PhizzPop Minneapolis – Microsoft, MIMA, and a free snack

phizzpopAs last year, MIMA’s partnership with Microsoft resulted in a very successful event.

This event represented a competition – a design challenge based on a brief of a fictitious company.  
The brief included business objective and main personas that had to be considered. Ha! It is a good example of a brief…  How many times I saw briefs defining web site buttons but not even hinting about company’s business objectives 🙂

Five local agencies competed for the business of the fictitious company by presenting their recommendations to a panel of judges (company’s executives). The crowd of happy, encouraging, sometimes too loud event attendees (shareholders) cheered up their favorite contestants.

Presentations were very interesting! We saw attempts on application of Microsoft Surface (what I honestly believe is still a solution waiting for a problem 🙂  ), great designs, enchanting videos, and very clever “extensions” of existing applications, such as Facebook.

zjThe winner – Zeus Jones – did something even more remarkable. The company looked deeper at the business problem facing the fictitious company and proposed a solution on the business (rather just a design) level. As one of the judges noted, they took five pages brief and compressed it into one sentence. After that, the agency applied technology to achieve these clarified business objectives. I would define it as finding a “blue ocean” of possibility that has not been immediately obvious. 

The winning presentation is already on SlideShare!

I am hoping to review the video of the program (which is expected to be posted on the site) – the event was very good.

Food arrangement was rather strange – beside fabulous nuts sitting on the tables (what was a great snack), the food had to be “hunted” around the room offered by very friendly servers. But the food was worth the hunt 🙂

MIMA – Duality Reality: Who Controls Social Media In The Enterprise?

Another great event!!  Interestingly, AMA and MIMA presented two wonderful events about social media in two days – it was such a treat 🙂

MIMA promptly uploads images and podcasts to its Web site; we can review the event any time we like 🙂

Beside wonderful discussion, some ideas were particularly interesting for me personally:

  • Ratings and reviews on the sites of major corporations – helps to engage customers…  Why not? Why hide “the head in the sand?”
  • Recruiting sites are sprouting on Facebook
  • To engage customers/prospects socially – you have to be useful…  provide useful tools…
  • Audience over 40?  Larger font…  The “killer app” for this audience has not been discovered yet…  This audience is not too excited by Superpoke, etc.
  • Social messaging  – party analogy: “what is your brand look like when it is social?”
  • A gem of a thought: experimentation with social media should be pulled out from product development budget, not from the marketing budget…  ROI for social technology is not quite clear…  but contribution to the product development is obvious…
  • As long as the brand is authentic, fans will forgive mistakes…
  • How to start: start with something that allows listening… with some association with the brand…
  • BestBuy is using social technology for its internal communications…
  • Interesting site: finding who should you follow on Twitter (yes, it is rather difficult… 🙂 )