Archives for the month of: July, 2012

Trufflepig Search is pleased to report our success in Asia.  We opened as a division of Berkhemer Clayton, Inc. 18 months ago (Jan 2011) to help American corporations find communications and digital marketing executives in Asia.  Already we have handled senior-level communications searches for Gap Inc., GE, Coca-Cola Japan, and large public relations agencies in China. Our Managing Director in HK is Ms. Sai Pradhan, who previously worked here in LA for Berkhemer Clayton.  Our experience demonstrates that even service businesses like ours can export or expand into Asia. We consulted with Invest Hong Kong  to learn the legal and technical requirements of opening our business there.

Research recently published by Committee of 100–Chinese-American business leaders here in U.S. who do business in China—spotlights current opinions in both China and U.S. today.  The Committee of 100 researchers interviewed 4,000 people in China and U.S.—private citizens as well as business leaders. Findings showed that in both countries, there is a considerable gap between the views of general public versus the views of business people and political leaders. Looking at improving relationships between people in China and America, findings showed that increased understanding of language, culture and travel back and forth build trust.

Some of the observations:  People in China have favorable impressions of American culture and way of life, and see a cooperative relationship.  Chinese people are optimistic and confident about their own futures.  They now see themselves as a superpower.

Both groups value each other’s prominence in the world—they see need for cooperation to benefit global financial stability. But sometimes we don’t trust each other’s governments, Charlie Woo told Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire and Renee Fraser on their radio show UnfinishedBusiness.  Charlie owns MegaToys in Los Angeles  He is a C-100 leader, along with Chancellor Frank Wu, from UC Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, who said the Chinese cite problems in their own country with government corruption and an inadequate legal system. The U.S. participants cite a significant problem with Chinese copying American intellectual property. The research shows a trend for the first time that an increasing number of Chinese people see IP as a problem as well.

Charlie says China is soon going to be the world’s largest consumer economy—not just exporter of products, but consumer of goods, especially high-value big name American products.  That’s good news for companies expanding their business in China.  We are there to help.

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Sai Pradhan, Managing Director, Trufflepig Search Hong Kong, was featured on the keynote panel at the Women Media Networks last month.  The two others who spoke at the panel were Jocelyn Liipfert, Head of Social Media at TBWA, and Jay Oatway, digital consultant and author of Mastering Story, Community and Influence: How to Use Social Media to Become a Social Leader.  Jocelyn, Jay, and Sai together stage the popular #HKSocial–a networking event focused on the power of digital and social media.

Sai explains how LinkedIn helps recruiters:

“In my experience as a headhunter for PR and communications positions, we do use LinkedIn, but very selectively. It’s a research tool, but we develop candidates more by personally reaching out to existing contacts and to sources in our networks and by developing specific research to find top talent for the position we are handling. So, yes, while professionals who are keeping an eye out for new opportunities should certainly create and use LinkedIn profiles, it cannot be the only way, nor should it consume all your job seeking time. But if you are on LinkedIn do make it easy for a recruiter to contact you.”
For more of Sai’s discussion on the WMN panel.

When Google+ was released a little over a year ago, it was marketed as a competitor to Facebook.  While Google+ has failed to reach the level of popularity and profitability of Facebook, it has not failed as a site.  The potential of Google+ is in its being an extension of Google, not in its attempt to be a social networking site.

Insiders view Google+ as a tool for supporting already-established internet tools, such as Google and Youtube.  This month Google+ introduced more features designed to integrate different Google tools into its interface. The Events feature on Google+ will be compatible with Google calendar and allows you to invite people who are outside your circles.  Google+ connects the different Google tools, such as mail, google search, and now the calendar, into one organized site.

From our view, people don’t engage with companies on Google+ as much as they do on Facebook, which makes it less successful as a marketing tool.  From the recruiting standpoint, the vast majority of users aren’t active enough on the site to make Google+ as worthwhile as LinkedIn, or even Facebook, for this purpose.

Google+ does beat Facebook at video-chatting.  The Google+ video-chatting feature allows users to form “hangouts” with many users on site.  Organizations, such as news organizations, can use such hangouts to live-stream interviews and take questions from a virtual and interactive audience.  

Finally, the mobile site for Google+ is more accessible.  As mobile is becoming an increasingly important market for social media, the Google+’ user-friendly mobile app gives it a possible advantage against Facebook.

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Google’s creative new documentary, Project Re:Brief, takes four classic advertisements from Coca-Cola, Volvo, Alka-Seltzer, and Avis and re-imagines their message with the help of digital advertising. The new campaigns creatively combine the classic message of the original ads with today’s demands for interactive marketing.

The main challenge associated with the project was keeping the message the same as the original ads.  The goal was to update the ads to the current market while remaining true to their original intent–to what made the ads iconic.  Unlike one-way print or commercial advertising, digital advertising is meant to engage people–what better way to engage than by adding interactive elements to proven campaigns.  All four digital advertisements focused on creating an interactive and innovative experience, but Avis and Volvo’s ads are worth noting.

The Avis ad featured in the project originally featured their “We try harder” slogan.  The advertisers created an interactive marketing campaign where users’ stories are turned into short animated video clips.  Avis also encourages users to send in negative feedback so that they can improve as a company and live up to their slogan.

Volvo’s new digital ad drew inspiration from the powerful 1962 ad, “Drive it like you hate it”, which cleverly showcased the durability and longevity of Volvo.  Keeping this message in mind, advertisers created a new digital ad campaign in which anyone can track the progress of Irv Gordon, a man who has driven the same Volvo since 1966 as he approaches the 3-million-mile mark with his car.  Users can track his journey on Google Maps and even create their own road-trip adventures.  These campaigns show how digital has truly revolutionized the consumer experience.

Re:Brief communicates the idea that for a campaign to stand out in today’s social media-obsessed atmosphere, it must be engaging, interactive, and above all, have a timeless and relatable message.

Imagine being able to see all of the sites you frequent online collected in one organized forum.  Instead of having to visit Facebook, Twitter, and the other sites you visit separately, you could instead visit one site.  This is exactly what Flavors.me is attempting to accomplish by collecting all of your social media needs and displaying what is most important.  Flavors.me’s goal is to eliminate the oversharing created by all the superfluous information on social media sites.

In order to eliminate oversharing, Flavors showcases important information from the social media sites that you use most frequently from over 30 social media sites that you can choose from to add to your Flavors account.  The problem with Flavors is that not all of the social media sites work seamlessly on the site yet.  While Etsy and Hype Machine work well on Flavors.me because music and photos are integration right into the stream, Netflix and Facebook seem awkward.  It will be interesting to see how they are able to successfully integrate Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn in one place in the coming months.

Just as you can have followers, and can follow other people, on Facebook, Twitter, and many other social media sites, you can do the same on Flavors.  It compiles all of your needs into one site and allows people to interact with different components of your social media site that were previously completely separate.  It’s Flavors’ interface that really stands the chance of setting it apart from other social media aggregate sites, but without a more seamless integration of the most popular sites.

What exactly is the future of Flavors.me?  While conceptually a site that would combine the most important aspects of your social media tools would be extremely beneficial, Flavors is not exactly user friendly–something that is pretty much a necessity for a social media site to gain popularity  With 750,000 users it might be difficult for Flavors to compete with Facebook’s extensive, loyal network–but perhaps it will become an add-on to Facebook, only time will tell.

For more of Flavors.me:

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/28/flavors-me-spins-into-a-social-network/

http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/flavors-me-evolves-from-personal-landing-page-and-shows-off-its-social-aspirations/

http://vator.tv/news/2011-11-29-flavors-offers-a-centralized-and-confusing-social-hub

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