Archive for the ‘media owners’ Category

Love anyone?

June 30, 2008

I have the honour to have admin rights on getinspiredhere, the collective blog related to the “inspiration anyone”-viral video (the sequel of Bring the love back)

I must say I’m pretty disappointed by the stats of the viral video (less than 5000 views so far on youtube versus 150.000 for bring the love back – and 3000 versus 180.000 on dailymotion). I don’t think it’s a question of seeding strategy. The seeding strategy of “Bring the love back” was minimal and the video became a success mainly thanks to the enthusiasm of David Armano.

Quality could be an issue. I still think that Inspiration anyone is a great vid but I agree on the fact that there are some minor flaws (mainly in editing).

Basically, I agree with Peter Kim  when he states that “(perhaps) it hits too close to home for agencies”. Besides, the video carries a message telling us that it’s not that simple. It confronted me with my own ignorance. Of course, we have to listen to the customer and I think we all know that; of course, balanced conversation is key; of course we have to rethink the way we make marketing; of course…. but how do we aknowledge the changes while maintaining the system? (major online players selling added value to the advertisers).That’s the whole point of getinspiredhere and that’s why we need you there 🙂

No headquarters, no hierarchy

July 10, 2007

I had the chance today to hear a brilliant presentation by Charles Leadbeater. I wrote down a few key messages:
– Give people tools, see how they us them and only then, build your business model
– If you treat users as (just) consumers, you won’t be able to make them help you to innovate
– The most innovative organisations (based on free collaboration) today have no headquarters and no hierarchy, they are much quicker in innovation than any big fixed rigid organisation
– Succes may lead to conservatism. If you have a history of succes, you may tend to repeat what led you to succes.
– If you want to see your way into the future, act as you were a new entrant with low budgets

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.”

No echo chamber here

June 12, 2007

Mack Collier, Valeria Maltoni, CK, Gavin Heaton, Toby Bloomberg and Mark Goren were so kind to answer my interviews. Among the 6 questions, I asked what was the next big challenge for media owners and there is (fortunately) no unanimity around this particular question. Of course, the concept of media owner is quiet vague and can embrace different realities (from right owners to portal sites and broadcasters). But, according to my fellow bloggers, the challenges for the media industry are multiple:

Distribution

“Coming to grips with the faxt that it’s difficult to control distribution online, and usually makes bad business sense to try to anyway” (Mack)

User generated content

“Staying fresh and relevant. And understanding that co-creation and content generation can be a company’s most valuable assets” (Valeria)

“Media owners need to understand when they “let go,” or share, it is then that they are engaging and truly building bonds with their customers” (CK)

Strategies

“The challenge then becomes: what does your target audience really want, what is right for the brand and what is doable with your resources (time, money and people). Once you answer those questions (which marketers have always asked) the next challenge is how to form a cohesive, integrated strategy” (Toby)

Measurement

“We keep trying to cobble old metrics onto new marketing channels and they simply don’t apply. The organisation that figures out how to measure the impact of online media on key business metrics will reap massive rewards” (Gavin)

Revenues

“their biggest challenge lies in figuring out how to make their online ad revenues higher than their print edition ad revenues so they become less dependent on the broken model of traditional advertising” (Mark)

And of course, relevance of the content 

Even if they are pretty different, I’m affraid (for the media owners) that all of the opinions above are totally correct

So basically, if I summarize, the media owners have to reinvent their whole value chain: With new revenues as goal: Understand the specificity of the online audience, develop new strategies for this audience, develop engagement tactics, remain very reactive, cope with DRM, reinvent their distribution and sales models and adopt new metrics.

I even could add some other challenges: the end of information scarcity, the declining importance of pageviews, the need to develop competitive video strategies, the technology evolution requiring permanent trainings and investments, the search engine optimisation and the fact that they need to learn to cope with the syndication models and… be unique.

Let’s meditate on this (creepy) Harold Wilson quote: “He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetary”

The (not that) global conversation

June 7, 2007

I stumbled upon an interesting post on Gaping Silence (great blog, by the way) and commented it before realizing the post was allmost one year old. I liked this provoking thought:

You get a myth which diverges radically from the reality. The myth is that this is where the Web-for-everyone comes into its own, where millions of users of what was built as a broadcast Web with walled-garden interactive features start talking back to the broadcasters and breaking out of their walled gardens. The reality is that the voices of the geeks are heard even more loudly – and even more disproportionately – than before

Phil, the author of this post also gives a few figures from a study conducted among american students (march 2006):

MySpace is huge, and Facebook’s even huger, but Web 2.0 as we know it? It’s not there. 1.9% use Flickr; 1.6% use Digg; 0.7% use del.icio.us. Answering a slightly different question, 1.5% have ever visited Boingboing, and 1% Technorati. By contrast, 62% have visited CNN.com and 21% bbc.co.uk. It’s still, very largely, a broadcast Web with walled-garden interactivity.

I had a look at the most recent worldwide comscore figures today and paid attention to some emblematic sites of web 2.0. Here are some of those figures:

  • Facebook is doing good with a global reach of 5.1%, 22 monthly visits per unique user and an excellent average of 10 minutes per visit
  • Social bookmarking remains very niche: Delicious has 0.5% of global reach, only 1.5 monthly visits per unique visitor and an average of 1 minute per visit (and a quiet limited growth on the last 6 months)
  • engadget.com, the technorati champion, has slightly better results than delicious with 0.5% reach (5 times more than boingboing), 1.9 monthly visits per unique visitor and 1.5 minutes per visit
  • Twitter is still tiny: less than 0.1% reach, 1,8 monthly visits per unique visitor and 2,7 minutes per visit (this doesn’t include usage on mobile devices)
  • Google, Microsoft properties and Yahoo are the only properties with more than 60% reach worldwide. Microsoft is by far the champion of the minutes spent on its network (overall and per user)

You also have some 2.0 big guys out there: like wikipedia (27% reach), youtube (22%) or myspace (14%) but I remain with the impression that our perception of the market is a little biased by our blogging and social networking own experiences.

Reach is not a central element of the new marketing but are the audiences of web 2.0 important enough for the major brands? I don’t think so.

I don’t want to say that the conversation doesn’t make sense. Au contraire! Nevertheless, many people haven’t joinded the global conversation yet. The web 2.0 will lead brands to redefine their marketing mix. This will be a matter of proportions (how much do I withdraw from TV to invest in conversational monitoring and marketing?), of marketing goals (Which marketing objective will be fulfilled thanks to conversational marketing?) and processes (How do I spread the consumer feedback in my company? How does it impact my value proposition?).

Don’t get me wrong. the reach of the social media is growing (not booming) and brands already need to consider this phenomenon but let’s remain realistic and face the facts: We are maybe overhyping the conversation…. or overhyping marketing through social networks.

Am I wrong? What is your interpretation of the web 2.0 figures?

Viva la Diva

June 1, 2007

diva_marketing.jpg 

From Sidney to Atlanta… After Gavin Heaton, here comes a divine diva intervention. Toby Bloomberg kindly accepted to answer the questions of the blogger-interview series. As usual, I won’t comment the answers but feel free to do it. Toby we’re all eyes.

1/ What was your first blog post ever?

Thanks for the walk down memory lane Phillippe. The first blog post on Diva Marketing was titled, “Pop A Cork For The New Diva Marketing Blog.” It combined a brief intro about the focus of Diva, a thank you to Dana VanDen Heuvel who encouraged me to blog, a link to an article about branding and a quote of the month.

The quotes were so popular that when I redesign the skin I added the quotes as a feature on the sidebar. Every time you click into the site you see a new quote.

2/ What will happen with brands that are not entering the conversation?

What happens to people who are not part of conversations where others are discussing issues that affect them? They miss opportunities to influence their future, they miss opportunities to correct misunderstandings, they miss opportunities to develop relationships with people who are interested in similar concerns. Same thing will happen to organizations. Will they die on the vine? Probably not. Will they appear to be self absorbed and will their customers wonder where they are in the conversation? Eventually.

Way back in the ‘90’s when websites were the hot new tactic companies that launched websites were perceived as innovators. When the internet became ubiquitous websites became an expected cost of doing business and a well to establish credibility. I think that will eventually happen with social media/blog initiatives.

3/ What is the next big challenge for online media owners?

In one word – Choices.

If you define online media owners as organizations (for profits, non profits and government agencies) that use content as a strategy to provide value to stakeholders (readers) in order to achieve business outcomes .. then it is what it always was .. assuring there is fresh relevant, credible content (within an easy to navigate environment). However, add to the mix the expectations of including social media tactics, as well as, nifty Web 2.0 technology and you have a smorgasbord to choose from.

The challenge then becomes: what does your target audience really want, what is right for the brand and what is doable with your resources (time, money and people). Once you answer those questions (which marketers have always asked) the next challenge is how to form a cohesive, integrated strategy. Our job as marketers has certainly grown complex.

4/ What is the next big challenge for advertisers?

Making sense of the same smorgasbord of choices and in doing so determining where your target audience actually hangs out. Then of course developing the right message and creative for that media. Successful ads on blogs are very different from ads in a print publication. A video on YouTube is a far cry from a spot commercial. Consumer generated branding promotions have their own unique set of challenges. It sounds like a fun idea to ask your customers to film a little video about your product or service but it’s not as easy as it appears to put the pieces together for a successful campaign. Of course there are the risks involved of less than flattering messages, as well as, determining the right incentives to encourage participation.

5/What is the most relevant book/article/post ever written on new marketing?

Great question. Wish I had a great answer. Let’s just say I’m still waiting for it to be written.

6/ What makes your blog different?

When I launched Diva Marketing I was actually looking for a new “home.” I had developed the “diva girlfriend voice” for an online publication that closed its doors and I wanted to continue the funky, fun writing style. That voice became a signature which turned Diva Marketing into a “blog brand.” The skin of the blog was eventually designed to support the voice. With so many smart people blogging in the marketing, PR, business space I think of Diva as more of a “feature” than a “hard news” blog.

In terms of content, my focus is shifting from writing about general brand marketing to how social media/blogs can be leveraged to support marketing strategies. I also frequently include interviews with business leaders and authors. Friday Fun has become a popular post giving me the opportunity to go off topic. Oh and of course there is Max, my Westie pup who I’ve been told has a fan club in the blogosphere!

Thank you Toby!

Porn interlude

June 1, 2007

Between 2 interviews, here’s a great video called “Internet porn”. I’m not fond of the name. I propose 2 alternative titles: “The body of the message” or “Who needs powerpoint?”

Video found on positive curfew

Dial S for Servant of Chaos

May 31, 2007

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I’m pleased to announce you the second (and last) blogger-interviews trilogy. Unlike Star Wars, I can assure you that the second trilogy is as good as the first. The interviewee of the day is Gavin Heaton, the Servant of chaos (If I could, I would give him the award of the coolest blog name). Gavin, the floor is yours.

1/ What was your first blog post ever?

I started blogging as a way of enforcing a kind of discipline upon myself. I once wrote a lot — I have notebooks full of ideas, scribbles, poems and stories — but had stopped. And yet, the desire to write, to communicate had not wholly left me … so I began with what I was most comfortable with … a poem. My original plan was write 999 Theses … or one short idea every day for three years.

2/ What will happen with brands that are not entering the conversation?

Not all brands want or need conversation. Interestingly enough, neither do some bloggers. I am sure that there is some kind of graph available that would map the elasticity of conversation as it applies to either brand or market value on one axis and research and innovation on the other. For a brand that has a high elasticity of conversation, failure to engage your consumers in conversation can have an impact on your reputation … and eventually your sales. Technology brands fall into this category precisely because consumers expect technology companies to USE technologies to communicate. Look at your own posts on HP over the last couple of weeks … it is not like the conversation is not happening — it is simply that HP is not engaging.

I think it comes down to ethics … we hear a lot now about authenticity, but I think this is clearly a consumer-led demand for ethical behaviour. Consumers don’t mind marketing where it is handled transparently … and an ethical approach drives a deeper engagement with the brand. It builds trust. This is where conversation comes in. It opens the way for a deeper and ethical brand connection.

3/ What is the next big challenge for online media owners?

It is measurement and money. We keep trying to cobble old metrics onto new marketing channels and they simply don’t apply. The organisation that figures out how to measure the impact of online media on key business metrics will reap massive rewards.

4/ What is the next big challenge for advertisers?

Creating new models for communications. Many of us are still in love with the “big idea”. We want marketing to be easy and we want to use advertising as the primary tool to drive both sales and brand. But online channels (and yes, there are more than one) require an integrated approach and a comprehensive, network oriented strategy that builds momentum. We need to break out of the silos.

5/What is the most relevant book/article/post ever written on new marketing?

I don’t actually read many business books these days … with blogging there is a real currency of ideas available, and being rather impatient, I prefer the immediacy of blogs. I also love the way that conversations build upon ideas. One of the best examples of this in action is David Armano’s series of posts on creativity and blogging influence — especially this one

6/ What makes your blog different?

Wow, that is hard question to answer! In many ways my blog is not about me … when I first started I hid behind the name of the blog. I also used to sign off each post with the letter “S” for “servant of chaos”. I also commented on other blogs as “Servant of Chaos”. Eventually I had to emerge from the shadows … when I began contributing to Marketing Profs I had to provide Ann Handley with a photograph of myself and a brief bio. Little by little I became less self conscious about “my” blog. Does this make it different? I don’t know …

Thanks Gavin!

(illustration: the Hyperbolic blogosphere, quiet a chaos)

The green match

May 29, 2007

There is a very interesting debate/discussion going on between David and Jeroen. There is a worldwide action on the msn platforms called live earth about the global warming. The climax of this action will happen on the 7th of July with a gigantic concert in 7 different cities all over the world. Belgium, like every ‘msn countries’ developed a number of pages for this occasion. Like on almost every msn page there is a showcase advertising space. David noticed an inappropriate ad (an anticontextual ad, I should say) and writes:

Is this really a green match….?
I fully follow MSN’s commitment to “green” (and the Live Earth initiative) but like the environmental crisis needs all of us to change small behaviors, I think that small contradictions like this should also be under the eco-friendly ads radar

Jeroen, manager of msn.be, reacted in the comments of David’s blog (I just present some samples of his reaction but you should read the full story)

We are not experts on the businesses of our advertisers, so it would be really hard for us to judge which companies and products should be banned or penalised. For example, did you know that the paper industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world? I happen to know this because I have been in print publishing, but lots of people wouldn’t have guessed. (…) The point is, we cannot be the judge of who is ‘fit’ to be on a green special or even MSN, because we’re not experts. (….) Apart from that I feel that the negative approach doesn’t work. NOT having an ad by someone on a page will never raise any awareness

Besides, Jeroen posted (in dutch) about this debate on his own blog and on the website molblog and asks several questions:

Can you show your citizenship by refusing some advertisers? Would it be efficient? How can you determine which advertiser is acceptable and which isn’t? Will the people notice your engagement by NOT seing the advertiser on your website? How would the advertiser react if he’s not allow to spend money on your network?

It’s a very interesting debate and I don’t have a definitive answer the the questions above. I don’t think this debate would happen around TV despite the fact that ad placement on TV can sometimes be quiet anticontextual…. and quiet non-ethical.

About advertising and ethics, also read: (Ethic)ette by Gavin Heaton.

5 obstacles + 3

May 7, 2007

I really like the article by Rick Corteville today on iMediaconnection. It’s totally in line with my current pessimism 🙂

Rick presents the 5 obstacles that are holding our industry back. I think there are more. Let me ad a few

  • CPC model is hurting the industry big time and will continue to do so untill sell through rates reach 100%. The message you give to the market when promoting CPC model is that only the people who click on a banner or text link have been impacted by an online advertising.
  • We are too kind: we tolerate material arriving too late and never apply penalties for customers who cancel campaigns. At the end of the day, this harms our credibility and gives us an amateuristic image.
  • We don’t like stability. We are too quick to announce the world have changed and tend to forget that advertisers hardly noticed the previous revolution

But all those obstacles are largely compensated by one thing: people are massively using this media, dailies and magazines are struggling to survive and this will not go backwards.