14:00h – the first afternoon session started with:

XING und die Klassiker
wahlfreie Informationen und Networking statt einfach nur Werbung

Oliver Nickels of IBM starts the session explaining how IBM uses WoM and direct networking to sell their solutions to the German Mittelstand, because it works better than pure advertising.

  • Networking is extremely important in German Mittelstand – when it is based on trust. Advertising is too expensive because it’s too broad for this B2B segment.
  • IBM created and advertised a „mittelstands“-group in Xing. IBM employees actively posts articles and comments, even distributes flyers during events, etc.
  • Speaker changed: now it’s Dirk Reimers of FAT IT Solutions, speaking about benefits of the IBM Xing group. 

In total, it appears to be completely logical to build awareness and consideration via networking – isn’t that how B2B usually works best? Only difference: with Xing these networks expand over time and space…

14:45h Next up is Wolfgang Hünnekens talking about crowdsourcing:

Funktioniert die Kreativität der Massen für das Agenturgeschäft?

The session runs with Markus Roder and Oliver Nickels, but first Wolfgang Hünnekens speaks about crowdsourcing.

  • Hünnekens starts way at the beginning and tells the old tale of how crowdsourcing was first noticed and researched…
  • The cases mentioned are the usual suspects: Tchibo, Dell, Fiat500… And now that he wants to show a clip, there are technical difficulties.
  • The discussion starts with the question: what is creativity? That was a discussion during the last ADC awards.
  • Markus Roder doesn’t believe in crowdsourcing, because even if a single person gets to estimate things several times in a row, his aggregated estimates are more on target than each individual estimate. Also: people quite often don’t know what they want from a brand. Cites Henry Ford: if he had asked people what they want, they would have said: faster horses.
  • Oliver Nickels: the examples for advertising crowdsourcing were all „risk-free“. Crowdsourcing in product development is always possible. A brand should not be handed over to the „crowd“.
  • Interesting question being debated: for which brands could crowdsourcing be relevant? Some brands need to uphold an illusion, a placebo effect to keep up their brand values (Markus Roder).
  • Next question is: how do you manage consumer perception of a brand – how does crowdsourcing contribute, if a brand needs to be lived?
  • Another fact: brands have to face an increasing lack of control.