas of how to maneuver online
to make a presence in this social media.
To begin I want you to forget the site,
the advertising,
the online advertising via search engines.
How do we confront this social world?
Irena I will give you the key words and you jot them down.
What do we need to start?
An Internet Connection? OK...
But let's say we already have that... what else?
A community. Good.
How do we create a community?
With a blog!
Put blog at the centre of the page.
OK, we have our blog.....
But this is just an internet platform.
Now we have Posterous, this is an advanced variation of the traditional blog,
it is a more advanced model because it gathers the content of other social networks.
What do we need to do with this blog?
We have to open a profile on Facebook.
Should we choose every social network or just a select few?
YouTube is good for video,
Twitter for quick updates on what I am doing,
so for my hotel I could put up offers
and when you click on it a page opens up with all of the details,
it's a great tool especially for news.
So now we have to create a social network around this blog or Posterous that we have created.
We have to select the right Social networks,
if we want to put up videos we use YouTube or Vimeo,
Flickr to upload personalized pictures,
for micro messages Twitter is great,
with Facebook pages I can create my community
and with this page I can send messages to everyone.
Your page can be smart.
The idea of using facebook is important.
Let's use the most important social networks, not all of them.
Seth Godin, one of the greatest marketing gurus in the world,
says in his book Tribe
to try to be the number one in one social network
instead of being mediocre in many.
He has one site, but it is the most popular marketing blog online!
Concentrate on one.
How can I possibly update everything everywhere?
I can't be expected to spend my life online.
We put our content on our blog
then we can do one more thing:
we can use a module that can update our blog on the profiles on the social networks I have chosen.
Examples of these modules are Twitter feed,,
there are over 3000 in circulation.
I just update my blog and these programs spread the news over various social networks simultaneously.
Of course the video I put on YouTube has to be appropriate for my particular objective,
as well as the pictures I upload on Flickr,
on twitter I have to be more concise
it has to be relative to your competencies and most importantly your sector.
Once you have the content and presence on social networks, then what?
Updates? Ok, already have it, what else?
I now need to know what my users are saying about me, about my product.
From this point of view I need a monitoring tool.
It is like having one ear to your social network
and can immediately intervene online.
From here I can do a billion things.
I could put an application on Facebook
where my users install this application
and whenever someone clicks on it and buys something from me
on my site, for my hotel,
he or she will earn a number of points
and if s/he say, refers ten people to me
they receive one free night at the hotel.
This is a way of being viral within the social network;
the applications you use can be simple or complex.
CNN for example, has an application for the iPhone
where you can upload a journalistic video
on their site dedicated solely to journalism by the people.
The type of application depends on you and your objectives.
We can even take it one step further, how about posting daily offers on Twitter?
In 140 characters you can advertise what Tuscany has to offer:
the best restaurants, recipe of the day if I own a restaurant etc....
Thereby creating your community but in a minimal amount of time.
Other ideas?
We have the tools, our social network, our blog, what else can I still do?
Experiences, find ways to connect and keep your community.
This is the key.
Our next objective is that of incorporating this system with our business model.
One of the themes is business models
So what are the new business models and how can I use them?
A man named David Weinberger,
one of the greatest internet gurus in the world,
says that the markets are conversations, and networks.
The world is shifting their searches from key words
to people, searching through people.
These social networks, that at times seem chaotic,
are in reality essential for who makes decisions based on people's opinions.
This is why we have to be there!
If we want to know which is the greatest hotel in Florence
who are we going to trust, Google or a friend's personal experience?
An interesting case regarding social networks is Harry Potter
Harry Potter has a brand value of 4 billion dollars;
Rowling used the internet for success.
This marketing book entitled The Fabulous Marketing of Harry Potter,
(I don't earn a dime for this book, but it might be a useful read)
discusses the secret behind the success of JK Rowling's Harry Potter.
This summer while on holiday as a single,
I wanted to do some sport
I wanted to play tennis with someone,
I had to go to the sports manager to see if there was someone who wanted to play with me,
it was a completely analogical approach.
Why is it that upon arrival you don't give me a social network of people who want to participate,
of people who have obviously given their availability,
if you go on vacation wanting to be left alone, then you stay alone,
but if you want to take part in activities why not put your interests on Facebook:
tennis, poetry, going to the cinema,
this way I can see who shares my same interests,
if you are single,
or have children, or need other children for your children to play with.
In this industry a social network for communication is great customer service,
it is useful, and you are providing useful information.
So a business model trend that we are seeing now is becoming a network,
becoming a platform it is an important aspect
if it were not, I would always feel isolated,
like the perception my mother had of me many years ago before understanding the internet,
completely cut off from the rest of the world.
Another good business model is JUST GOOD ECONOMY
The idea that I only use what I need.
I brought you a popular trend,
a female trend from 1960-2000+
A playboy source...
Jokes aside take a look at some examples:
Skype, Internet telephone calls,
it is not the best of quality but it works sufficiently well
with over 540 million users,
or the MP3 basic in quality,
yet has revolutionized the music industry despite skepticism from MUSIC PURISTS.
Again it isn't the best technology but it's adequate.
Video cameras, this video camera, FLIP,
very popular in the United States,
it doesn't do everything but is inexpensive,
works well, I take my videos, upload them online
and I have the opportunity to see my videos immediately online.
CROWDSOURCING Crowdsourcing has become another popular trend.
The common misconception is that the masses are ignorant.
(This is from a restaurant in Reggio Emilia)
I am convinced that the masses are incredibly intelligent if they use the right tools.
Today there exist so many crowd sourcing platforms
that put you in contact with your clients in the hotel
or dispersed around the world
to get their feedback, competencies and experiences
much like this commercial
where the orchestra is controlled by the remote control.
Crowd sourcing, I have this possibility.
I have a series of very interesting tools that cost nothing.
IDEASCALE used by Obama for Health Reform,
SPOT.US enables the public to commission journalists to do investigations on important and perhaps overlooked stories.
KICKSTARTER helps finance projects
- tapping the intelligence on the planet to get feedback from the users.
These platforms are used to collect data.
APPLICATION ECONOMY Another business model is application economy
if Facebook were a nation it would be the fourth nation in the world in terms of population,
this gentlemen here is Mark Pinkus, he created a company called ZINGA
In only 2 weeks he earned 850 million dollars with a Facebook application.
This is very interesting because it doesn't mean that I have to create a site to attract people
I can make a lot of micro sites, pieces of myself
and spread them out through various social networks
and I go to where the people already are.
STATUSPHERE The status symbol has changed.
We have shifted from being one mass market to masses of markets.
This means that we have opened up to a myriad of niches.
Each niche recognizes itself.
So if before I used Ferrari as a status symbol
and everyone knew what it was, today if I wear a sweater with the BTO logo,
that for me is very trendy by the way,
it will be recognized only by the persons attending this particular conference.
So we have to create experiences.
The tourism industry is a market of experiences.
Living and sharing experiences.
I was thinking about what you said to me the other day, about my painting.
I stayed up half the night thinking about it
and then something occurred to me
and I fell into a deep peaceful sleep and haven't thought about you since.
You know what occurred to me?
- No.
You're just a boy.
You don't have the faintest idea what you're talking about.
- Why thank you.
You've never been out of Boston.
- No.
So if I asked you about art you could give me the skinny on every art book ever written...
Michelangelo? You know a lot about him I bet.
Life's work, criticisms, political aspirations.
But you couldn't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel.
You've never stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling.
This is a market of experience and competence, to teach me something.
This is the idea. If I want to grab your attention,
(this is another Viagra commercial regarding competence which is irrelevant)
Experience and competencies
I have to give you the opportunity to teach you something that you will talk about.
I have to make something memorable for you.
GRATIS This is another theme we are going to talk about.
Chris Anderson wrote The long tail
and the book called FREE,
the business model that lets you offer something for free while earning in a different way
Google gives away things for free but generates 30 billion a year with free products.
Any product that becomes digital has a manufacturing and distributing cost of ZERO
So what can I give away for free in the tourism industry?
Can I give away free nights in a hotel in exchange for your competency as a tour guide?
There is a gym in Norway where you can go for free, if you go at least once per week.
If you skip that week you have to pay - tying you to your performance.
So we have seen the trends,
what are the ideas and what instruments do we need to start off with?
We saw some possible business models, ideas and stimuli.
The world online is going in that direction, yet how can we engage this?
The last aspect we are going to touch on, and then we will break for lunch.
Let's take some advice from Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon,
one of the most successful sites online.
Some time ago he made a video after a buy he had made listing 4 pieces of practical advice.
USERS Pay attention to the customer.
Always give optimal Customer Service.
I lied, I am not out of this relationship
I'm in. I am so in it's humiliating because here I am begging
- Meredith - Shut up!
You say Meredith and I yell, Remember?
Ok, here it is
Your choice its simple, her or me
And im sure she's really great
But I love you
In a really really big way.
Pretend to like your taste in music
Let you eat the last piece of cake
I Jump off the highest mountain if you asked me to
Unfortunate way that makes me hate you - love you
so pick me.
choose me.
love me.
Love when we talk about love for the consumer you receive love in return.
- he says: I love you - she says: that's your problem
regardless of the disappointments we may have or have had.
Who here has been disappointed in love?
Whoever didn't raise their hand is either lying or will be very soon.
Like sending a women off to buy a pair of pants, relationships aren't easy
I worked for a consumer association in another lifetime,
you couldn't even imagine what I went through!
The point is you have to be involved and interested in customers,
they are the protagonists, the pro-sumers, the active people we have to do with each of us.
Sometimes we are the customer at other times we are the company
We continuously share roles.
Another book I highly recommend is Viral loop by Adam Pannemberg
How can I create a viral company?
Viral meaning that it moves quickly in the social media world.
It is strong because I understand that if I start up a great company,
I know that my success depends on my clients
- they are the ones who give me the best advertising.
Customer service is what your marketing is all about.
There are a lot of tools here.
The Social Media Revolution
Users. Users. Users.
The most interesting example being Zappos.
They sell shoes, only shoes but they are extraordinary
This is the company behind the lifetime guarantee.
You buy the shoes today
and in ten years you decide to bring them back for whatever reason
and they exchange them for you, no questions asked!
This is the young man who sold the company for 1billion 250 thousand dollars to Amazon
They have an exceptional customer service culture.
This is a customer service based company.
Customer service is the most important tool online.
The long run
If you happen to be skeptical you want to see results now,
not at an undetermined time in the future because I am spending money,
so how can I think in the long run?
Thinking in the long run is fundamental.
The people that think like this come from companies that have been able to interpret and predict the future.
This is so in every sector,
take Google for example,
it's business that doesn't sell advertising space.
Google sells intentions, something totally different,
raking in over 30 billion dollars.
They were really good at understanding the future, what was going to happen.
They had a vision of the long run.
When they started off with a 15million dollar budget, not a garage start-up, they had a vision.
Another example is that of YOUTUBE, these are two of the founders,
this is the third founder of YouTube,
with the first video ever uploaded on YouTube!
A video that I would classify as mediocre, if that.
When YouTube took off I was the first to doubt their success.
But in reality they have unbelievable numbers, disproving the experts.
As you know experience means trial and error, testing what works and what doesn't.
YouTube figures
If we take the three pillars of American broadcasting: ABC, CBS and NBC
and for 60 years we have them produce videos,
365 days a year, 24 hours per day all of the networks together
could potentially produce 1.5 million hours of programs,
the same amount of video time YouTube broadcasts in 6 months!
There is no need to talk about business models with YouTube because the numbers speak for themselves.
Their business model is simply the power of having possession of all of the videos on the planet.
This is the business model.
And when you have a billion visualizations per day
then we can really talk about a business model!
It's a completely different logic.
Facebook is another example
with 320 million, 12.5 million in Italy,
where Facebook user growth is the fastest among European countries.
Mark Zuckenberg would use Facebook to woo the girls in high school.
In the beginning it was just used in high schools; it wasn't public.
It wasn't consistent, there were times when it worked and times when it didn't.
They offered him 1 billion dollars
and he said no thank you, I want to earn more than that.
At first they thought he was crazy, but in reality he was right,
Facebook has become THE online point of contact
for organizing political events, business associations, and personal relationships.
INVENTING Inventing can be difficult.
It's frustrating and complicated.
at times you sit their wracking your brain to find a solution
or you simply pretend like this store in Rome i-meil (e-mail) their attempt at appearing innovative and digital.
The more you try to be innovative
and the more people tend to criticize because you start moving in revolutionary territory.
Think Obama sporting a Che Guevara t-shirt
it's something hard to comprehend or imagine.
But in this case being inventive pays.
This is a nice example, this company is called 350.
This is an action day, an initiative done one day a year, organized online.
In this case the theme is the environment: Lowering Air Pollution.
This is something completely organized online,
heard all around the world, from the New York Times, CNN
and they have become really effective both on and offline.
Another example linked to tourism BEST JOB IN THE WORLD
to find a person who would work in Australia in the Great Barrier Reef.
They organized a contest - where applicants had to present their CV in a one minute video.
You can imagine the extraordinary videos they received.
The world was talking about it but in the end it was just about recruiting.
But it created a series of strong initiatives.
If you are looking for ideas I recommend going to TED.
TED is a conference that is held once a year in the US where the geniuses of the world meet,
from the man who created the glasses for the third world
without the need for an optometrist as everything is self regulated
to every guru of every sector.
when we talk about fundamental innovations
the only way to conserve and transform is this:
It's always day one. You always start from zero.
This is an extraordinary opportunity and you have it in the palm of your hands.
Thank you.