Posts Tagged ‘traditional media’

Monetizing Web “2.0,” Part 3

May 15, 2007

Writing the last post was an epiphany for me, in that realizing the current mode of advertising in traditional media is akin to totalitarianism, whereas social media has put power in the hands of the people through consumer-generated content. Thus, a true revolution of advertising within the context of Web 2.0 should be a categorical re-evolution, rather than an impetuous modification of current strategies (we are not witnessing new channels of media, it is a new type of media). In this post I would like to share the links that led me to this train of thought.

It was a dark and stormy night… wait, wrong blog…

Okay, it all started with a story from the Washington Post about “Putting the I in Advertising.” Here’s a part that really stuck out:

“Grant McCracken, a cultural anthropologist affiliated with MIT, says participatory advertising represents a ‘revolution’ in thinking. It means marketers are actually ‘inviting’ consumers ‘into the production of meaning,’ he says.”

We all know the story, that letting consumers have control over the content has advertisers and marketers running scared, but for some reason these two sentences struck the right chord. AdWeek published a fairly similar article, but quoted Roger Faxon, a chief executive at EMI Music Publishing, as saying,

‘Music companies will function more as facilitators for bringing music and the rights that support them to the marketplace, as opposed to being originators of the content itself.'”

This may very well apply to marketing: we work just as facilitators of content, not as creators of it. An example of this (an especially radical one at that)? The revolt of Digg users over postings of links that showed the new copyright encryption key for HD-DVD’s. At first the site administrators removed the posts; after a large push by users, the site administrators relented, even at the risk of their own (legal) peril. With these things in mind my research finally led me across a seminal treatment of the point I am trying to get it across (doesn’t someone always say it before you?!): an article by Bob Garfield titled “Chaos Scenario 2.0.” I highly suggest you read it instead of me paraphrasing it for you. After you’re done reading, I would like to note that I don’t believe in such a doom-and-gloom scenario as far as traditional media and advertising. Here’s why:

  • Not all consumers use the internet
  • Not all internet users participate in social media
  • Not all internet users who participate in social media spend time on a site relevant to your product

Anyways, I felt it necessary to sketch some boundaries before we continue to move forward. In the next entry I hope to finally get around to new advertising and its (possible) relation to adventure education; I promise I will not become like the TV show Lost and start leading you on to tune in for the next episode where only the last thirty seconds were worth your time.

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Monetizing “Web 2.0,” Part 2

May 8, 2007

I think one of the biggest hurdles we face in monetizing the burgeoning field of social media (i.e., content that is consumer-generated) is how we have misconceived the problem in the first place; it seems a more radical conception of what “Web 2.0” really means for the advertiser must first be achieved before moving forward in this question.

Revolution = Re/evolution

If new media and Web 2.0 truly represent the democratization of media, etc., one thing we at Madison Avenue have yet to be forthright about in our plethora of self-gratifying blogs is the true structure of our “old” advertising model: totalitarianism.

Although many marketers are planning on using social media in the near future, many executives still report they are afraid to embrace this new technology. While we keep trumpeting the arrival of a digital revolution and the seismic shift we are about to experience, we remain wary and hold the future at arm’s length because we want to protect our expensive branding campaigns, abhor the possibility of losing control over that content, and have become comfortable with delivering our message in a one-way conversation again and again and again, ad infinitum (or, at least as much as our clients’ budgets allow).

This is my concern: the majority of the discourse I see in my (ever-growing list of) RSS feeds is usually centered around the idea of how to use new media as a tool for our current campaigns… I believe this is completely missing the point. We have become robots, stuck in the mode of 1) Create an ad campaign, 2) Beat the message over the heads of consumers repetitively (and maybe throw in a contest to encourage participation). As Web 2.0 comes along, many marketers have written in a manner such as: “Wonderful! Now we have tons of new channels to get our message out!” Do not miss the subtle but critical fallacy of this thought. In our “old” model, we place a pitch with some graphics into a magazine which (we hope) spurs the social interaction of a purchase, and perhaps some word-of-mouth marketing by consumers happy with our product as a bonus. Now we weave a pitch into a blog and there may immediately be dozens of comments, some about the post itself, and some in connection to other comments consumers have already left about the post. Do you see the difference? An immediate dialogue; instantaneous interaction. This is a world apart from a magazine ad…

Thus, I feel it is imperative to recognize that Advertising 2.0 should be conceptualized as its own entity, rather than a slightly modified iteration of our current practices. In essence, the current mode of advertising is incompatible when users have power over content. So, what might this re-evolution of advertising look like? Can it be profitable? Come back after I finish some brainstorming (I can tell you right now that my jumping off point for my thought process, as of this moment, will be the techniques and theory behind adventure education).

When Marketing Meets Cutting Edge Technology

April 19, 2007

In school one lesson was hammered into my mind to no end: correlation does not equal causation. Now, let us apply that to advertising.

For decades, advertisers could only correlate spikes in sales with ad campaigns in traditional media outlets, i.e., a major record label places ads for a new music release in magazines across the country and they cross their fingers hoping for a response; when they get one they could only (vaguely) correlate the campaign with the sales. Now with the growing sophistication of online marketing technology we are one (giant) step closer to the causation equation: for instance, not only does Yahoo know which ad on which site lured you in to buy the new Modest Mouse album, but by the end of the week you may start seeing ads for booking that hotel room in Xiamen, China, that you’ve been putting off (like Gord Hotchkiss recently did). Utilizing these capabilities, along with ‘stacking’ ad campaigns through multiple media channels, grants a greater chance of conversion and allows you to measure what worked and why.

It seems the internet has the potential to become a marketer’s dream-come-true: measurable results at your fingertips. Yes, take a moment to reflect on the possibilities… now wipe that bit of drool from the side of your mouth (and also remember the debate about the ethics of being so sneaky).

Finally, visit iMedia Connection for wealth of advice of how to implement these strategies (no, I wasn’t paid to write that).

Exploiting “Web 2.0” to Promote Television Shows

April 10, 2007

Some attempts to promote television shows by utilizing the power of social networking sites have proved creative, but somewhat ineffectual.  Recently, however, the people behind ‘How I Met Your Mother‘ put together a promotion on MySpace that produced (measurable!) results. The television show ‘Bones‘ also started a new five-week campaign using MySpace; this particular push requires heavy engagement by the viewer, but there is not yet any word as to how successful it has been.

One of my personal favorites, ‘30 Rock,’ has yet to embrace the power of social networking sites beyond its own NBC-sponsored attempt, which I feel is a travesty: although it has been renewed for a second season, it has unimpressive ratings and could use more creative muscle beyond message boards and some behind-the-scenes interviews. For instance, in one episode, Judah Friedlander is seen using his cellphone to record a video of a funny shouting match between Tina Fey’s and Jane Krakowski’s characters; why not extend the scene, record it using a camera phone, and post this original content on YouTube? Also, most fans I know love Jack McBrayer’s character: his story has enough dramatic momentum (a funny/nerdy southern boy trying to make it big in the big city) that I do not understand why we are not seeing his own three-minute webisodes on YouTube. It seems that the answer may be NBC’s desire to keep control over original content, as they expand material on the web, but make it available only on NBC.com, effectively keeping any revenue generated by the content firmly within their own camp.

But, what about the effect a successful campaign could have on viewership? If you create new viewers through a successful push, I think that would outweigh pleasing the fans you already have by posting content on the corporate-sponsored site (my logic behind this is that the only people engaging the content on a corporate site are already dedicated fans, not brand new ones). What do you think? Would an increase in viewers be more beneficial than attempting to keep a firm hold on revenue generated by online content?

Also, NBC, please feel free to steal my ideas about promoting 30 Rock… and contact me if you want more freebies 😉