25% of search results for the worlds largest brands are links to user-generated content. 34% of bloggers post opinions about products & brands. & the increasing amount of time they spend on social media + the measurability & ROI – make it a prime platform for brands.
The average consumer is exposed to over 1,500 advertising messages every day. In the average hour, only about 39 minutes of TV is devoted to programming. The balance is called “clutter.” Most newspapers are about 60 percent advertising; trade journals often contain even more. The number of television commercials, public service announcements, and station promotions reached an all-time high last year .
<ul><li>According to the ANA/Forrester Research survey: </li></ul><ul><li>62% of the survey respondents believe that TV commercials are less effective now than they were two years ago . </li></ul><ul><li>That timing happened to coincide with a great jump in Internet advertising, increased use of TiVo and other recording units, and the start of the economic downturn . </li></ul><ul><li>Most of the advertisers attribute the alleged decline in commercial effectiveness to TV ad clutter. They would like to see fewer spots, a point that struggling networks and stations don’t want to hear. </li></ul>
BRAND One way communication BRAND Interaction & not just communication Traditional Media content: Social Media Content:
BRAND Exposure to only Single facet of the brand BRAND Multiple messages showcasing different facets of the brand Traditional Media content: Social Media Content:
Eg: # 1 Ads focusing on specific product innovations! – Single message But the consumer wants more…
<ul><li>How to handle your first period? </li></ul><ul><li>Help in eliminating social taboos </li></ul><ul><li>Myth busting and medical advice, etc. </li></ul>Multiple messages & facets of the brand’s personality can be highlighted through social media, through direct interaction, which makes the brand a true partner in the consumers life!
Eg: # 2 Ads focusing on specific product benefits!
Multiple discussions on on varying hair-care needs (breakage, dandruff, split ends, hair loss, shine & texture and volume). Interviews & Chats with experts, hair styles and trends, makeovers, etc., which makes the brand a true partner in the consumers life!
Approximately 24+hours of video is uploaded on YouTube for every minute . It will take a person 1700+ years to watch all the content on YouTube. More video is uploaded on You Tube in 60days than all 3 major U.S. networks created in 60 years . 94 out of the Advertising Age’s top 100 advertisers run campaigns on YouTube & Google content network.
Not one ad/branded video being viewed in the top list.
There are over 70,000 applications already developed for using Twitter . There are 55million tweets everyday @ 640 tweets per second .
Hence unlike traditional media, the biggest challenge for brands on the social media, is competing with ‘content created by people’ and not just ‘competition’s communication’.
Content & Conversation Social Media Content is Conversation!!
Why has it come to be? Social Media Before, we dwell on the importance of content, it is essential to understand the human need for the medium
My ‘Hero’ ‘ Me’ Hero Obsessing & passionately Emulating the larger than life heroes. Content with being the lead in a few people’s lives. Happy belonging to a tribe. Obsessing about self and wanting to advocate self to others. Might still love heroes, but content with taking cues off them. Still want to belong to a tribe, but it needs to be a tribe of individuals.
Fantasy/Fiction Reality as entertainment & inspiration Imagination fuelled by fiction. Looking up to fantasy to either fulfill desires or for inspiration. Indulgent dreams. Voyeurism & curiosity fulfilled by reality. Want to make it real, rather than fantasize. Achievable dreams.
Affiliation Affiliation Binding traditions Generational divide Fast changing world Difference in values Unconditional accountability Liberating emotions Generational familiarity Changing together Harmony in values Relative accountability Forming a new-age/contemporary new family & society
How is the ‘ social - virtual life ’ affecting ‘ Real Life ’ behavior?
# My observations about behaviors and new trends in social media consumption (am only mentioning stuff that I have not read anywhere, for which I have no quantitative data to support with)
Picture perfect: <ul><li>Every thought in the head, is evaluated as being ‘worthy of being tweeted’ or not! </li></ul><ul><li>Every picture is fb manicured. </li></ul><ul><li>Every status update to get maximum responses back. </li></ul><ul><li>Even before you get close to someone, you already know most facets of their personality. </li></ul><ul><li>If somebody sets you up on a date, you check out the prospect on fb first. </li></ul>‘ First impressions’ are made on social networks, not in real lives!
Quote currency: <ul><li>Quotes, data, videos, knowledge of any kind is sued to gain attention and get credit for sharing it (first). </li></ul><ul><li>Personal thoughts & emotions are also shared. </li></ul>Seems to be a good ground to source for quote currency. Not only can you source content, you can make your own playlists and share them with people as well. Another socially monetizable opportunity.
<ul><li>Gaming on face book is a rage, not only because it lets you play with other ‘people’ across the world, but because it makes ‘you’ the center of attention of so many ‘unknown’ people from around the world. </li></ul>Attention paranoia:
<ul><li>For holidaying as a category, the entire path to purchase is changing and has become social media driven because others holiday experiences either inspire & instigate you to do the same or provoke you to want to do ‘not done before’ holiday to generate your own currency. </li></ul>Attention paranoia:
Attention paranoia: <ul><li>Everyone feels nice when there is activity on their facebook page </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If my status, pix don’t get comments, I change it! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>People add/delete friends, not only on basis of their personal relationships, but also, based on ‘how active they are on my profile’! </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. I may want to delete a certain friend, ‘X’ - coz he was my classmate in school but I have never spoken to him in my life! But if he is active on my page, liking my pics and commenting on my status, I will think 10 times before deleting him! </li></ul></ul></ul>Social Media allows every individual to satisfy his/her ‘need for attention’
Everyone’s using the social media to market something… Marketers want to market their brands… Consumers want to market themselves!! (blogs through networked blogs, Resumes through linkedin, pictures, small joys, little achievements on facebook, ideas on twitter, etc.)
Can brands, instead of marketing themselves by trying to use the Social media, as another marketing platform, ENABLE CONSUMERS TO MARKET THEMSELVES??!!! Content that enables them to create the conversation around themselves because of your brand or share & gain social attention?
Everyone’s out there, to be seen and to be heard! All that a brand needs to do is, make sure that they are seen and heard! It is also an opportunity to genuinely help .
What did they do right? <ul><li>Drive maximum craze/obsession for opening night and make sure the frenzy continues for the movie. </li></ul><ul><li>Leveraged on the existing Batman equity </li></ul><ul><li>Had a simple idea (cops & robbers) </li></ul><ul><li>Leveraged on the gaming obsession & then extended the game into real life </li></ul><ul><li>Made life entertaining & the initiative participative & shareable </li></ul><ul><li>Was continuously monitored, specific stimulus was provided to make the act at each stage & each act was rewarded by generating social currency for them </li></ul><ul><li>Crafted it into a mass movement, making it a ‘cool thing’ to join </li></ul>
What did they do right? <ul><li>Articulated the task clearly: Drive footfalls to the store & create a sense of ownership around the product to differentiate the brand. </li></ul><ul><li>Leveraged on people’s need to create & gave them an outlet for it and also gave them their 5 minutes of fame </li></ul><ul><li>Took the interaction to the streets (not always a social campaign needs to operate in digital media only) </li></ul><ul><li>Made life entertaining & the initiative participative & shareable </li></ul><ul><li>Was continuously monitored, specific stimulus was provided to make them act at each stage & each act was rewarded by generating social currency for them. </li></ul><ul><li>Crafted it into a mass movement, making it a ‘cool thing’ to join. </li></ul>
What did they do right? <ul><li>Articulated the task clearly: Increase affinity for the brand and associate it with being a partner in expressing love and nurturing relationships – which could later possibly be leveraged for calling/staying in touch with loved ones while away. </li></ul><ul><li>A simple & powerful idea of people come to receive people they love and that it is a highly emotion filled atmosphere and hence just celebrated coming back. </li></ul><ul><li>Entertaining & interesting execution, which engaged & wowed the commuters. </li></ul><ul><li>Social was employed to just promote the video footage and the content made sure it was highly viralled. </li></ul><ul><li>Hence social or medium did not drive the campaign, the content did. </li></ul>
What did they do right? <ul><li>Articulated the task clearly: Increase awareness of new store. </li></ul><ul><li>Leveraged on Ikea’s existing desirability </li></ul><ul><li>Leveraged on their greed to own an Ikea product ‘free’ </li></ul><ul><li>Used the users (via ‘tagging’) to spread awareness & also leveraged o their credibility </li></ul><ul><li>Made it a shareable, participative and entertaining experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Kept the initiative very human & very simple. </li></ul>
A series of such clips, each linked to a different feature
What did they do right? <ul><li>Articulated the task clearly: In a feature-based decision making driven category and where the consumers felt ‘ease of use’ was one of the key aspects for selecting a mobile device, communicate differential features clearly. </li></ul><ul><li>Went one step further & crafted their communication in the tone & manner of UGC, eliminating the barriers usually faced by branded content. </li></ul><ul><li>Content was entertaining, whacky & shareable. </li></ul><ul><li>Ensured that each feature was clearly communicated by weaving it into different – relevant themes. </li></ul>
What did Leo Burnett do right? <ul><li>Articulated the task clearly: Dial-up a sense of responsibility by (1) triggering nostalgia (2) a possible future impact of their current behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>Leveraged on a core human insight “how one generation loves, the next learns’ = ‘how you treat your parents = how you will be treated by your kids. </li></ul><ul><li>A series of powerful stimulus that dialed up guilt on the part of the neglectors & affirmed the belief amongst the responsible that what they were doing was right & they need to be proud of it. </li></ul><ul><li>Created simple interaction for users to share their human stories – which in turn became content for others. </li></ul><ul><li>Let users drive others users to the initiative via simple tags. </li></ul>
Getting it right = <ul><li>Having an awesome, relevant, entertaining, provocative content </li></ul><ul><li>Making sure it’s a social product </li></ul><ul><li>Making it shareable </li></ul><ul><li>Making it interactive </li></ul><ul><li>Enable people to generate their own content </li></ul><ul><li>Become personal </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping it simple </li></ul><ul><li>Continuous monitoring and </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize the fact that a social media campaign, does not mean staying within digital media only. </li></ul><ul><li>Never become a slave to technology, rather let technology just be a roll-out & interaction slave and content the master. Technology needs to be invincible. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Sanitary pads. </li></ul><ul><li>Investment firms. </li></ul><ul><li>Condoms. </li></ul>Let’s take a few categories:
Sanitary pads <ul><li>Brand: Any challenger brand or a brand looking to build affinity (beyond just the product). </li></ul><ul><li>Problem: Most ATL spends are heavily invested in product innovation led communication, leaving little space for any emotional messaging or helping the consumer with other aspects of period pains. </li></ul><ul><li>Insight: In most Asian (& western) countries, men (husbands/boy friends) very rarely are empathetic or supportive during ‘those’ days of the month. Whereas women wish that they did. </li></ul><ul><li>The human purpose: Help her have happier periods by nudging their men to be a little more understanding & actually taking care of them. </li></ul><ul><li>ACT: Five/Ten tips to take care of her, during ‘those days’. </li></ul><ul><li>Social media insight: Put social pressure on men to be more sensitive (they are already under pressure). </li></ul>
Investment firms <ul><li>Brand: Any brand, which wants to target younger consumers with surplus investible income. </li></ul><ul><li>Problem: Investments (Mutual Funds, ULips, etc;) are a new phenomenon and the consumer has high barriers to trial. Also rejects educational/training efforts on the part of brands. Is highly averse to financial technical details (jargon) and considers the category extremely complex and self inadequate to participate. </li></ul><ul><li>Insight: It is easier to get people comfortable with new information, if it is made fun for them. Also people are less reluctant to participate if there is no real risk involved. </li></ul><ul><li>The human purpose: De-jargonize & make it fun for consumers to learn about investing right. </li></ul><ul><li>ACT: The wealth management game (like monopoly) </li></ul><ul><li>Social media insight: Gaming (ala Farmville), Create a monetary/material incentive along with social currency (fame & success and limelight) and an opportunity to engage & interact with people. </li></ul>
Condoms <ul><li>Brand: Any brand, which is looking to increase sales. </li></ul><ul><li>Problem: Frequency of making love amongst married couple & people in long term relationships declines, hence drying-up the opportunity for condoms. </li></ul><ul><li>Insight: Quite often people in a relationship get too deeply entrenched into roles and let boredom set-in. This leads to a lack of excitement and adventure and hence infrequent love-making. </li></ul><ul><li>The human purpose: To help couples make more love, by helping them infuse excitement into their life. </li></ul><ul><li>ACT: (1) Unbreakable furniture (2) Romantic getaways (3) Role-play & change of scenario (from the routine). </li></ul><ul><li>Social media insight: Ability to listen & suggest and also help users share tips & experiences. Might need to create alternate ID’s for the users for anonymity. </li></ul><ul><li>Another opportunity to direct those with physiological or psychological issues to drive them to brand councellors & online help forums. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Articulate the problem/task well. </li></ul><ul><li>Figure out the key insight/purpose that the combines the brand’s needs and the users interests. </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly craft out the core concept. </li></ul><ul><li>Depending on the users you want to engage with, create an ACT that shall engage them. </li></ul><ul><li>Write it out: Write out the entire roll-out of the act as if doing a post initiative case study. Start with writing down how you want the users to act & the insight & on which medium it works. Then figure out how each medium interacts with the other. </li></ul><ul><li>Figure out the behavioral insights and the technology available in that particular medium, which best get you the desired user response & participation. Figure out the insight & the hence incentive as to why the user would share it with others & naturally pollinate. </li></ul><ul><li>Craft medium specific content for maximum impact. </li></ul><ul><li>Right at the start set minimum-expected response/success metrics (use benchmarks of a similar initiative) and also keep the mechanics for sourcing & storing these metrics ready. </li></ul><ul><li>Listen. Monitor & course correct. Keep stimulating acts & rewarding them as well. </li></ul><ul><li>Do not forget to keep celebrating milestones/success along the way, this in itself becomes stimulus for people to act further. </li></ul>
Caution: <ul><li>The need for communicating with the consumer on social media should stem from a ‘human need’ or a specific brand objective, rather than from the ‘introduction of new technology’. </li></ul><ul><li>Likes can be bought, so don’t always believe likes as ROI. They could be hollow. </li></ul><ul><li>Relevance is the most important factor in social media ‘interactions’. </li></ul><ul><li>Social sensibilities is another key factor </li></ul><ul><li>Honesty & integrity are a must. Don’t bullshit! </li></ul><ul><li>It took 1 yr for 200 million on fb, it will take less for clutter and hence user indifeerence (manage yoru activities wisely). </li></ul>
There is no thrill in meeting someone new , you’ve already researched them on facebook. While social networks & fb does allow you to interact with friends whom you don’t meet regularly, the more intimate friends & even partners do complain that “ there’s nothing to talk about, when they meet in person ” or even worse, gossip & updates of social media seem to be discussed…a case of tail wagging the dog.
<ul><li>People are deleting their accounts on facebook temporarily, and then re-appearing with a smaller set of ‘friends’ </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not only because of privacy issues, but because subconsciously there is a guilt that you are becoming an attention seeker and misusing your personal life to grab attention! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>And there is growing knowledge of how much personal data, social networking sites have of yours. </li></ul></ul></ul>
Once the initial craze settles down, people spend ample time – we might see social media getting appropriated:
Hence, polarization between the two giants: two different purposes <ul><li>Users are moving towards a more private profile, lesser friends, genuine friends. </li></ul><ul><li>More the number of genuine friends, cooler you are </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing your LIFE! </li></ul><ul><li>Users want more followers, quantity not quality! </li></ul><ul><li>More the number of followers, cooler you are </li></ul><ul><li>Being HEARD! </li></ul>
In the future, I think users (more than brands) will know how to appropriately use social media. They will share, seek information, participate & interact with brands and others a lot more intuitively rather than impulsively .