Friday, May 17. 2013
Implicit relationships people seek from products (source: Simon White, Draftcb)
Last week I attended another event i think was very useful seminal in pushing Social Media forward, the ChinwagPsych event, which reviewed the emerging lessons from the emerging fields of digital psychology and anthropology. It was really good as well because the amount signal was high, and the amount of noise from snake oil, bullshit and hype was low. Here are some notes of mine from the event.
Nathalie Nahan, who wrote Webs of Influence, on Website design in the Social era.
- Trussst is what stops people buying online, as customer service/delicvery etc is unclear. Consumer reviews are good at creating trust, also earned media. Using recognised logos eg paypal also helps
Leigh Caldwell, Inon - Psychology of Pricing
- This is an emerging new field - cognitive economics
Simon White, Draft Cb - Why are people NOT using all this stuff?
- Old models (persuasion) only lead to accidental success as 95% of decisions are instinctive, not rational/ logical
The new thing I got from Simon's talk was this:
- People buy things to achieve goals, they do not have a "relationship" with brands as such. And their real goals are the implicit goals, eg buy Mercedes to feel powerful
Simon Hill, Wazoku - Open Innovation - A rereshingly free-from-hype talk about the reality of Open Innovation.
- technology is not the issue in Innovation
I then had to go to a client meeting, so missed a few talks and lunch (boo), returning in time to catch:
Steven Haggard & David Stillwell, Cambridge Predictive
I first heard about them awhile ago when they started to put together patterns of connected likes, on Facebook, they mentioned some typical insights e.g. people who like Terry Pratchett and computing tend to be introverted and Likes on Facebook can tell relationship status (I'll bet!!). They started to look at Business Applications, for CRM, trying to find predictive qualities of personality for honing the Marketing message; keywords, behaviour types etc. They mentioned as an example the Relentless fizzy "energy" drink going up against Red Bull etc:
- Its roots were in music roots so they started look at interconnections there
Cat Jones, Unruly Media - Viral Video Chart
- built Unruly Sharerank algorithm by testing large no of hypotheses of what drives sharing vs actual sharing
Milward Brown (Similar findings to Simon White, above)
- The only people who were shocked by behavioural economics were economists (rational man)
What was new is they have tested a number of these new approaches against Ads
- Most useful method they have found is facial response, map facial
The next 2 talks were about Smart work, and were interesting in that they seem to apply a "psych" layer to the Quantified Self movement
Design by Day (Book on smart work) Nokia/Anthony Mayfield
- using mobile technology to improve productivity
Prof Karen Pine - "Do something different"
- Use technology to remind you to do something different that is good for you, force behavioural flexibility
Benjamin Ellis, Social Optic
- how to use technology to change larger groups - uses social data to drive changes in organisations
Daniel Bennett & Marina Clement, Ogilvy Change: Case study - the missing £2
- Rory Sutherland started behavioural economic arm, heavy usage of outside academics. Case study was that people are stopping buying newspapers, so how do we sell them again. Approaches were
Those 4 "nudges" hit 257% ROI, I asked which ones had the most impact, they said they didn't know. I find that hard to believe
Fascinating and worrying in equal measures.....
Sunday, November 18. 2012
An alternate future for Online Ads - Economist:
Though global online-advertising revenues rose by 22% in 2011, websites that depend on selling their viewers’ eyeballs are worried. Around 9% of all online page views come from browsers armed with ad-blocking software, such as Adblock Plus, downloaded nearly 180m times since 2007, and 3.5m times in October alone...
Only 9% and rising.....uh-oh.
Tuesday, March 6. 2012
Tomorrow/Thursday I will be attending the FT Digital media conference, as is my wont every year. I had a look at the Hotwire/33 Media Media Trends report that was linked to it over lunch, and have a few comments to make on it. In a nutshell, the Trends are (abridged, and commented on):
1. The Interest graph, which has 3 key areas of activity
- Influence rankings and perks
Comment - I think its still very early days and risks turning into a "be careful what you wish for" area in three ways. Firstly, the current services are still pretty inaccurate (being very new) so will lead to incorrect spend and possibly loss of credibility, and a resulting trough of despond etc etc. The other thing is the sort of tools used to really make it accurate are quite privacy invasive so will lead to legislative kickbacks. And these same techniques will be what allow users to take control of their own data, VRM style.
2. Putting your business on the map
This is the third year in a row we’re calling next year a breakthrough stage for location based services.....As we’ve argued elsewhere in this paper, if you’re not building your presence on the location based services that matter to your customers, 2012 will be the year that you begin to fade from view.
Comment - this is the fifth year we have been told that Location Based Services are the Breakthrough Thing next year I think there is an underplayed unwillingness of people to give up on privacy that is not taken into account with these services. Generation 1 died, Generation 2 is gamified to the nines and is still not taking off, Generation 3 will be driven off the smart devices but look at the kickback Apple and Android got.
3. How tablets are changing communication
Expect to see communications plans next year that include the creation of high quality content such as HD video and high resolution photos, wherever possible created by users, and all packaged up in ready-made galleries and compatible formats.
Comment - We agree, there is something very different about the Tablet, it is a true Fifth Screen, but evolution is hard to predict - today it is a multimedia consumption device in the main, however, applying Moore's Law gives you some very powerful devices in 2, 4, 6 years.
4. Who are the new social media celebrities?
...surely 2012 will see the rise of the ‘social media celebrity’, those who are experts in their field, influencers, keen communicators, people who will provide us with feedback and by their serendipitous retweets, project us into viral stardom within their personal niche.
There was an interesting tweet the other day, about audience inflation - one upon a time being able to have 100,000 subscribers was a huge thing, now a Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber add those numbers a month on social media. The thing that is not usually articulated is the strength of the tie, game theorists differentiate between strong and week ties based on the amount of effort involved, and a "follow" or "like" button is as weak as it gets - we see it as the Next Generation direct mail.
5. The socialising of TV and music
Your brand video could be listed alongside “How I Met Your Mother” and “Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares USA”. It finally turns everyone into a potential publisher. Shakespeare coined the phrase “all the world’s a stage”. And digital communicators took the same thought and applied it to the world of brands, companies and governments: we are all publishers now.
Comment - Agreed - we started telling our clients that "everyone is a publisher" in 2005, and helped set up our first client Web TV network in 2007. It is still very early days though, and Ad revenue is no cinch (never mind showing Ads issues) so it will be a marketing spend for a while yet
6. Social media and internal communications
Comment - While I agree that Social media will move more into Internal comms, we know from our experience that there are many internal political barriers. And Gawdelpus, there is a big risk that Twitter etc turns into a junk mail site and kills those that love it if not used carefully.
7. How cashless payments could unlock a wave of innovation
- Our pockets will get lighter:
Comment - While we agree that payments within social nets will be a major thing, we don't think cash will go away anytime soon owing to its privacy benefits, and the location/proof of presence element of transactions will worry people as much as attract them. However, given the interest of others to see your data, we predict non private payments cashless payments will be free and private cash payments will have a cost.
Whether you’re a brand, a publisher, a Government or a developer, game dynamics offer a low-cost way to enhance even very basic products and services. If you haven’t thought about how this affects you, 2012 would be a good year to lead the way in your organisation or industry.
Comment - Gamification is undoubtedly a useful set of techniques to improve a service's UI, but, just like SEO, the answer to a whole raft of crap or dodgy services is still not to gamify ithem but improve the underlying service.
Forums are arguably where social media evolved from the primordial soup of the early web. Places users could generate content, connect with one another, build communities around interests and discover new stuff serendipitously.
Comment - Forums are still where its really at, the old Web 1.0 forums still have more participants and traffic than Facebook, and drive huge traffic on Web 2.0 services - look at the success of Mumsnet for example, a vertical forum aggregator.
10. Automotive app stores
- App stores - for cars and driving
Comment - we are all in love with our cars (though some are calling Peak Car, in the OECD anyway), but there is competition for brands - I own a classic car, I have been a member of the relevant Yahoo group (and the eGroup before that) for nearly 2 decades. The challenge for commercial brands is to build a combination of apps, social network and location services that serve the customer enough compared to independent, over the top services. I think that will be a challenge
Monday, March 5. 2012
Pre-Roll ads have apparently been solved says Redeye VC
Created by Solve Media (a First Round Capital portfolio company), the folks that re-invented the captcha, comes a new approach to video advertising. Instead of watching the whole pre-roll advertisement, consumers can type in a part of the brand message -- allowing them to access the content faster...and providing real engagement for the brands. It's a simple solution adds real value for the industry and the consumer. Video pre-roll advertising -- SOLVED.
Yeah right. Taking the ultimate in irritating lean forward experience (aka timewasting) into a lean back medium is so going to work. I'd love to see the user research trials, I predict that except for incredibly desirable content (say, porn), users will stay away in droves.
But it shows how desperate the industry is for a workable pre-roll.....
(There is a video of it in the link, but I couldn't bring myself to foist it on you, dear reader)
Friday, July 22. 2011
Google+ won't let Brands have pages, and this is upsetting the e-Marketeers, poor things - an Open Letter from Danny Sullivan :
Hey Google, I'd say I know you're all new to the social game and should be forgiven that you have messed up with how to handle brands here so badly. Except, you're not new.
Two things we would note - one serious, one not:
(i) Facebook also tried the same approach initially (Broadstuff blog was thrown off Facebook when they tried to persuade advertisers that all avatars were individuals) but eventually gave in to the lure of lucre, no doubt Google will do the same - once it works out how the House wins the game.
(ii) In the interim we suggest Brands followthe example set in the book Jennifer Government,and force all their employees to change their surnames to the company name and take out Google+ accounts. We eagerly await Google+ accounts from Johnny Reggae Reggae Sauce, Jenny Colgate-Palmolive, Steve Microsoft and Charles Schwab (now that's clever -naming your company after yourself - such anticipation!). In fact one could go further and change name to actual products too - Dave iPad, Toni .
Spot the serious one
...and just beware of the unfortunate combinations - you know, the Wayne King, Mike Hunt etc equivalents (examples in the comments section please, there will be points, and points mean prizes)
Thursday, June 16. 2011
It would appear that Duke Nukems PR threatened to nuke people who said nasty things about the new release and was then nuked itself! Ars Tech:
...the Redner Group's official Twitter account posted something you almost never see: an open threat stating that outlets who reviewed Duke Nukem Forever poorly may not receive review copies of games in the future. Anyone who has done this job for any amount of time has suffered through a dry spell after giving a publisher a bad review, but this is the first time the threat of a blacklist has been made public.
The furore spread out all over the social media nets in a viral way that any PR would have been proud of, sadly in this case Duke didn't take to the Wildean view that any publicity is good publicity and thus nuked the PR Agency:
Face saving nuking move, may even have got the correct PR bang, and maybe even without paying the bucks. We eagerly now await the discovery at Redner that it was an Intern wot done it
Reinforces my view that you should never buy anything until after it hits the market, time passes, and the independent reviewers can get a good look at it.
Thursday, May 5. 2011
Paris Lemon argung that Mashable went in for SEO laden Bin Laden reporting, with minimal Tech interest - as there is always someone who wants to pump out an Ad:
Paris's argument is that this is a form of spam that Google could (but won't) think of culling:
The only thing that will stop this is Google taking the same type of action against this gaming as they have against the larger content farms. That line, it seems to me, is quickly blurring. But I just can’t see Google doing that.
I'm not sure that this is Google's job - as JP Rangaswami most recently pointed out, the filtering needs to be at the receiver, not the sender end. And one doesn't have to read this sort of sh*....stuff.
What's that you say - this as an SEO linkbait post? Tut. if it were I'd a-written it over the weekend....
Tuesday, April 19. 2011
Study from BlogHer - the BlogHer 2011 Social Media Matters Study - (as reported by Sherilynne Starkie)
Picks up on a trend we have seen over and over again - people trust other people the most, women trust other people more than men do, so no surprises. Ad industry still chases youth and slebs, because thats what they did 20 years ago.
I eagerly await the day the Hello! magazine is full of Bloggers
Tuesday, February 8. 2011
Following on from our previous article about the Huffington Post valuation and why, to believe it, you had to believe "6 impossible things before breakfast" I thought it might interest a few people if we went into what those impossible things are. In essence, from the previous article, you have to believe some totally amazing growth statistics for HuffPo to believe it is worth the money paid for it. These are unlikely as:
(i) The model says you need to grow at c 50% PA to break even on a 10% (ie low) cost of capital, and that was assuming a very generous Year 1 post merger $100m turnover and 20% margin. That growth is not impossible (cf Facebook) but it is unlikely - it means 5-fold growth in 5 years - because:
In other words, I think we are nearing the high water mark of the Content Farm AdSpam business model, and in a few months it will be drastically curtailed as search engines start to select for the original authors and content spam blockers start to just cut out certain sites - which is why Demand Media, HuffPo et al's backers have to rake in the cash now. It is exit or bust (or at least a shorter and more brutish existence) so I expect to see a plethora of content farms and near-content farms trying to sell themselves now.
Fortunately, in AOL they found a buyer with a "Strategic Need".....always a goody at times like these
Friday, February 4. 2011
A Revolution in marketing (Photo courtesy MikeST)
Kenneth Cole, outfitters to the (non-news reading?) aspirational, tried to tag their brand to the Egyptian revolution today with a tasteful twt:
“Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at (link).
To say that it flopped is putting it mildly - cue mass uproar on Twitter, Facebook, the blogosphere, the media et al, and an (eventual) apology. Now, George Santayana, an Spanish American philosopher of c 1900, noted that:
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
We take you back to the Habitat/Twitter debacle in 2009, when Habitat tried to spam its way onto the Iranian revolution twitterstream. That didn't work very well either - cue apologies, humiliation and blaming the whole thing on an (imaginary?) Intern.
No doubt Kenneth Cole would have loved to blame all this on an Intern, but clearly didn't read up on Habitat's tricks before apologising (photo above, courtesy MikeST. I don't know if its a real stick-on or a photoshop (suspect the latter), but it's pretty fast work).
Update - a Kenneth cole mocking site, @KennethColePR has been set up - gems such as:
"Austrian Men: Got a daughter you've impregnated locked in the basement? Cheer her up with a new sexy KC two-piece. "
Oscar Wilde (A contemporary of Santayana) pointed out that all publicity is good publicity, we shall see....
(Hat tip @deejackson and @joannejaccobs for heads up)
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