Archive for November, 2010

November 21st, 2010

Social Media project has failed

by Laurent François

15 years ago, we said that the web could be this fantastic playground in which social relationships among people could free their souls & projects. A place in with the wisdom of crowds could help us shape all the criteria of success to optimize our daily lives, moreoever for our children.

Well, this project has to a certain extent failed.

4 pessimistic reasons, all linked to the building of an history (in French; “historicité”), to confirm this idea

  • the access to archives of conversations is dramatically complicated for any citizen. Here and there, you can find digital footprints, for instance in 90s-newsgroups. Nonetheless, in the 90s, the social web has first been developped on economical reasons, not through vertuous ones. During this decade, we should have implemented “curators” in order to organise the web. Some might say that thanks to monitoring solutions, it’s now possible to follow insights through the time. Maybe. But how many solutions keep more than 6 months of conversations? Very few, as this effort has a huge cost. Congrats to all the universitarians and people trying to build these histories. But we’ve lost decades.
  • How many articles, written by professionals (press, thinkers etc.) link to the past? How many media now do have the capabilities to produce long-term files? Not a lot. There should be people dedicated to these objectifs within their organizations; the problem is that the business model was not made on that but on fast news. Once again, we’ve lost decades
  • How many new ideas have been propagated on stage, in front of a huge mass of people? This nice democratic idea in which a topic or a guy could be elected by chance, and that could have an impact, a debate? In real life, you can be picked in a jury, for law. In Social Media, it’s rare to find people promoting by pure chance new talents or ideas. Actors’ strategy…Decades lost
  • How many iconoclast ideas have been perennial, in political fields, for instance? How many of them did pass the very conservative filters, even when they seem to be “cool”?

The Social Media project has to a certain extent failed: it’s now time to go back to sense & goals; in order to not only ask ourselves “who benefits from crime ?” but “why do we communicated?”.



November 14th, 2010

Brand inexperience: a true Social Media Marketing goal?

by Laurent François

Citizens!

We’ve been talking a lot about brand experience these days. In an economy of attention more & more complicated, brands aim to focus again on consumers’ journey, starting from research, buying behavior & finally ending on the diverse usages / consumption of the product or service over time.

A necessary long-time approach as in our liquid & “liquifying” economy, new usages or needs postpone the death of a product life cycle. Movie industry is good example: you go to the theater, you watch a DVD or VOD, you sell & buy goodies. Or you can even implement products’ placement (thanks Thien for sharing the link). A Disney experience has proved for a long time the multiplying possibilities of a single idea. Mobile phones are now social browers, and that’s also interesting: any OS update is a new opportunity to get new services or start again certain usages; things you could not imagine while you were in the conception phase.

In a SWOT approach (strengths, weaknesses, oppportunities, threats), we most of time go too fast on opportunities, letting them dependent on brand assets, instead of focusing on the real context. Good consultants generally do a deep work in order to understand what the core competences are. But they obviously leave interns & juniors working on PESTEL (or environment) analysis. They normally keep too little time to go back to these insights. The problem is that if you remain too focused on brand experience, so to say on the product at the early stage, you destroy huge potentialities, prospectives, which can occur or just appear thanks to a new context.

In our pervasive environment, we should therefore invest time in a new practice: brand inexperience.

The devil is in the details; we could challenge ourselves:

  • in which ecosystem the brand should be present but seems invisible?
  • in which tribes can we find the brand that is used in very original ways, that were not anticipated by the “brand experience administrator”, so to say the brand value chain?
  • to which level do the user understand and use the brand? Is there a pool of users who drive the brand down or at perfectly immature stage? (think about Palm 10 years ago and compare it to iPhone today: we’re still smartphones’ teenagers. All.)