Saturday, 27 September 2008

Older, Affluent and Online! Marketing dollars fast behind

It is of little surprise that older and affluent individuals are taking full advantage of the ease and convenience of online everything. They tend to be better educated, well informed and value comfort and convenience a premium. It ain't just for teenagers anymore. Marketers are having to radically review their perception of how the the rich get their information. Thick glossy magazines maybe a "past" time rather than a "pass" time.

Monday, 22 September 2008

From Print to Pixels or How Facebook Saved the Rainforest

How did Facebook save the rain forest?

Remember the idea of the paperless office? The technology that was supposed to transform the modern office into a ecologically friendly “green” office actually increased paper consumption by 40%, ouch! And like the office, print media continues to be the mainstay for most marketing campaigns, thereby creating a vast amount of waste that is difficult at times to justify. It appears our addiction to print is insatiable; or is it? A revolution is taking place that seems to be doing what no government, corporate or ecological initiatives could accomplish: Make our world paperless and green! What is driving this revolution? Simply, it is Social Networks.

“Facebook Saves the World”

The introduction of Social Networks has created unprecedented numbers of interpersonal connections and communications. People chat around the globe with strangers they now call friends. Social Networks are not a digitized form of old paper processes. Social Networks are not a virtual extension of their real world counterparts. They are their own creation and exist unto themselves. The methods of communicating, sharing and saving information are not based on paper driven models. This is the key to their success. Since Social Networks were created in the virtual world they do not have real world requirements to survive and flourish. It is this distinction that is bringing the printer to a stand still!

So what to do without paper?

Not surprisingly people seem to get on just fine without a big trail of paper. And not surprisingly, most businesses don’t seem to make the transition well. This is especially evident in their approach to advertising and marketing. The biggest mistake that businesses make, often under the advisement of advertising agencies, is to cut and paste their traditional “paper” model of advertising into Social Networks. It usually is about as subtle as a stripper in church and about as welcome. So what to do?

  • Recognise the new space and design your content accordingly
  • Create content that people want to engage, share and interact with
  • Remember that what you have to say is probably the least important part of the conversation
  • Social Networks have very fluid boundaries. Create your content to evolve, move and change
Well, maybe Facebook did not save the rainforest. At least not yet, but in my humble opinion Social Networks are the first real progress made towards cutting back on paper consumption for communication. And that is undeniably a good thing.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

CIO Guest Blog: Disappearing Technology

At Prosperity Research and SO-U.TV, we believe it is all about YOU! Whether you own or represent a business or agency we provide services to, or are a viewer and consumer of our content, we want YOU to find US interesting.

To that goal, we have developed a simple Technology Strategy: we want to make your computer disappear!Well, not exactly disappear, but our goal is to place our content and deploy our products in a manner that is so interesting to our audience that our technology solutions virtually fade into the background.

Likewise, for our clients, our goal is to provide near term results with long term value. We do this by developing and placing interesting content where consumers are already looking for information. Our model is all about the consumer and what they find interesting.

How do we do this? Without divulging too many secrets :-] I can tell you we have integrated a combination of proprietary technology with open source and licensed tools, and by using many free consumer spaces on the internet. In addition, our multilingual and highly talented back office staff can do things on the internet I never imagined possible!

Although we are happy if you join in the tens of thousands of video views we serve per month at our recently upgraded website,, we are equally happy if you were one of the 50,000+ viewers who watched us on YouTube last month. Because, “It’s not me, it’s you”, to paraphrase an old saying.

In closing, although my wife often threatens to make my computer “disappear”, it is unlikely our computers will go away any time soon. They may get lost in a sea of blackberries, ipod’s, 3G phones and some other yet to be invented apparatus but disappear? Not likely. Wherever you are, however, you can bet SO-U.TV will be there too.

Now, where are my glasses?

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Marketing going digital, content more interesting than ads, people like themselves, Duh!

In this installment of my data focused blog I again get to point out the obvious. I do this because despite an overwhelming amount of data that never varies in its direction, many are still in denial. And so I continue to beat the drum until everyone gets the beat.

Marketers #1 wish for 2009 is for agencies to get better at digital! Marketers believe that 50% of all budgets will be spent on digital media. Agencies are ill prepared to fill the gap. Prosperity Research has been the thought leader in this area for several years and we continue to marvel at how large agencies continue to stumble. What is worse is the attempt to cut and paste traditional marketing strategies into the digital realm as if it is as easy as that. Digital marketing has a whole different set of rules and the old rules do not apply.

Paul Brienza, SVP Laughlin Constable, gets serious brownie points for stating the obvious and completely missing the point altogether. Mr. Brienza first points out that advertisers want to put their ads in the content area of web pages because content is more interesting than advertising and people look at content and avoid advertisements, duh! Secondly, has Mr. Brienza ever thought that maybe instead of making advertising that people don’t enjoy looking at a business could invest in creating content that people do want to look at? Duh again! Prosperity Research has been doing this for years. We never create advertising because we have always known that nobody likes it! Be interesting not advertising!

I will not rail much on this one. I wrote about this in last weeks blog and simply put, people are interested in themselves and their own issues. Products and services are only interesting to individuals if they meet their needs. So if you want to reach your customer base you need to switch your communcation style from ME to YOU.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Push to Pull: the Art of Attraction

If the 80's and 90's were the ME generation then the 21st century definitely welcomed in the YOU generation. The Internet brought interaction and individual participation into the advertising mix in ways never before imagined. And with this came a change in the way businesses needed to communicate to their consumers.

Traditional advertising centered around a one way dialog expounding the virtues and benefits of a product. The mechanics of traditional advertising did not allow for consumer content and response. The explosion of the Internet and Social Networks made consumer comments ubiquitous and instant and the age of Engagement Marketing was born. With this came a new set of communication dynamics that turned marketing on its head.

The carrot or the stick?

It used to be said that you “drove” consumers to your website. With over 15 billion web pages published and more every day it is unlikely that a consumer spoiled for choice will be “driven” anywhere they don’t want to go. Pull then becomes the necessary action. By creating content that is engaging and relevant to the consumer a relationship of mutual benefit is created.

So what is the new formula for success?

Simply put, make sure it is all about your consumers. As a business you are only relevant if you add value to their lives. It is necessary for you to clearly communicate your understanding of their needs and lifestyle.

Follow these simple guidelines:

- Don't start with what you want to say, think about what people want to hear.
- Place the emphasis on your customers, they already know you are selling something.
- Listen! When your customers ask a question take note and respond.
- Sell the lifestyle not the product.

In any relationship each person needs to give 50%. However, when you are trying to reach and retain customers you need to give more. Every one knows basic party etiquette. Talking only about yourself is a bore.