SOCAP International


  • Awesome General Session! (thank you, Live Tweeters)

    Posted on: 04/21/2009

    The unofficial SOCAP Symposium Twitter brigade gives those of us who could not attend a  detailed look into an awesome morning general session. Here is a recap of Amy Curtis-McIntyre’s keynote presentation, from the #symp09 Twitterstream. It has been sequentially re-ordered. Each bullet point is an individual tweet (i.e. Twitter post). Most of the #symp09 hashtages have been removed to keep the googlebot happy:


    • grabbed a great seat in the morning session #symp09 to hear Amy-Curtis McIntyre, sitting next to Jeff Hagen of General Mills, intro-ing her.
    • Amy is from Hyatt, formerly CMO of Jet Blue. the introductions are beginning… #symp09 day two of the symposium
    • Nice key recaps of the vertical sessions are on the SOCAP community site: – similarities among all!
    • Jeff Hagen being introduced – General Mills is sponsoring the event. Annual conference 10 11-14 in Tucson “Doing more with less.”
    • “You’ll never meet a marketer more appreciative of customer care.” to great applause… Hyatt works carefully with customer care.
    • At Jet Blue – if you can’t explain a promotion to the head of reservations, don’t run it. She worships customer care organizations
    • Your product is your marketing – in most cases, that’s your people. Take care of your people, they’ll take care of your customers
    • Themes from today: Do more with less. She’s never had big marketing budgets, she works well with less. #symp09 keep marketing, break out


    • Take care of your internal customers and they will take care of your external customers


    • product is your marketing, marketing is your product, but keep customers right in the middle of it.
    • Amy named JetBlue, tailfin design, designed the uniform. wore it for 3 weeks, wore it every day. flattering, feels good, washes well
    • brand building: if you set out to build a great brand, you’ll fail. build a great product, take good care of it, repeat.
    • how to tell if your brand is in trouble: if people don’t want to steal your stuff, your brand is in trouble.
    • collect your branded scwhag, put it in a box in the elevator bank. if it’s gone within a couple hours, you’ve got a brand problem:
    • people won’t wear branded stuff when a brand is in trouble. products: sell stuff that people really want or need.
    • Amy: you learn what people don’t want in focus groups – you learn what people don’t want


    • Amy onstage at SOCAP: At Jet Blue- bring humanity back to travel. Make coach suck less.
    • Amy is hilarious – onstage at SOCAP – making me LOL….


    • Great to see Amy Curtis-McIntyre, Hyatt’s marketing SVP, making news at #symp09!


    • Jet Blue was supposed to be Virgin America, which didn’t work out. Started anyway. Customer was in the center: make customer win.
    • flew around the country with family members to experience coach. airline industry at the time was one of most reviled *like DMV


    • At Jet Blue, when they started the brand bar was so low, you “kinda had to crawl over it to make a difference”


    • look at everything you have to do anyway, and make a marketing product of it.
    • when people are delighted, they talk about it for you
    • we hired for attitude, not for talent (except for the pilots) Laughter in the room… and they overtrained
    • you can’t teach people to give a darn. skills can be taught.. you can’t teach them good attitudes.
    • doing a commercial for continental – putting television on every seat back. a first in large carriers.
    • her dad said “my daughter put tvs on every seat back!”


    • At SOCAP symp day 2 – keynote speaker helped launch Jet Blue: “Hire for attitude not skill….skills can be trained, attitude can’t


    • brands she admires: google spanx (to the rescue) apple ipod, hyatt (give people more than they expect), jet blue, zappos
    • people only talk about two things: things they love, things they hate. word of mouth… #symp09 taking cautious approach to social media
    • if you worry about creating products that people love, you’ll never have a twitter or social media problem
    • customer service issues escalate on twitter really quickly. dominos example.
    • how we have conversations are different, but what people say is the same.
    • bottom line: keep surprising and delighting with products. that should be a company’s focus. loyalty most important
    • Hyatt Gold Passport has been completely overhauled, word of mouth went crazy.
    • Give people more than they expect. Zappos is example of return policy being overhauled


    • Amy @SOCAP: everything… every customer interaction is a marketing opportunity.
    • Amy at SOCAP: don’t think of on hold music, think of it as being held…


    • “tell people what they want to know… like the truth for example.” sometimes honesty cuts through the clutter
    • at Jet Blue – no more than 15 minutes would go by without an update. e.g. weather.
    • we said we were sorry in a delay, and the truth is very disarming in a customer service situation.
    • if you give the big troublemaker the truth, he’ll spread the word for you.
    • after 9/11, Jet Blue was the first to put bullet proof kevlar on their doors, and used it as a marketing opportunity #symp09 home run
    • Hyatt’s Gold Passport program full page ads – straight talk from CEO. Right now, the world could use more hospitality


    • RT @amybp: Great to see Amy Curtis-McIntyre, Hyatt’s marketing SVP, making news at #symp09


    • Amy at SOCAP: hire the right people, get rid of the wrong ones, take good care of the ones you keep.
    • Invest in internal communications, no matter what. engage employees in unconventional ways.


    • Nothing they produced for their own people looked worse than they produced for external communications
    • Pilots have great needs for connections – the pilots produced their own newsletters.
    • at Hyatt, they’ve just launched a new intranet for employees – trying to change 90,000 people’s habit is a struggle.
    • Look outside your industry for inspiration – why reinvent the wheel?


    • keep it simple – focus on your strengths. just because you know words like “paradigm” doesn’t mean you should complicate things.
    • do remarkable things – things about which people remark.


    • don’t kid yourself. it’s all personal. learn to listen, say thank you… say i’m sorry. if you’re not passionate, you lose.
    • Amy is showing videos of the Hyatt folks who are submitting to win 365 days free from Hyatt – precious frog lady.
    • go to to see the best videos.


    • okay – the most brilliant and remarkable fun: – the frog lady is my favorite.


    • it all comes down to saying thank you and you’re welcome. people will forget things you do and say, but not how you make them feel
    • questions – jet blue will refund booked flights if people lose jobs.
    • hyatt – hire locally (around the globe) and against the spirit of the local area. regionalizing and living brand authentically.
    • they translate into 15 different languages.
    • in June, they’re launching a “random acts of kindness” program for employees to reward customers.
    • correction: random acts of *generosity* program.


    • #symp09 Awesome General Session!


    • how do you hire for attitude – authentically? group interviewing worked. asked a ton about authentic acts of kindness
    • one of the best sessions in a conference i’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to… brilliant.
    • off to the first of the breakout sessions.


    • @sbowdring – one of the best I’ve ever been able to attend.


    • RT @janetleejohnson: Amy at SOCAP: hire the right people, get rid of the wrong ones, take good care of the ones you keep. #symp09 not easy
  • A Wonderful Time on Day 1

    Posted on: 04/20/2009

    A wonderful time at the conference so far reconnecting with old friends and making many new ones.

    Today was spent with the industry communities where I moderated the travel and hospitality session.  We were a small group but had some great discussions and wonderful ideas.  We identified unanimously that our highest priority was to get more participation from our industry in the SOCAP organization.

    I know that we are going to have another great day tomorrow!  I’m looking forward to hearing Amy Curtis-McIntyre speak!

    Matt Sanders – Hyatt

  • First day thoughts

    Posted on: 04/20/2009

    I think everyone will agree that its been a long but informative and productive day at the symposium.  The learnings shared from the benchmark study gave me some good insights into where I match up with other companies in the food and beverage industry.  I already have a long list of things to take back to my team!

    I won’t go into the details of what I learned from the community meetings today, mostly because my brain is so full of stuff that I can’t get it all into a clear, usable format!  I will say that the discussions we started at our breakouts today have spilled over into the evening, and I’m sure we’ll continue to discuss them in the days and weeks to follow.

    I hope that some of the ideas we began to generate today gain some traction and we are able to follow through with them.  I know I’m particularly interested in the social media aspect of consumer affairs.  Bob Evans has recently started discussions with our customers on Facebook, Twitter and through the use of company blogs and we feel like we’re starting to have the two way conversations that our customers are looking for.  I’d love to be involved in initiatives to help move social media forward not only for my company but for others who are interested.

    I’m looking forward to the sessions tomorrow, but I’m going to call it a night so my brain can rest and be refreshed for the morning!

    Sarah Meenach – Bob Evans

  • Day 1 - SOCAP Symposium

    Posted on: 04/20/2009

    Enjoyed kicking off the day with Seth Kahan – he had good energy and I am hoping to read his book “Building Beehives”.

    Interesting to hear Seth’s recap of the influence that blogs/social media had on Obama’s campaign.

    Seth’s discussion has given me the idea to build a community of internal partners when I move our consumer care software to a web-based version, as means to network internal partners.

    COPC findings – survey results were interesting; now that we’ve built list of what we want to work on in F&B industry community meeting, we need to dedicate time to come up with best practices around the topics.  Need to collectively determine  best way to calculate cost per contact and critical / top questions for consumer satisfaction surveys.

    Eileen Troise – Dannon

  • The SOCAP Night Life: The Secret CHA-CHING!

    Posted on: 04/20/2009

    So much has been said about the first day’s outstanding value that it’s worth noting the easily over-looked value of the SOCAP Night Life!

    Have dinner with peers and mix business with pleasure! We all have a favorite topic that’s just begging for insider insights, and a SOCAP dinner is one of the best places to get them.  Whether it was covered today or not, what does everybody at your table REALLY think…?  For frank, honest straight talk, there’s no better opportunity.

    And when you have a few moments in your room, book a 15-minute meeting with one of the most important people at the conference: you! And that’s not just an ego rant. You’re the only person who can translate all the day’s insights into an action plan that will add value at your company. So you need to talk to you!

    Take 15 minutes to bullet key opportunities for your company, and outline key steps. Then book some meetings on your calendar to turn those steps into action!  I’ve done this for years, and it’s given me a list of SOCAP coups as long as your arm. Some are big, while others (perhaps more) are powerful tactical improvements that kick powerful strategies up a notch.  (Don’t miss the low-hanging fruit and quick wins!)

    John Cronce – Jockey