The Fan Economy: Becoming Fan Focused

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Once upon a time, the internet was supposed to be a great homogenizer. With common information, in common places, we were all supposed to become one mass audience – ripe for the picking. Right.

Once upon a time, the internet was supposed to be a great homogenizer. With common information, in common places, we were all supposed to become one mass audience – ripe for the picking. Right.

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  • 1. 2009 the fan economy Bud Caddell Strategist, Undercurrent
  • 2. Once upon a time, the internet was supposed to be the great homogenizer.
  • 3. With common information, in common places, we were all supposed to become one mass audience – ripe for the picking.
  • 4. This was not an original idea.
  • 5. Fortunately, the world is far too complex for homogeneity.
  • 6. The web has made constructing our identity through niche communities more visible, accessible, and rewarding.
  • 7. And whatever we hunger, we can find others like us offering the means to satiate that hunger.
  • 8. Which means the days of the captive audience are gone.
  • 9. Welcome to today. Welcome to standing for nothing means standing alone.
  • 10. Welcome to the recession.
  • 11. Today, we must commit our budgets to have the greatest measurable impact on human interaction.
  • 12. Which means we can’t waste our diminishing ad budgets on another awareness play.
  • 13. Fans are our new economy.
  • 14. A dollar spent on fans is a dollar spent on retention, recruitment, R&D and longevity.
  • 15. Fans don’t just buy our products, they convince their friends to give us a try.
  • 16. And because we all define our digital identity around our fandom, fans are now easier and more cost effective to find and engage online.
  • 17. And engagement begins simply by listening.
  • 18. Fans are practiced at voicing their opinions. Understanding their desires and their motivations is absolutely critical.
  • 19. Make no mistake, 2009 will wipe the floor with unremarkable ideas.
  • 20. Customers come and go, but fans fight for your survival.
  • 21. 2008 provided some fine examples for how we can engage with fans in 2009.
  • 22. Pent-up fan demand for the McFly lead to lines around buildings and pairs going for $2,000 on eBay.
  • 23. Nevermind pay-as-you- like, it was the box-set that was the fan focused product, and Radiohead sold over 100,000 at $80 each.
  • 24. Avril Lavigne puts as much content as she can on her YouTube channel. And it’s estimated she made a cool $2 million from her fan’s views.
  • 25. Mountain Dew created a game to let their fans engineer the next flavor from scratch. The candidate flavors flew off the shelves.
  • 26. Virgin America teamed up with HBO to offer the Entourage experience on flights from NYC to Las Vegas through a new ‘Entourage’ first class ticket.
  • 27. Joss didn’t let a little thing like a writer’s strike stop him. Casual observers watched for free, but fans pushed the show and soundtrack to #1 on Tunes. i
  • 28. Tune-in may have been down, but the advertising drama, Mad Men, had fans engaging fans, creating their own content and awareness for the show.
  • 29. A bridge in his name, a hockey team’s mascot, humbling Kanye; Stephen Colbert deftly engages his fan community, the Colbert Nation.
  • 30. H&M, Target, and others work with mega-names in fashion to make high design more accessible to hungry fan communities.
  • 31. The ways to play with fans are many, but to become a fan focused organization you need 3 key ingredients.* *Garnish as you please.
  • 32. It’s time to stand for something; to use your size and power for the advocacy of an ideal. A Point of View
  • 33. A Belief in Infinity Fandom defies conventions of time, space, and material. Relationships require more than a single campaign.
  • 34. Fandom demands pliability, and cultural significance requires exposing yourself to the mechanisms of culture (e.g. remixing). Open Source Relationships
  • 35. In 2009, I challenge you to become fan focused. Don’t spend a dime outside of fan communities. Not a red cent.
  • 36. About Me My name is Bud Caddell. I work as a Strategist at the New York based digital think-tank Undercurrent. Find me across the web at http://budcaddell.com About This Deck All sources, stories, and images can be found at http://bit.ly/fanfocus The illustrations used were stolen from the amazing artist Gerd Arntz., more info at http://bit.ly/gerdarntz I’d be honored if you stole anything from this deck.