Marco Montemagno BTO 2009 keynote: “Tourism and social media opportunities”
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Marco Montemagno BTO 2009 keynote: “Tourism and social media opportunities”

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
OF HUMANITY THROUGH ME … MY NAME IS INTERNET AND I AM HERE TO STAY Here we are, Good Morning Everyone! …Armageddon…. 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… 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… 1,2,3,… 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? “travel” 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’ “difficult” “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. EXPONENTIAL GROWTH 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: THE INTERNET OF THINGS
(FUTURE, CONNECTION EVERYWHERE) 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. PEOPLE 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? Monitoring! 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. – OK HOLD ON JUST ONE SECOND… 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. – STOP THE VIDEO HERE
FOR A MOMENT PLEASE 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. – LETS CONTINUE, THANK YOU 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… LESS IS MORE! 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. JUST GOOD ECONOMY. 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 – RAISE THE VOLUME JUST A BIT 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. [SCRIPT GOOD WILL HUNTING] 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. – RAISE THE VOLUME A BIT 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. [SCRIPT GREY’S ANATOMY] 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. THE ONLY WAY TO CONSERVE AND TRANSFORM
I am compelled to say that 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.

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