I should have known. The chances of having an idea first are really slim. So someone, Alister, to be precise, came up with the idea to block the URL for Marketing Meme first. A URL that could be the meme-tracker of the marketing world, just as techmeme is the meme-tracker of the technology world.
Not sure when he came up with this, of course, it doesn’t say on the site. All it says is: your vote and support is needed here. And the post behind that link was written in December of last year (so I am probably only 5 months too late – which is a decade in internet terms). Now he is asking us from the marketing community to help him to get the guys from techmeme to setup a special service for the marketing industry:
Iâ€™d be happy to see some nice ongoing volume of inbound links from SEM Search, but honestly, Iâ€™d really like to see Gabe Rivera over at techmeme.com create a â€œmarketingmeme.comâ€œ, that removes SEM/SEO/SMO/PR/etc stuff out of techmeme and puts it under its own â€œengineâ€, building off, say, Lee Oddenâ€™s list, with some fuzzy logic around that, finding other on-topic blogs as well.
So if you’re interested in having such a service (I am, for sure!), go over to this site and put your vote in the comments!
Over at the Online Spin blog, there is an interesting article about „peers vs influencers„. The question is, of course: who is your ideal target group. It’s the debate of Gladwells Tipping Point theory vs Duncan Watts argument, that there aren’t any network nodes more influential than others.
Joe Marchese says, there are indeed people who are more influential than others. But only in three dimensions – and they can vary according to topic, point in time and other variables for the same person:
â€“People have a quantity of influence: the maximum number of other people they can reach with a message.
â€“People have a quality of influence: the amount of influence they exert over those that they reach.
â€“People have types of influence: categories of â€œexpertiseâ€ that other people assign to an individual.
If this is the case (if it is that easy), you can quickly deduct your target audience according to the marketing objective. Is it widespread awareness? Is it consideration? Is it increased sales?
Not sure if it is that easy. But it does sound nice to put these target groups against the typical marketing funnel. Only question remaining: can you always clearly distinguish one from the other these days? (I doubt that.)
Just a quick one: Joost shuts down its global operations and focuses on the US only. Shame, I liked the idea of Joost. But in the end, it was brought down by two main factors that even a technologically smart way of streaming videos can’t solve: first: trying to buy global rights for content that studios could probably sell much more profitable on a country-by-country basis. second: having exclusive, compelling content that users won’t find anywhere else (nevermind that they’re overloaded with too much online video anyway.
And for me: I always felt like the joost interface just wasn’t right somehow. I don’t watch fullscreen video on my PC. Still, I was always hoping for it to evolve (globally), so that one day I could enjoy watching videos via joost. But not any more, I guess.
There seems to be a concurrent trend. Two companies just announced new projects / plattforms on which they want to listen to consumers, engage them, discuss product development with them.
Starbucks launched the website „My Starbucks Idea“ on which they aks users to provide Starbucks with their ideas:
You know better than anyone else what you want from Starbucks. So tell us. Whatâ€™s your Starbucks Idea? Revolutionary or simpleâ€”we want to hear it. Share your ideas, tell us what you think of other peopleâ€™s ideas and join the discussion. Weâ€™re here, and weâ€™re ready to make ideas happen. Letâ€™s get started.
As you would expect, you can post ideas, vote on other’s ideas, discuss ideas, etc. In addition, there is a blog called „ideas in action“ that covers the project. At the moment, some sources are rather cynical about the project, because people mostly just ask about free drinks, fre Wi-Fi, etc. I am curious to see if there will be some really good ideas with added value resulting from this approach.
Chrysler, on the other hand, will launch a „customer advisory board“ of up to 5.000 consumers chosen of those who will apply through the website to take part. Once they can access the forum, they can submit ideas, get a sneak peak at videos, etc. It will be interesting to see if they can capture the right target audience, to quote autoblog:
However, we’re a little unsure if the tactic will provide Chrysler with what it needs to shape the future of its products and services, considering that the only people likely to sign up are partisan pistonheads who are already married to the Mopar camp or slighted customers looking for a place to vent.
For some companies, this change in dealing with the (online) target group has resulted in successes, as Ad Age writes about the Dell case study:
This sort of online listening post worked for Dell, whose IdeaStorm website resulted in a few concrete product developments and, in turn, helped to turn some of the computer-maker’s fiercest critics. One of them, Jeff Jarvis, went from a state of high dudgeon on his blog to praise the company in BusinessWeek.
In my opinion these approaches should probably work fine, as long as there is added value for both sides. If the consumer ideas and suggestions are crap, useless, unreal or simply silly, the companies might soon stop asking consumers in this fashion. It would then be much easier to go back to the old fashioned model of focus group research, where the noise to signal ratio is much better.
On the other hand, there should be some real improvements/products/ideas coming out of these approaches, making the whole outcome visible to the participating audience, showing them that their little contribution did infact change the way these companies go to market (even if the resulting outcomes were not your own idea, you would appreciate the effort made by the company).
Otherwise we’ll start having similar symptons as you have in German elections nowadays. You feel like your vote is too small to make a difference – and heck, no matter what people vote for, it doesn’t feel like things change much anyway. So why bother.
Just yesterday (or this morning), I received a comment by somebody who added some thoughts on viral marketing by pitching his own book including a lot of links in his comment. I let that comment through, because it sounded interesting. The other day however, not long ago, I received an email by somebody pitching his book to me, including some videos I ended up never watching. Boring pitches for books…
But now I found a really cool idea of someone who thought of a very unusual way to sell his book. Here is the English translation of something I found on this German site (and couldn’t yet find in English anywhere – let me know if you do):
Because his debut novel wouldn’t sell and the publishers were reluctant to invest any money in advertising, author WS Maugham decided to take matters in to his on hands. He published classifieds in a few daily newspapers in London with the following copy: „Young millionaire, lover of sports, cultivated, with good taste of music and a patient and empathetic character wishes to marry any young and beautiful girl that resembles the heroine of W.S. Maughams new novel.
Six days later the complete print run of the first edition of the novel was sold out.
Fantastic idea! Good buzzmarketing, and this was in the 1800’s!