Category Archives: Marketing

PR unspun – social media sews creative destruction?

Participatory media causes problems for PR and for how brands manage deal with perceptions and discussions of their goods and services.

But it also offers new and significant opportunities for smart brands and operators in the PR space.

How much have they changed though?

At an NMK January event Beers & Innovation 7: Do Agencies Innovate? that I largely put together before I left NMK, Desiree Collier of Burson-Marsteller made the interesting observation that PR agencies are in a much stronger position to develop both innovative and holistic communications solutions for their clients than marketing agencies, because they have more far reaching and integral contact with clients, and the work is more strategic and less campaign-based and short term in nature.

[For readers pining for B&I goodness, Monsieur Ian Delaney has a cracking write up of B&I 7 here]

As Ian recapped of Collier’s points

For all kinds of companies, in all kinds of contexts, conversations are becoming key. So, in many respects, PR matters are at the forefront of companies’ marketing concerns

But having just finished reading The Cluetrain Manifesto (mea culpa, I was just a entertainment and consumer-type web editor back in Bubble 1, and missed the whole Cluetrain fandango), I get the feeling something more fundamental is being avoided.

In the final chapter – ‘Post Apocalypto’ – the author quotes Polish journalist Ruszard Kapuscinski from 1991:

The situation is a demonic paradox: we have toppled the system but we still carry its genes.”

So…. I’m expecting a constant thread in the discussion at the next Chinwag Live event on 24th April – PR Unspun – will be that of how brands and companies can *control* and *manage* perceptions and *control* the conversation.

Maybe I’ll be proved wrong (nothing new there then), but seven years on from the publication of Cluetrain the book, am I really far off the mark in saying PR and marketing are still largely paralysed? Can they really change their spots? Back to Cluetrain again:

“…so while business stereotypes are largely empty, or come from another day and have long since lost any real descriptive power, we find ourselves replicating the behaviors they caricature.

Why? Well, because we’re business people, of course! And that’s how business people behave. Welcome to the hall of mirrors. Welcome, as Vonnegut put it, to the monkey house.

We don’t believe what we’re saying at work. We know no one else believes it either. But we keep saying it because because because because the needle’s stuck. The record’s broken. Because we just can’t stop. Because who would we be if we didn’t talk like that?”

Seven years on this is still pretty powerful stuff.

Is social media sewing creative destruction? Are the incumbents poised to make gains, or will new players challenge their rule? And how much truth in the notion that PR will inevitably be distintermediated – at least in some sectors – by the social and behavioural changes wrought by participatory media?

I hope some of you will come along and put some challenging and interesting questions and points to the panel at Chinwag Live: PR Unspun.

The panel features speakers from the big corporates Edelman and Burson-Marsteller, through to brand and reputation monitoring service Market Sentinel and Second Life trailblazers Crayon LLC.

More info here: http://live.chinwag.com/prunspun (NB: 50% discounted booking rate ends Thursday 19th April)

[UPDATE Thursday 19th April: This event is sold out now]

Roll on SXSW Interactive in Austin!

I’m off to SXSW Interactive in the morning! And it’s in Austin, a bohemian oasis isn the middle of redneck Texas.

Went last year, had a tremenduous time, and have been planning my return pretty much ever since I arrived back last year.

I think it’s the only large-scale digital / tech conference (in the English-speaking world) that’s also a festival.

Daytime sessions that have caught my eye so far include:

Online Publishers & Ad Networks
http://2007.sxsw.com/interactive/programming/panels/?action=show&id=IAP060200

How to Bluff Your Way in Web 2.0
http://2007.sxsw.com/interactive/programming/panels/?action=show&id=IAP060169

Turning Projects Into Revenue Generating Businesses
http://2007.sxsw.com/interactive/programming/panels/?action=show&id=IAP060246

Under 18: Blogs, Wikis and Online Social Networks for Youth
http://2007.sxsw.com/interactive/programming/panels/?action=show&id=IAP060248

Kathy Sierra Opening Remarks
http://2007.sxsw.com/interactive/programming/panels/?action=show&id=IAP060180

Tag. You’re It
http://2007.sxsw.com/interactive/programming/panels/?action=show&id=IAP060222

Everything’s Gone Douglas Coupland
http://2007.sxsw.com/interactive/programming/panels/?action=show&id=IAP060283

Games + Entertainment Brands: Five Top Trends In 2007
http://2007.sxsw.com/interactive/programming/panels/?action=show&id=IAP060284

Mapping: Where the F#*% Are We Now?
http://2007.sxsw.com/interactive/programming/panels/?action=show&id=IAP060187

Web Hacks: Good or Evil (or: Welcome to Web 2.666)
http://2007.sxsw.com/interactive/programming/panels/?action=show&id=IAP060263

Every Breath You Take: Identity, Attention, Presence and Reputation
http://2007.sxsw.com/interactive/programming/panels/?action=show&id=IAP060150

Using RSS For Marketing
http://2007.sxsw.com/interactive/programming/panels/?action=show&id=IAP060252

Web 2.0 and Semantic Web: The Impact on Scientific Publishing
http://2007.sxsw.com/interactive/conference/panels_schedule/?action=show&id=IAP0602

Why We Should Ignore Users
http://2007.sxsw.com/interactive/programming/panels/?action=show&id=IAP060271

Non-Developers to Open Source Acolytes: Tell Me Why I Care
http://2007.sxsw.com/interactive/programming/panels/?action=show&id=IAP060196

How to Convince Your Company to Embrace Mashup Culture
http://2007.sxsw.com/interactive/programming/panels/?action=show&id=IAP060170

User Generated Content and Original Editorial: Friend or Foe
http://2007.sxsw.com/interactive/programming/panels/?action=show&id=IAP060251

Why Marketers Need To Work With People Media
http://2007.sxsw.com/interactive/programming/panels/?action=show&id=IAP060270

Open Knowledge vs. Controlled Knowledge
http://2007.sxsw.com/interactive/programming/panels/?action=show&id=IAP060202

MobileActive: Mobilizing The Masses With Mobile Technology
http://2007.sxsw.com/interactive/programming/panels/?action=show&id=IAP060190

There’s no Such Thing as the Mobile Web (Or Is There?)
http://2007.sxsw.com/interactive/programming/panels/?action=show&id=IAP060244

The Global Microbrand: Are Blogs, Suits and Wine the New Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll?
http://2007.sxsw.com/interactive/programming/panels/?action=show&id=IAP060165

And that’s just the ones I *really* want to go to!!

All the panels:
http://2007.sxsw.com/interactive/programming/panels/

I’ve also put myself down for more than a few parties over the 10th – 14th March duration:
http://upcoming.org/user/45382/

Stamina will be required ;)

Attention economy up for grabs?

Big-red-shiny-flashing-light regarding one branch of my erstwhile NMK gig. Yes brothers and sisters, this here is an old skool Beers & Innovation alert!

Tomorrow night (Tuesday 6th March) you can catch Beers & Innovation 8: The Attention Seekers as there’s a few tickets left.

Although I see it’s been re-named ‘Beers & Innovations’.

I guess the extra “s” means that it musta got betterer lately ;-)  [UPDATE: Ye olde title has been reinstated!]

All the more reason to make that last-minute booking and whisk yourself down there! [having noted details of the new venue, of course]

Attention makes its UK live debut?

Other reasons include the fact that this is, I think, the first opportunity for folks in the UK to settle down in a comfy bar and collectively grapple with the Pandora’s box of issues that are unleashed by the ideas of the Attention Economy and Attention Economics.

Is there mileage in these concepts and will they ever get traction beyond certain circles in the blogosphere? What of the measurement and metrics issues around attention? Is it just another way to aggregate eyeballs? And does Doc Searls‘ notion of the “intention economy” get a look in?

In turn, you get to chew the attention fat with some interesting panellists – Chris Seth, MD of social network Piczo; Sam Sethi entrepreneur and co-editor of Vecosys; and Alan Moore, co-author of ‘Communities Dominate Brands’ and CEO of engagement marketing firm SMLXL. Chairing is George Nimeh, MD Digital at Iris.

I’m very intrigued to see what comes out of this one.

Book your tickets here.

Round up of my NMK events

While at NMK as Editor, I gradually (and unexpectedly) became the developer and organiser of many of its regular events.

NMK (New Media Knowledge)As NMK is a publicly-funded organisation that exists for the benefit of the digital media industries, in order to fulfil its accessibility remit, reports of these events (and conferences) were also produced by me and posted on the website.

I hope these reports have been, and to some extent continue to be, useful for practitioners, researchers and students of digital media.

They’re also historical records of a group of very interesting discussions and debates that happened at a time when the UK digital economy finally emerged from the long, nuclear winter of the first dotcom crash.

The reports are linked to at the end of every event page listed below, with the following exceptions…

Reports for Beers & Innovation numbers 5 and 6 (+) are available here on my blog. There is no report for Beers & Innovation 4 but part of the event was captured on this video by Ian Forrester of BBC Backstage and others have blogged about it.

EVENTS I DEVELOPED AND PROGRAMMED:

Charities: Making Digital Gains – 26th May 2005
http://nmk.co.uk/event/2005/4/4/charities-making-digital-gains-nmk

Blogging: A Real Conversation? – 28th June 2005
http://www.nmk.co.uk/event/2005/5/8/blogging-a-real-conversation-nmk

New Directions In Search – 8th September 2005
http://nmk.co.uk/event/2005/4/26/new-directions-in-search-nmk

User Content: The Real Deal? – 8th November 2005
http://www.nmk.co.uk/event/2005/9/29/user-content-the-real-deal-nmk

Beers & Innovation 2: User Generated Content – 30th March 2006
http://www.nmk.co.uk/event/2006/2/24/beers-innovation-2-user-generated-content-nmk

Beers & Innovation 3: Mash Ups & Web Services – 27th April 2006
http://www.nmk.co.uk/event/2006/3/30/beers-innovation-3-web-services-mash-ups-nmk

Beers & Innovation 4: RSS Frontiers – 12th September 2006
http://www.nmk.co.uk/event/2006/6/20/beers-innovation-4-rss-frontiers-nmk

Beers & Innovation 5: Aggregators & Upsetters – 17th October 2006
http://www.nmk.co.uk/event/2006/9/14/beers-innovation-5-aggregators-upsetters-nmk

Beers & Innovation 6: Social By Design – 14th November 2006
http://www.nmk.co.uk/event/2006/10/2/beers-innovation-6-social-by-design-nmk

Beers & Innovation 7: Do Agencies Innovate? – 30th January 2007
http://www.nmk.co.uk/event/2006/11/14/beers-and-innovation-7-do-agencies-innovate-nmk
(with input from Zoe Black)

CO-DEVELOPED & PROGRAMMED WITH NICK WATT OF NMK:

In The City Interactive – 7th June 2005
http://www.nmk.co.uk/event/2005/4/6/in-the-city-interactive-with-nmk
(also had conference steering committee input)

Rethinking Digital Branding – 10th October 2005
http://www.nmk.co.uk/event/2005/1/18/rethinking-digital-branding-nmk

Beers & Innovation 1: UK Start Up Culture – 9th February 2006
http://www.nmk.co.uk/event/2005/11/24/beers-innovation-nmk
(with thanks to James Governor and Tom Coates)

Content 2.0 – conference 6th June 2006
http://www.nmk.co.uk/event/2006/2/14/content-2-0-nmk
Content 2.0 website
(also had conference steering committee input)

In The City – Manchester music industry conference, 30 Sept-2nd Oct 2005
(co-programmed 3 digital panels and a keynote)

In the City 2005: mPod The New iPod?
http://nmk.co.uk/article/2006/4/17/in-the-city-2005-mpod-the-new-ipod

In The City 2005: Digital Creativity & A&R (Ralph Simon keynote)
http://nmk.co.uk/article/2006/4/17/in-the-city-digital-creativity-a-r

In the City 2005: Tomorrow People
http://nmk.co.uk/article/2006/4/17/in-the-city-2005-tomorrow-people

In the City 2005: The Digital High St
http://nmk.co.uk/article/2006/4/17/in-the-city-2005-the-digital-high-st

CO-DEVELOPED & PROGRAMMED WITH EXTERNAL PRODUCER HILARY KELSH:

New Directions In Mobile – 3rd October 2006
http://www.nmk.co.uk/event/2006/7/3/new-directions-in-mobile-nmk

—————-

During my time at NMK (Dec 2004 – Oct 2006) we also held many further events that I wasn’t involved in developmentally, but I helped market and promote them via editorial, social media platforms, attending external events and general outreach to the UK scene and beyond.

I’m listing them here as much for my own reference as anybody else’s

[NB. Some internal links within the pages above are broken as the NMK website has been redesigned since I left and the URL structure was changed, ie. persistent URLs were not maintained]

SXSW notes: What People Are Really Doing On The Web

This session at SXSW Interactive on Monday 13th March 2006 attracted an audience of over 200 to the main auditorium.

The big hitters of web stats and consumer / user analysis were there on stage, and there were a few nuggets amongst the factoids pumped out, but overall the session felt a little tame and the insights sparse. Guess that’s what happens when you parachute your stats and trend mavens into a conference of innovators  ;-)

PANEL:
Holland Hofma Brown (Harris International)
Dr Michelle Madansky (Yahoo! Inc)
Max Kalehoff (Nielsen Buzz Metrics – also own Blogpulse)
CHAIR: Joel Greenberg (GSD&M)

Establishing the types of market research deployed, Holland Hofma Brown of Harris International cited asking people, and “lead user theory” (Professor Eric Von Hippel, MIT ‘Democratizing Innovation’) as the primary methodologies (eg. power bars; Camelback; RSS usage). The lead users are solving the problems so look at them.

Hofma Brown of Harris International polled over 2,300 respondents between 16/2/06 and 23/2/06. Over a third would rather email a friend than call them on the phone he revealed; 55% won’t buy a product without first checking prices and researching online. Still, we’re not sure we trust the internet.

Catching the blog bug

How do we use the internet to connect to others? 10% of respondents had posted to blogs (contrast with 60% of SXSW attendees who were posting to blogs). Who is reading blogs? 54%/46% men to women. Young males dominate blog readership.

How many blogs are they reading? 61% have cited 1-4 blogs in the last year. Why do people read blogs? For most part it’s a passive activity.

What kinds of blogs are people reading? Personal diaries top the charts with 45% (compared to the SXSW audience, 70% of whom read tech blogs). What makes for a good blog? The way a blog looks is less important than what the writer has to say. Who is writing? Men and women bloggers are now equal in that respect.

The connected populace: US vs UK

We’re using the internet to connect and stay in touch with others. So what aren’t consumers doing online, asked Michel Madansky. Yahoo! Get 2 terrabytes of data a day, she explained, citing the ‘Truly, Madly Deeply Engaged Global Youth, Media & Technologies‘ report (summitseries.yahoo.com – all studies are posted there).

Computer – US 86% UK – 92%

Mobile – US 72% – UK – 97 %

MP3 – US 28% – UK – 63%

Email – US 68 % – UK – 86% (at least once a day)

IM – US – 49% UK – 63%

Search – US – 45% UK – 66%

Blogging – US – 17% UK– 20%

Texting – US – 49% UK – 95%

Games – US – 49% UK – 68%

Photos – US – ?? – UK– 75%

Search, peer recommendation and beyond…

Music, sex, shopping, others are the top searches in order of user preference. Search terms are consistent over time, Madansky explained, with MySpace (number 2 term), Limewire and Facebook being the big new entries. Music is the biggest search area for teenagers. Madansky also noted upcoming new arrivals podcast (podcast.yahoo.com) and Yahoo Answers (social search).

Max Kalehoff explained that Nielsen Buzz Metrics help marketers by analysing consumer generated media. Underlying factors he highlighted – media fragmentation, the erosion of trust in traditional institutional information sources, and the rise of interactive media, democratized publishing and social networks.

Consumer generated media upends marketing’s worldview

We’re moving into a phase of consumer generated multimedia – blogs, vlogs, podcasts, etc. Peer recommendation and consumer generated multimedia are by far the biggest referral source. Consumers (92%) now say they prefer or rely on word of mouth, they trust fellow buyers before they do other marketers.

The culture of information seekers and speakers, for example IAMs on Google two days ago – the third and fourth results were serious consumer critiques of IAMs. A new washing machine manufacturer looked at consumer evangelists. Surprisingly, 49% were men when 99% of their marketing had been aimed at women. Marketing programs that amplify word of mouth buzz can also be incorporated into sponsorships and event demos, he added.

Mistrust of UGC in the educational sphere

Kalehoff said we could look up his blog at maxkalehoff.com and the Nielsen SXSW 2006 surveys at (http://go.hpolsurveys.com/sxsw). He also noted the issue of lack of trust in consumer generated media (CGM) as regards to academia and how to counteract it. Edelman PR did a trust barometer study [PDF].

Michelle Madansky was asked how Yahoo use their research in the innovation process. She replied that they have a piece of software called ‘The Idea Factory’ that anyone in the company can input to – new ideas to improve current products. They have also used research to develop the Yahoo Podcast beta.

Kalehoff observed that the food industry is currently being more impacted than any other by consumer power and CGM.

Trends to look out for

What’s the difference between a snapshot and a trend another audience member asked. Brown of Harris International responded that we should watch what the 12-21 year olds are doing.

What’s coming next trend-wise as indicated by the panel’s data another delegate asked. Buzz Metrics said we’re reaching a tipping point from an era where most content was produced by corporates to a point where the majority is produced by ourselves. As search spreads and becomes more advanced this will only increase, so it’s more of a discovery process. Proliferation of multimedia is another trend.

Madansky replied that “my media” is the next big thing as consumers are in control with TIVO etc. Cellphones are becoming more important she continued, with media moving across every device. The social web was an important trend, as the sterility of being served up with yet more questions becomes more acute, and Yahoo Answers was one of the answers to this, she reckoned.

Kalehoff noted that one of the emerging trends in the Web 2.0 space was that there are so many companies doing each thing that a lot of them won’t be around in 5 years.

All SXSW Interactive 2006 panels:
http://2006.sxsw.com/interactive/programming/panels/

My other SXSW Interactive 2006 session write ups:

SXSW notes: What’s In A Title?

SXSW notes:  Beyond Folksonomies – Knitting Tag Clouds For Grandma

SXSW notes: Book Digitisation & The Revenge Of The Librarians

SXSW notes: James Surowiecki on The Wisdom Of Crowds

SXSW notes: Running Your New Media Business

SXSW notes: The Perfect Pitch

Next Beers & Innovation on agency innovation

A bit late to the party this time*, but thought I should let folks know that there’s only a handful of tickets left for Beers & Innovation 7 on 30th January.

And you know what that means… That unless you go and book pronto it’ll be sold out, in a day or so I reckon.

The event returns to the original point made in Tom Coates’ July 2005 post where he contrasted the (then) feeble indigenous start-up culture with the UK’s large and sophisticated advertising and marketing industry.

Beyond sparkly websites and illusory campaigns…

In turn, while Tom rated the British as (perhaps) the best in the world at this lark, he was none too enthusiastic about what they produced:

“The web industry over here is dominated by advertising and marketing because London is dominated by advertising and marketing…

On the web, some of the work is absolutely stunning – but it’s all bloody agency stuff – support sites, brochureware, Flash. There’s money all around the place to make things, but still such boring stuff gets made. It’s all just another shiny thing on a conveyer belt already groaning under the weight of shiny things – an environment where the only way to innovate is to get shinier and more illusory, rather than more useful.

All this work is churned out by the ton by great people (and not so great people) hired by marketeers – because apparently there is no one else out there who will harness them to make neat new things that the world could use.”

Innovation bug comes full circle

So coming full circle, what is the current state of innovation in the advertising and marketing sector?

To answer these questions, explore the nature of innovation in this field and discuss how they work with brands we have Managing Partner of Ogilvy One, London John M Baker, Creative Director of Poke (and Hulger founder) Nicolas Roope and Jamie Riddell, the Co-Founder and Head of Innovation at Cheeze.

[NB: Some users of Firefox have been experiencing problems with the NMK online booking system, so I would recommend using the Explorer browser when booking, thanks!].

Book your tickets here.

[* Apologies for the late posting on this but I was waiting until the chair was confirmed before blogging it. This still hasn't happened and tickets sales have been brisk so I thought better late than never! I sorted the bulk of this event before I finished at NMK in October, but it's been out of my hands since then.]

The craic with social media

In the course of Beers & Innovation 6 Meg Pickard elaborated a little on the motivations to create social media.

Staking a claim, and staking out your territory, in other words expressing, defining and developing your identity, are the principal spurs for younger people, Meg said. But these needs are not so prevalent for older people, because they (mostly) reckon they know enough people and have enough friends (with the exception of the Linked In professionals’ network).

But once you’ve amassed all your friends and acquaintances on your digital social network, then what? What follows that, and the reason social media excerpts an ongoing pull, is what Meg termed as “web craic”.

Celtic connections

Right across Ireland, where I’m from, craic is a malleable term that means, fun, excitement, good times, but also stories, news, the latest gossip, the general state of affairs.

“What’s the craic with her?” means what’s the story / context with the girl/woman in question. “The craic was great” translates as “it was brilliant”. Its meaning can also be as general (as in “what’s the craic?”) as “what’s happening?” or “how are you?”

But enough digression for one post. It’s not my fault that the Irish have the best version of the English language going  ;-)

“Web craic” (broader than just chat or banter, as we’ve established) is what enervates and gives legs to the likes of MySpace, Bebo and Flickr, Meg stressed.

Social by accident – context is king

Topic-based social networks, in turn, revolve around social experiences. Here, the person isn’t at the front. The topic is the important thing; sharing stuff is the way that you create relationships. Hence it’s popularity with older people, Meg continued.

She went onto explain that the topic – photos with Flickr, music with Last.fm – provides the context to get together and talk about everything and anything. Context is king, and the users bring and make their own content through the context of the topic (whether that’s sneaky, collaborative or selfishly motivated).

Hence with delicious, its incidental that making my bookmarking tasks easier has a community impact. So it’s social by stealth, and that’s common across the board – whether via ratings, what’s hot or interestingness permutations.

Delving deeper

The recent Financial Times profile of Danah Boyd gives a good introduction to research into and analysis of social networks that was broadly referenced in the course of the event. But John Hagel’s 29th October post on social networks and urbanization raises a bunch more interesting questions, specifically his view that:

“Social network sites are more often a supplement to physical space relationships.”

and:

“A lot of forces are at work on a global scale that increase the need for us to both broaden and deepen our network of social relationships.”

[I’ll revisit this later]

Given the proliferation of social media sites in every niche: social bookmarking, communities, to do-lists, web analytics, news aggregation, social shopping (see also, Stylehive, Kaboodle and others – ref: Pete Cashmore – as well as speaker Philip Wilkinson’s own Crowdstorm), video storage sites, calendars and more, who has time, Philip reflected, to register and look at all these regularly? Will it turn into a Darwinian survival of the fittest contest, he wondered.

I listed Philip’s tips on how to get attention in this crowded sphere in my last post and he’s recapped his talk here.

Attention, presence & data portability

The potential of Second Life to supersede the likes of MySpace and Bebo was queried by Meg on the grounds that Bebo et al thrive on asynchronous communication. Second Life hasn’t cracked that yet, but presence is something that we are going to see a lot more of in our world.

Mike Butcher raised the issue of other technologies that will allow us to network independent of the portals (verily, Mike was listening to Marc Canter’s talk at Content 2.0 back in June ;-)  )

Philip agreed insofar as we will see data follow us around via web widgets etc, so if things go pear-shaped and you want to take all your data out, data portability is the answer.

Digital natives

Responding to the observation that this will make the content and value of social networks ephemeral, one woman in the audience commented that emphemerality is a good thing, because when I leave Bebo and joined My Space I don’t want my Bebo profile be associated with my Myspace profile anymore.

This dovetailed perfectly with the thoughts of 18-yer-old Dot and 19-year-old Rory in the Invisible Culture session at Content 2.0 in June 2006. They in turn embody what Gary McClarnan said about digital natives at NMK’s In The City Interactive conference in June 2005:

communities are migrating across platforms which are not “mass” as such. What’s missing here is the technology to support the taste makers, he reckoned. The music industry has done this for years with street teams and suchlike. “Now we need to allow people to migrate around their blogs and communities.”

Among the many opinions and questions coming from the floor, Alan Patrick wondered is the social network hit-based or long-tailed? Rob McKinnon has summarised his question about the role of social media in socially-motivated public actions with more observations here, and Meg’s responses about using social media for mobilisation are here.

Jamie Kantrowitz of Myspace highlighted the mobilisation potential towards the end of the Marketing 2.0 forum at Content 2.0. But even simple text message and email-based networks fulfil this function, in the form of flashmobbing.

Is tagging worth the time, wondered Sue Thomas from De Montfort University. For a comprehensive update on developments (but not statistics) checkout Niall Kennedy’s 27th October post on bookmarking and social sharing trends.

Media’s ingrained campaign mindset

I asked about the campaign mentality of brands who are launching themselves into the social networks sphere in increasing numbers if not always with a long term perspective. The issue of (Mint Digital created) Islandoo’s future after the next series of Shipwrecked is populated with participants (the initial rationale of the network) and then broadcast (they have to keep it going at least that long) is very much apropos of this issue.

Is it any wonder consumer trust is declining and their attention turning to P2P networks for recommendations when brands treat them as campaign fodder and ultimately disposable?

Clashing with structural barriers

It’s something that not only confronts the challenging idea of brands and corporations truly adopting policies of engagement and valuing attention and feedback (ie. rather than cost-per-click, cost-per-conversation) that Meg noted.

It also betokens a structural barrier in media planning and buying which Nicolas Roope of Poke (and Hulger) noted, in economic terms, underwrites the short-term campaign format that typifies marketing and advertising today and is deeply embedded. James Cherkoff is also on the case with this infrastructural stumbling block.

This latter territory is ripe for discussion at the next Beers & Innovation in January. See you there [and my first post on Beers Innovation 6 here].