Archive for the ‘virality’ 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 ūüėČ

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

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…

Viral video tips and tricks

August 12, 2008

I just watched my stats and found this incoming link coming from viralvideochart.

It’s the first time I heard about this tool and I must say I like it. The video listed have been compiled by Unruly Media.

It’s not new at all (Jeff Jarvis was blogging about it 2 years ago)

I especially advise their resources section where you will find all you need to know about the art of viral videos.

A few interesting things I’ve noted:

– Duncan Watts, the Godfather of all viral marketers proposes an approach called “big-seed” marketing in order to combine virality and control offered by traditional media planning (and maximize your chances of being noticed).

– There are very dirty strategies to maximize your hits on video sharing websites. I doubt they are efficient for your conversion and satisfaction figures.

– Blip, Metacafe and Dailymotion are the most stringent sites for counting views

– The life cycle of viral video tends to tail off. After 11 days, you basically reached 25% of the audience that your video will reach after one year.

– A lot of patterns are just made up (thus non replicable) and that gives even more credit to Duncan Watts big-seed principle. If you want the insurance to be seen, you’d better invest in a video campaign and hope that viewers¬†will share your video.

PS: it’s not only about hits, it’s also about impact. Watch the Dynamic Logic conclusions¬†on impactful videos.

Blowjobs included!

July 10, 2008

I recently posted a great Ben Stiller video on getinspiredhere.net. This post received a comment by Richard¬†who states that “a lot of viral videos contain some form of depravity”. I don’t have stats about that but I think Richard is right.

Since a lot of marketers seem to believe in the power of depravity, Ryanair launched a new VIP program called “Beds and blowjobs”.

Who said “over promise”?

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 ūüôā

The Link Love Law

June 4, 2007

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A while ago, I was in contact with Renaud, who is studying and modelizing the structures of complex networks. I was very interested by his work but couldn’t really figure out how usable this was for a better understanding of the web and the¬†blogosphere. I called him to discuss this topic and I discovered new horizons.

I understood that the blogosphere was what we call a scale-free network: In scale-free networks, some nodes act as “highly connected hubs”, although most nodes are of low degree. The scientist Albert-Laszlo Barabasi is one of the leading¬†researchers of the complex network study. He developped an algorithm called the BA model based on two important principles:

Incremental growth: scale-free network expand continuously over time by the addition of new nodes.

Preferential attachment: new network members prefer to make a connection to the more popular existing members.

The BA model shows that scaling and power laws emerge in random networks.¬†This model hasn’t been built for the blogosphere. The web is only one out of many scale-free networks. Examples of scale-free networks can be found in biology (protein interactions), in terrorist¬†organisations¬†and even in… the distribution of sexual relations.

Basically, this is the scientific background of the long tail model and Chris Anderson figured that out long before me. We experienced this power law recently with Bring the love back. We noticed that many links on blog that were posting the video were mentioning David Armano (David is a “hub” in the blog scale-free network) as source of the information adding a lot of extra links to David Armano’s blog. David became the biggest traffic broker of bringtheloveback.com. This is of course due to his very important readership but also to the preferential attachment law: Bloggers who¬†discovered the bring the love back-movie through a smaller node (a blog with a lower authority ranking)¬†pointing to David Armano have much more probability to¬†link directly to David Armano’s post and bypass the primary source of information which eventually was benefitial for the bring the love back success.

The fact that the long tail is not only a volume distribution law but also a power law is very new to me. This adds a predictability element. It doesn’t only describes the internet landscape but also allows to predict what the growth pattern will be (at least¬†gives probabilities of growth¬†knowing that¬†critical events¬†can change the evolution pattern of¬†the network).

This discovery (it might sound trivial for most of you but it’s new to me) makes me think about Maximilian Cohen is the wonderful movie ‘Pi‘: “11.15: Restate my assumptions: One, Mathematics is the language of nature. Two, Everything around us can be represented and understood through numbers. Three: If you graph the numbers of any system, patterns emerge. Therefore, there are patterns everywhere in nature. Evidence: The cycling of disease epidemics;the wax and wane of caribou populations; sun spot cycles; the rise and fall of the Nile. So, what about the stock market? The universe of numbers that represents the global economy. Millions of hands at work, billions of minds. A vast network, screaming with life. An organism. A natural organism. My hypothesis: Within the stock market, there is a pattern as well… Right in front of me… hiding behind the numbers. Always has been

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

Bring the love back: What’s next?

May 18, 2007

It’s maybe too soon to do the aftermath of the Bring the love back action but I thought that 10.000 views on dailymotion was a good opportunity to talk about this case.

I won’t make a recap of the full genesis of the project (everything is on bringtheloveback.com). Geert, who carried the project from start to end also initiated the viral aspect of the campaign. Geert received the video wednesday¬†at 7.30 PM CET and posted it immediatly on dailymotion and the movie was embedded on the bringtheloveback blog.

The first thing we did after the posting of the video was to send a mail to a limited number of contacts (about 15) of the blogosphere. Not only class-A bloggers but only good bloggers (some of them, despite an excellent blog have an authority 1 on technorati). The rule wasn’t their power of influence but the fact we had a real relation with them (I already have had online discussion¬†or a¬†mail discussions with all bloggers in my list).

For that kind of action, I guess you need a little piece of luck. In my blog post, I wrote that I was hoping that David Armano (who wasn’t in our short mailing list) would like the video. David is obviously a king of monitoring and reacted immediatly in my comments, posted the video on L+E and twittered about it.¬†This was the real start of the virality. Thanks to David, the video was taken over by major blogs like Jaffejuice, Beyond Madison Avenue, futurelab, marketingfacts, successcreeations, whatsnext, servant of chaos¬†and many others. Other major bloggers like CK, Craphammer or¬†Technomarketer helped us big time.

But is it really a success? For the figures, I have not enough¬†benchmarks in B2B viral actions and, honestly, I don’t really care and I don’t believe it’s a metric of success.

I care about the many conversations that are happening on all the blogs, the friendly confrontations between the enthusiasts, the surprised ones, the sceptics and the Microsoft-haters.

I care about what will happen next: How will we (Microsoft international) build on this, change our image, fullfil the promises, continue the conversation, draw and share conclusions.

Bringthelove back is allmost a one-man project. Geert worked on this with vision, method, creativity, guts and belief and managed to transform our Microsoft Belgium positioning in a worldwide conversation on advertising and the place of Microsoft in the online advertising landscape. Thumbs up, my friend!

Conversation economy: The movie

May 16, 2007

A while ago, I had lunch with Geert, our Belgian trade marketing guru and he explained me an ambitious project he developed together with Stef Selfslagh, from Openhere: Here’s the result:

The conversation economy already had its emblematic article, it now have its viral video. I hope David Armano will like it ūüôā