The Times They Are a Changin’

Flashback 1991-

Waking up in the morning, birds chirping, having breakfast and listening to the gentle crackle of the newspaper s the parents are flipping through whilst sipping their coffees. The doorbell rings. It’s the postal delivery man with a few lovely (handwritten) letters from friends and family all over the world. The exact kind of hand written letters which give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside. After a while, the mother decides to make something special for lunch, and searches through her many big, heavy cookbooks for the perfect one, bookmarking her few selections to choose from.

A typical Saturday morning …

Fast forward 20 years-

Waking up in the morning, checking e-mail/Facebook notifications/tweets on the iPhone/Blackberry/Android/iPad/whatever is closest to the bed, ignoring the few birds chirping, getting stressed out reading the various messages/texts/emails/tweets whilst making coffee. I foresee no fuzzy feelings today…

Going into the kitchen, the parents are sitting reading news online and chatting away on their respective laptops. For the recipe of the day, the mother searches away on Google to find that perfect Saturday meal. When she does, she continues to YouTube, where she can see how to make said recipe. The cookbooks sit idly by, on the kitchens shelves, collecting dust. This is what ‘Vintage’ must feel like.

The point of this post (and yes, there is one) is the following:

When was the last time you actually flipped through pages of a book for a few hours before going to bed? With Kindle and other e-book readers, going into a beautiful bookstore and judging books by their covers is a thing of the past. To prove that point, Borders Books just went bankrupt.

When was the last time you checked an actual recipe book for instructions, or any other manual or encyclopedia for that matter, when you have everything online?

Have you tried writing a paragraph lately? Strange sensation to actually write using an actual pen isn’t it?

Do you remember how a newspaper even smells like anymore? With Twitter, everyone is a journalist!

Social Media, and other technologies in this day and age are indeed a blessing… a blessing in disguise perhaps?

The Art of Listening

The undisputed growing popularity of social sites such as Facebook and Twitter mean that advertisers now have the opportunity to create a direct channel of communication with their consumers.  The continuous interaction between users on brand pages, provide key insights on consumer’s online behavior, brand/ product perception, emerging audiences.

Listening to your followers/ likers will not only enable you to understand their culture and language, but more importantly, it will tell you what they like, dislike, ultimately what they want.  Valuable information, such as hot topics and interests, provide great common grounds for initiating content.  For instance, listening to your consumers will enable fine-tuning of your Paid Search Marketing strategy.

Moreover, monitoring posts and actions will help you determine who your brands’ valuable customers are and who your faithful brand ambassadors are.

A key to engaging your followers/likers is to provide them with only 50% product related content. The remaining 50% should relate to what your audience likes/ wants.  This will trigger social conversations and, only conversations create bonding, which in turn translates in higher level of engagement.

Rule of thumb: Consumer talks, advertisers listen!

Online Marketing Predictions 2011

In the past 10 or so years, we have seen the Internet world go from barely there, to everywhere. Years of ‘Trial and error’ in Social Media Marketing and/or Digital Advertising have brought us to the point where they have become the number one form of promoting people, products, services, and pretty much anything else you can think of.

In 2010, there were many new technologies in the social media sector. To name and talk about them all would take all day, and probably thousands of pages, and maybe even a Hollywood blockbuster (think The Social Network). Hence, a few of them will be honorably mentioned below, finishing up with some of the most popular predictions for Online Marketing in 2011.

Who didn’t catch a glimpse of the arguably brilliant Old spice campaign on YouTube this past year? The “Smell like a man, man” campaign became an instant hit. More than 180 hilarious ads were shot purely in response to consumers’ inquiries. Very clever campaign indeed.

As for the tweeters out there, you may have noticed something new on Twitter called Promoted Tweets. Twitter took a thing or two from Google here, promoting sponsored terms, along with organic results, whenever a user searched for any term on the site. Organizations such as Coca-Cola and Virgin America claimed to have seen obvious increase in campaign engagement rates as well as sales rates due to those promoted tweets.

Everyone has now heard of Chatroulette, the random video chatting website, which allows you to chat with anyone, anywhere, anytime. Other than obvious perverts takings advantage of it, Travelocity added a nice touch in their advertising on this site. They added their little Gnome character that would appear in chat rooms holding signs saying this like “This would be more fun in Rio”. The idea was to promote travel for those sitting down chatting their lives away.

The next year to come holds a few interesting predictions for digital advertising. Let’s have a small look at three of those predictions.

To start with, local advertising will become relevant again with location. Facebook is expanding this technology with its new location platform, Places. There is a growing use of location platforms such as Foursquare, Yelp, Shopkick, and Google. Advertisers will start using these to alert shoppers of certain deals or sales when informing others of their whereabouts etc… This seems really exciting for the new coming year!

In addition, influencers will be the stars of the social web. Digital advertisers are always on the lookout for new trends, and new ideas for pushing their brands and services out there. Consumers are always online checking out where to go, what to buy and where to buy it, so it is only natural that brands are always seeking the next big thing in reaching out to their consumer base. Finding ways to be socially credible is a must for brands wanting to market themselves online to already established customers, or new ones.

Finally, although it is not yet clear exactly how and why Facebook ‘Likes’ are important, but one thing is for sure, they definitely are. Brands will be using facebook advertising much more in the coming year, and being savvy enough to know how to use it to gather more ‘likes’ for the best possible CPA (cost per acquisition) may be the make or break it point for your brand.

All that being said, feel free to share you’re ideas and opinions on these new technologies. What will you be doing to increase your brand awareness this coming year?

The Social Media Syndrome

You konw you’re a Social Media Addict when you:

1) Overshare

Your friends let you know that they pressed “HIDE” next to your recent status update or shared post because you’re updating too frequently.

2) Are always online

You get a message from your friend saying “HELP! My car broke down!” instead of receiving a phonecall from him/her because he/she knows that the fastest way to reach you is
through Facebook.

3) Twist the ratios

If you’ve met five of your six really good friends online – that’s 5 to 1.

4) Take few too many pictures

If you have 3 Facebook albums titled:

My New Car PART 1

My New Car PART 2

My New Car PART 3

…that’s a few hundred pics for your new ride!

5) Adopt things a bit too early

If your Twitter account shows the following consecutive tweets:
May 15: I can’t wait for the release of the #iPad tomorrow!!
May 16: I just got my Apple #iPad – I can barely wait for the #Android-Tablet!!

How addicted are you?