I wrote a post on Social Media hopes to fight against the very first social fact, suicide. And it’s on Social Media Today, of course!
Most of people against Pearltrees or other curation tools say there’s no cash-flow below. But they’re definitely wrong.
OpenSky a curation / e-shopping platform, has a very strong business model.
The core principle is simple: once you’ve logged in, you follow experts / stars you trust. They recommend you products or services. It’s not only following celebrities like in a bundle package; it’s really a value added as he/she curates items depending on their scope of expertize.
The curation promise is linked to other leverages:
- social currency & social gaming : you earn credits anytime a friend joins the platform. You can also earn credits once you win or satisfy some missions. Brand content projects can be pretty numerous
- couponing : picked items also have “deals”. It’s both addictive (as Private Outlet or Asos.com) and relevant for the consumers
One more time, “opinion leaders strength” + “recommendation power through WOM” is a good combination. The growing influence of Twitter as a business case (they’ve finally entered the entertainment business…) is decisive.
Good news for curation start-ups: filtering data and making the web more physically-manipulable is key.
Yesterday, I had the big pleasure to give a very first lecture @ ESCP Europe in London, with the folks of Master’s in Marketing & Creativity.
You’ll find embedded the final deck. It aims to focus on 3 main topics:
– the importance of the “real life” context, constraints & opportunities, to better approach Social Media Marketing as a whole
– the necessary metrics you need to develop to justify your strategy. Metrics that are not only directly money-related but linked to business, then communication objectives
– the big debate you need to have on the idea of value, as a creative
Shiseido gives a good trend on what cosmectics & beauty retail/shops will look like. 2 statements on cosmectics & beauty marketing in brick&mortar shops in Europe:
- Consumers are more and more well informed thanks to beauty & cosmectics bloggers, journalists, media. It’s really difficult for sales to add value when a consumer comes in shops. That’s the reason why we’ve launched for L’Express Styles (the media group I work for in France) a true digital beauty centre, in order to become a hub for sharing knowledge, tests, testimonials with beauty experts, and journalists among final consumers (they can get a sample of a product and add comments to experts’ point of view)
- More generally, if the ads are really beautiful and can make you dream on TV, it’s pretty disappointing when you go in shops: it’s like going to supermarkets, and it’s like if there was a leakage on the communication chain
Shiseido answered to these 2 gaps in their new shop:
- on the 1st floor, mirrors are digital: once you scan a barcode, you can see a glimpse of what it looks like on your skin. It also gives add-ons to amplify the user experience (tips & tricks, advices, experts’ POV…)
- on the 2nd floor, Shiseido mix real life experience like in a beauty centre, and technologies to endeavour web-based conversations with their experts. We can imagine that there’ll soon be FAQs based on the history of conversations with the consumers
When Social @ Marketing gives more sense to the value chain for the brand and the consumer…
For the last months, many brands have dived into storytelling-way-of-life instead of focusing on products’ benefits.
- Nike and its “better world“
- Puma and their “after hours athletes“
- Nivea and is strategy to target our intimacy
A pressure to build “stories” as digital re-shaped our economy of attention; once you’re done with a coupon, you need to maintain a link with diverse publics. You need to be able to activate them. The “story” would be an asset to keep an interest going, moreoever in a digital journey: you share your daily bread with your relatives, with your buddies, and in the meantime you pick and chose your next holidays. It amplifies our beings, and brands want to interfere within this tree of choices. As a comparison, you never really leave a book after you’ve read the 3 first chapters.
But if the marketing statement is simple at first sight, it’s utterly complicated -and to date disappointing- to implement and orchestrate
A reader as a shareholder of the story’s success
A story is paradoxically based on unsaid. It’s a principle developped by Umberto Eco in 1979 in Lector in Fabula.
In order to make a story work, the reader must be brought to a whole universe (as in an encyclopedia) and to feel like if he had a responsibility in the curse of the story.
“générer un texte signifie mettre en oeuvre une stratégie dont font partie les prévisions des mouvements de l’autre – comme dans toute stratégie“.
Interpretative & autonomous mechanism are intrinsic to the story. Non-existing characters become so “existing” in our minds that we can anticipate their next steps or don’t be surprised by an attitude in the following episodes. More interesting: these characters keep living in our brains out of the written text! Digital world increases this statement: the reader is a shareholder or the story’s reputation. If he feels engaged, he’ll talk about it and will recruit, will debate, will bring the story’s universe to new borders.
It’s pretty rare to consider new ads to be great stories. Nike came and said “I have a story” but don’t give any real clue that it’s true (and the amount of RT to an ad on YouTube is just crap to explain it). We’re on a static ad, that’s all.
The reader as an intimate actor of a public creation
When we read a story, we’re alone, even if you live it with other people. That’s the reason why it’s so important to ask to your friends if they’ve liked a movie or a book. We perceive on our own a story.
Brands dare to directly outreach our intimacy, in order to force us to give our feelings. It’s the case with Nivea, in the US, with their “Cupid’s Challenge“; a category at the same level than coupons in the diverse social spaces of the brand.
“Kiss” platform, with the help of 2 US TV middle stars, Nick Lachey & Vanessa Minnillo wants to coach our love life (so telling what is good or bad on this purpose); wants to viralize people’s love (vs money or gifts); wants to promote Nivea massage’s products, which are supposed to endeavour libido.
A tricky mechanism which has some limits: once you’re done with your 3 RT of celebrity, you remember that Nivea is first & foremost a soap. And that Cupid’s Challenge’s chapter 2 is an empty bottle. Because as in real TV, the script is so not real.
Consumer: a hierarchy of values?
So here’s the deal: isn’t there a way between brands which only talk about themselves and brands which only try to reach our intimacies?
Maybe to go back to basics, as New Scientist reminds us:it’s not about manipulation but aspirations and fullfillments. For instance, 20 years ago, Snickers, a brand owned by Mars in France, decided to build some sports playgrounds in under-privileged cities. A means to bring a concrete chapter to the brand’s story. To help buddies who want to practice some sports in the evenings; and for some of them, to be spotted by major basketball temps. It was 20 years ago. It was alreay pervasive creativity.