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The INFLUENCERS movie has arrived ! – INFLUENCERS is a short documentary that explores what it means to be an influencer and “how trends & creativity become contagious” today in music and fashion, or for that matter in other industries too. In its own words “The film attempts to understand the essence of influence, what makes a person influential without taking a statistical or metric approach.”
What I find very interesting is the commentary surrounding the film and few salient points mentioned in the film. Lets start with some of the commentary. Film maker Ryan Fitzgerald poignantly writes “A very interesting film. If you read the fine print “by R+I Creative” you may realize that this is a clever advertisement for the creative agency itself. As a filmmaker I understand that media is the ultimate manipulation tool, and by making a film about what an “Influencer” is you are essentially creating yourself as the authority on how to influence people. According to this film, things that are “cool” are eventually things that spread to the mainstream. Which is how creative agencies make money; by bringing “cool” to the masses.”
The other and more pertinent fact is that is that the film about our times and how trends, trendsetters are tapped into but what’s also clever is the buzz and the very special social elements which are part and parcel of the film convergence media model. Its shareable, its available across multiple access points and on other devices ( ipad, smart phones, facebook, twitter, blogs ) people can comment on it. Over and above the veneer of New York hip and cool at the 12 and quarter minute mark as the film comes to its riveting conclusion Rob Cohen of Cornerstone starts to talk about social media effect of influence and the many touchpoints social technologies have opened and will continue to open. This leads to the one very final and relevant piece of interview with fashion editor Josh Peskowitz, where he underscores that the importance of the consumer is paramount and that they are influencing the establishment .. “who knows where that will lead, no of us do…. we got to wait and see”.
So while the film is the latest or newest thing on the social block, back in 2009 the concept or the use of the word “Influencers” began to the rear its head as a trend in the social media vernacular. In May 2009 I wrote another blog post titled Understanding the Influence Landscape and 2009 the Year of Influence based on the commentary by Ross Dawson (Trends in Living Networks). Its was no accident that this time old marketing concept had come back to the fore. This time it was not dressed up as the media attractive celebrity and brand ambassador and the concept or relational or relationship marketing, it was based on the social influence, a confluence of aggregators, networks , and mechanisms which, was best summed up as:
* The democratization of media, which gives everyone a channel to propagate theirs or others’ opinions.
* Peer trust, which places far greater faith in individuals than corporate advertising and marketing.
* The ongoing fragmentation of mass media, which takes away the power of traditional marketing channels.
* The aggregation of social media, which gives a far stronger voice to the many individual conversations.
I think these still prevail today as elements of convergence culture and Ross’ work cleverly put together the following diagram on the Influence Landscape which while only a beta v 1 still stands the test of hyperspeed in today’s networked world. Its 18 months old and was released almost at the same time as Twitter’s rise to accepted popularity and verging acceptance as mainstream media.
SM@RT , the social media roundtable conceived and put together by John Horniblow, digital convergence and marketing 2.0 expert, while working at LABEL in Geneva recently hosted its fourth event in partnership with the US Mission to UN. Among the guests were a great number of Geneva-based international organizations’ representatives, some members of the Geneva Press corps as well as several participants from the Swiss based watch and food industries , P&G, and HP. The days preceding started with Dr Matthew Mc Dougall, CEO of Sinotech, who explained to SM@RT’s participants the status and uptake of social media and avenues for digital marketing and ecommerce in China.
craig duncan UNISDR
The afternoon was deeply imprinted by the humanitarian touch with a talk about the use of social media for humanitarian purposes with the intervention of UNISDR (United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction) Craig Duncan and UNHCR Alexandra Eurdolian, and the introduction to two humanitarian projects, one in Iraq, the other in Afghanistan. With one foot in Iraq, the Tiziano Project aims at providing “community members in conflict, post-conflict and underreported regions with the equipement, training and affiliations necessary to report their stories and improve their lives. The World I See | The Tiziano Project from Grant Slater on Vimeo. Jon Vidar, executive director of the Tiziano Project, made a live intervention from Chicago to introduce the Tiziano Project | 360° Kurdistan, which promotes « the journalistic efforts and personal accounts of Iraqi citizens living in the Kurdish north alongside the stories of their professional multimedia journalism mentors. The goal of this initiative is to enable the rest of the world to better understand and apprehend more completely the life, culture and news in present-day’s Iraki Kurdistan. This Is Iraq | The Tiziano Project from Grant Slater on Vimeo. SM@RT’s participants were deeply interested and impressed by the quality of the reports and the originality of the project. Some were then overwhelmed by the presentation of Skateistan by Oliver Percovich, the exsecutive director of this Afghanistan-based organization. Skateistan is a non-governmental organization, which aims at bringing young Afghans, boys and girls, from all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, new opportunities in cross-cultural interaction, education and personal empowerment through skateboard. Skateistan connects students with instructors who will help them develop their skills not only in skateboarding but also in languages, arts, information technology, civic responsibility, etc. Students choose for themselves what they wish to learn.
The project attracted a lot of sympathy and a dozen schools and skateboard associations around the world (Australia, Germany, United States, UAE, Peru, UK and Switzerland) became partners. Finally SM@RT concluded with an animated discussion between the participants and Chris Hoofnagle, from the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology at UC Berkeley, on privacy in a networked world.
This blog is published and maintained by John Horniblow AKA BladeDigital ™ : On the Cutting Edge
When in logged into my Gmail a few nights ago I got a screen that introduced me to Google’s Buzz. At a first glance I skipped over it not wanting to go to deep into a distracting setup that stopped me from doing what I had originally set out to do : check my email . In hindsight I am left questioning whether Google’s BUZZ has any buzz? Buzz will probably have impact on the digital marketing world overtime but its not that apparent at the moment. However, we should take notice of this change. Buzz is a service that aims to compete in the social networking space not unlike the services of Bebo, Orkut ( owned by Google) Facebook, Twitter to take on the likes of Facebook and Twitter, across devices like the PC and mobile phone.
What Buzz is attempting to do is add the social networking features in the burgeoning number of Google’s services, over the top of the existing number of contacts a person has in their Gmail accounts. It has 97million users at its disposal to do this but it does pale in consideration of Facebook’s 400 million users, Myspace’s 130 million user and Friendster’s 115 million users. Google’s published rationale for Buzz is to work a more centralised and sorted approach to social services, sorting out the noise and organising information into a a relevant experience for users. On its blog it says ” With more and more communication happening online, the social web has exploded as the primary way to share interesting stuff, tell the world what you’re up to in real-time and stay more connected to more people. In today’s world of status messages, tweets and update streams, it’s increasingly tough to sort through it all, much less engage in meaningful conversations. “
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!”
Written for and reposted from http://blog.label.ch
One of the more interesting pieces of news I read in the last week was that the Paris-based holding company Publicis Groupe said it has acquired Pour Tout Vous Dire, the French customer relationship management program of a key client, Unilever. While the exact figures have not been disclosed Publicis has obviously seen this as buying a solid media entity that you can build upon. In its original form the CRM program was a direct to consumer magazine that has since morphed into a lifestyle portal online with over 5 million subscribers. Read more…
Digital Marketing is all about the consumer experience with , accompanied by, and within a brand virtually. From the physical dimension of a brand to its mental associations, its brand equity, or brand essence , down to very granular services or information surrounding its place in a consumer’s life, all can and should be experienced digitally.
One way of considering the full digital marketing mix is to look at as a digital ecosystem. As in any successful ecosystem, all the elements and their inter- relationships support and keep the ecosystem alive, adapting and thriving. And across the digital marketing mix there is a problem if these all remain in silos. The traditional marketing pillars of awareness, acquisition and consumer retention should be applied across all types of digital interactive services or content in that ecosystem as active environmental roles that support the ecosystem. More importantly, they must all be considered as digital consumer touch points, each with an active role to play. In a cohesive or holistic sense these traditional marketing pillars should applied against very activity in standalone website or across a full digital ecosystem ( sites, services, distributed content, social networks, digital media/advertising, email marketing and CRM ) and should always be considered. Conversely , these digital touch points should be supported by other non digital channels ( POS, above and below the line media , on pack) ; a virtual environment needs to exist with a physical counterpart.
While some of the activities, content, or interactive services you have on a site may seem obvious its always good to justify there existence against what your aims or goal are in the marketing mix. No one element is exclusive , all are interdependent just as they would be in the normal sales funnel, and what’s interesting about this is that you can seek to balance activities against the goals and make decisions of what interactive pieces you might consider for the traditional marketing pillars of awareness, acquisition and consumer retention.
What’s interesting today in the more social interactive world is that in the consumers journey along the traditional sale funnel seems to be either accelerated or they can identified anywhere in the funnel a lot quicker. The activities surrounding your he traditional marketing pillars of awareness, acquisition and consumer retention seem blurred. Lets take, for example, Bacardi . In its recent digital campaign to further its association with a night clubbing and dance club lifestyle worldwide, it chooses to be a trusted facilitator in an aspect of that lifestyle, by providing the service of a digital music sharing platfrom . It uses social media by offering aspiration based rewards of free limited edition, 1st to hear, music tracks to those consumers (its digital advocates) that act as a word of mouth spokes-peoples for the brand’s service by being the source of introduction of the Barcardi music sharing platform to their friends and rewards them accordingly. One could say that its the digital equivalent to brands giving away a utility that is associated with or inherent in products consumption. Like a coffee brand giving a branded cup or spoon or something inherently needed with the process drinking coffee. But in the case of Bacardi its wrapped up in a social relationship reward program that only digital can provide at relatively low cost and be highly. What is does is either accelerate the potential for identifying advocates or it even makes a brand advocate out of a consumer who may not necessarily consume the brand or be an MVC. This is not bad thing, who wants to stop a consumer talking about your brand in a positive way whether or not they consumer your brand?
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.
John Horniblow - Digital Marketing expert and Digital Innovator
John is a passionate and highly respected digital communications and marketing professional who has worked with some of the world’s leading and most respected companies and brands including Toyota , Nestle, Nike, Apple, Microsoft, News Corporation and Activision.
Early in his career John trained as a cinematographer and has shot, directed and produced award winning short, television documentary and industrial/training films working with broadcasters such as BBC, SBS, and ABC . His work has been screened at International film festivals and on network television.
In Digital development John first worked as a producer on the launch of the MSN network in Australia (Microsoft -PBL venture; NineMSN) working on the transformation of traditional news , current affairs , and editorial properties into the online world . He spent time working at News Corporation in the founding days of News Interactive. John then joined Spike Networks to become the Director of Interactive Services in the interactive agency that was formerly Asia/Pacific’s largest and most successful . He ran the companies most prominent accounts for Toyota, Lexus, Nissan, Commonwealth Bank, and Southcorp Wines and and produced and managed the strategy and development of a number of Fortune 100 company websites across a number of industries. His work has garnered awards at: London International Advertising Awards 1999 for TV and cinema commercials, radio and print advertising, and interactive media, The International Designers Network (IDN) Design Award 1999 in the Web/Entertainment category, and the 1999 Best Advertising/Marketing Site category in the Australian Interactive Multimedia Association Awards.
In 1999 he was also part of the team that took Spike to an IPO on the Australian Stock Exchange and opened overseas offices in Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. He moved to Los Angeles , USA to be the Director of Production and Content Development for SpikeRadio, the worlds first 24/7 online radio station network in the early days of audio and video streaming , pioneering production processes in remote media broadcasting across the internet and converging interactive editorial with rich media streams. He forged partnerships with Apples’ QuickTime TV network( the pre cursor to Itunes ) as a top tier content producer and broadcaster, Microsoft’s Windows Media as a broadband developer . In his tenure at SpikeRadio he produced Nike’s Olympic 2000 online media project, Radio Free Sydney, (Winner – Communication Arts’ Interactive Design Annual 2000 – Best in Interactive Design.) including producing series of short video web-episodes “Desperate seeking Brandy” and featuring US woman’s soccer star Brandi Chastain shot against the backdrop of Sydney’s Olympic Games . This alongside the bold and evolutionary BWM films is recognized as one of the web’s first branded entertainment series online.
In 2001 during the Dotcom downturn he started BLADEdigital, a strategic interactive and online production consultancy advising to Nissan Global Interactive Marketing, Nike Digital, Qantas’ North American CRM program, The Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, The Phoenix Art Museum and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
He then moved onto leading Activision’s interactive marketing efforts across all consumer facing digital channels . He led some of the earliest forays into social media marketing on mySpace and Facebook , developed a number of company firsts in driving web 2.0 fan based communities as a cornerstone to deep CRM and online marketing activities , developed a behaviour and sterotype mapping CRM platform to clearly define precision driven consumer segmentation and re designed/repositioned the Activision’s corporate and brand websites around broadband video and deep engagement activities.
Convergence Culture, Digital communications and marketing strategy and development, Emerging platforms and rich media, Interactive marketing strategies, Online CRM and loyalty based programs, Technology and Design consulting, Digital Branded Content and Entertainment – editorial, film and video production.
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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