In an increasingly personalized media landscape, the surest way for brands to engage consumers is through cause marketing, according to new analysis from IPG Emerging Media Lab's team of digital experts.
This means that brands are suddenly jumping into intense conversations with a real point of view, on issues that could be seen as quite controversial. All this for what feels like the first time ever!
There has been much debate recently about whether or not Twitter is a meaningful tool for brands. But there's no doubt that consumers and marketers are having real, two-way conversations through Twitter that are producing measurable results for brands like Dell and Best Buy. Consumers want to communicate with brands -- and with the recent proliferation of participatory digital platforms, access to them and other consumers is easier than ever before.
Once a year, there is a mass migration of the intelligentsia to Long Beach, Calif. here, inside the Long Beach Performing Arts Center, a block from the Pacific Ocean, they gather for four days to share ideas and score gift bags at the TED Conference. Sold out a year in advance, the conference has scholars, scientists, musicians as speakers. They are boldface names: Bill Clinton, Steve Jobs, Jane Goodall. And as for any A-list party, an invitation is required. The price to get in: $6,000. Unable to meet the growing demand for access to TED, its organizers decided to democratize. They imagined a new conference that was TED but not TED, organized by local groups like schools, businesses, neighborhoods, even friends — at an unTED-like price: free.
The imminent publication of Forrester’s new report on the challenges facing clients - “Adaptive Brand Marketing: Rethinking Your Approach to Branding in the Digital Age” is a welcome turning of the spotlight toward client organizations. Without question agencies of all sizes, shapes and persuasions need to get their collective acts together and transform into leaner, more agile, more creative, & more technology- and data-fuelled businesses. The best in the business are no doubt all plotting how they can come out of this recession leaner, meaner, quicker, better. But that’s kind of pointless unless clients adapt too.
All content is not created equal. While valuable content is the linchpin of an organization's marketing strategy, different types of content map to different part of the buyer's journey. McKinsey published a report earlier this year that confirmed what many of us with the ear to the digital space have known for a while - people don't like to be funneled into a neat graphic. We're way past calling buyers consumers. Even as the term may be technically correct, it has an image problem. I prefer to talk about customers and since last week was customer service week and I was traveling, I thought we could have more than one customer conversation this week. In the digital space, your content is likely to be activated by participation.
Tim Brown says the design profession is preoccupied with creating nifty, fashionable objects -- even as pressing questions like clean water access show it has a bigger role to play. He calls for a shift to local, collaborative, participatory "design thinking."
Motivating collective creativity among a group of loosely connected individuals with a shared interest requires more than just an offer of prize money. Brands can harness social and personal desires to inspire crowds to come together for collaborative endeavors.
Where do you start? That’s the question I get often when I’m asked how to help a company market using social media tools. The people who contact me are smart. They tell me things like, “Yeah, they said we should start with a blog, and we said, ‘like the blog we already have?’” But what comes next is rarely a simple choice. I wanted to take you through some thoughts on what the basic building blocks of social media might be for a business (in the context of marketing, but then stretching a bit further out). Remember, roadmaps don’t work really well until you have a solid goal or destination in mind. None of this matters unless it feels right to you, regardless of my advice. You know your company’s boundaries. You know what your comfort levels are. Proceed at your organizational pace.
Today CSR stands for Corporate Social Responsibility. It's a concept that deals with a business's obligation to the people that help make it successful. Certainly, CSR embraces environmental responsibility, but it goes beyond that. It includes a company's policies and practices to better the lives of its employees, their community and society as a whole. It can embrace issues such as poverty, literacy, disease, education, biodiversity and more. Pretty much every forward-thinking CEO has embraced CSR as a key part of doing business today. According to CRO magazine, CSR is now a $37 billion industry. But what about the other side of the coin? What about the consumer's responsibility? As the old adage says, it takes two to tango.
With the rapid adoption of social media, we have accelerated into a network economy. In a network economy, connectivity enables value to be created and shared by network members. The larger the network, the greater the potential benefits. In the digital world, network activities take place on an open platform that enables participation and cloud computing (think Wikipedia and widgets). In networks, some members are more connected and active, and therefore have more influence. These influentials are important members because they add significantly more value to the network. In the digital world, they blog, twitter, upload videos, experiment with new gadgets, and create widgets. As early adopters, they tend to be trendsetters that are followed by their friends and sometimes the masses.
If information is power, the first step to gaining power is to get the right data. The Obama administration is a big proponent of opening up government data and making it digitally available. Today at the Personal Democracy Forum in New York City, the government’s new chief information officer Vivek Kundra announced USAspending.gov, a new site which launched today that tracks government spending with charts and lists ranking the largest government contractors (Lockheed, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, etc.) and assistance recipients (Department of Healthcare Services, New York State Dept. of Health, Texas Health & Human Services Commission, etc.). There is also the Data.gov project, which is attempting to digitize government data and make it available in its raw form for citizens and companies to sift through.
A soured economy has prompted a boom in crowdsourcing, but this is a creative, efficient trend that will outlast the recession?
While the mainstream press, and most digital marketing firms, are convinced that social media are changing the consciousness and habits of humanity, I've chanced upon two studies that suggest otherwise.
How many "reward cards" do you have, or loyalty programs do you participate in? When I think of a typical day, I can't think of a commercial transaction that doesn't come with a clerk or cashier who asks, "are you a member in our blah blah blah program?" Books. Office supplies. Gas. Pizza. Grocery.
It was recently suggested by Barack Obama that we should borrow and spend less and save more, not rebuilding the economy on the same sand but instead lay a new foundation for prosperity. It’s not the message consumers, this country, or the rest of the world is used to, particularly in a recession.
I’ve been chewing on this idea lately. Maybe it’s because of WOMM-U in Miami last week or maybe it’s the conversations we’ve been having with marketers on the brand side of things. But both the terms “participation” and “engagement” are being throw around a lot these days. And they’re also being interchanged - which I think is a big mistake and is further clouding the word of mouth marketing waters.
For the next few days I plan to explore what I am calling the Age of Involvement: the role of participation in an information society and how it leads to an expanded view of our economy. I am not an economist and have never studied economics. I am approaching this as someone who believes that innovation is redefining everything around us, including the ways that we measure human achievement.
Fronteer Strategy, an Amsterdam-based management strategy consulting firm, has published a short (6-page) paper on co-creation, in which they argue that there are four types of co-creation and five guiding principles to any successful Co-creation venture.
During the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt reassured anxious Americans through his famous fireside chats over the radio. Now, in the 21st century, President Obama has found his own fireside equivalent, launching an online town hall meeting Thursday where he will answer citizens' questions about the troubled economy and his efforts to fix it.
SXSW Interactive wrapped up last week, leaving the new-media mavens who attended a little more sober about the future despite the usual whirlwind of events and parties. Often dubbed the Sundance of new media, SXSWi is the bellwether for what lies ahead for digital culture. Here are seven unthinkable ideas from SXSWi 2009. Savvy marketers should consider these the tremors that lead to trends.