Thursday, 28 August 2008
B2B is the big spend. Social Networks are not just for consumers. Businesses are flocking to this format as a flexible way to engage in commerce. Without the same constraints as traditional vertical business sites, exchanging information becomes easier and more engaging.
Businesses are pouring on the spend. Below are the biggest corporate spenders of online ad dollars. This spend represents old school type online advertising of banner and paid search. This is a gold mine for Social Media proponents as the advantages of Interesting over Advertising creates a overwhelming argument for business to radically change the way they position themselves online.
Monday, 25 August 2008
In this blog I discuss the difference between viral and Social Network Marketing and why, depending on your goals, viral is still something best left to your doctor and not your Advertising agency.
"Viral -- not a living organism, it can only reproduce by infecting its hosts and contaminating its genetic code"
The term viral has been useful in describing a type of marketing effect that results from personal sharing of social media. The process is simple; one person shares it with two people, those two shared it with two more and so forth thereby creating an explosive rate of growth in a short time frame. Pre-Internet this effect would not have been easy or even possible. Can you imagine trying to throw magazine ads at 20 of your closest friends and then have them throw them 20 more at their friends and so on? Limitations of non-digital media prevented this "viral" phenomena from occurring.
Viral was a great boom for marketing gurus for a number of reasons:
1. Lower production value seems to work best translating into lower cost
2. Customers provided the momentum further reducing costs
3. Placement of content on consumer generated spaces or Social Networks greatly reduced costs normally associated with media buys.
Despite these strong upsides, as one might expect from a virus it is not all good. Translated into marketing terms the negatives of Viral marketing can be largely described as:
1. Low brand control
2. Brand message limited
3. Customer relationship loyalty low
Viral has become a very popular tool in the modern marketeers arsenal and an occasion benefit to brands. So what are the options to preserve the good and minimise the downsides. The recommended is Social Marketing.
"Social -- pertaining to, devoted to, or characterized by friendly companionship or relations"
Social marketing uses the same forces that Viral marketing uses; word of mouth and grass roots energy. However unlike its viral counterpart the focus is more on connecting with consumers and less upon eyeballs.
Social Network Marketing, at its core, is about creating interesting content that incorporates a strong message and exercises strong brand control. Strong brand control does not mean "advertising" it only means that the content should reflect the brands personality or DNA so that consumers can see a clear link between the two (content and brand) and benefit from the association.
Social Network Marketing is usually more targeted in its content so as to appeal to particular demographic as opposed to the more risky alternative of trying to appeal to every ones taste. This could result in fewer views but it significantly increases the likelihood that the people watching are appreciating, understanding and developing loyalty. One of the significant standout features of Social media done well is that it engenders ownership and connectedness to the content. Whereas viral tends to be expendable and transitory.
1. Exercises strong brand control
2. Is interesting and relevant
3. Designed for a targeted population but maybe interesting to many
4. Develops audience and loyalty through relevance
5. Utilises word of mouth to gain momentum
6. Benefits from lower production cost which provide a grass roots look and feel
Everything evolves and it is time to move past the concept of viral as the optimal achievement. More sophisticated analysis shows that it is better to have 100,000 views by potential customers and 1,000,000 views by random persons unlikely to benefit. A move away from a pure viral approach is a benefit for both consumers and brands.
Consumers benefit from receiving quality, relevant content that enhances their lives and brands benefit by being able to stay true to their core message.
As more and more content is generated, consumers will become increasingly selective in their viewing habits. Occasionally choosing the frivolous, but more often selecting the familiar.
Saturday, 23 August 2008
Monday, 18 August 2008
Information bombardment! If information was water we'd all be taking a shower under Niagara Falls every day! If we read, watched and listened to everything that passed in front of us in a day it would probably take a full year just to get through it. The result is consumers filter what comes in and are selective of how they get it? What can business do? Start by understanding the problem and then do something different: Burst!
-- Selection what you take in: 30 people talking in a room and you can't hear a thing, but someone says your name and your ears prick up
-- Medium of choice: We all have our favourite ways of getting information, from water cooler gossip to podcasts
Tools with which we receive information continue to improve and consumers naturally find ways to manage this information. From simple spam filters on mail programs to personalalised aggregated feeds, the modern consumer is finding ways to process information so that only relevant, high quality and desirable content reaches them. Delivering interesting content creates a loyal audience. Spam gets dumped.
Different people process information differently. Some people are visual, others are better listeners and some just need to do things themselves. There are many factors at play into why different people receive, manage and take in information differently. Such things as biology, education, availability, economics and culture all play a role in this, but the truth is this will not change. Deliver content in a way that consumers prefer and they will keep coming back.
Selection and Medium where the motivation for Prosperity Research Ltd to create a new process/product; the Burst. We understand that people will naturally select information that is relevant to them and they will choose to receive it in a manner that is convenient. Therefore, the most effective communication strategy fully optimises a message across a range of communication mediums and ensures the message engages, enhances and entertains your consumer.
Prosperity Research Ltd. has gone beyond marginally effective banner advertisement and paid placement with a proven way to effectively and honestly present content in the Social Network spaces controlled by consumers. By creating a concise message in video, blog, forum, bookmarking and other formats that creates a reticulated multi-channel release of information tailored to a wide range of consumer preferences we can maximise consumer response and satisfaction.
Prosperity Research Ltd.specialises in content created for the consumer controlled Social Network space which requires treatment different from other communication mediums and each online channel has its own special requirements. Recommended:
-- Keep it short
-- Keep it relevant
-- No advertising
-- Make it easy to find
-- Keep it honest
-- Be polite
-- Less is more
The end game we are all playing is to get our message seen by consumers and have that translate into revenue. It is the old adage made anew; give the customer what they want!
Friday, 15 August 2008
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
In this blog we will systematically discuss the categories of change that have resulted from consumer control of brand messages in the digital space.
In a previous blog I discussed the shift from Advertising to Interesting. In this entry we will touch on Side to Centre.
Side to Centre:
This is a very simple concept to grasp. Literally it means exactly what it says. Imagine a traditional web page. You will see on the top and around the sides all of the banner advertising that is used to pay for the interesting content in the middle of the page. The use of banner advertising is an "old school" method of advertising. posters, billboards, magazine and newspaper and TVC's use this to put themselves in front of their consumers by positioning themselves next to what is interesting. Why!? In the digital age businesses can transform themselves into content that is worthy of the centre of the page. Focus less on the brand and more on the message. Not only is this space the true "sweet spot" of the page, it is also more highly trusted by consumers than the peripheral advertising for brand messages.
How does a business move to the centre:
1. Learn to tell a story. To become content and not advertising you must have something to talk about other than yourself.
2. Stay true to your brand. The content you develop should reflect your brand values and be consistent with who your consumers are and what they would want to see.
3. Be honest, do not try and pretend you are something other than what you are. Falsely representing yourself can result in a severe backlash.
4. Be consistent. A steady stream of evolving and engaging content will build a loyal following.
5. Keep it real -- Grass roots is better than overproduced. Consumers are more likely to get engaged with and share content that looks more like what they could have created than over the top Hollywood productions.
Join the conversation -- drop us a line!
Friday, 8 August 2008
Tuesday, 5 August 2008
Lisa Cheng, 3 time champion of Hong Kong Body Beautiful and avid Rock climber. You can see her whole story on her episode on Hong Kong Heroes. Look for her upcoming lifestyle episode Fit and Fab in August.
Alex Chung, three time swim record holder in Hong Kong. He is now a regular blogger and MC for SO-U.TV and continues to be one of the leading swim coaches in Hong Kong and dedicated supporter of many charities.
Charles Chan, Track and Field, Gold medal Hong Kong Diving Champ, Member of the Hong Kong National Gymnastics team, Sichuan Earthquake humanitarian and Beijing Olympic 2008 reporter. He is an amazing man that has done much and gives even more.