Albion - Tribal Youth Skype Case Study


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

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Albion - Tribal Youth Skype Case Study

  1. 1. Tribal Youth and Digital Media Skype case study Glyn Britton 12 June 2007
  2. 2. Skype <ul><li>I’m here today to talk about Skype. </li></ul><ul><li>(You’ve got us because Eric, their Head of Content is busy, you know, heading up content.) </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  3. 3. About Albion <ul><li>We’re a modern advertising agency for modern businesses. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  4. 5.
  5. 7. Skype’s success <ul><li>0 to customers in 2.5 years. </li></ul><ul><li>Nearly 200 million customers today. </li></ul><ul><li>Still growing at 200,000 new users every day. </li></ul>
  6. 8. How it happened <ul><li>Skype’s biggest channel is word-of-mouth. </li></ul>
  7. 9. And how did that happen? <ul><li>Some innate things about Skype. </li></ul><ul><li>Influencers help us spread the word. </li></ul><ul><li>The brand’s attitude </li></ul>
  8. 10. What I was asked to speak about <ul><li>What makes an influencer? </li></ul><ul><li>How much do they affect buying behaviour? </li></ul><ul><li>How to create trends with key influencers? </li></ul><ul><li>How to ensure influencers feel involved with product development? </li></ul><ul><li>Are influencers buying? </li></ul><ul><li>How soon before they move onto the next big thing? </li></ul>
  9. 11. Before I go any further <ul><li>Skype isn’t a youth brand. </li></ul><ul><li>But it does have plenty of 16-24 year old users. </li></ul><ul><li>And we’ve used the techniques of ‘youth marketing’ to talk to a much larger audience. </li></ul><ul><li>For us, this is just how marketing is done these days. </li></ul>
  10. 12. Some innate things about Skype
  11. 13. Some innate things <ul><li>Skype is a communications tool </li></ul><ul><li>Humans are really, really, interested in things that help us communicate with each other more and better. </li></ul><ul><li>From cave paintings to mobile phones, it’s always the same. </li></ul><ul><li>And this is even more true for young people. They are forging their social identity through conversation. </li></ul>
  12. 14. Gossip is the human equivalent of 'social grooming' among primates
  13. 15. Some innate things <ul><li>Skype is free </li></ul><ul><li>Free is quite interesting to people. Especially free and good. </li></ul><ul><li>And it’s more interesting still to impoverished young people! </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul>
  14. 16. Some innate things <ul><li>Right idea, right time </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Skype was called Skype instead, and it just worked. And it arrived just as lots of people were starting to get broadband internet access. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s a very ‘native’ product for young people. </li></ul>
  15. 17. Some innate things <ul><li>Simple and easy </li></ul><ul><li>Skype worked really hard on making Skype as easy to install and use as possible. </li></ul><ul><li>We knew it was easy enough when Geoffrey’s grandma could use it. (Geoffrey is one of the original Skypers.) </li></ul><ul><li>Ease of use is important for busy young people too. Hence the iPod, people moving to Facebook… </li></ul>
  16. 18. Influencers help us spread the word
  17. 19. Influencers help us spread the word <ul><li>Help influencers find Skype </li></ul><ul><li>Influencers can’t be a target audience. If they feel targeted, they won’t become fans. </li></ul><ul><li>So it’s not about finding influencers. It’s about them finding us. Pull, not push. </li></ul><ul><li>So we need to be where they are. </li></ul>
  18. 24. <ul><li>Facebook group </li></ul>
  19. 25. Influencers help us spread the word <ul><li>Educate influencers </li></ul><ul><li>Once they ‘get it’, they’ll patiently explain to others. After all, that’s their job – to know about stuff. </li></ul>
  20. 27. Influencers help us spread the word <ul><li>Turn influencers into fans </li></ul><ul><li>Once influencers find and understand Skype, we need to turn them into fans. </li></ul><ul><li>Using blogs, forums, events (and Skype) we have an ongoing conversation. </li></ul><ul><li>Our influencers make suggestions on how to improve Skype, and we listen and make the changes they suggest. </li></ul><ul><li>It drives them wild! </li></ul>
  21. 30. Influencers help us spread the word <ul><li>Helping influencers to share </li></ul><ul><li>We want people to discover Skype by word of mouth. </li></ul><ul><li>We didn’t want to annoy them by interrupting them with advertising while they were doing something more important. </li></ul><ul><li>Instead, having attracted our influencers, we created ways for them to share Skype with their friends and family. </li></ul>
  22. 35. Influencers help us spread the word <ul><li>Having a conversation </li></ul><ul><li>In a conversation, you want the other person to be interesting to talk to. </li></ul><ul><li>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.) </li></ul><ul><li>So Skype has always used really simple language, and a conversational tone-of-voice. </li></ul>
  23. 37. Influencers help us spread the word <ul><li>Giving influencers new stuff </li></ul><ul><li>Skypecasts are a new way to have conversations with people across the world who share your interests. </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Our early-adopter influencers are helping us pioneer and shape this new way of communicating. </li></ul>
  24. 38. What didn’t work?
  25. 39. The brand’s attitude
  26. 40. From Wikipedia <ul><li>“ 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.” </li></ul>
  27. 41. The death of image marketing
  28. 42. Tell the truth in more and more compelling ways
  29. 43. The brand’s attitude <ul><li>Skype tells the truth </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>So Skype has always said simply what it is, and not much more. </li></ul>
  30. 44. The brand’s attitude <ul><li>Skype feels free </li></ul><ul><li>Skype is free. More than that though, it feels free. </li></ul><ul><li>Free helps people realise that Skype is a different kind of company. </li></ul><ul><li>We took something that big companies charged quite a lot for, and gave it to you for free. Nice, eh? </li></ul>
  31. 45. The brand’s attitude <ul><li>Skype does a lot </li></ul><ul><li>It’s a fast world. People get bored quickly. </li></ul><ul><li>Part of being committed is keeping doing stuff – it’s not good enough to have done it once. </li></ul><ul><li>The advertising industry’s idea of the reductive ‘big idea’ is no use here. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s about doing lots of little things, that all add up to a rich, complex and involving brand. </li></ul>
  32. 49. <ul><li>Skype is lucky </li></ul><ul><li>Pulling off youth marketing is not at all certain. </li></ul><ul><li>Getting influencers to find you, like you, and spread the word for you involves a healthy amount of luck. </li></ul><ul><li>Do the rest of the things I’ve talked about, and you can make your own luck, a bit. </li></ul>
  33. 51. Lessons for youth marketing
  34. 52. What I was asked to speak about <ul><li>What makes an influencer? </li></ul><ul><li>They are people who are turned on by seeking out new stuff, and being known for knowing about new stuff. </li></ul><ul><li>How much do they affect buying behaviour? </li></ul><ul><li>For Skype, they affect adoption behaviour, but it’s the early majority who do most of the buying. </li></ul>
  35. 53. What I was asked to speak about <ul><li>How to create trends with key influencers? </li></ul><ul><li>By listening to them, making what they’ll like, talking to them about it, giving them privileged access to the new stuff. </li></ul><ul><li>How to ensure influencers feel involved with product development? </li></ul><ul><li>See above. </li></ul>
  36. 54. What I was asked to speak about <ul><li>Are influencers buying? </li></ul><ul><li>For Skype, influencers are early adopters of devices that let you Skype on the move. So yes, a little. </li></ul><ul><li>How soon before they move onto the next big thing? </li></ul><ul><li>As soon as we stop talking to them and slow down. Or as soon as someone else does it better. It’s hard work! </li></ul>
  37. 55. The Skype recipe for recruiting influencers <ul><li>Have a great product, an order better than what’s out there already. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t ‘target’ influencers - it looks desperate to a group for who ‘commitment’ is key. </li></ul><ul><li>Instead pull them towards you, and engage them in a genuine dialogue. </li></ul><ul><li>Then make it as easy as possible for them to spread the word about you. </li></ul><ul><li>Be honest, fast, agile, prolific, joined-up… and don’t let it go to your head. </li></ul>
  38. 56. And finally, how do you do all this?
  39. 57. Thank you Get this presentation at