10 Things Marketers Can Learn from Mark Zuckerberg's Sister

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Randi Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media
Randi Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media

When it comes to the Zuckerberg clan, one family member seems to steal the spotlight. However, Randi Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media and author of the book Dot Complicated, started her Vocus Demand Success 2014 keynote by stating that she has one up on her brother Mark: She actually graduated from Harvard.

But instead of focusing on any sibling rivalries, Zuckerberg discussed 10 trends that she's seeing in the business world today.

1. The age of the entre-ployee

There's often a stigma that employees have to check their creativity at the door when they sign on to work for a large corporation. But Zuckerberg encourages people to be entrepreneurs inside of their companies. After all, many of today's popular roles—such as brand evangelist, community manager, and social media manager—didn't even exist five to 10 years ago, she said during her keynote.

But if companies want to attract entrepreneurial spirits, they need to think like an entrepreneur, she said. For instance, she cited how online food ordering company GrubHub recruits people through photo messaging app Snapchat—such as by asking prospects to submit their best doodle—and how hotel chain Marriott finds talent by seeing who scored the highest in its virtual hotel management game.

Some companies already embrace this “entre-ployee” work environment. Google, she said, is one of the most popular. The search engine company requires employees to dedicate 20% of their work week to a passion project. These creative outlets have spawned major products, including Gmail.

2. Think like a media company

“Every single one of us is a media company,” Zuckerberg said, meaning that people seek content and information from anyone with a public profile.

Brands are beginning to adopt this media-centric mentality. Energy drink company Red Bull set the bar high with its Red Bull Stratos jump, and fast-food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill recently turned litter into literature by partnering with artists and authors to put content on its takeaway bags and cups, she said. Other companies, she noted, are being “brand journalists” and leveraging real-time moments to integrate their messages. Zuckerberg cited as an example how Gatorade has a social media mission control center where the sports drink brand monitors conversations so it can segue in organically.

3.  Connections are currency

Dollars and cents won't fit every brand's bill. Some companies are asking customers to pay for products and services by means of engagement. For instance, fashion empire Marc Jacobs opened a “pop-up Tweet shop” during New York Fashion Week that allowed people to pay for samples of its perfume by posting pictures of their brand inspirations online. Other examples Zuckerberg mentioned include frozen vegetables company Birds Eye opening a “pop-up” restaurant that let customers pay the bill with their Instagram photos, and the Australian 1888 Hotel basing guests' nightly rate on how many Instagram followers they have and how frequently they post.

4. Reinventing Retail

The retail landscape is evolving and marketers need to be ready to evolve with it. Hointer Denim Shop, Zuckerberg said during her keynote, allows shoppers to walk into its store, scan the jeans they'd like to try on, have a robot bring the jeans to them, and then scan them again if they'd like to have the jeans shipped to their home. There are also vending machines for everything, she noted, from lingerie to Chanel bags.

5.Turn FOMO into JOMO

Social media has made the fear of missing out (or FOMO) a legitimate concern for today's consumers and brands. And while pictures and status updates make it seem like everyone but you is living the good life, Zuckerberg knows the truth.

“We're all really good marketers,” she said.

Zuckerberg encourages people to stop feeding into FOMO and instead focus on JOMO—the joy of missing out and the idea that “there is no where I'd rather be than exactly where I am.”

But for those who can't help themselves, Zuckerberg provided a few tools that will ease their FOMO. For instance, CouchCachet is an app that identifies nearby restaurants, events, and outdoor locations and allows users to “check-in” and upload stock images as if they were there. She also talked about RunPee—which is an app that tells movie viewers when is a good time to answer mother nature's call so they won't miss any big moments.

6. The Maker Movement

“3-D printing is poised to be a multibillion-dollar industry,” Zuckerberg said.

Indeed, Prada is already leveraging the technology to print customers' initials on the bottom of their shoes, she said. 3-D printing also has the potential to benefit society. Everything from medical casts to entire houses have been constructed from 3-D printers, Zuckerberg pointed out. Although 3-D printers can be used for good, “everything is dot-complicated,” she said, acknowledging that the technology could be abused, such as by being used to produce weapons.

7. Life-logging

Parents know that teenagers are obsessed with uploading their entire lives online, Zuckerberg said. However, teens aren't the only ones interested in tracking their day-to-day lives.

Gadgets like Fitbit—a wearable device that tracks everything from calories burned to sleep patterns—allows people to leverage data to live a healthier life.

8. The new frontiers: Education and healthcare

Technologies like 3-D printers and wearables are taking the healthcare industry to a whole new, accessible and comprehensible level. Just the tap of an app can monitor heart rate, identify a broken bone, or even show a woman an ultrasound.

This accessibility also applies to education. Online learning tools like Khan Academy and Code Academy provide easy access to free education.

9. Gamification for motivation

Granted, some people need a little extra motivation to get up and moving. That's why many companies are leveraging gamification. Zuckerberg cited as an example Letgive, an app that donates 25 cents to a nonprofit every time a user hits snooze, and Gym Shamer—an app that alerts your social networks when you don't reach your fitness objectives.

10. Unplug to refresh

Some people can't live without their devices and rely on them for everything. Need to text your girlfriend? There's an app for that. BroApp, as Zuckerberg pointed out, automatically messages guys' girlfriends at designated times. The W Hotel, Zuckerberg said, will also live tweet a couple's wedding for a crisp $3,000.

Of course, there are those who are actually looking for ways to live without technology. For instance, the Hotel Monaco Chicago requires guests staying in the “tranquility suite” to hand over their devices for some time to unplug, Zuckerberge said. She also cited the Offline Glass: a beer glass that won't stand up straight without the physical support of someone's phone.

So, whether consumers are looking to build up their imaginary life or simply unplug to enjoy their real ones, Zuckerberg closed her keynote by encouraging them to follow the tweeted advice from comedian Chris Rock.

“You only live once,” she said. “So make sure that you spend 15 hours on the Internet every day desperately seeking the validation of strangers.”


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