Archive for the ‘blogs’ Category

Big seed marketing (1)

January 8, 2009

Beyond the buzz, beyond the fact that the marketing rules may have changed, every communication plan has 3 variables:
The Reach: How many people will receive your message?
The “persuasion rate”: How many people will consider your message to be relevant to them?
The reproduction rate: How many people will be willing to forward your message?

The so-called Marketing 2.0 tells that you have to maximize the reproduction rate and use hypersegmentation to raise your relevance (persuasion rate)… I believe that marketing 3.0 will re-integrate reach to get the best out of the marketing equation.

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Back from Dubai

January 5, 2009

Mid december, I had the chance to be in Dubai for the new media event organized by IIR Middle East. I spoke about big seed marketing. I realize that my presentation was perhaps too technical and maybe a little boring 😉

Nevertheless, I’m pretty sure that the message is the right one and this will be my blogging topic of the coming weeks.

In the meantime, you can have a look at the powerpoint

David Armano and me: A long story

September 15, 2008

If I had to rank the bloggers on the quality of their content, Peter Kim and David Armano would be on top of my list.

About Armano, look at this funny technorati bug:

14137 days ago, I was 4 weeks away from being born. Time flies…

Facebook facts

September 3, 2008

Kudos to Matt Dickman who released a free ebook with essential data about Facebook.

The first part of the 24 pages ebook covers the stats (reach and socio-demo) of Facebook and the second part explains the marketing possibilities. What I really like about Matt’s work is that he’s only presenting facts.

Here is the link where you’ll find 2 versions (high and low def) of Matt’s ebook. Enjoy!

Social Media elevator speech

August 31, 2008

I’m back from 2 great weeks in Turkey.

In my mail, there is a request from Kosta, the organizer of the new media event in Dubai, asking the speakers to produce a 2 minutes video about social media. Usually, I give speeches between 20 minutes and 2 hours (for workshops)… but I never had to make an “elevator speech” about social media.

So, since yesterday I wonder how I could summarize my belief about social media and (new) marketing in 2 minutes?

It could be something like this:

Social media is one of the ways the (advanced) internet population chose to engage with the possibilities offered by today’s technologies. In the social media era, every contributor is a media with more or less audience. Many people try to define social media but most definitions remain too vague (and could even be applied to very old technologies like forums or chat rooms).

Social media is over and under-rated at the same time.

Social Media is overrated because reach still matters for brands and social media isn’t the best way to achieve reach; Because nobody found the magic formula of virality yet; Because social media isn’t a massive collective force but a variety of more or less small tribes. Even if there are links between all the entities of social media, they are hard to identify and to activate; Because it’s difficult to measure its return; Because collective intelligence is sometimes collective dumbness (cf starwars kid); Because the head is more consistent than the tail; Because it has a scalability problem; Because most of the social media users have no (net)working class consciousness.

Social Media is underrated because social media changes the way we expect to use (any kind of) media; Because it’s an incredible accelerator; Because you can achieve great results with low budgets; Because every study show that word of mouth is by far the biggest sales driver; Because it’s the ultimate market intelligence tool; Because it raises engagement; Because it allows viral mechanisms on top/as a part of your display campaigns; Because that’s where your target group is and because that’s where you can talk with him…

As we speak, your brand can still survive without using the power of social media. Many brands advertise and communicate like they used to do 10 years ago. Not all of them are on the verge of bankrupcy. Nevertheless, as a brand, ignoring new media prevent you to maximize your marketing efficiency.

Anyway, I still have to transform this in a nice video…

Social media statistics

August 7, 2008

Last year I wrote a post about the reach statistics of social media. Last year (Comscore figures of june 2007), Facebook had 5,1% reach on the worldwide internet population, Delicious 0,5%, engadget 0,5% as well and twitter had less than 0,1% reach. Among the web 2.0 leaders, wikipedia was at 27% reach, youtube at 22% and myspace at 14%.

What about this year? How impressive is the growth?

Facebook clearly boomed and reaches now 15,4% of the internet population. Youtube (34,6%) is now bigger than wikipedia (29,1%). Twitter is 3 times bigger than one year ago (but it’s still only at 0,3% global reach). Myspace stagnated (13,7% in june 2008, delicious is among the losers with only 0,2% reach.

I didn’t measure the blog networks last year but the blogging community is an impressive collective force. For instance, blogger reaches 23% of the internet population and its challenger wordpress is at 11,4%

A funny statistic, Yahoo! geocities is still strong with 9,1% reach (almost 50 times more than delicious!)

Brave new world (wide web)

August 4, 2008

No rational person could possibly believe that there is any tension between ‘mainstream’ and “alternative’ culture”

This provocative quote comes from “Rebel sell, why the culture can’t be jammed”, a brilliant and thought provoking (but also pretty mocking) book by Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter.  The culture-jammers (represented today by people like Naomi Klein) state that rebellion and disruptive behaviors endanger the capitalist system and mass society that encourages conformity.  This has been the subject of very popular movies like American beauty, fight club or maybe even Wall-e. It’s also very present in advertising.  Heath and Potter believe the exact opposite and that counter culture relies on a vision of society that is totally biased. Watch this interview

Unfortunately, there is nothing about web 2.0 in rebel sell (the book was released in 2005) and I would very much like to read their opinion about the participative web (there are a few lines about net neutrality)

Anyway, the book made me realize why Microsoft wasn’t (perceived as) cool: It’s not about quality of products, it’s only about counter culture values. Google and Apple are supposedly counter cultural, anti-system, dissent, rebel and “authentic” (as stated in Apple’s 1984 commercial) while Microsoft is supposedly a symbol of conformity and an agent of the system.  Google achieved to be a culture-jammer through their battle for net neutrality and by their “do no evil” motto, Mac thanks to their disruptive/1984/think different marketing strategy.

But are they a menace to any system? I don’t think so.

What about us?*

 

* bloggers and other social media users

Still alive

July 24, 2008

I know it’s not about ranking but I can’t help to be happy to see my blog in the adage rank. I’m not in the power 150… far from it but Nick Burcher made a very interesting (and probably time consuming) exercise: he extracted the european blogs out of the list. Thanks Nick! My colleagues Kris and Miel are among the top belgian blogs.

By the way, the blog of Nick Burcher is one of the most interesting blog around. Make sure that you adapt your blogroll.

Delta skelter

July 1, 2008

I complained about Starwood’s lame customer service.

According to Joseph Jaffe, Delta airlines provides an even worse service to their “preferred” customers.

After the post, here comes the video:

The editing isn’t fantastic (reading is quiet difficult) but I really love the idea. Congrat’s Jaffe, you show us the way.

Ola bem dia

July 9, 2007

I’m in Lisbon today for the Microsoft Digital Advertising Solution sales kick off 2008. After the usual loud R’n’B music, the “Wow, look at this”, the “Make some noise to show how much fun you’ll have”, the “give yourself a big round of applaus” and a few “that’s a FANTASTIC achievement”, we had a short opening by Marc Bresseel and a 45 minutes speech by Chris Dobson, our sales VP. I won’t (and I guess, I may not) go into the details of what have been said this morning but on statement of Chris Dobson’s presentation caught my attention: “Internet doesn’t change people behaviour (…) technology change, not behaviours

This is an interesting statement but I still haven’t figure out if I agree with that. We may tend to exagerate the impact of internet on what we are but I think that some of our behaviours are the result of our internet experience. We have friends we have never seen, we are expecting brands to listen, we want to consume media on demand, we don’t perceive advertising as we used to do, we participate, we contribute, we share, we aggregate, we syndicate and we engage. Is that enough to call that a major behaviour change? And what kind of users are impacted?

I would love to read your opinions about this.

Link love meme

July 8, 2007

Toby tagged me for the 8 random things game (thanks Toby): The idea is to list eight random facts/habits about myself. I don’t know what kind of curse is waiting for me if I break the chain. 

(You can fin the complete rules on adjunct whore.)

Here’s my list:

– I used to be a problem child: 4 highschools is 6 years

– Long story… but a (very decent) picture of me and my wife appears in a book called “cybersex”

– I’m a Lost and a Seinfeld freak

– I sometimes cry when I finish a really good book

– My favorite musicians are Captain Beefheart, Can, Nosfell, Tindersticks, Curtis Mayfield, Daniel Johnston and Velvet Underground

– Whenever I can, I play basketball with my 8 year old son. The only reason I still manage to beat him is the fact I’m much taller

– I’m a procrastinator

– I’m conviced that corporations are unable to change no matter how hard they pretend to try

Now, according to the rules it’s my turn to tag 8 bloggers: Pieter, Tara, David, David, Joseph, Tim, Mark, Phil, what about you?

Don’t break the chain 😉 :

Ryan K (Iowa) : “I tagged 8 people and was hired THE SAME day by a big company”

Christina K (New York): “A few hours after tagging 8 people, I met the real coke light delivery man in the lift of my office. Believe me…this really works!!!”

Luc D (Brussels): “A few days after tagging 8 people, I won the lottery of $ 50”

The marxist blogosphere

July 6, 2007

The web 2.0-power-to-the-people cliché made me realize that we could summarize the social media phenomenon by using 3 major concepts of Marxism.

Proletariat: Joel de Rosnay renamed it ProNetariat and opposed it to “infocapitalism”. The pronetariat is basically us… all the people that are (trying to) own the means of (information) production. In marxist theory, the goal of the proletariat (aka the working class) is to displace the capitalist system and change the social relationship through a period called the “dictatorship of Proletariat”. The social media era resembles somehow this marxist concept: the working class became the networking class but basically there is a class struggle between Pronetariat and infocapitalists who both seek the mastering of the means of information production.

But the comparison has 2 major limits: The first discrepency is that in the networked world, information is not a scarce resource at all, the second is that the control of the means of production is not linked to the profit (for the moment)

Class consciousness: “Class consciousness refers to the self-awareness of a social class and its capacity to act in its own rational interests”. We, bloggers, start to be aware of our influence power (and if I may say, we often overestimate it), more as a group than as individuals. We come from a society were physical power was replaced by economical power. Here comes the time of informational power…

Infrastructure and superstructure: The infrastructure is the sum of the means that allow production and the superstructure is the sum of subjective elements meeting the infrastructure. It’s funny to look at the evolution from that perspective. The infrastructure of social media (forums, broadband connections, XML,…) is there for a long time but the subjective elements were not there yet.  Our subjectivity gave a new sense to the infrastructure.

Those comparisons may seem a little far stretched… and they are. We could also find analogies between the web and the very opposite of marxism like, for instance, the libertarian deregulation philosophers and their spontaneous order theory.

Even if this might seem trivial and useless, I think it’s interesting to use that kind of filters to think about our media from a different angle.

PS: I have groucho marxist tendencies. Here is one of my favourite quotes: “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it, and then misapplying the wrong remedies.”

I’ll do better next time

July 4, 2007

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As usual, I spent my evening thinking about the weakest aspects of my presentation and how I’ve could done better. I’m a little disappointed by my explanations on scale-free networks and I make plans on how I will rebuild the speech with more subtleties next time.

But overall, I’m happy about last night. I think (I hope) I wasn’t ridiculous in front of all the beautiful minds and brains of the audience and that my presentation had a few thought-provoking moments.

To illustrate Microsoft belief in real life-networks, I used a quote of Francis Bacon (I initially believed it was the painter but it’s the philosopher) who once wrote “Friends are thieves of time”. I wish I had spent more time with my fellow bloggers last night: Luc, Pascal, Caroline,… and I regret I hardly or didn’t had the opportunity to chat with Maarten, Dominique (who posted a great piece of feedback), ValĂ©rie, Steven, Pieter, Tanguy, Bert, and many others. I also realized we just forgot to invite some major bloggers like for instance, Robin (our blogger database needs serious improvements). Hopefully, we’ll have new conversation opportunities real soon.

Virtuous circles (of media)

July 1, 2007

I decided to call my new presentation “the permanent revolution”. It’s probably already a clichĂ© and it’s something we’re all very excited about. It’s even a condition for our marketing blogs to survive. We need change and innovation to feed our blogs. I’m not sure that advertisers are always as excited as we are. Our message often remains: Incredible things are happening now but you ain’t seen nothing yet! Some advertisers tend to wait the next big thing, maybe thinking that after that, the innovation pace will slow down a little… but it won’t.

Where will the permanent revolution lead us? IMHO, the web is a matter of virtuous circles. The major trend is more and more integration of the services and the gadget mashups we see poping up everywhere today are the biggest sign of what the web will become. I already mentionned photosynth that could lead to the first real-virtual world (a giant mashup of flickr and second life). Like Marc Bresseel explained at the IAB Interact forum, Photosynth is the result of a virtuous circle made of Simplified authoring, improved search and improved metadata. If this product is marketed properly, it simply could change the way we are experiencing the web.

The “premiĂšre” of my presentation will be tuesday at the “circle of media”, where Microsoft invited a lot of journalists and a bunch a very bright Belgian bloggers. It’s the first time I will talk about our media to a very informed audience… Wish me luck. 

The graduate

June 27, 2007

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A website grade of 75 for badideaindeed.wordpress.com means that of the thousands of websites that have previously been submitted to the tool, our algorithm has calculated that this site scores higher than 75% of them in terms of its marketing effectiveness. The algorithm uses a proprietary blend of over a dozen different variables, including search engine data, website structure, approximate traffic, site performance, and others.”

It’s better than my college results. My parents will be proud.

Website grader found via bnox. What’s your score?

Just when I thought about quitting

June 24, 2007

I sent a mail about 10 days ago to Lewis Green and Bob Glaza about a mysterious band based in Belgium called Bang Lassi. Last friday, Lewis wrote, in his fantastic “Fridays and weekends rock”-series, a great post about Bang Lassi, echoed in a very creative way by Bob Glaza. Here’s a line from Lewis’ post

Mostly we will look into Classic Rock Bands. But today I feature a band that a few weeks ago was Bang_lassi introduced to me by Philippe Deltenre, a Belgium friend. The band, Bang Lassi, blew me away.

I also left a link to a Bang Lassi song on Tim Brunelle’s blog who replied

I’m hearing Thin White Duke-era Bowie, the Beach Boys, some Queen, some early Yes, a little King Crimson and some Dresden Dolls. Fun track. Really nice harmonies and orchestration!

I have a profound respect for the musical opinions of Lewis, Bob and Tim since those guys have a very broad musical culture.

Bang Lassi is clearly in an end sixties-early seventies tradition: the music is complex and rich, far away of the usual mainstream airplay routine. Their approach of music can be regarded as radical and without compromission and I wonder: What can web 2.0 and social media do for them? How can we identify the influencers that will spread the Lassimen work? Which “marketing strategy” would you advise?

I’m awarded

June 20, 2007

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No, I didn’t received a gold lion at the Cannes advertising Festival but I was surprized and honored by Mark Goren’s post, who mentionned me in his thinking blogger award shortlist along with excellent bloggers like Matt Dickman, Valeria Maltoni, Andy Nulman and Kris Hoet. I think that most of my favorite blogs were already awarded. I’ll try to bring new blogs in this big link-love fest.

My awards are going to:

Chaos scenario: I feel very different from Cam Beck but his posts are very smart and provoking. That’s why I read him very often. Cam is taking me out of my comfort zone and I’m thankful for that.

Bob Garfield: I am passionated about Bob’s chaos 2.0 scenario. I think this is one of the most important things written about advertising in the last years.

Bring the love back: But am I really objective?

Bluurb: I can’t believe this blog isn’t ranked higher on technorati. It’s funny, creative, original and intelligent.

Bnox: She describes her blog as a link dumper. it’s much more than that.

Now it’s time for the real Cannes awards, I jump in my tuxedo and take my limo to the “Palais des festivals”…

Damned, I have no tuxedo and there’s no limo waiting for me. A jean and a fancy t-shirt will do.

Le Freaque, c’est chic

June 16, 2007

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 Last Post before Cannes. As from monday, it will be an overdose of advertising. I’m looking at the program (workshops and conferences, meetings with fine colleagues, wild parties, an award ceremony, a Microsoft party, 2 boat trips and many discussions with our customers) and wonder when I’ll find time to blog. But when there is a will, there is a way. Hopefully, Cannes will be, as it was last year, a big source of inspiration, a close encounter of the advertisers and will provide interesting blog material.

Kris sent me a link to Lefreaque, a nice initiative of Adweek where members of the jury and guest bloggers are posting about the 2007 Cannes Ad Festival. So far, it’s an hors d’oeuvre since the festival hasn’t started yet but I hope to read some great lines in the days to come.

Listen and listen good

June 14, 2007

Next week, I’ll be flying to Cannes for the Cannes Lions week, one of the worldwide biggest advertising awards. I can’t wait to be there.

What’s an advertising award? Basically, it’s an award for the best talker. Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think there’s somewhere an award for the best listener and that’s a shame. So… Let’s launch this initiative from the blogosphere!

Here’s, in a nutshell, what I have in mind:

– Collect all your stories about brands that demonstrated an ability to listen and be responsive

– Create a separated blog to present the cases

– Make a little noise around the award (the concept is only viable if we receive a lot of cases)

– Make a monthly survey to present the listener of the month. In 12 months as from now, present the cases to a large audience (bloggers but also some non-bloggers) and elect the listener of the year.

Dear bloggers and friends, I would really like to read your feedback on this. What do you think about the idea? If you like it, what would be the best way to promote it? Do you already have cases in mind?

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This idea was inspired by Bring the love back and by Mack Collier’s blog checkup series. Thanks!

Semper Studiosus

May 24, 2007

sinhua_sexy_teacher.jpgWhen I started working at Microsoft, a year ago, I realized I NEEDED to read blogs to stay aware of what was happening on the web. Being in B2C, there were a lot of essential bloggers I never heard about… and I started to read and learn. I took a while before I decided to blog again (and, for the first time to blog about our business)

This morning, I saw a post on Ryan Karpeles’ blog with the beautiful statement : “Bloggers are some the greatest teachers in the world” I couldn’t agree more to that. I was really flattered and very surprized (and extremely thankful) to see my name in Ryan’s bloggers-teachers (beta)list.

Nevetheless, if Ryan sees me as a teacher, I would refer at him the same way. I enjoy the company of this new breed of teachers much, much more than I used to feel about my school teachers.

I borrowed the title to Cam Beck’s brother. Cam had remarkable words in the comments of Ryan’s Blog:

Ryan – I’m honored to be included in your reading list, as I’ve been an admirer of yours since CK tuned me in to your blog. I am confident that you have a bright future ahead of you, and I hope you continue blogging, no matter where life takes you, since we have at least as much to learn from you as you from us.

As my brother would say, “Semper Studiosus.”