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Albion - Tribal Youth Skype Case Study
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Albion - Tribal Youth Skype Case Study

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Case study for Mad.co.uk's Tribal Youth conference on 12 June. Presented by Albion, Skype's communications agency.

Case study for Mad.co.uk's Tribal Youth conference on 12 June. Presented by Albion, Skype's communications agency.

Published in Business , Technology
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  • 1. Tribal Youth and Digital Media Skype case study Glyn Britton 12 June 2007
  • 2. Skype
    • I’m here today to talk about Skype.
    • (You’ve got us because Eric, their Head of Content is busy, you know, heading up content.)
    • We’ve been Skype’s communications agency for three years. Since they were a single-page website, a bit of beta software, and a big idea.
  • 3. About Albion
    • We’re a modern advertising agency for modern businesses.
    • Instead of setting out to make ads, we set out to help companies talk to their customers, and do whatever it takes to make that happen.
  • 4.  
  • 5. www.albionlondon.com/blog
  • 6.  
  • 7. Skype’s success
    • 0 to customers in 2.5 years.
    • Nearly 200 million customers today.
    • Still growing at 200,000 new users every day.
  • 8. How it happened
    • Skype’s biggest channel is word-of-mouth.
  • 9. And how did that happen?
    • Some innate things about Skype.
    • Influencers help us spread the word.
    • The brand’s attitude
  • 10. What I was asked to speak about
    • What makes an influencer?
    • How much do they affect buying behaviour?
    • How to create trends with key influencers?
    • How to ensure influencers feel involved with product development?
    • Are influencers buying?
    • How soon before they move onto the next big thing?
  • 11. Before I go any further
    • Skype isn’t a youth brand.
    • But it does have plenty of 16-24 year old users.
    • And we’ve used the techniques of ‘youth marketing’ to talk to a much larger audience.
    • For us, this is just how marketing is done these days.
  • 12. Some innate things about Skype
  • 13. Some innate things
    • Skype is a communications tool
    • Humans are really, really, interested in things that help us communicate with each other more and better.
    • From cave paintings to mobile phones, it’s always the same.
    • And this is even more true for young people. They are forging their social identity through conversation.
  • 14. Gossip is the human equivalent of 'social grooming' among primates
  • 15. Some innate things
    • Skype is free
    • Free is quite interesting to people. Especially free and good.
    • And it’s more interesting still to impoverished young people!
    • If you tell your friends to get Skype too, you can talk for as long as you like without worrying about the cost or the distance.
  • 16. Some innate things
    • Right idea, right time
    • There was plenty of internet calling software before Skype. But it didn’t work very well, and lots of people still had slow dial-up internet connections. Plus it was called VoIP, which was a bit off-putting.
    • Skype was called Skype instead, and it just worked. And it arrived just as lots of people were starting to get broadband internet access.
    • It’s a very ‘native’ product for young people.
  • 17. Some innate things
    • Simple and easy
    • Skype worked really hard on making Skype as easy to install and use as possible.
    • We knew it was easy enough when Geoffrey’s grandma could use it. (Geoffrey is one of the original Skypers.)
    • Ease of use is important for busy young people too. Hence the iPod, people moving to Facebook…
  • 18. Influencers help us spread the word
  • 19. Influencers help us spread the word
    • Help influencers find Skype
    • Influencers can’t be a target audience. If they feel targeted, they won’t become fans.
    • So it’s not about finding influencers. It’s about them finding us. Pull, not push.
    • So we need to be where they are.
  • 20.  
  • 21.  
  • 22.  
  • 23.  
  • 24.
    • Facebook group
  • 25. Influencers help us spread the word
    • Educate influencers
    • Once they ‘get it’, they’ll patiently explain to others. After all, that’s their job – to know about stuff.
  • 26.  
  • 27. Influencers help us spread the word
    • Turn influencers into fans
    • Once influencers find and understand Skype, we need to turn them into fans.
    • Using blogs, forums, events (and Skype) we have an ongoing conversation.
    • Our influencers make suggestions on how to improve Skype, and we listen and make the changes they suggest.
    • It drives them wild!
  • 28.  
  • 29.  
  • 30. Influencers help us spread the word
    • Helping influencers to share
    • We want people to discover Skype by word of mouth.
    • We didn’t want to annoy them by interrupting them with advertising while they were doing something more important.
    • Instead, having attracted our influencers, we created ways for them to share Skype with their friends and family.
  • 31.  
  • 32.  
  • 33.  
  • 34.  
  • 35. Influencers help us spread the word
    • Having a conversation
    • In a conversation, you want the other person to be interesting to talk to.
    • Even though our influencers are quite techy, we know that even they don’t want to talk about p2p and bitrates when they’re calling their mum. (And mum doesn’t have a clue what a bit is, never mind what rate it goes at.)
    • So Skype has always used really simple language, and a conversational tone-of-voice.
  • 36.  
  • 37. Influencers help us spread the word
    • Giving influencers new stuff
    • Skypecasts are a new way to have conversations with people across the world who share your interests.
    • Pick a subject you’re interested in from the directory, and join a hosted call with up to 100 other people from around the world.
    • Our early-adopter influencers are helping us pioneer and shape this new way of communicating.
  • 38. What didn’t work?
  • 39. The brand’s attitude
  • 40. From Wikipedia
    • “ The youth market is viewed as a difficult group to connect with and sell to, based on young people's keen ability to identify and reject marketing messages that lack credibility.”
  • 41. The death of image marketing
  • 42. Tell the truth in more and more compelling ways
  • 43. The brand’s attitude
    • Skype tells the truth
    • The people who started Skype are Swedish, Danish and Estonian. It’s in their nature to be honest, quiet and humble and to try and change the world.
    • So Skype has always said simply what it is, and not much more.
  • 44. The brand’s attitude
    • Skype feels free
    • Skype is free. More than that though, it feels free.
    • Free helps people realise that Skype is a different kind of company.
    • We took something that big companies charged quite a lot for, and gave it to you for free. Nice, eh?
  • 45. The brand’s attitude
    • Skype does a lot
    • It’s a fast world. People get bored quickly.
    • Part of being committed is keeping doing stuff – it’s not good enough to have done it once.
    • The advertising industry’s idea of the reductive ‘big idea’ is no use here.
    • It’s about doing lots of little things, that all add up to a rich, complex and involving brand.
  • 46.  
  • 47.  
  • 48.  
  • 49.
    • Skype is lucky
    • Pulling off youth marketing is not at all certain.
    • Getting influencers to find you, like you, and spread the word for you involves a healthy amount of luck.
    • Do the rest of the things I’ve talked about, and you can make your own luck, a bit.
  • 50.  
  • 51. Lessons for youth marketing
  • 52. What I was asked to speak about
    • What makes an influencer?
    • They are people who are turned on by seeking out new stuff, and being known for knowing about new stuff.
    • How much do they affect buying behaviour?
    • For Skype, they affect adoption behaviour, but it’s the early majority who do most of the buying.
  • 53. What I was asked to speak about
    • How to create trends with key influencers?
    • By listening to them, making what they’ll like, talking to them about it, giving them privileged access to the new stuff.
    • How to ensure influencers feel involved with product development?
    • See above.
  • 54. What I was asked to speak about
    • Are influencers buying?
    • For Skype, influencers are early adopters of devices that let you Skype on the move. So yes, a little.
    • How soon before they move onto the next big thing?
    • As soon as we stop talking to them and slow down. Or as soon as someone else does it better. It’s hard work!
  • 55. The Skype recipe for recruiting influencers
    • Have a great product, an order better than what’s out there already.
    • Don’t ‘target’ influencers - it looks desperate to a group for who ‘commitment’ is key.
    • Instead pull them towards you, and engage them in a genuine dialogue.
    • Then make it as easy as possible for them to spread the word about you.
    • Be honest, fast, agile, prolific, joined-up… and don’t let it go to your head.
  • 56. And finally, how do you do all this?
  • 57. Thank you Get this presentation at www.albionlondon.com/blog