Ronnie05's Blog

Is social media a marketing hyperbole? (Part III)

Posted in Social context, media and advertising by Manas Ganguly on January 28, 2010

Dell is one of the few companies which have driven the social media to their advantage. While such examples are widely acknowledged and appreciated, working out such examples and such business models is tricky.

However, driving social media to one’s advantage isn’t as easy across. The beauty (and the problem) with social media marketing is that it’s a new field. As of now it’s more of an art than a science. I think we just need to see marketing guess/test/refine to find the perfect balance of advertisement and engagement. Also it is important to have the relevant engagement strategy. More often, companies are planning social media for the heck of planning it without a core idea of what they would like the social media to achieve for them. Until a good mix is found we probably will see approaches flounder… when was the last time you clicked on a FB ad?

2009 was also an year of experimentation with Social media launched to drive brands towards perceived relevance. Budgets for most parts were borrowed from other divisions to fund largely experimental programs. In many cases, these Social media programs were introduced without a relevant and integrated strategy and in 84% cases the ROI was not even monitored. In 2010, executives are demanding scrutiny, evaluation, and interpretation. Even though new media is transforming organizations from the inside out, what is constant is the need to apply performance indicators to our work. They want measurable results from social media but the exact implications of social media still evade CMOs.

53% CMOs are unsure about return on Twitter
50% are unable to access the value of LinkedIn.
Source: Bazaarvoice 2009

Most importantly, about 15% believe there is no ROI associated with Twitter, and just over 10% cannot glean ROI from LinkedIn or Facebook. This may be because of a direct disconnect between social media activity and a clearly defined end game. CMOs must establish what we want to measure before we engage. By doing so, Marketing Organizations can answer the questions, “what is it that they want to change, improve, accomplish, incite, etc?”

Quoting Brian Solis, Social Media expert, principal of FutureWorks and author, observer of Social media trends:
The debate over measuring social media investment inspired many brands to cannonball into popular social networks and join the proverbial conversation without a plan or strategic objectives defined. At the same time, the lack of ROI standards unnerved many executives, preventing any form of experimentation until their questions and concerns were addressed.

In 2010, we’re entering a new era of social media marketing — one based on information, rationalization, and resolve.
Business leaders simply need clarity in a time of abundant options and scarcity of experience. As many of us can attest, we report to executives who have no desire to measure intangible credos rooted in transparency and authenticity. In the end, they simply want to calculate the return on investment and associate social media programs with real-world business performance metrics.

Over the years, our exploration and experience has redefined the traditional metrics and created hybrid models that will prove critical to modern business practices and help companies effectively compete for the future.

Thus 2010 would be the year when Social Media Marketing takes on wings but the flight would need a well charted plan, a clear intent and dimensional details of what the Advertisers want to do in the first place. The greater the clarity on these aspects, the better the focus and the definition, the greater the efficiency for the marketers from social media. Unless it is backed by a strategy, intent and proper metrics, a hyped-up approach to social media will only make it a marketing hyperbole.

Is social media a marketing hyperbole? (Part II)

Posted in Social context, media and advertising by Manas Ganguly on January 27, 2010

Is Social Media a Marketing Hyperbole? This was an earlier post that I had written 9 months back. I return to this topic not any clearer after 9 months of social media exploits though. There is lot of hype around, but is there enough substance backing the hype.

Money spent on social media-related advertising is expected to grow this year significantly. Forrester Research’s Interactive Marketing Forecast for the next five years, estimates social media marketing to grow at an annual rate of 34 percent – faster than any other form of online marketing and double the average growth rate of 17 percent for all online mediums. Forrester had estimated that $716 million would be spent on the medium this year in 2009, growing to $3.1 billion in 2014. At that point, social media will be a bigger marketing channel than both email and mobile, but still just a fraction of the size of search or display advertising ($31.6B and $16.9B, respectively). Not surprisingly, some of this growth comes at the expense of offline advertising. Forrester estimates that online advertising will grow from 12 percent of total marketing spend this year to 21 percent by 2014, meaning that offline ad spend will fall. In fact, Forrester concludes that “overall advertising budgets will decline,” meaning efficiencies are being had by shifting money to the Web.

Another recent report published by eMarketer, has now declared that the medium is considered the top priority in the digital space according to a survey of senior marketers. 45.4% of respondents considered social a ‘top priority’ while another 42.2% deemed it ‘important’. That narrowly beat out digital infrastructure for the top spot, with other marketing tactics like search, mobile, and blogger outreach trailing significantly. The data, also indicates that ‘time on site’ is now the metric marketers are most interested in, followed by unique page views, click-thru rate, and the traditional page view. that engagement is here to stay as the preferred way of doing business. That means both more engaging ads that leverage social media, and more engaging web sites that keep users around beyond a simple page view.

Social media marketing will definitely be an important portion of the marketing mix as businesses are able to tailor their products better with engaging with users using sophisticated communication platforms. Marketeers around the world are watching some successful models like Dell execute social media in an optimal way.

Dell is one of the few companies which have driven the social media to their advantage. While such examples are widely acknowledged and appreciated, working out such examples and such business models is tricky. We would discuss the Marketeer’s dilemna in going for Social Media in my next post.

A movement called Twitter

Posted in Social context, media and advertising by Manas Ganguly on June 20, 2009

twitterFor an internet portal just two years in existence, the amount of news that Twitter has been making is like nothing ever before in the history of communications. Sample this:

  1. The micro-blogging site has featured in Time some days back
  2. Oprah Winfrey is the latest celebrity tweeting on the already huge celebrity list of Twitter
  3. Iranians turned to the service to protest the results of their presidential election and get the news out …
  4. … if that wasn’t enough, the importance of the San Francisco-based startup was underlined by the US State Department, which asked Twitter to postpone a planned maintenance shutdown on Monday because of the situation in Iran.
  5. Reacting to the Iran situation, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said, “It’s humbling to think that our two-year old company could be playing such a globally meaningful role that state officials find their way toward highlighting our significance.”
  6. Access to the popular social networking service was blocked across mainland China on Tuesday afternoon, two days before the 20th anniversary of the bloody Tiananmen Square crackdown following calls for a re-evaluation of the protest movement that have been published on the Internet, and may have prompted the black-out
  7. Twitter has been adding millions of users a month for the past several months and its website received 32.1 million unique visitors in April, according to comScore.
  8. #cnnfail hashtag on Twitter, came out as a result of Twitter users venting out their frustration on CNN for not giving enough coverage to the Iran incident. CNN had to issue an official response to the allegations.

 

The actual number of users of the micro-blogging service is hard to figure since Twitter can be accessed using personal computers, mobile telephones and dozens of custom-built applications such as the popular Tweetdeck.

The Twitter co-founders have reportedly passed up offers running into the hundreds of millions of dollars for the service and have so far only unveiled vague plans to turn it into a money-making venture.

Fred Wilson, a venture capitalist whose firm Union Square Ventures is an investor in Twitter, made it clear at the Twitter conference in New York on Tuesday that he believes Twitter has a bright— and profitable — future.“Links are the currency of the Internet,” Wilson, who sits on Twitter’s board of directors, told the 140 Characters Conference.

“If you look at the power of Google, and why Google is currently the king of the Internet, it’s that Google drives more traffic to more places on the Internet than anybody else,” he said.

“Social media, particularly systems like Twitter and Facebook that are good at driving traffic out into the Internet the same way that Google does are very important and powerful economic forces,” Wilson said.“It’s a natural thing for services like Twitter and Facebook to eventually figure out how to inject some sort of a paid model into their systems.“It’s the obvious thing to do and if they don’t do it some one will figure out how to do it as a third-party application, and people are already doing it as third-party applications,” he said.

John Borthwick, whose company Betaworks is among the hundreds that have developed tools for Twitter, said it is this “incredibly vibrant ecosystem of applications” surrounding Twitter that is one of its strengths.

Jeff Pulver, organizer of the 140 Characters Conference, said it is too early to tell exactly where Twitter is going, but “I think what we’re experiencing is something that’s much bigger than all of us understand.We’re living in a time where access to information is available to anyone and everyone,” said Pulver, a web entrepreneur. “The advent of Twitter has democratized access to information to everyone.

“When more and more people have real-time information we’re going to see transformations happen that no one expected,” he said. “Businesses will fail, others will flourish and there will be billions of dollars of opportunity created.”

 

The impact that this 2 year old micro blogging site seems to have in real time world is scary and there is little wonder that Google wants to either buy out or partner Twitter. Twitter’s ascent would not leave Google very comfortable. Would it?

Reference: http://www.livemint.com/2009/06/17131454/From-Time-to-Oprah-to-Iran-Tw.html?h=B

http://www.livemint.com/2009/06/03121331/China-blocks-Twitter-ahead-of.html?d=2http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/5351937/Google-chief-hints-at-partnership-with-Twitter.html

http://www.watblog.com/2009/06/18/the-iran-controversy-and-the-importance-of-social-media-communications/

Guardian’s Open Platform: The Launch

Social Context in Search applications: Is Google missing the action?

Posted in Social context, media and advertising, The cloud and the open source by Manas Ganguly on February 16, 2009

Search Engines are now a way of life with Internet addicts. While there is Google and Google only, there are others like Yahoo, MSN, Cuill, Ask and many others. I am a Google fan and on one occassion had told my wife, there is Internet and there is Google!

However, off late, Google seems to have fallen back in terms of Search. Not in terms of market share, not in terms of volumes, not in terms of efficacy or any optimised results! It is the social context that Google has started missing.

http://forums.techarena.in/web-news-trends/1114191.htm: This news feed was featured some time back and essentially speaks about Ziva Software’s application for mobile search, Zook coming together with Nokia! This addresses a huge potential market of mobile search applications. With more and more people opting to use Internet on the go on their mobiles, a search feature is a very apt application. Loaded as a widget (the name of a icon which features the application on the menu screen), these mobile search applications can will massify “SEARCH”!

So what, i said to myself, you can also load a Google Search Icon on your mobile and use it for search. But there lies the catch. A socially optimzed search will not only “search” but also prompt solutions intutively. As an illustration, if i do a “Italian Food Joints + Connaught Place” search on Google and a Social context optimized search engine, Google will generate the list and throw it back at me in no time. The Socially optimised search will generate the list, understand relevance of Restaurants (which means i need to eat –> hence may require booking) and intutively given me an option, “Book a Table?”. I can take the browser on Book a table and click on it so that i would directly talk to the Restaurant manager! Two Clicks.

On a Google, i would get the results, click on the result, figure out the telephone number, write it down ona piece of paper and then call the restaurant. Thats 3 clicks + manual work. Thats one click and a lot of hassle too many!

Kudos to Zook for having done that now! But with size and might of Google, it may turn it around any day now. Zook will have some days and time and distance to go before it thoroughly integrates all content like Google. But so long, for Social aware context applications, is the way, it is to be.

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