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Last week Gartner released five predictions for social software for 2010 and beyond. What is interesting for me is that the fast moving, consumer driven, internet always finds itself leading the technology shifts that are ultimately or stubbornly embraced by IT departments for the remodeling of enterprise communications, information exchange, information publishing and distribution. Enterprise 2.0 while in its nascent days has had a steady stream of adoption inside a large number of companies. They have adopted certain collaborative and social technologies into or in addition to their existing intranets, team rooms etc. The emulation of the consumer web inside companies allows the speed and ease of information distribution and social communication and work collaboration inside enterprises to increase significantly . These can be enterprise to employee or employee to employee communications or working groups spread across many locations.
Gartner predicts that :
1. By 2014, social networking services will replace e-mail as the primary vehicle for interpersonal communications for 20 percent of business users.
“Greater availability of social networking services both inside and outside the firewall, coupled with changing demographics and work styles will lead 20 percent of users to make a social network the hub of their business communications. During the next several years, most companies will be building out internal social networks and/or allowing business use of personal social network accounts. Social networking will prove to be more effective than e-mail for certain business activities such as status updates and expertise location.”
written for http://blog.label.ch
The rise of the importance of the Facebook fan page has become an integral part of companies social media campaigns or presence. Its not hard to understand why. Facebook is the web’s most popular destination after Google ( it is number 1 in Indonesia, Philippines , Malaysia and Singapore ) where the average user spends in the order of 33 minutes per day and its registered user numbers are upwards of 350 million. As the use or entry to a brand’s website are in decline due to a shift in how consumers use the web this days it makes common sense to to add Facebook into the online marketing mix. With number of brand, star, cause or business fans ranging close to 5.3 billion , that means News Feeds to user’s pages are carrying a range of brand content and updates.
Last November “The Big Money” part of Slate Magazine, ranked 50 brands that they see as making the best use of Facebook. The ranking is based on factors like number of fans, page growth, frequency of updates, creativity and fan engagement, not just numbers of fans. According to “The Big Money” Coca-Cola is ranked as the brand that makes best use of the social network thanks to its “organic fan-centric page without a corporate feel” and some extremely good apps the currently coin the phrase “Share Happiness” in a campaign to boost the diffusion , awareness and contact with the brand in social media.
When it comes to using Facebook as the primary point or integrated into the marketing channels, some brand are beginning to find there feet by working with the endemic functions of the service. Lots of brands have also begun an integrated approach to engaging with their consumers to build buzz, distribution and awareness of their campaigns either through or surrounding Facebook. The reality is that Facebook has become the perfect supplement to any website and online marketing efforts and in some cases become a pivotal or primary focus. While not all efforts are excellent here are some that we think are working extremely well.
IKEA’s Facebook Propagation Planning Campaign has used the concept of tagging in an online competition to support the opening of a new store. Some call it a genius use of one of Facebook’s inherent functions. While some of the best campaign strategies in Facebook are simple, and nothing should be simpler than using the default “tagging” tool on Facebook to help create a bit of buzz for an online competition. Users were drawn to the new Facebook profile page of the store manager, who’d uploaded pictures of his new showrooms in a store Ikea was due to open.
“People were told that the first to tag their name on any item, would win it. With the way tagging works on Facebook, the moment you tagged anything, everyone in your network instantly knew what was up for grabs! Subsequently, thousands and thousands of people were flooding the Facebook page in search of freebies!”
The concept of digital or online engagement has always been an integral part of the interactive vernacular from its very nascent days . In the early days at the run of the last century the people in the interactive business coined the phrase “stickiness” as a way describing a site or service where a consumer ( or the sites audience) would spend more time , continually revisit a site, play with more things , discover new features or actively converse with their friends. The social communications technologies were all well alive in the early adopter phase , bulletin boards, chat room , and IM. In the heady dotcom days the concept of developing media properties was all about stickiness. How else could you realistically place a value on your property and it potential for media placement if its audience didn’t return to site , stay longer , use its features , play games, watch or listen to media and go deeper than the 1st page ?
The real opener for Engagement or the liberator, so too speak, has been the uptake in the broadband connection at home , rather than having it relegated to the work place . The “always on” connection at home changed the descriptive concept of Stickiness to Engagement. The simple fact that there was a general mass market adoption of high speed internet predicated a change in the vernacular as the real marketing potential of the medium opened up. The availability of more connected , richer experience from the consumption of media ( video, audio , and animations ) and a greater depth in connectivity to services( e-commerce, search) and information opened up the medium and metaphoric description of Stickiness had to evolve to more active verb of Engagement.
The Age of the True Consumer’s Voice and Consumer Generated Content
Engagement never remains static( not that stickiness did either). The recent mass market adoption of social communication technologies, as in the last 3- 4 years, has led to today when we talk about the social media revolution, and Engagement has taken on a new face . Todays social media technologies are facilitators of conversations and dialogues not just confined to one site or group but open to any and everybody, almost anywhere, instantly. Everybody has a voice, a digital persona, a digital footprint and a devise for communicating digitally. It is the age of the “True Consumer’s Voice” . Digital Engagement is now the social communications evolution , encompassing social media, digital media and interactive services. Its not surprising that the UK government recently advertised to appoint a Director of Digital Engagement to help direct its efforts in “overseeing a move to engage more with citizens through social media and other digital technology.”
So how do we measure Engagement ? The debate is relatively new . In Eric T Peterson’s , web analytics demystified , he describes Engagement as ”an estimate of the degree and depth of visitor interaction on the site against a clearly defined set of goals.” I think there’s room to expand upon this. Webanalytics is one sided and there are two sides to the equation.
To me a website is essentially a closed environment , although blogs and RSS has opened up content distribution. The measurement of the closed environment is Quantitative and measurable, which is the web analytics view point; the end to which we can determine the quality of a website visit . The engagement metric comes down to , the depth to which a consumer will go into your site and propensity to interact with or view “critical content” , their ” length of visit”, whether or not they come back e.g. ” frequency of return visit”.
If we were to add the consumer’s perspective and become more subjective in the classical marketer’s view, using the analogy of the “path to purchase”, we could add the propensity to which a consumer would recommend or talk about the site, its content or its services to a friend using something like the net promoters score. ( you can’t find that in the web analytics) . This, when coupled with the web analytics , gives a good view of a loyalty or advocacy co-efficient for the site.
In the Open Web or social media context its about all about Consumer Generated Media ( CGM ) and there’s another dimension which is purely Qualitative. Its the understanding of the voice and tonality of Engagement or behaviourial responses a consumer has . You can measure and analyse Buzz, Tonality and Sentiment, with the real appreciation of the true consumer’s voice. When you add your closed systems reporting , e.g. the web analytics to your Open or social measurement of consumer’s voice then you really see the whole picture.
There are “No Rules” anymore when it comes to the music industry and how band or musical acts market themselves in the digital age. To underscore the changing ways of doing business and the ability of an act taking control of its music and image outside of the “record deal” - traditionally label based system, Groove Armada’s deal with Barcardi Rum is unprecedented. Its a pure play “Branded Content” deal. The UK based , world renowned DJ and dance music act Groove Armada, has signed an exclusive one year recording, DJing and promotional deal with Barcardi. And it has the music industry pundits questioning whether its a ”Sell Out” or another wake call in the ever evolving era of media portability and its impact on all traditional entertainment media.
In the 21st Century music scene, with music sales down and the internet transferring power to the artists, their options are wide open. In what could be called a symbiotic exchange or promotional deal, Groove Armada gets to be promoted and play to new audiences worldwide under the marketing flagship of Barcardi. It is what could be called a branded content viral or social marketing deal too. Bacardi is the facilitator of content or music sharing, is associated to a “hip act ” and right in touch with core audience and their media and social habits. A four-track EP – the only music to be released under the contract - was launched by Tom and Andy Cato at the Midem international music convention in Cannes yesterday.
The Branded Content – Social marketing deal
The EP will be delivered through an innovative sharing mechanic called Bacardi B-LIVE Share; a pioneering online application encouraging and rewarding consumers who share Groove Armada’s music from the EP with their own online communities. Andy Cato says of the model - “Sharing music has always gone on. It’s giving music away that’s the problem. We wanted to come up with a 21st century version of what we used to do with cassette tapes. When you give music away for free it’s disposable. When you share it, it’s done with love.”
The first track has just been released as a free download for free from http://www.bliveshare.com , Baracardi’s brand spanking new music / promotional sharing platform.
In what is surely an experiment in Social Media and Viral marketing , to get the other three tunes, fans must share the first with their friends, who share it with their friends, who share it with their friends.
To get the second track, the fans and their network of friends must spread the first 20 times through the website. To get the third, the network must share it 200 times. And for the fourth, the first MP3 must be shared 2,000 times in total. The originator or ancestor being able track their spread of music through their social network with a window of six weeks to spread it, after which time all four songs will go on sale through normal digital stores.
The site includes social sharing applications with Facebook , MySpace , blogs , websites , and a call to social email campaigning.
In the world of “Digital Dialogue” Email is possibly one of the most accessible forms of media and communication for consumers and as such should be considered as a pivotal media channel. In todays marketing world where the pundits description of a consumers exposure to media is “fragmented “, it is best to consider Email as a marketing imperative not a “nice to have” or a one off throw away campaign . Email impactsbrand relationships and loyalty and should be considered as a integral personalized communication channel in any marketing mix.
Its use or misuse can also effect a brand’s image or the trust a consumer can have in a brand. In a time where we consider the consumer in control of their media consumption, via a myriad of choices, Email, in the consumers mind has become the most convenient and controllable channel available. In the digital world where consumers are taking charge, Email is a tangible, flexible media they can control. Take it. Leave it. Delete it. Opt in, Opt out. Respond to it. Pass it on: Think about it , who do you know that hasn’t received an email that contains a witty piece of humour, movie, picture, or link passed on from a trusted colleague or friend who knows them well?
And when it comes to looking at consumers and consumer trends surrounding Email marketing the question of whether you want a Digital Dialogue channel with your consumer base it becomes a no brainer.
Consumer have the power to choice withan Emaile.g. do Iwant to receive , open,save , delete or act on an email
90% of consumers will use email to engage in and determine the value of a relationship with a company -JupiterResearch
Consumers ranked email ahead of traditional media like newspapers, magazines and radio as a good way to learn about new products - American Marketing Association, Mplanet
•68% of consumers said they were prompted to browse a Web site after receiving an email from a retailer -RightNow Technologies & Harris Interactive
25% of US internet users share content via Email (word-of-mouth) on a daily basis; 63% share on a weekly basis - eMarketer, Email and Word-of-Mouth
Here are some other facts to mull upon:
50 million people per daycheck email 5 times per day
Email drives 80% on retail sales
Email is an everyday activity for most us
94 % of companies use email
Marketers worldwide are sending 5.2 millionpromotional Emails per month
On average email users receive 41 messages per day – 34% receive 31 or more messages per day
45% of Email users say they are interested in receiving email about products and services
53% say they unsubscribe when the Emails are irrelevant
Source: Jupiter Research LLC 05.2007
Email is a Highly Effective Branding Tool
As advertisers ask for accountability, more agencies are launching email disciplines
In 2007 email marketing generated $21.9 Billion in sales**
Posted by John Horniblow on Jan 6, 2009 in General
The many faces of Digital Marketing
Is it a website, a media campaign, a banner ad or pay per click?, rich media ? Is it an email campaign, mobile campaign or maybe a microsite, SMS or Intelligent Voice Messaging (IVM)? consumer generated content ?
What about blogs, Twitter, Social Media Networks , Bebo, Hi-5, Linked-in, e-acadamy and Facebook, or Web2.0 dynamic, distributive content-driven websites. Does it include optimized keyword searches (SEO), SEM SSM, Digital PR or buzz? Is it e commerce , widgets, or mobile location-based marketing?
Digital marketing is all of the above – born out of the information age at the end of the 20th century it’s simply marketing in the digital age. Consumers’ lives have becoming increasingly connected. Convergence and “always on” connectivity is becoming increasingly mainstream, and new important channels of communication and opportunities are opening to marketers.
Social Media Marketing is emerging as one of the most important, if not the most important, source of information for the consumer but also for the marketer in listening too, responding and measuring consumer sentiments.
Marketers have now gained the ability to enhance, empower, interact, converse and otherwise live within ever deeper segments of consumers’ lives, well beyond the reach of traditional media. In the 21st century, the database is the marketplace and the way in which a consumer interacts or engages with a brand and vice versa may well be a new form of marketing . And one thing is clear – data is and will be at the centre of it all.
Digital marketing is not digital for the sake of digital but an application of established marketing practices re-thought or re engineered in the digital world. It is all about permissioned based , persuasive and at times pervasive consumer engagement.
Bladedigital is a strategic digital communications , digital marketing and development company, trading under Bladedigital LLC and Bladedigital Ltd and has been operating since 2001. Bladedigital works across territories in Australia, USA, Europe and North Africa providing strategic consultancy and digital service to companies, NGO’s and government agencies. Bladedigital has provided consultancies and services to Nissan Global Interactive Marketing, Nike Digital, Qantas’ NA CRM program, The Museum of Contemporary Art;San Diego, The Phoenix Art Museum, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, The Geffen Playhouse, Activision, Nestle, US Mission to UN, Nestle Maghreb, P&G, Institute of Media and Global Governance , and Richemont amongst others.
Bladedigital , DBA Bladepictures is the developer and publisher of Photojournale : Photo documentary stories from around the world
The Daily Slice
Digital Marketing? Convergence and Convergence Culture? Transmedia
This blog seeks to inform on ideas , trends and best practices but it also seeks to provide a contextual framework for digital convergence , the behaviours , trends in consumer uptake of technology and their effect on communications and marketing.
So what is Digital Marketing?
Is it a website, a media campaign, a banner ad or pay per click?, rich media ? Is it an email campaign, mobile campaign or maybe a microsite, SMS or Intelligent Voice Messaging (IVM)? consumer generated content ? What about blogs, Twitter, Social Media Networks such as Bebo, Linked-in, e-acadamy, myspace and Facebook, or Web2.0 dynamic, distributive content-driven websites. Does it include optimized keyword searches (SEO), SEM , SSM , Digital PR or tacking buzz ? Is it e commerce, widgets, or mobile location-based marketing?
Digital marketing is all of the above – born out of the information age at the end of the 20th century it’s simply marketing in the digital age; a hyper connected world where technology provides no barriers for entry for instant communication, publishing and expression of ideas and needs and platforms whereby brands can interact in the daily lives of their consumers. Consumers have become increasingly connected, as convergence and “always on” connectivity become increasingly mainstream and part of daily life , new important channels of communication are opening to marketers.
Communicators and Marketers have now gained the ability to enhance, empower, interact, converse and otherwise live within ever deeper segments of consumers’ lives. These are relationships that the go far beyond the reach of traditional media, the age of take it , ignore it or leave it marketing.
In the 21st century, the relationship database, the social eco system in which a consumer navigates and the inherent behaviours of convergence culture are the marketplace. The key to deeper consumer engagement and understanding lies in the sophisticated use of key consumer data points and intelligent use of these data points.
Digital marketing is not digital for the sake of digital but an application of established marketing practices re-thought or re engineered in the digital world. Then applied as performance based marketing , real time marketing and these day in the social relationship. It is all about permissioned based, personalized, persuasive and at times pervasive consumer engagement.
This blog is published and maintained by John Horniblow AKA BladeDigital ™ : On the Cutting Edge
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