Posts from date: April 2010
In his book, Chris Anderson proposes an advance on the 80/20 Pareto rule; suggesting that any market is dominated by a few leaders but consists mostly of numerous smaller firms in terms of volume. The internet is obviously no exception with a notable few very large sites responsible for huge levels of web traffic. Among these are of course Facebook and Google, the latter of whom owing much of its commercial success to Bill Gross, who’s highly successful search advertising formula is now being applied to the third giant of the internet, Twitter.
Tweetup works on the same principle as Google’s paid-for search results. Advertisers on TweetUp will be able to bid to have their own tweets displayed when users search for particular keywords in the company's Twitter search engine
Certainly it can be difficult to sift the good twitters from the bad, and this model should at least provide people with more relevant content. However you have to wonder; if Tweetup’s ambition is to “make Twitter more relevant for everyone” at what point will their paid-for service compete with Twitter’s own plans? Surely Twitter’s co-founder, Biz Stone, wants to achieve exactly this with his own search algorithm. After all you don’t have to look very hard to realise that Google’s natural search far outperforms its paid-for counterparts in terms of volume and consumer trust.
In the short term it could really make a difference to the user experience, but how much brands will be prepared to pay for this service, and for how long, is worth considering.
The transition of newsprint editorial on to digital platforms has transformed the way consumers discover news. Readership is moving online and advertisers are not too far behind.
Rupert Murdoch recently announced his plans to charge for access to News Corporation's UK newspaper sites - a day’s use would amount to a fee of £1, while £2 for a week’s subscription. Although the model of free content supported by advertising is clearly flawed (many successful news sites produce minuscule revenues), users have previously voted against the paywall model, simply migrating to another paper that decided to go with an advertising-based revenue model.
So with declining print circulations, declining print ad spend, a tradition of supplying free content online and users migrating as soon as sites do start to charge, how are companies going to finance their good, in-depth, quality journalism? Will it be a case of interrogating those consumers who do sign up for the paywall so that they are better understood from a marketing perspective and therefore a huge premium can be charged to advertisers? Or will the micropayment model come into force? Whatever the future holds, finding a way to monetise the huge readership newspapers and magazines is the Holy Grail for online publishing.
My first day at Maxus was my best first day at a new company ever.
Being welcomed with a great breakfast and some really friendly faces made it all seem so much easier. You always feel at a bit of a loss on your first day but the welcome packs made it really easy to find out how Maxus do things. The atmosphere is lively yet dynamic and hard working - a great balance of fun whilst still ensuring work is achieved and completed. A pub lunch with the team helped cement how nice everyone was and gave the opportunity to speak to people not just about work, and a cake delivery from a supplier made my afternoon.
All in all, a pretty relaxed first spent acclimatising and making sure I was all set up and raring to go on day two. The agency is heading for some exciting times and this is reflected in everybody’s enthusiasm - I look forward to being part of whatever may lay ahead for Maxus, I feel certain it will only be good things.
In the UK, as globally, social media usage is growing exponentially, making its importance as a consumer touchpoint within a marketing strategy ever increasing.
To quote John Burbank (CEO of Neilsen Online):
“Social networking has become a fundamental part of the global online experience.”
In the UK roughly 1 in every 6 minutes spent online is on a social networking site. Accordingly all BBC News journalists have been told social media must now be used as their primary source of info with the Director of BBC News telling them: “...If you don’t like it ... then go and do something else because it’s going to happen. You’re not going to stop it.”
With some brands this seems to have translated into a race to create presence within the social sphere. The challenge we face is ensuring our clients understand exactly what social media means, the pitfalls and principles of usage as well as the potential benefits before they dive in.
A recent case study - for Nestle - can be held up as a clear example of “when social media goes bad.” The gist of the tale is that the brand – who have not been without their share of controversy in the past – apparently asked for YouTube to remove a Greenpeace video which had quite graphically suggested how Nestle’s use of palm oil harmed orang-utans. YouTube did.
In enraged response to this removal Greenpeace supporters took to Nestle’s official Facebook site in droves. These new “fans” covered Nestle’s Facebook wall with angry commentary, with some changing their profile pictures to nasty variations of the consumer giants logo. Nestle, perhaps having missed the 101 on how to behave in the social sphere, responded on its own Facebook wall to tell “fans” with altered logos that their posts would be deleted, that Nestle in fact had control over their own Facebook page so they could delete as they saw fit and adopting a tone that some commentators have called “juvenile; heavy-handed and insulting.” This approach activated one of the key benefits of social networking – the exchange spread like wildfire onto Twitter, Blogs and Wikis creating a serious PR headache.
Whilst Nestle have now capitulated, publicly apologising on their Facebook page for being rude and confessing that they are “learning” about social media, they still have some 100,000 fans on a Facebook page full of anger to determine what to do with. So how could they have handled this better?
There are some basic principles they should have considered in the first place:
- What are you trying to accomplish with social media?
- Why social media?
- How will it incorporate into the overall customer experience?
- How are you setup internally to deal with it?
- Are you prepared to let go of some control?
- Are you looking at it as a long term project?
- How will you measure and evaluate the results?
It is the “control” element that seems to be the particular fail for Nestle, from the YouTube incident onwards. It is also suggested that, internally, they gave the maintenance job to a junior marketer, hence the tone used in their comments. This should act as a cautionary tale that we can pass on to all our clients – make sure you are prepared before you enter the social media sphere.
In February Microsoft overtook Google for total unique visitors in the 15 – 34 female age bracket.* Microsoft have been in second place to Google for the last few years so this is quite an achievement and probably in no small part due to Microsoft’s recent advertising campaign for Bing, their new search engine. Has anyone been swayed by Microsoft’s Bing? Personally I’ve not found Bing as user friendly or as fluid as Google who specialise in search engine activity.
The stats however extend to more than just the respective search engines, they include the whole network of properties owned by Microsoft and Google. Are Microsoft about to challenge Google for internet supremacy or have Google just had a blip at reaching 15 – 34 women (Google held their position as No.1 in other demographics)? Watch this space…