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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 htttp://blog.label.ch
Amongst the daily exchange, promotion, and web of connections woven into the fabric of the online movement of social media specialists, yesterday I read a post by Jason Falls, on his blog the Social Media Explorer. It extolled that the social media pragmatist would prevail over the social media purist.
It is one of the most sensible commentaries I have seen in this space cluttered by the usual virtuous publishings – listen first, stop shouting, transparency, need for spontaneity and speed of action , or the big question on how to measure Social Media ROI. Why does it standout as a poignant comment when all we hear is the importance of engaging in conversations and building relationships ( they still are of pivotal importance ) ? For me it’s the action associated to doing and making an impact on the bottom line that Jason is highlighting. You have take notice of the old direct to consumer or relationship adage – “Call to Action “ – what do you want your consumers to do now? ( it is an interactive environment after all ) Buy, learn more, fulfill a service or need, or be entertained?
As the digital shift continues to move marketing communications to more direct and dialogue driven channels companies should adopt a simple methodology in identifying what will work for them and their consumers. The dialogue idea is as unifying concept that aligns relationship or socially driven programs with other communications as a part of an integrated marketing approach. As more participatory channels for consumers are developed the need to establish consistent, non-campaign driven dialogue points becomes critical in the marketing mix. These are not just limited to the direct channels, as we know them; (CRM, DM, email, websites), but really extend across any personal contact that can be associated to the “ brand experience”; customer and consumer services, in store demonstrations, events etc.
A real world experience with a brand is only mirrored in the participatory platforms online and this mirroring reflects the sentiments it arouses in real world conversations. 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?
“An emerging network- centric platform to support distributed, collaborative and cumulative creation by its users.”
- John Hagel
Web 2.0 is such an amorphous terms that defies a hard definition. In the many years that have been talking about and working in in web development and interactive marketing I would often describe the evolution of the web as generational, heralding each leap in concept from media, content, browsers, systems and platforms as contributing generational stepping stones to where we are today. The hyperbolic change that occurred in the early internet years seemed to have generational change each successive year with competing technologies, media companies and battling it out for a controlling position. When the dot com bubble finally burt in 2001 there was a turning point in the web. The point where after a shakeout the ascendent technologies began to differentiate themselves from the raft of “frothy flotsam ” washed up in wake of the the crash. Perhaps the corporate agendas of owning or controlling the web , the antithesis of its organic and free form, had failed. What was apparent at this time was that new sites and technologies kept on revitalizing the digital space in an open and collaborative way.
While the boom was definitively over the web just kept evolving in open way and the transition to Web 2.0 was enabled by the emergence of platforms such as blogging, social networks, and free image and video uploading, that collectively allowed extremely easy content creation, access and sharing by anyone who had a computer and a connection. The barrier to entry of web publishing or content creation was over and the social voice of the digital consumer had begun its transformative ride over traditional media.
If you think Web 2.0 as simply social networking or just about the technical or geek jargon…. you really need to think again. Every aspect of Web 2.0 is driven by consumer participation, from content, its voice, browser development, technology platforms, and an ever evolving digital life. The most definitive trend and primary direction of Web 2.0 is for users to control the content they create, the data captured about their web activities and their identity and their willingness to participate and socialize collectively. The gradual opening or advances in digital standards have allowed for a common interfaces and integration across content and applications allowing a less constrained environment then had previously existed before. Decentralized in its architecture, participation, and usage, Web 2.0′s real power and flexibility emerges from distributing applications and content over many points rather than having them locked down on centralized or controlled systems. Its is truly becoming a plugin and play open environment for digital interplay between content and devices where the consumer experience of media or content mobility is quintessential.
What is very clear is that the Web 2.0 is not a trend or fad, it is not going way or will disappear, its here to stay. What is even more interesting is that the internet development chatter is about the next evolution , Web 3.0 or the semantic web, an intelligent web based on behavioural understanding of the consumers digital actions. What’s going to be interesting about Web 3.0 and will define just how far it can go will be the consumer privacy laws. There’s potentially an imminent consumer back lash looming in the near future concerning the use of known and personal data points surrounding behaviours.
There are a small number main characteristics that help define web 2. 0 In the marketers world there are a few we should be aware of as these have become part of the mainstream marketing language:
New Media Marketing: a term to describe the building and managing of social networks and online or virtual communities, and extend the reach of marketing to the low-frequency, low-intensity consumer in a cost effective way.
Buzz Marketing: The strategic use of word of mouth, the transmission of commercial information from person to person in an online or real-world environment.
Viral Marketing: The intentional spreading of marketing messages using social networks, with an emphasis of the casual, non-intentional and low cost.
Collective Intelligence or Collaborative Filtering : Essentially what this means is that “users” contributions greatly help build and make the foundation stronger and more popular by adding their content, such as links, comments, forum posts, reviews, rating others, an aggregation of the best work of thousands, then millions of web users (example: YouTube – more comments, more “thumbs-up” the more popularity), and any content contribution really. Without the end “user” the sites popularity goes down – if there is no interactivity for the end user, it’s not collective “anything.” So in short – the site grows organically in response to user activity.
Users Add Value: The architecture of your software development relies on “public” users to add their own data thus adding more value to your application. FireFox, Mozilla , Red Hat Linux WordPress ,(possibly the most used blogging software in the world ) grow in functionality through a network of contributing developers.
“Some” Rights Reserved: Expanding the range of creative works accessible for others to legally build upon and share. The Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to just that. The organization has released several copyright licenses known as Creative Commons licenses. These licenses, depending on the one selected, restrict only particular rights (or none) of the work instead of customary copyright, which is more restraining.
The constant Beta: Sites like, Frappr, CafePress, Flickr, FeedBurner…etc. rely on a services evolution or constant improvements and enhancements , New features are packaged up into massive releases, but instead added them on a regular basis as part of the normal user experience.
Rich User Experience: Web 2.0 applications are built of a network of cooperating data services.
When it comes to the driving Web 2.0 technologies we should also aware of:
Aggregation: Bringing multiple content sources together into one interface or application.
API : (Application Programming Interface) A defined interface to a computer application or database that allows access by other applications.
Embedding: Integrating content or an application into a web page, while the original format is maintained.
Folksonomy: Rich categorization of information that is collectively created by users, through tagging and other actions. (cf. taxonomy)
Mashups: Combination of different types of content or data, usually from different sources, to create something new.
Remixing: Extracting and combining samples of content to create a new output. The term was originally used in music but is now also applied to video and other content.
RSS : (Really Simple Syndication) A group of formats to publish (syndicate) content on the internet so that users or applications automatically receive any updates.
Ruby on Rails: An open source web application framework that is frequently used in Web 2.0 website development.
Tag cloud: A visual depiction of tags that have been used to describe a piece of content, with higher frequency tags emphasized to assist content comprehension and navigation.
Tagging: Attaching descriptions to information or content.
Virtual architecture :The creation of avatars (alternative representations of people), buildings, objects, and other artefacts inside virtual spaces.
Widget: Small, portable web application that can be embedded into any web page.
XML : (eXtensible Markup Language) An open standard for describing data, which enables easy exchange of information between applications and organizations.
Open web: The entire space of the World Wide Web open to anyone to access and participate. This has been the initial domain in which Web 2.0 technologies, applications, and attitudes have developed.
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
Copyright Bladedigital LLC, Bladedigital Ltd
Posted by John Horniblow on Dec 21, 2008 in General
Welcome The Daily Slice for an insight to the evolving world of Digital Marketing for the modern day marketer. While the discipline is new too many the foundations of digital marketing have been in practice and developing under many other names ( interactive/online/new media/ communications and marketing ) for the past 14 years as the world enters the early days of the Post Information age . The concept for digital marketing is that its not digital just for the sake of being digital but draws upon the analogue and real world challenges of consumer based marketing communications in the context of changing and evolving consumer behaviours. In the Post Information Age the face of the communications world truly is digital and the old or yesteryear idea of convergence media , while still in the flux of establishing a pure convergence , is a dawning reality .
The shift of media from the concrete world of atoms to bits marks this fundamental change. Today we can see the basic structures of entertainment, media, news and information have shifted dramatically : newsprint empires are in decline, the music industry’s formulaic old world business strategy upon which its meteoric post war rise has failed to evolve under the pressure of digital distribution and the consumer right of choice, the video game companies are touted to be the new Hollywood and new battleground for consumer electronics is the digital entertainment and information hub in the lounge room. The age of personalized information and entertainment choices is in its nascent years. The real world emulation of social communications online ( Social Media ) , is defining the power of consumer voice and possibly laying insight to behavioural trends in media consumption. Social Media Marketing is also emerging as one of the most important, if not the most important, source of information for the consumer.
I think there is a lot of credence given to the current line of thought that digital has changed the face of marketing forever. I do think its prudent to say that while consumer media consumption habits have changed and are evolving in this Post- Information Age , digital represents a personal and exploding number of contact points or new channels open to the marketer. The marketing challenge is nothing new : understanding how to reach the consumer with the what, when, where and how , in these channels.