June 21, 2012 at 1:38pm
HuffPo Media: Engagement, Advocacy, and Other Buzzwords
Great article on HuffPo Media today by Thomas Gensemer. Full article below or on HuffPo here.
"No longer can we focus exclusively on the mass consumer audience. No longer can we just work to "fill the funnel."
Just as brands are starting to accept the challenges of being media companies in and of themselves, they are now grappling with the challenges of more nuanced customer segmentation, one-on-one relationships, and always-on conversation management.”
Creativity needs a bit of untidiness. Make everything too neat and tidy and there is no room for experiment. Cram your days too full and it’s hard to find time to think. We all need a bit of slack to give us the space to experiment.
—Charles Handy, The Hungry Spirit
Welcome to The Stream Series, a selection of observations from the WPP Digital un-conference, Stream. Attended by Arianna Huffington and Roy Sekoff, the event — Stream@Cannes — brought together some of the best minds behind global brands, technology and media companies as well as start-ups to explore the ever expanding potential of digital creativity.
Over the next five days, we’ll share ideas from stream attendees and speakers. The thoughts we’ll share aren’t tidy. But the idea is to open things up — not to prescribe but to enlighten. It’s also just a beginning. To share your reactions and further ideas get in touch with the Stream Team or go to the
Engagement, Advocacy, and Other Buzzwords
"The funnel is dead"…
"Cause and brand must be aligned"…
"Marketers’ promise of ‘deep and sustained brand engagement’"…
All of these phases, and many more, could be heard at WPP Digital’s Stream@Cannes on Tuesday, just as they’ve been heard at industry conferences for many years. But something was different, or so it seemed.
After years of lip service, with few notable exceptions, yesterday seemed to mark a new alignment between media owners, brands, and agencies. No longer can we focus exclusively on the mass consumer audience. No longer can we just work to “fill the funnel.”
Just as brands are starting to accept the challenges of being media companies in and of themselves, they are now grappling with the challenges of more nuanced customer segmentation, one-on-one relationships, and always-on conversation management.
A seamless transition it is not.
Arianna Huffington set the tone of the day by illustrating three key trends which are, in her mind, creating huge opportunities for brands and marketers: (1) the desire for sustained engagement (as in Johnson & Johnson’s year-long sponsorship of a Global Motherhood channel on Huff Post), (2) the use of technology to find much-needed relief from hyper-connectedness, and (3) the alignment with cause and brand.
Buzzfeed’s Jon Steinberg followed with his apt analogy of the Paris Cafe and how his thriving community effectively mixes the humor of puppy pictures with the breaking of serious, hard-hitting political news. He admits that there is no magic formula, that you constantly challenge your audience and learn from their engagement. Like the café, this is a conversation not a soapbox, and without efforts to respect the constant feedback loop, brands and media owners alike will be forgotten. So simple, and yet difficult for so many clients and brands.
Later in the afternoon as the format shifted to one-on-one conversations, I had the great pleasure of interviewing LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner. His company’s performance proves, once again, that size doesn’t matter. Despite frequent mis-categorizations of LinkedIn alongside the likes of Facebook, Jeff sees the “context of social engagement” as being the prime driver of LinkedIn’s value. And his platform’s data — derived by 160+ million users, and more than 2 million company pages — offers incredible insight into the global economy. His vision for an “economic opportunity graph,” a detailed, localized view of an individual’s role in the economy, skill surpluses and gaps, is clearly differentiated from Facebook’s general notion of a singular “social graph” as more and more users, across generations, decide if and how to engage with friends, colleagues, brands, and issues.
Again, the themes of sustained, contextual relationships and new forms of measurement for social engagement emerge.
Closing out the day, appropriately, was online personality and comedian Ze Frank. But what on Earth does Ze’s power to get thousands from his audience to respond to his absurd call to “dress up your vacuum cleaner" have to do with any of this?
Since long before the days of social media, we’ve all been interested in creating opportunities for identifying, activating, and rewarding the most passionate supporters, donors, and brand enthusiasts. But how do we convince our clients to do it when, inherently, this effort lacks scale?
So, for example from my agency’s portfolio, not everyone who comes in contact with our recent breakthrough hit the It Gets Better Project will upload their own heartfelt video about bullying or coming out. In fact, a campaign that has become a global sensation involved only 35,000 user generated videos (and was collectively viewed by over 50 million people).
Similarly, not every purchaser of a Ford car or truck is going to submit an online review, nominate their local dealer for great service, or engage in the “Ford Social” community online and off. Despite the lack of huge scale, we can all agree that an owner referral is infinitely more persuasive than a brand message, right?
As an industry, we in social media marketing (as blurry as that is), have long talked about the “90-9-1 rule” which holds that 90% of your audience is what we often called “lurkers,” 9% are passively engaged, and 1% are your loyalists, those who create content, share, etc. But despite widespread recognition of usage behaviors, marketers have largely failed to invest appropriately in identifying and motivating their 1%. In fact, too few even do so for the 9%. Is the tide shifting? Are we getting closer to assigning appropriate value to the activation of our most loyal fans and followers?
Let’s hope so.
June 12, 2012 at 10:39am
Reblogged from rafer
If the industry hasn’t cracked the mobile advertising code after five years of energetic and skillful work it’s because there is no code to crack. Together, the small screen, the different attention modes, the growing concerns about privacy create an insurmountable obstacle.
The “$20B Opportunity” is a mirage.
Mobile Advertising: The $20B Opportunity Mirage | Monday Note
Excessively negative, but directionally correct. What pass for ads elsewhere in the digital world are going to have to change radically. The ‘native’ advertising for smartphone app (or maybe app stores) hasn’t been figured out yet.
It will be figured out, maybe even by Facebook, and it will grow to make that $20B look trivial in a decade or so.
JLG (and pretty much every other reaction I’ve read) neglects to mention the native/contextual ad model that’s currently dominating mobile advertising: cost-per-install (CPI). Irrespective of whether or not brand dollars are effectively onboarded onto mobile, the DR channel for app installs is growing rapidly with no abatement in sight.
Piggy-backing on top of CPI is the engine that fuels this advertising model in mobile: in-app purchase, especially in the games space. There is a willingness among consumers of mobile apps to purchase virtual items (goods, premium features, content) that, anecdotally at least, seems more seamless than similar behavior on the traditional web.
I think JLG is right to be skeptical of major brand dollars shifting to mobile to match time spent because most mobile advertising formats aside from CPI are like display on the web, but smaller in size (and more annoying to boot). To add to this, the ad tech plumbing in mobile makes buying traditional display seem like print. Still, mobile advertising might not need traditional advertisers to succeed in the near term. The voracious appetite smartphone users have for mobile apps paired with their willingness to buy things in-app means that a new and very healthy advertising market is emerging that is supplementary to branding. For the time-being at least, this should fuel growth and innovation while the rest of the ad world figures out how to optimally onboard that $20 billion in ad spend that “should” be on mobile devices.
April 11, 2012 at 5:13pm
5 Critical Questions You Need to Ask Your Media Partners
NOTE: This article was written by the brilliant Steve Rubel, Exec VP-global strategy and insights for Edelman. Originally posted in AdAge.
Even though going direct-to-consumer is in vogue, we remain dependent on the media to amplify our messages. Likewise, even though the press has begun to dabble successfully in digital subscriptions, it still relies on advertising to generate most of its revenues. That symbiotic relationship will live on.
That said, the proliferation of mobile devices and social networks means the press looks and acts differently than it did a few years ago. This has rendered some questions (even basic ones like “What’s your circulation?”) largely irrelevant.
Keeping that in mind, here’s a list of “rip and refer” questions you might want to whip out during your next planning meeting. These are critical queries that are designed to elicit the answers we all will need to make marketing more effective and efficient.
How much time do readers/ viewers spend with your individual units of content?
The media love to throw around such metrics as page views, streams and downloads. They’re all irrelevant. Traffic is cheap and relatively easy to attain. Some sites are pulling every trick in the book to get eyeballs.
Time spent is the holy grail now. The data, especially if verified by a third party, tell you a lot about audience engagement and therefore can point to how likely it is that your ads will resonate. Consider asking smart questions that unearth how many minutes/month the media has of a user’s time. Don’t settle for murky answers.
What is the breakdown of how consumers engage with your content: search vs. social vs. brand?
According to Pew Research’s outstanding State of the News Media report, there are three pathways to content: search, social and brand. Pew reports that search remains the key way that consumers reach media sites on desktops. But the desktop is yesterday’s war. On mobile, brand choice (direct app downloads and usage) and social rule.
Marketers need to deeply understand the psychology around how audiences engage with media. The modalities are different based on device and context. This means that the value of an ad on a site that is rocking tablet downloads and usage is arguably more valuable than one on a site that gets most of its traffic via long-tail keyword queries via distraction-ridden desktops. This is the kind of information we need to demand of our partners.
What kind of programs would you do if only you had funding?
The media’s appetite for innovation is bottomless. Everyone is investing. And the body of work is impressive.
However, there’s probably even more here than meets the eye. All it takes is an advertiser to scratch the itch. Ask publishers and editors what kinds of products and programs they wish they could pilot. This, I have seen, can unearth all kinds of new creative opportunities. Don’t just take what they’re selling.
How and why do people share your stories on Twitter and Facebook?
News we read is sometimes different than news we say we read. The latter comes with an emotional payoff — an “ah” that feels good. The former doesn’t necessarily. But it can.
News organizations understand more about what gets shared and why than anyone outside of the platforms themselves. By asking critical questions about the ways readers and viewers share content, and why they do, you will gain insight into your prospective media partner and about digital culture.
Can you teach me your ninja tricks for creating compelling content?
No one knows more about content than the media. With more marketers creating their own content, we must turn to the oracles for insight.
Don’t go it alone. Ask to get under the hood at your partners and take notes. How much does distribution guide decisions about content? What kind of data are being collected, and how are they used? Be a sponge.
You might get resistance when you asks these questions. After all, they are probing. But not all traffic and eyeballs are the same. In a digital age we need such deep diagnostics to ensure that our messages don’t get lost in the sea of options.