I have not done a cup of chaos on a Friday for sometime … but this just seemed too delicious to ignore.
In the last federal election, social media showed its potential to engage and influence the voting public. We saw some tentative steps into the world of social media – some tweets, Facebook updates and the occasional blog post. And the public – largely ignored in terms of digital citizenry – leapt at the opportunity to not just join the conversation – but enter the debate.
Over time the the #auspol hashtag has become a hot bed of debate, opinion and – in the best tradition of Twitter – trolling. Over the last month alone, the #auspol hashtag has averaged around 20,000 tweets per day from an Australian Twitter population of only 2.1 million. This would indicate a level of intensity worthy of attention – especially given that the next Australian government is likely to be determined not by a popular or even representative vote – but by voters in a handful of marginal electorates.
In the USA, the Obama campaign set a new standard for the effective use of social media. But while the Obama campaign, with its massive successes, legions of data scientists and programmers, seemed to signal a new way forward for digital citizenry, local efforts have missed the mark, employing immature and simplistic strategies that have failed to either capture the imagination of the public nor engage them in public debate.
In many ways, the social media performance across the election has been almost as lacklustre as the campaigns for the top job itself. As with most failures, the failure of social media to ignite the election has many fathers. Here are a few:
In many ways, social media had the potential to turn this election on its head. A deeper understanding of the nature of social could, dare I say it, swayed the outcome considerably.
One only has to consider the massive impact that has been achieved through the newsjacking of the @ImVotingLiberal account and hashtag. For an account that has only a few followers, the conversation and engagement has been astounding. Now, imagine if some of the politicians of all persuasions came up with campaigns that engaged voters in this style of creative exchange. Imagine how much more vital, relevant and dare I say FUN would this election have been?
Followup: It seems that the @imvotingliberal account has been suspended.
Back in 2007, Drew McLellan and I embarked on a journey of crowdsourcing discovery. Inspired by the We Are Smarter Than Me collaborative writing project, we wanted to see whether the collective intelligence of marketers across the globe could make sense of the emerging social media landscape. Three months later, the first edition of The Age of Conversation was published. It brought together over 100 writers from 22 countries and captured the mood of the time.
Three editions and six years later, working on these collaborative publishing projects has made me a firm believer in the power and insight that comes from focused communities. In fact, working on the latest edition – Age of Conversation 4 – is again reminding me of the breadth and depth of insight that comes from a diverse – yet focused – group of professionals.
The one consistent theme through all of the four editions, however, is the role of inclusiveness. From a brand perspective, we tend to think of this as a “loss of control”, but through the lens of the consumer, it’s a different story. Rather than seeing this transformation in terms of a shift of power, we should view it as a fundamental mark of mutual respect. And rather than thinking about limitation and even copyright, we should think of generosity and awareness. Effectively this shift means a transformation of what we consider the “marketing funnel” with “conversion” being less about sales and more about shifting our customer relationships away from transactions and closer to longer term engagement. This in turn requires an understanding of customer lifetime value.
The publishing industry has faced this transformation for decades and continues to struggle. The music industry is now making a much better fist of the challenge, but TV seems resolutely trapped in the quagmire of industrialised thinking. This makes the entire industry ripe for disruption. And platforms like Netflix and Hulu are well placed to deliver this kind of broad disruption. And as Oscar winner and artistic director of the Old Vic theatre in London recently said, it’s time for TV to learn from other industries. It’s time for them to learn from the crowd. After all, we are smarter than TV.
For a long time I have been a fan of the concept of “play”. It brings a great deal of creativity into what can often be a very serious approach to business. In fact, I used PLAY as a metaphor for brand engagement, precisely to provide a creative nuance not only to “kids marketing” but to what we now call social media marketing.
But how can we take this further? How do we bring this sense of play and creativity into all aspects of our lives?
Leslie Bradshaw suggests going back to the beginning – to our childhood. It’s about using the lessons of our childhood to unleash our creativity and find balance in our work and life. Now, I am off to feed my inner child. Enjoy.
The WeAreSocial team in Singapore consistently produce thought provoking research and showcase the powerhouse that is Asia. Their regular reports (available on Slideshare) aggregate data from across the web and make connections between the trends and the reality on the ground. And for those wanting to understand the shifts in marketing in Asia, they provide a great series of primers. (Of course, the best thing to do is to GO.)
The latest presentation by Simon Kemp, shifts this up a level, offering eight provocations on the future of marketing. No matter whether you are client-side or work for an agency, these provocations offer a powerful challenge to the status quo of the way that we carry on the BUSINESS of MARKETING.
Now, if these indeed are provocations, they are aimed precisely at the way that we marketers do our work, conceptualise it and execute on it. It becomes personal very quickly. So the question we must ask ourselves is – “which of these most impact me, my work and my customers – and what will I do about it”. I would love to know your thoughts!
Are you Australia’s best young marketer? Or best young creative?
Then here is your chance to win an all expenses paid trip to New York.
Simply visit the High Five ADMA website (ok, don’t blame me, I didn’t come up with it) and put your case forward.
What’s involved? For marketers:
To enter the competition you need to be under the age of 30, and you can be working as a client-side marketer, for an agency or on the supply side, in a data house, at a production company or in any environment where data-driven marketing is applied.
… We want you to create a nationwide advertising campaign for
ADMA to promote the Young Marketer of the Year and Young Creative
of the Year to run in 2014.
The deadline for entries has been extended by a week – so that means you have until 5pm on Friday, 23 August 2013. You’d best get going.
When the iPad appeared on the scene its dominance was all encompassing. But just as the battle for marketshare in the smartphone market is shifting away from Apple’s iPhone towards the plethora of various Android powered devices, the tablet market is seeing a similar pattern emerge.
Apple now holds less than 30% of the tablet market which is down from almost 50% at the same time last year.
In this infographic, eBay Deals, took a different approach – and rather than just relying on pure sales data, they analysed thousands of tweets, search data, YouTube views etc. The aim was to reveal not just market share (which we know), but aspects of behaviour, sentiment and – dare I say it – love.
And in this respect, Apple’s products continue to perform well. But interestingly, it is Google (not Android) that seems to be emerging as a strong competitor in the “tablet passion” stakes. And that – for Apple at least – should be more worrying than the sales figures – after all, one is a leading indicator of the other. And that early dominance can easily be squandered.
The crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter, is a fascinating microcosm – it brings together all the elements and challenges of a business often before that business exists. So in many ways, a Kickstarter project is a pre-startup startup – and accordingly it faces many of the same immediate challenges. But where startups sprint towards product, Kickstarter forces a path towards market development. Those who can’t market, don’t win. And like current marketing trends indicate, video plays an increasingly important role in that process.
Research from MWP Digital Media shows that Kickstarter projects that have a video are 85% more likely to achieve their funding goals. This tends to match some of the trends we are seeing in broader marketing circles – with YouTube and Vimeo consumption continuing to rise – impacting not just brand and engagement metrics but also working at crucial junctures in the path to purchase.
Video, however, is a steep learning curve – so there are obvious benefits to outsourcing. But new features in familiar apps/platforms like Instagram and Twitter (via Vine) make it easy to experiment. And I have a feeling that the role of user (or brand) generated video content is only going to accelerate in the next 12-18 months. I have already begun testing this out for myself and with clients.
These days marketing never sleeps. I hope this shift isn’t catching you napping.
These days with the rapid changes in technology, new thinking in digital and social media and constant experimentation with both, every week seems to be a “big week”. But this week, the ADMA Global Forum is running – bringing marketers and technologists face to face.
There are some interesting masterclasses on branding, creativity, data/analytics and engagement strategy from some of the world’s leading marketers. There’s also a raft of local and international speakers bound to provide plenty of provocative juice to your 2014 marketing plans. Personally I am looking forward to the Ted Rubin keynote and Aden Forrest’s session on marketing automation.
There is also the “Innovation Zone” – a showcase of marketing and tech vendors, the Innovation Zone Party, breakfasts on big data and international leadership – and my favourite – Grill the Honcho – a chance for up-and-coming young marketers to get in front of CEOs, CMOs and GMs to ask the big career questions.
Let me know if you are going – it’d be great to catch up.
I was excited to receive a message this morning from Beth Wellington that more and more poets are starting to use Twitter.
— BethWellington (@BethWellington) August 3, 2013
This article, published in The Independent, talks about the way Twitter is allowing poets of all shapes and sizes, find new audiences and test out new technology at the same time.
Back in 2007 I setup an account called @TwitterPoetry where you could login and contribute a line to a collaborative poem. The last entry seems to have been 2010 – but perhaps it’s time to be collaboratively creative again. Here is how:
To see the whole poem, go here.
Let your creative juices flow … I look forward to reading your/our work!