March 2010 Archives

Placing my bets on StickyBits. It will be big!

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stickybits1a.jpgI'm going to go out on a limb here and place a big bet. I think StickyBits is going to be extremely successful. What happened to Twitter a few years ago at SXSW was supposed to happen to StickyBits this year but I'm not sure if it did. Regardless, I'm impressed with the product and find it to be extremely clever. It is a fabulous idea that links the physical world with the digital one via social media. Something that will be happening more and more in the future

Here's how it works. You use a special iPhone/Android app to scan the barcode on any physical product and it immediately brings up all the content that other people have tagged that physical product with. You can also tag the product with your own social media which others would see in turn. Alternatively, you can place your own StickyBits on specific products too.

Just imagine the potential. I walk into a bookstore and I'm thinking of purchasing a book. Using my StickyBits application I scan the barcode and see all the other reviews. Or I pick up a new soda drink introduced by Pepsi. I wonder what other people think of it so I scan the barcode with the iphone app again and read/view what other people are saying about the drink. What's more it doesn't even have to be reviews, it can be augmented digital art overlaid onto physical products. It can be anything. 

What's more you can place your own StickyBits barcodes onto products (or bathroom stalls for that matter taking graffiti digital!) for others to scan and view your digital content. You could even attach a digital resume to your business card in this manner by adding a StickyBit to your card.

It is early days for this product which has just launched but I can imagine it doing very well especially in tight communities (think college campuses) where people may use it to share their opinions about places, products and services. If this thing takes off, it could even out Yelp with Yelp like experiences. I'm betting on this one. What do you think?

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TV and the Internet working together

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tvscreen.jpgSometimes research tells us what we intuitively know. According to recent Nielsen research 60% of TV viewers use the web at the same time at least once a month. What's more the report found a 35% increase in the amount of time Americans used the TV and the Internet simultaneously compared to the previous year. The report also found that Americans watch 35 hours of TV per week and two hours of time-shifted TV via video recorders. 

In of itself, these findings are not surprising though they do establish an important point - it is not about TV versus the Internet as engagement mediums rather they increasingly work harmoniously together because people increasingly use them together. I believe in the future it'll be hard to differentiate one from the other. The question is whether advertisers will still see them as dramatically different mediums. Also, will the reach of TV always be far greater than the Internet?

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SxSWi 2010 in Quotes, What's yours?

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Great slideshare from Valeria of some awesome quotes at South by Southwest Interactive. What's your most important takeaway from SXSWi? Which of these do you like the most? And thank you for including me in this list of digital luminaries!

Does the NYT iPhone App live upto its promise?

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NYT iPhone ApplicationI really like The New York Times. Visiting its website for the latest news and commentary is a part of my daily morning ritual. It has been for a while and will probably be for a long time. However, when it comes to the NYT iPhone application, I'm left a little disappointed with the revenue model and functionality. Here's why.

  1. Being able to access the news on my iPhone anywhere is powerful. In fact, it is so valuable that I'd be willing to pay for it (especially if I don't have to see those pesky advertisements that take up precious real estate). I cannot understand why the NYT never considered charging for access to its content via the iPhone. I'd have more than happily paid a small subscription fee. Or at the very least they could have charged a few dollars for the application. The content is totally worth it and I'm confident a lot of people would happily pay for the application. Charge $2 for the application and the NYT would make at least $2 million.

  2. Our digital lives are becoming hyper personalized. Any digital product experience has to compete with the hyper-personalization of Facebook's newsfeed. With that in mind, I cannot understand why the NYT iPhone application does not include location aware capability. Maybe it is coming in a future release? Please let me automatically scan local news by recognizing where I am. With the local news market getting more competitive by the day (especially in New York), this feature is of paramount importance. 

  3. Sharing does not equal to social media. The NYT iPhone application lets me email, text, tweet and publish articles to Facebook. That's great but it isn't enough for me. Why can't I read the comments published at the end of the story? Why can't I respond to the stories via comments of my own. The New York Times is valuable not just for its stellar editorial but also for the vibrant conversations that surround the stories. The iPhone application is sorely lacking by not letting me view the comments published at the end of the stories and by prohibiting me from commenting myself.

  4. Social filters. This one is a gripe with both the iPhone application and the website. Increasingly, I use my friends (as do many others) as filters for what I should read. The stories that interest them typically are of interest to me as well. Why can't I see what stories are popular with my own social graph? On the road, with even less time to read than while at a desktop computer, having social filters are all the more important. The Huffington Post Social News website does this well.
That's it - four reasons why I'm not a fan of the NYT iPhone application. I'm a loyal reader of The New York Times but wish the application would offer more and have a revenue model so that I don't have to see those ads. Unlike most other applications, the NYT does not have a content problem and it is free to focus on making the experience rich and dynamic. Please do so. I'm even willing to pay for that experience. Special thanks to Ana Andjelic as conversations with her inspired this post.
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Digital Media takes over Print. What this means

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magazines.jpgThis was a long time coming and now the moment has arrived. Spending on digital media has taken over print advertising for the first time. A study by Outsell as reported in Forbes reveals that U.S. advertisers are spending more this year on digital media than on print. This is largely thanks to a 9.6% boom in digital advertising in 2010. Of the $368 billion marketers plan to spend this year, 32.5% will go toward digital; 30.3% to print. Digital spending includes e-mail, video advertising, display ads and search marketing.

Now it is hard not to share these statistics without at least commenting on the challenges that traditional publishers face. I like to believe that this shift does not mean that print is dead by any means. Rather the measurability of online media and the maturing of it as an advertising medium is driving the increased spending. Furthermore, the interactivity that comes with social media and the ability to build deeper relationships with customers (beyond the actual ad unit) is heavily influencing how marketers allocate their budgets. Not to mention that some advertisers may feel they are getting better value for money too.

I believe print will always have an important place. We do still like magazines even if we don't like paying for them. After all, it is the print publications that do a lot to build their digital brands too. Nevertheless, it is a watershed moment. I do wonder how much money has moved away from traditional publishers to new digital only publishers. It is one thing if the $$ is going from Wired Magazine's print edition to its online version. It is something else if a lot of that money is going to the likes of Gizmodo who don't have any print equivalents.

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Digital Agencies get back to Business

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Few people know that I spent a lot of time last year working with a client to help launch a new business, develop its first product and market it. That business was Bundle Corporation and their first product launched at the end of January. So much time on it that for a while I worried my son's first word would be "Bundle"!

It has been an exhilarating experience working in a semi-startup environment (the company was incubated within Razorfish with the idea originating out of Citibank) and running the product and marketing functions while the company extended its management team. Being deeply involved in all parts of the business from concept to testing working with some incredibly talented leaders both on the Bundle Corporation and the Razorfish side made it very special.

With the first product out (not surprisingly it is social to the core embodying many of the core principles that I advocate everyday) and a story in Adweek that talks of the Razorfish relationship, I can discuss this work more now. Watch the space as I peal the onion and discuss the fascinating social product that Bundle is. I'll also discuss how agencies like Razorfish are providing digital business transformation services with Chief Innovation Officers and Chief Executive Officers as our core clients. More to come. And in the meantime, read the Fast Company coverage of Bundle and watch Robert Scoble's interview with the CEO of Bundle. 

How to Bring Social Influence Marketing to Life

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Social influence marketing (SIM) campaigns achieve success in the long term. Here are some tips that will help your SIM campaign flourish during its lifespan:

  • Participate where your customers want to participate and be active in the customer communities you create. Remember that your customers are your equals.

  • Architect your SIM efforts so that customers are motivated and encouraged to form tribes, bringing others into the fold and engaging with one another.

  • When planning outreach programs, recognize that the "A" list influencers may not be as helpful as the long tail of the other influencers. These other influencers are more likely to listen to your point of view and act on your behalf.

  • Design your programs so that they are extremely easy for your customers and prospects to share with others on the social platforms of their choice. Also be there for the journey with them.

  • Carry your new brand advocates (the long tail of influencers) from one campaign to another. Focus on their life time value to you and provide strong commiserate value in return to them.

For lots more ideas on practicing social influence marketing from identifying the right influencers to building and launching campaigns and changing your own organization, read my book Social Media Marketing for Dummies.

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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