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The Influence Group: Influence & Word of Mouth Marketing Agency


The Influence Session Live Blog: Breakfast with Geno

Posted on 22 Oct 2013 in Influence | 1 comment

Hi everyone, Seb here from The Influence Group.

I’m going to be taking notes for everyone today in this live blog. Then we’ll follow up with more posts expanding on the main themes here. 

Hope you enjoy, feel free to ask any questions or leave any comments below and you will get a reply! 


You can also follow the conversation on twitter (@Influence_Group) using #InfluenceSession

Life is always better with friends and we’re happy to see some of ours rolling in for our breakfast with Geno Church. We hope that they are all as excited as we are to hear from Geno Church this morning and his point of view on the world of influence marketing.

The first important step this early in the morning is coffee! Pretty happy about the cart out of the deck, and what a view! We’d struggle to find a nicer place. Thanks to Howard for offering to move the boat.

Lots of lively chatter from everyone here at Breakfast with Geno, we’re really impressed with the energy levels shown.

A great introduction from Sharyn, can’t wait to hear why influence matters. Influence is the future of marketing!

The current landscape shows that with fracturing media the traditional model of advertising doesn’t work. Consumers are in charge and they haven’t asked for this great paradox of choice that has been thrust upon them. Disruption and interruption is the receding paradigm.

The emergent paradigm is influence. Influence is about people and it’s about place. Influence is a complex system, there is no easy answer. Influence drives a positive impact for both people and brands.

We want to know more about what happened in Vegas! Geno certainly seems to be better than a hangover so far.

And now for the man himself – Geno, who has passion pouring out of his pores for uncovering the DNA of influence systems. Geno is ultimately about people and how people should be treated as well as creating sustainable word of mouth movements. We love the music for a wake up and don’t mind the southern accent at all.

As a social media agnostic who believes that the problem with media today is people put tools and practices before people, Geno believes we won’t succeed by just mimicking best practices. Loving the W T F syndrome, we should all put the why before the what. From Master Yoda – you must unlearn what you have learned regarding social media. The marketing business is the people business – we’re in the love business.

Destiny is like when peanut butter and jelly comes together, it’s perfect! (at least that’s what American’s believe)

Passion in marketing is really like a love story. Passion is not something you own, it’s something that you pass forward and pass on. Marketers have a love language problem, influence is nothing more than passing on the passion each of us has to others. We should all make love not war, the future of marketing is influence and which is all about passing on the passion each of us has to others. Our role as marketers is match making, we are the village story tellers and cupid.

78% of conversations that people have about brands are not prompted by advertising

Influence marketing is more than social media, it is offline as much as it is online. There are three triggers as to why we talk – functional, social and emotional. Brands have to be remarkable for people to talk about them – we don’t deserve it, we have to earn it.

Offline conversations are private so people share things that are private and emotional. The number one driver for offline conversations is emotional – because I can see you, I can read your body language and see if you are really happy.

Online conversations are all very public – a lot of people can see us and it is very voyeuristic. It is the equivalent of hitting reply all to the world.

We have continuous conversations and discontinuous conversations – offline you have to answer now, online you can wait forever and think of something really smart to say. Online we have discontinuous conversations, people can wait and think about what to say.

Today your brand is the lens that people look through to see what you stand for and they want to know what is behind the lens.

Geno had some great stories of marketing successes. Would you stand in line for a butter bun, some chicken and two pickles? Dress like a cow to get free a Chick-fil-A?

It all boils down to what moral principle  your brand is built on. Today people have power, a brand owners role is to work out how your brand will inspire love not hate. Today, strong brands have to stand for something – people want to know what is behind the lens. Tell us your story!

Another great story from Geno was all about the birth of Love 146 and the young girl in the Philippines who still had hope, who still had life – number 146.

What is your brand doing to help people share your story?

Social media creates spasms of passion, what we really need is a collective shout to build powerful stories!

Now that people have control, they don’t have to listen to anything they don’t want to.

The new world of marketing is personal and we’re all in the people business.

Question time from the floor for Geno Church – who wants one of the special itty bitty books?

Sometimes online is the most impersonal thing you can do – what is your brand doing to turn a cold transaction online to a warm human connection?

What’s really hard to do is to turn something impersonal online to something personal?

How many brands can an individual person actually love and connect with?

Paul Adams wrote a book called Tribes which talks about the size of tribes and we have 6 to 8 people that we interact with daily. People can only preach about 6 to 8 brands. Brands assume they can squeeze into people’s lives and get them to talk about us. Brands should find the people who have their hands up, the people who are more passionate about the brand than the people within the organisation and empower them.

We have an opportunity due to the world economic collapse to build something that really matters.

Brands need to know the love and the hate for issues before committing to them – the most important thing for brands is to be prepared.

Kony achieved a lot of clicktivism but this didn’t translate to the offline world because people didn’t trust it. We believe that brands and movements connect people because they have powerful identities that people can own.

People have turned off from the climate conversation because the people leading the conversation from the environment perspective have not considered how they can positively impact the economy

Bringing people along the journey is the easiest way to inspire passion. Geno hates brands who have the opportunity to make a personal connections with him but don’t bother.

People give away a lot of social capital to brands every time they make a recommendation. Don’t let them down!

In the short attention span world of social media is it difficult to maintain depth of relationship? What is important is to have a creed and a manifesto to live by that people can buy into.

Don’t treat social media as a push channel, it’s a relationship channel, you have to be there the whole time. This is the end of campaign based marketing – brands need to maintain continuous conversations across all channels and touch points with people.

Should brands leverage emotions from events such as the current bush fires? The days of doom and gloom are over, people need hope and brands can provide it.

Well, what an amazing event! Thank you for everyone who attended our inaugural Influence Session, we all hope you enjoyed it as much as we all did. 

Stay tuned for more to come.

Follow the conversation on twitter (@Influence_Group) using #InfluenceSession.

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One comment

  1. The pamster / October 23rd, 2013 22:50

    totally agree and it is possible to find the passion and purpose in every brand.. you just need to dig deep. I had spasm of passion with Appliances online the last few days and have not stopped spruiking them to everyone.. even telling my kids to get jobs there… all because of a washing machine.. Not the machine but the AMAZING service I got from the online retailer… and ease with which they helped me make what was a tedious chore in life moving – into a good one. I associate them with all the good things in my new home. Don’t mention telecoms brands to me though…