Posts tagged ‘social media marketing’

April 28th, 2011

Why Social Media ideas are still complicated to widespread in Europe

by Laurent François

We had a great conversation 2 days ago @ ESCP Europe with some students, who wanted to know if it was more relevant to implement their start-ups in France, or more generally in Europe, or to directly move to the US.

Some constraints are obvious in Europe, and the main difficulty is…leveraging critical mass:

  • you have more than 20 languages in the European Union stricto sensu
    – it means that if there’s one EU citizenship, you have hundreds of local cultures you need to handle as an entrepreneur
    – you not only need to translate your solution but also understand the local expectations
    – people can’t easily share ideas and games through conversations, as they don’t speak all English, for instance
  • there’s already a wide diversity of start-ups: how to be original?
  • there are legal constraints, thus

But hey, socializers, come on! 3 arguments to answer:

  • if it was all about getting enough people to be reached, just go in advertising, not marketing: many products are good for very few people: the critical mass to achieve can be a very low number, depending on your business
  • think “business”, not “social”: what do you want to sell, and to whom?
  • the local differences are also business opportunities: not many people know how to manage different groups of people, even in plain English: it’s time to grow it

Remember: Social Media is a practice; what are your core competences? who are the public you want to reach? What’s the value proposition?


Once you’ve solved that, you don’t care where you are: there are still people talking to other people. Be pervasive; and creative


March 28th, 2011

Digitally influenced: “50% of Tweets Consumed Are Created by 20K Elite”

by Laurent François


A strong study by Yahoo! on contents produced & consumed on twitter.

Researchers at Yahoo! say that 50% of the tweets we read are produced by just 20 000 users wordlwide.

  • only 15% of tweets that ordinary users get are directly from the professional media, whereas they’re the most active content-producers
    –  it’s not a fail but a normal rate: a generalist media talk about a wide diversity of topics, and not 100% topics interest a wide diversity of people. Hubs of conversation can happen in a second life, through search engines
    – if 100% of contents that are produced were RT by billions of people, there’ll be a kind of psychiatric traffic jam. It’s a good news that people keep on filtering
  • 20K users (or 0.05% of all Twitter users) attract 50% of the attention. Among them: bloggers, celebrities. A new influential loop: you can interact on diverse interests with diverse hubs, it’s no longer fully segmenter. Sharing and opinions can arise, where you don’t really expect them
  • Conversations are unequal, asymetrical and scandalously one way: you only follow back 20% of people who follow you

To conclude, it’s pretty funny that twitter success is more on what you listen (so the quality of contents producers) than what you discuss. If I’m so demanding on good media, it’s also a way to create information dependency. Who said that verticality was dead? A star-blogger, maybe.

March 10th, 2011

Compact Conspiray: Hyundai plays with Social Media

by Laurent François


When it comes to Social Media, most of the time, the agencies sell 3 main principles:

  • be transparent
  • don’t create anger or mock people
  • be “linear”

And in fact, Hyundai gave us a pretty cool lesson. As Tina writes:

“We have some fun, unique online properties, like the very first faux Facebook cause, Cure Compact Crampomitosis (, which is presented as a tongue-in-cheek fight against the lack of leg room in compact cars, but it actually benefits a real non-profit, Americans for the Arts. When you join the cause on FB, Hyundai will donate $0.50 to Americans for the Arts.″

And that’s actually good news: a brand came to a wide audience with a value proposition, and brought us from a point A to a point B with diverse paths & episodes.

Basically, “earlier this year, Hyundai launched a series of viral pre-superbowl ads online, and these were later addressed during the game with televised ads. Thus, the “Compact Car Conspiracy” was de-mystified with the 2011 Elantra, a compact car with optimally designed interior space“.

But what’s cool is that Hyundai broke some rules whereas it was not that easy:

  • they’ve teased and “revealed” during the SuperBowl. I think it’s a risk, as if the campaign was bad, you would have a massive retaliation from the consumers. They’ve done it
  • they’ve been having some fun towards “causes” and in a sense towards this strange mood in Social Media that everything must be pink and nice. Hyundai broke this hypocrisy and organised a fake one “We stand against Compact Crampomitosis, which drives teeth into knees and buckles the legs of millions of compact car drivers every year. Please donate to give them the leg room they crave
  • they haven’t been over-promising: they’re not going to save the world with their cars, they’re just going to offer cool product benefits and services. Relevance comes with a good scope of communication. They’ve done it
  • they haven’t been “transparent”, they’ve been “authentic”, and that’s probably a great step forward: nice families always have deep secrets. It’s not because you reveal everything that you’re more honnest. Hyundai has been coherent, and keeps rocking. Love it. Look at this video (March 2011):

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.

December 14th, 2010

Sometimes, I have nothing to tell you. The marketing of silence in Social Media

by Laurent François


Billions of online conversations, rising there and on my tweetdeck. Huge delay to read them all. Impossible mission.

And suddenly a friend or a contact pops up in a more private window. Telling me that an article must be read, that a talent is rising. That a project has a just been launched.

That’s the strong come back of the OFF in our digital world. What is rare is costly: bringing the perfect information to an individual is the top service.

Sometimes, I have nothing to tell you online. Nothing as it’s too demanding in terme of available time. It’s not only a question of brain availability, but brodcasting capability. It’s the big difference with Le Lay principle some years ago: in our attention economy, it’s not only about being fed by incredible amounts of signals; it’s about being able to filter, synthetize, send, forward.

In this silent world, this dumb conversation, the one that does not leave a digital footprint in search engines, is very worth.

At the end, the true influence could be in measuring the ability for someone to be invisible. A little bit like luxury brands, that cultivate distance, whereas they’re omnipresent in the form of conversations .

One worry: if monitoring online conversations is at the end not so complicated, entering this silent world is going to be a big challenge. Even with Wikileaks-agents. It’s obviously on. It’s obviously off.