User generated’ Chief Marketing Officer


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‘User generated’ Chief Marketing Officer’ was the recommendation of a reader when Heineken announced they will replace their current CMO – the third in a row.

$100 Million in advertising and no success. Here is why:

In accordance to a study that was done a few years ago by John Todor Ph.D. an average American adult is confronted with about 4,000 brand messages every day. It’s like living near a train station and no longer hearing the train, living near an airport and no longer hearing airplanes, or like living in Gilroy and no longer smell the garlic – we are living in “Advertising Gilroy”.

But then there is another even more massive shift – the power of conversations. To illustrate what happened: Companies like Heineken, Coka Cola, McDonalds blasted their message with 10,000 watt speakers at consumers who only have 1 watt each.
But in the last few years consumers leveraged social media to communicate their experience with a brand, share their likes and frustrations and began to publicly recommend or ignore certain products, brands or services. Over 500 Million consumer on Facebook times 1 watt – that is 500 Million Watt against the faint peep of a 10,000 watt consumer good brand speaker.

User generated content can be selected through following the people one wants to follow – listen into specific conversations instead of random advertising noise. User generated content is “recommendation”, “expertise”, “experience”, “knowledge”, “opinion”, and much more. AND all this is more trusted than the remote noise of some announcement of a global leader in rather-something.

Mr. Heineken,
I like your beer and am happy to share this with my friends. But you need to give me a platform to do that, some motivation to share it, some indication that you love me too! No this is not a sentimental request but my way of telling you that even your fourth CMO won’t be able to help you succeed if he or she continues to attract me with methods like it would be 1980. You spent $50 Million just to introduce your light beer. Did I see some of this? Maybe, maybe not. The noise level in the global social web is so high and the conversations so intense that even if you advertise it with $500 Million, I probably wouldn’t recognize it.

Now take your money and instead of blasting it in the ether, invest in me, my friends, your customers, your competitor’s customers and re-engineer the Heineken experience. Oh you don’t know what I mean – spend a few hours and listen to us 🙂

And, Mr Heineken, please keep in mind, we have 500 Million watt speakers – you have only 10,000.

Cheers – Proost – Ypa – Vive – wasche sdarow’je


Republished with author's permission from original post.

Axel Schultze
CEO of Society3. Our S3 Buzz technology is empowering business teams to create buzz campaigns and increase mentions and reach. S3 Buzz provides specific solutions for event buzz, products and brand buzz, partner buzz and talent acquisition buzz campaigns. We helped creating campaigns with up to 100 Million in reach. Silicon Valley entrepreneur, published author, frequent speaker, and winner of the 2008 SF Entrepreneur award. Former CEO of BlueRoads, Infinigate, Computer2000.


  1. @Ella I see what you are promoting but this is still just messages AT an audience – not market integrated joint conversations 😉


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