Archive for ‘storytelling’

January 12th, 2012

TV, Social Media, and the reasons why we should watch TV

by Laurent François

Another article for Social Media Today on the reasons why TV is the main crossroad for Social Media.

Check this out!

 

October 24th, 2011

When curation gets a real business model

by Laurent François

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.

October 9th, 2011

Talibans on Social Media

by Laurent François

NATO and their allies seem more and more scared because of a new evolution in Taliban strategy. If some decades ago, they were considered as modernity’s lost children (ie listening to music or watching TV were strictly forbidden), they are now massively entering digital era, deploying an efficient Social Media strategy.

For many months now, citizens or activists can follow Alemarahweb account, on the current fights from islamist troops vs American soldiers. We’ve also seen a true Twitter war between ISAF and Taliban spokeperson, which is a very interesting trend for next battles; giving live updates and controling the WOM spread is as important as earning new grounds. It is highly strong for Taliban as these social platforms endeavour their contact strategy with foreign opinion leaders. Websites pro-Taliban are sky-rocketing and it is linked to a “real” and daily pressure pattern on local populations. Not only through dangerous, violent and costly raids, but also through massive SMS sending, diffusing ideas and information on Jihad. Because it is sent at a very frequent pace, it could be compared to a digital minaret. Every channel used by international brand is also mastered by Talibans. It gives coherence and “form” to their ambition.

If we summarize: Bin Ladin implemented a TV-oriented communication. It had advantages (shock, expectations from media, fear…) but it lacked what the new digital strategy owns:  resilience with their target groups.

It is to be approached as one of the most jeopardizing threat against NATO; because the vision is now kind of blurry, local citizens start doubting, whereas Talibans suggest a simple thus coherent platform.

Talibans managed to control again the communication funnel, as Thomas Ruttig explained in 2010 en 2010 :  “Ces huit ou neuf dernières années, les Taliban ont réussi à diminuer le nombre de voix émanant du mouvement. Les premières années après la chute des Taliban, il y avait différents porte-paroles donnant souvent des versions différentes de la situation. Mais c’est terminé.” 

Conquering new cash-flow providers in foreign countries + a necessary need to get direct responses capabilities in terms of influence were two priorities. Because the new generations are highly pervasive in Afghanistan; they’ve been raised with internet and with Afghan diaspora. Soft Power is not only great powers’ main asset; it’s now also widely relevant for niche groups like Talibans for 2 reasons: they move faster than big organizations; they have a will in which deat is also part of the programme.

July 18th, 2011

Google + is creating the future of drag & drop shopping

by Laurent François

Citizens!

Comments have been massively done on Google +. In France, the first users were geeks or marketers and it gave a pretty disappointing user experience. Basically because the 1st stage of Google + propagation was done on a very “old” trick: static address books. If it worked well for MySpace or Facebook ages ago (“log and see”), Google + has a very different target group: people with huge social networks’ experience, and worldwide.

Google lacks this dynamic strategy to acquire new publics: one of the easy bets is that all the next big Social Media successes will be based out of a simple “emails propagation” but through true missions or “call to actions” towards targeted audiences. FourSquare’s a good example: the first promise is to unlock badges, after registering.

The only true revolution when it comes to Google + is all about the “drag and drop” dimension: a more intuitive web, focusing on a more human interaction. Pearltrees made it right, focusing first on dynamic affinities, using only THEN other social networks. My circles are today based on “real” friends and I’m added by a large amount of people through my blog or twitter. But I don’t care who these guys are as they don’t enter through my interests and I don’t have time to map them all!

In Pearltrees mechanisms, it’s the straight opposite value proposal: I feed my own interests, then I can grab others’ values, and only after that will I try to know who theses guys are.

The true revolution for Google + lies in non “user-centric” stuff but on “site-centrics” ones. It is now still very hard to see a true brand’s “web based” coherence. In Europe, when you enter a shop, it’s not yet “diving” into a 360° brand site, but still “brick&mortar”. But the last forecasts demonstrate that all the streets, all the shops will get some screens, that you can touch or not. The “drag and drop” logics that is tested by Google + will be the bone of contention to drive consumers to “purchasing” or spending more time with the brand. To make them come back, to use them as marketing trojans, to better understand them. Google + will be the “consumers’ front-office” of all the core competences of Google: suggesting consumers’ journey, tailoring keywords and intents. Not recommending but suggesting. Quiet a different business.

 

Google + is not a Facebook killer. It’s probably an intent to shape what will be the “brand-sites’ marketing” in the last 5 years. Shall we make a bet?

 

March 3rd, 2011

Mad Men are back in Social Media: “sell or else”

by Laurent François

During the last 5 years, everybody claimed the end of “traditional advertising”: print, TV, billboards. Because of new practices: social marketing, digital influence, experience marketing.

Let’s face it: if these new practices exploded, they haven’t killed advertising at all; they’ve helped it become stronger and reinvent its impact

Stats of the art: advertising growth everywhere

Carat has recently released an update of its 2011 forecasts: there’s a big US come-back while Asia keeps rocking. European markets are stabilizing and still generate revenue. A phenomenon not that surprizing as there’s an upcoming industrial revolution, supported by US government: Green R&D, new sustainable technologies. So as it’s necessary to explain to the general public why new offers, products & services matter.

Online advertizing keeps increasing too: efficiency debates arise here and there, so as campaigns must be more qualitative, relevant; “contacts strategy” are at stake, leaving GRP issues to the old world. That’s the reasong why media agencies are trying to leverage social offers, as they consider them as amplifications of their media plans!

Knowledge: inheritance of advertising and implementation of new digital methodologies

in an economy of attention, it’s not only about sending a message to make it generate consent towards relevant targets and publics. We’ve criticized a lot (me first…) advertising, and we forgot 2 important practices: planning & knowledge

Strategic planning has been developing for a century some methodologies, some patterns, some “science”, using skills where they are: labs, universities, trendsetters. While finding path to make all these insights work together. Social Media Marketing has probably led to new tools (online monitoring etc.). But when it comes to opinion, you need stats, habits, measurement process which help you refine the restults.  Planners, as in the 80s, are back to top management in agencies: because they’re the only one to get this step forward to create proper pervasive creativity process and value chain.

Brands’ organizations are changing to absorb the “social” rise

Jon Iwata, IBM’s CMO said that he was experiencing a major change:

“What is very clear is that for marketing to continue to be a meaningful contributor to business performance it not only has to enable delivery of short-term growth objectives but also needs to tackle the strategic issues of leveraging and aligning the culture in a way that maximizes the success of the organization”

To sum up: corporate culture and creative process on the same level. A re-engineering between insights (planning, marketing studies, monitoring etc.) as input to the communicative process (brand content, experience marketing…) to deliverable for the final clients: (client survey, CRM…)

It’s kinda good news for entreprises: it’s not about organizing a fight “communication department (or soft practices like PR)” vs “marketing departments” (hard practices like push marketing or CRM or couponing) but to come back to a principle: SELL OR ELSE (David Ogilvy).

From 4P to 4E :mad men & advertising people more prepared for the next challenges

In this environement, linked to a new industrialization era, making an idea go public for a product has never been as important. 4 P are not dead they’ve just changed to 4 E:

It leads me to the conclusion that advertising agencies may be more prepared to the new brands’ global challenges. Social media has been made on business territories and not on “citizens happy face world”; pure players are challenging these logics but only traditional content providers can generate…this content. For instance: to curate, you need producers. Real one. And it costs something.

It doesn’t mean that young & small structures will collapse. But that there are new cycles: a new leverage will always be interesting to integrate in a global communication purpose, in the long-term.