Today, I witnessed The Art of Marketing. Through a day of lectures from incredibly smart marketers, I was handed threads of ideas, insights, and a handful of aha! moments that not only inspired, but gave me confidence that the beliefs and values that I hold as a marketer are on the right track. Oh, and I also met Seth Godin, one of my heroes. So all in all, it was a pretty killer day. Being the huge nerd that I am, I couldn't wait to get home to reflect on what had transpired.
What is the Groundswell?
In order to understand how to energize a brand community, you first need to understand the phenomenon known as the Groundswell.
"A social trend in which people use technology to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations”
Essentially, the Groundswell represents how people are leveraging new technologies in order to communicate and collaborate. Rather than relying on corporate messaging, consumers are turning to blogs and reviews to make their purchase decisions.
Rather than sitting idly by as the Groundswell impacts your brand (whether you like it or not), managers can leverage the phenomenon in order to energize their communities and drive sales.
Fans of NBC's singing competition The Voice were put in the driver's seat this past week, being offered the opportunity to save their favourite star from elimination by tweeting with the hashtag #VoiceSave.
Voting via Twitter, you can prevent one of the bottom three singers from going home. Here’s how it works: During the live broadcast, host Carson Daly will give a signal for viewers to start casting their votes. For five minutes only, you can save your artists by tweeting their official keyword (which is their first name) with hashtag #VoiceSave
Leveraging the synergies of paid & earned media
This is an excellent example of how a TV show is adapting to the digital era and is finding creative ways to amplify their owned media by pairing it with earned media. During the the 5 minute voting period, twitter feeds were inundated with #VoiceSave tweets as viewers battled it out for the save. This meant incremental impressions without any extra money spent. Even better, blogs and articles are writing post after post about what went down, further amplifying the message. It looks like #VoiceSave was a fantastic way to leverage the synergies of owned & earned media.
Increasing viewer engagement
Yes, it's true that many shows have started to incorporate a live Twitter feed running in the background throughout the broadcast, but it wasn't until now that it was used in a way that put the power in the hands of the viewer. Handing over this power allowed for much stronger engagement. It's exciting to see a static medium like TV adapting to become more dynamic and interactive as a marketing tool by leveraging tools like Twitter.
Managing regional differences
The only pitfall with this campaign was that, given the live nature of the save, it wasn't able to engage viewers from all time zones. Though understandable as a constraint, there has been a fair amount of frustration voiced by PST viewers who had to forego participating or risk encountering spoilers by following along on Twitter in order to vote at the correct time.
Paving the way for the future of earned media
Overall, The Voice pushed the boundaries of traditional media and found a creative way the leverage the synergies of owned & earned media. Paired with the ability to increase engagement, I'd say this was a well played move that could pave the way for the future of earned media.
What do you think? Could this change the course of earned media marketing, or is this just another Twitter gimmick?
Throughout November, I have been hit with this advertisement over and over again. The video seen above is from last year, but this year's campaign has only been slightly altered, offering a trip across Canada to the winner, rather than a laptop.
The issue with this campaign is that it provides the wrong incentives as a call to action. When it comes to something as sensitive as Remembrance Day, campaigns should be centered on educating the public as to why it is important for them to remember. Encouraging them to tweet how they remember with a hashtag, #showyouremember, simply encourages a quick action that requires little thought or any changes in attitudes or behaviours.
Bitcoin has been taking the world by storm, popping up time and time again in the news. And though it's been on our radars so far as something financiers and even the police force should be concerned about (see "Silk Road Shutdown"), not as much has been said about how small businesses and marketers can leverage the trend.
WHAT'S GOING ON WITH OUR PRIVACY?
Privacy is a big deal. And in a world where we're increasingly handing over our personal information to large tech companies, it's becoming an even bigger deal.
Most recently, both Google and Facebook have made significant changes to how they handle your privacy and it's had users up in arms. From Facebook's new Graph Search that allows you to narrow in on someone as defined as a "Mother of Jews who like Bacon", to the recent removal of the privacy feature that allows you to hide your timeline from searches, we're becoming more searchable and less capable of protecting our data. I'm still grappling with how to handle the fact that a privacy setting I've had in place for 6 years will now be gone, thanks to the friendly notification seen below.
As I've shared before, people are leaving Facebook en masse due to privacy fears. It's understandable that they questions how their data is being used and fear the ever-changing privacy clauses in their terms and agreements. These are legitimate consumer concerns that companies like Facebook and Google need to consider.
WHAT IS A MARKETER TO DO?
We've seen so many negative campaigns around privacy concerns and the "creepiness" of companies having access to our data. But what about the incredibly powerful functionality of being able to use this data?
Companies can fight back by showing consumers how aggregating their data or even photographing their homes for Google Maps, can provide them with value. Google has already caught on, creating this heartwarming advertisement about a man who found his long-lost family by exploring his home town via Google Maps.
On top of all this, there has been many a news story about families reunited through Facebook. Take for instance, this Texan woman who used Facebook to find her son who she gave up for adoption 22 years ago. As a marketer at Facebook, I would jump on these news stories as opportunities to tell a positive brand story about leveraging the data users provide. Remember that pesky privacy change that forces your timeline to show show up in a search? Perhaps Facebook could leverage a story based on a family that was reunited by a simple timeline search, and build a brand story around how they may never have met without that capability.
The point isn't that these companies should exploit there users, but amidst the privacy war that they must wage against, they can be smart about how they leverage positive stories about the power of their data and network capabilities.
WHAT'S YOUR TAKE?
Do you think the benefits of powerful technology can outweigh the privacy concern? Do you think companies can come out the better man by showcasing their brand strengths?
Feel free to share your thoughts or own examples in the comments.
The great thing about building a website that drives high traffic is that it offers opportunities to earn revenue in a variety of ways. And though it's exciting to jump on the monetization train right away (who hasn't been lured by the promise of advertising revenue?), it's important to first evaluate both the opportunities and the risks inherent in each approach to ensure the greatest success.
In this article, I'd like to walk you through a few typical monetization approaches, how they can earn you money, and what you should watch out for as precautions. Let's get started.
Digital marketing has opened new doors, allowing creative marketers to decrease their paid media spend through effective earned media. What’s one of the most exciting tools available to them? The viral video. Effective branded viral videos are a blend of both science and art, and allow consumers to engage with the brand in new ways. But what makes a video “viral-worthy” anyways, and how can your brand tip the odds better in your favour?
When you think sexy, digital marketing, you're typically drawn to extremely creative campaigns like Samsung's Virtual Line for the release of the new Samsung Galaxy S4. That being said, it's not always the sexy that's effective.
A powerful search marketing approach can benefit your company and help grow the business. Paid search is one way of drawing consumer's into your website through the use of products like Google AdWords, but you've also got the option of Organic SEO that is a more cost-effective approach to driving traffic to your website.
The term crowdsourcing, first introduced in Howe and Robinson’s 2006 Wired Magazine article, is a relatively new term that refers to the process of outsourcing the activities of a firm to an online community or crowd in the form of an “open call.” More specifically, Howe said that “crowdsourcing is the process by which the power of the many can be leveraged to accomplish feats that were once the province of a specialized few.” Though crowdsourcing has existed in some form for a long time, it is only recently with the tools & technologies available to 21st Century marketers that we've seen a surge in crowdsourcing campaigns.
I'd like to walk through three different forms of crowdsourcing, along with examples of how each are being used in the marketplace. The three forms are: Crowdfunding, Crowd Marketing, and Crowdsourced New Product Development.