If you like mobile phones/internet, you will definitely like the following creative presentation from LIFT conference 2008 by Nokia with extensive anthropological research around the globe. Inspiring !
Better Than Free is a new blog post by Kevin Kelly with a lot of buzz on the web this week. It is about the evolution of business models and value creation on the web. Important piece of thinking, especially for all those involved in the digital content/entertainment business. In my view this post resonates with the attention economy and the emerging business models within social networks/platforms (recommendtions, social economy). Additionally, people pay in my view increasingly for experiences (physical and social) and context and less for the content itself. Both are relatively scarce.
"When copies are super abundant, they become worthless. When copies are super abundant, stuff which can't be copied becomes scarce and valuable. Well, what can't be copied?
There are a number of qualities that can't be copied. Consider "trust." Trust cannot be copied. You can't purchase it. Trust must be earned, over time. It cannot be downloaded. Or faked. Or counterfeited (at least for long). If everything else is equal, you'll always prefer to deal with someone you can trust. So trust is an intangible that has increasing value in a copy saturated world.
There are a number of other qualities similar to trust that are difficult to copy, and thus become valuable in this network economy. I think the best way to examine them is not from the eye of the producer, manufacturer, or creator, but from the eye of the user. We can start with a simple user question: why would we ever pay for anything that we could get for free? From my study of the network economy I see roughly eight categories of intangible value that we buy when we pay for something that could be free.
There are 8 key value drivers : Immediacy, Personalization, Interpretation/Support, Authenticity, Accessibility, Embodiment, Patronage and Findability"
Here is my presentation on different trends, digital media, web 2.0, web 3.0, marketing, digital marketing and communication/branding. Dutch only as yet, English one will follow soon. Focus is on different technological, environmental, economic and political views (macro perspective) as well as psychological, social and cultural views (micro perspective) and how they intersect, converge and reinforce in many different ways on different levels of analysis.
Key take away: Identity (knowing your intrinsic motivation, purpose and talents), Authenticity (being) and Creativity (doing) as reinforcing themes and values in the emerging and increasingly open space of the next web(s), biotech and ubiquitous computing where the all-encompassing and increasing availability of more granular and personal data of all sorts make the invisible visible and explicit to the benefit of ourselves, our social network, our peers and the market/global brain/humanity as a whole. The essential used to be invisible to the eye....until now and it will bring about massive transformations for the benefit of us all.
Just saw by far the best presentation and discussion I have seen yet on Second Life, virtual worlds and its future.
Philip Rosedale - CEO of Second Life - elaborates on a lot of key topics like copyrights, imagination, dreams, identity, transformation and the rise of the immaterial values, Burning Man Festival, 3D interfaces, open source clients, decentralization and emergence, virtual corporation and cooperation, skyscrapers as museum pieces, creativity, community, authenticity, learning, the time accelleration within Second Life and the importance, nature and meaning of the mindset (and its expectations) of virtual worlds in relation to the real world. The Q&A is even better than the presentation of Rosedale, among others with Steward Brand and Kevin Kelly. There are so many stunning insights in this Q&A to mention them all in this spot. What I expect personally is that the rise of 3D printers will increase the importance of virtual world objects in the real world.
Strongly recommended (just like the Metaverse Roadmap Report I mentioned earlier). It is not an accident this presentation from the Long Now Foundation on Fora.tv has 5 (out of 5) stars ;-)
How can you use SlideShare (PowerPoint combined with web 2.0) for eMarketing and branding purposes ? Basically, the same question is in my view relevant for Yahoo Answers, LinkedIn Answers, Scribd (Word 2.0), Twitter, Jaiku, YouTube, Flickr and even Joost in my view.
Meet Henry (see above) is a fascinating and effective example and answer to the question above. Why is this presentation in particular effective ?
Sequencing of words and images
Great storytelling and script / entertainment
Balance of fun and relevant content
Why is SlideShare in general important for corporations and personal branding ?
Promoting your proposition in an entertaining, engaging yet relevant way (and even having the option of e-mailing your participating audience)
Become the most active reviewer/viewer/rater on SlideShare, establish your brand based on you in-depth expertise and your activity level within your specific domain
Testing concepts, products and campaigns
Backlinks (SEO + SMO) -> higher PageRank -> more visitors to your website
Valuable feedback from viewers
Tell-a-friend / social networking / viral features and benefits
Optional: using buzz marketing for special open source marketing purposes
SlideShare can even be more beneficial for companies if this web app will integrate some of the web 3.0 metadata/RDF features from Joost. This would mean that SlideShare viewers could annotate particular slides within a presentation and share it in their social network (similar to the functionality of Fleck).
Bruno Guissani posted an illuminating piece on the impact of cover stories in leading magazines on the performance of highlighted companies. What comes to my mind is the correlation with the Gartner Hype Cycle, the .com bubble ten years ago and the adoption cycle of Rogers (mass media = late majority ?). I wonder what this means for Google ? It seems its performance is still great. And how does this work in the blogosphere ? I would guess this reversal of fortunes is different in the blogosphere due to fact that bloggers are more in tune with the realities of companies relative to mass media. They are innovators and early adopters in my view. "Three researchers at RichmondU's Robins School of Business have studied the companies that featured on the cover of three US business magazines (BusinessWeek, Forbes and Fortune) over a period of 20 years, to try to determine whether positive stories were
associated with superior future performance and negative stories with inferior future performance of the featured company -- in other words, whether the coverage was a good predictor. Quick answer: yes, but in reverse.
As the researchers put it in their paper, "positive stories
generally indicate the end of superior performance, and negative news
generally indicates the end of poor performance". No wonder
the paper's title talks of cover stories as "effective contrarian
indicators". Not particularly flattering for journalists."
Some musings from my side on the evolution of advertising, communications and marketing. In my view most new tools are about pull and targeted push instead of broadcast push tools. Looking forward to your ideas on this topic.
Here we go: 1) link baiting articles for Digg, eKudos, Reddit 2) Search Ads 3) SEO 4) opt-in targeted and personalized newsletters 5) iTV ads 6) viral marketing games/quizzes/contests 7) opt-in RSS ads 8) targeted affiliate marketing (ClickDistrict and RightMedia/RMX) 9) offline and online events/webcasts (like Apples' product announcements) 10) co-marketing (alliances with other vendors) 11) using digital platforms transcending marketing campaigns 12) own weblog 13) presence on 3D worlds like Second Life supplying tools for learning, networking, research, entertainment and creation 14) targeted ads within Joost 15)
RFID (also infrared barcodes, QR codes, normal barcodes, shotcodes etc.) via
billboards and physical shopping environments 16) presence on Google Maps and Google Earth via Placemarks in KML (pull) 17) implicit, relevant ads in games 18) buzz marketing in sociale netwerks 19) Twitter en Jaiku ads (opt-in) 20) presence on WikiCompany, Wikipedia and Citizendium 21)
giving complete answers on Yahoo Answers, LinkedIn Answers and other social search solutions within the domain of the advertiser 22) offering widgets for integration in blogs and social networking profiles 23) opening your data and commercials (albeit selectively) for remixes, mash-ups and user generated content/viral effects 24) your own UStream or Kyte TV channel 25) initiate or participate in platforms for the community or world at large (social and ecological) 26) your own social network via Ning 27)
creating relevant and special videos/speeches/articles and publish in
key mass media and YouTube, TED, Fora.tv 28) opt-in web survey leads in third party sites 29) Bluetooth ads (pull)
Grant McCracken from MIT - in my view one of the most interesting bloggers on economics, anthropology, marketing and culture - inspires me with this post on new branding tactics. Highly recommended reading on the role of chance, complexity and letting go in branding and brands.
Personally, I do believe branding has changed the last 10 years due to increasing complexity and innovative pace, media fragmentation and proliferation and more critical and (commercially) educated end users/consumers. The Cluetrain Manifesto is a classic and visionary book in this respect. We move from a centralized, top-down, repetitive, one-dimensional, controlled, perfected, one-2-many, reductionistic, modernistic view on branding towards a new model of decentralized, egalitarian, multi-faceted/dimensional, holistic, many-2-many, postmodern conversations allowing for remixability, open source creation, interpretation, chance, ambiguity, serendipity and complexity. This is in line with Complexity Science elaborating on themes like self organization, emergence, complex systems, order in chaos etc. Additionally, it resonates with the fascinating concept of Paradessence - a paradoxical essence meaning that every successful product had an inherent paradox which is accepted, communicated, leveraged and celebrated in its richness. As a result, it is more authentic and real. Indeed, brands are becoming more like friends after all ;-) More human with more color, more personality, more depth, more surprises, more layers and more vulnerability. Brands become more biological and organic. In my view, these new brands and views on branding will trickle down from the innovators, youngsters, professionals, influential bloggers and highly educated people towards the mainstream consumers within 10 years.
"Have we ever used chance to create
brands? Certainly as we embrace new and less controllable kinds of
marketing devices (open source marketing, viral marketing, experiential marketing, networking, buzz management,
guerrilla marketing, and so on) we embrace chance whether we want to or
The trick here is to mix lots more elements into the ad or the campaign
than we normally do. And this means mustering our courage and hewing
to a course that will test the mettle of every marketing manager. The
old rule of marketing was of course sell that unique selling
proposition often and loudly. Mixing lots of interpretive options into
the signal, this is a departure for which some of us are intellectual
and emotionally unprepared.
What we want are brands that invite our involvement and then reward
it. Involvement takes complexity and the willingness to open the brand
to a variety of interpretations and the possibility that some of these
interpretations will prove a little insipid. What we are doing here is
buying sublime brand moments at the cost of some that are ill formed
and unsuccessful. We keep saying that marketing is a conversation. Perhaps its
time to make brands creatures worthy of talking to.
What I mean is that we consider creating
brands through the "rigorous removal of human agency". We must choose
the elements with care, but the "folds," the outcome, should be
In this event, the brand message would have to unfold in the moment,
and each time a little differently, until, hey presto, perfection for
this fleeting moment is achieved. If this where an ad with several
elements, an ad that was constructed more like noir, with complexity
and ambivalence. Sometimes we would see the ad one way, sometimes
The work that Arnold did for Volkswagen in the 1990s, the car traveling
through a summer evening with kids who decide not to get out and go to
the party. The work that Wieden + Kennedy does for Nike also
qualifies. The spot that shows a girl who walks to work without ever
touching the ground. I would watch it a little differently every time,
sometimes it was simply odd. But sometimes it was close to sublime."
Google has acquired DoubleClick. A deal with a big impact in my view. Before I will elaborate on the pros and cons of this deal, I will would like to show some key digital advertising or eMarketing trends. This overview provides a context against which to evaluate this deal.
Migration to contextual and behavioral targeting and relevancy
Migration to seamless integration of eMarketing tools in 1 campaign (lower costs, less frequency caps/less waste, tight integration of keywords in banner creatives etc.)
Migration of campaigns to platforms (boosting demand for integrated eMarketing solutions)
So what are the pros and cons of this Google-DoubleClick deal for Google ?
Customer base: access to each others clients (verticals and segments included) deepening relationships and increasing retention. Not only websites (DART, AdSense) but also agencies and advertisers.
Products: a more complete eMarketing portfolio for advertisers (AdWords search ads, buzz marketing, affiliate, rich media, banners etc.) and a more complete eMarketing and measurement solution for site owners. On top of that, the online ad exchange of DoubleClick is very valuable to Google.
Pricing: CPCs on
AdWords are rising creating a micro-economic saturation point. In effect, this makes traditional eMarketing tools more interesting to advertisers. DoubleClick is the perfect hedge for Google in the middle term.
Technology: integration of technologies for ad targeting,
optimization, Spotlight, Analytics and CheckOut (one interface); as a result ROI based and closed loop marketing is even more effective and efficient. Branding, Search, Analytics and Conversion: a complete solution. Example: integrating banner views and search
keywords in 1 campaign -> a prospect might search on Google, click to advertisers' site, doesn't convert to sales, later on targeted banner views to this user to close the deal more effectively (assuming privacy laws allow this...)
Legal: DoubleClick has 5
interesting eMarketing patents (e.g., user based profiling, optimized ad delivery)
Competition: edge over
Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL and other search and/or eMarketing intermediaries and measurement companies. Also a good move against RightMedia (RMX), now processing $450 million in eMarketing transactions this year.
Innovation: long term integration with Googles' data centers, Maps/Earth, social networking Orkut, offline
media buys (Google print, tv, radio etc.) and Google Base.
Strategic: lock-in and negotiation power in the whole ecosystem. Higher customer
share. Barriers to entry to new web 2.0 ad startups focusing on exploiting unsold inventory of big sites and online advertising exchanges/marketplaces.
Data: cross-fertilization of campaigning data from Google and DoubleClick. Sharing learnings on effective creatives, keywords (also used as text in banner creatives), media buying plans, lowering frequency caps for advertisers saving them many due to integration of AdWords with banner views etc. etc.
Strategic and competition: some websites might migrate
towards competitive solutions or in-house ad serving solutions due to increased power of Google. And some advertisers might help alternative eMarketing solutions due to (likely) higher prices as negotiation power of Google has increased.
Legal: regulatory measures due to much
monopolistic power and even more so its privacy implications for end users (e.g., the trouble DoubleClick got while integrating offline data from Abacus Direct 7 years back)
I expect Google to continue their buying mode with a focus on : - Mobile (mobile banners, rich media etc.) - iTV - Gamevertising - Website optimization tools