Above: When banks become bikes, meet the Citi Bike
How do brands add to the Collaborative Economy, if they don’t offer physical goods? They sponsor the sharing movement.
Meet Citi Bike in NY. I’ve learned from my New York-based colleague, Rebecca Lieb (Marketing and Advertising analyst), that CitiGroup, one of the world’s largest brands, is sponsoring the country’s largest bike sharing program in our most populated city. That’s right, the sustainability trend for bike access to New York citizens and visitors is rolling out in the next few days, with prominent sponsorship and funding from Citibank.
This program models after the Barclays Card sponsorship of bike-sharing in London, a trend that is starting to sweep across cities around the globe. Cleverly dubbed a “Citi Bike,” CitiBank will offer 6,000 of these blue unisex bikes and 330 docking stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, with a vision to grow to more than 10,000 bikes. These all become mobile advertising units, travelling the streets of the financial center of the world. The data derived from these bikes and their digital check-ins, along with web and mobile features, will provide the CitiBank system with rich data at a local level. Digital marketers should be drooling.
There are a number of brands that are jumping into the Collaborative Economy space (see index), either by converting their products to a service, fostering a community of reselling around them, or by sponsoring. Altimeter will be publishing a report on the Collaborative Economy next week in conjunction with my keynote speech at LeWeb. The Collaborative Economy isn’t just about saving the world through sustainable consumer practices. It’s also about the brands and corporations who want to be associated with it.
The bottom line: Branding and sponsorship are just the start. Expect to see new models emerge, even for financial services companies.
This year, marketers were focused on promoting their owned corporate website. Of the few that promoted engagement with social ads, even fewer integrated paid, owned, and earned.
With 39m American Oscar viewers in 2012, a majority of them are viewing them with a second screen (mobile/laptop/tablet) in hand, disappointingly, most TV ads failed to use paid media to trigger these discussions, indicating that Converged Media of paid owned earned is not consistent in today’s marketing quiver. A few weeks ago, we conducted similar analysis of SuperBowl ads, and found a greater degree of integration, including cross-channel integration with Hashtags (31% incidence) from TV ads to trigger online discussions.
Last night, at the Oscar’s, integration from the 58 TV spots to the second screen was paltry at best, with a high reliance on advertising corporate URLs, an odd play given that most know how to use Google search to find websites. While many a brand was active in emulating Oreos “Real Time Marketing” by using pre-created photoshop templates, it felt contrived and forced. There’s a thriving discussion, from Jay Baer on the contrived impact of Real Time Ad Failures, and David Armano gives pause to share his perspective as an agency working with Kellogg who were deploying real time ads –despite no TV spot.
- We analyzed 58 TV spots, from award kickoff to end (not red carpet).
- About 75% of all ads integrated cross-channel integration, with a majority promoting URLs
- While 17% of ads integrated Facebook, and 14% Twitter, they didn’t promote a specific URL, most focusing on the social network icons.
- Hashtag integration was a mere 13%, (Superbowl ads were over double that at 31%) a missed opportunity, given the amount of second screen activity in this media heavy space
- Samsung pushed the hashtag #galaxyatwork four times across their many ads, and purchased promoted trends on Twitter.
Marketing Efforts of Note
This year’s Oscar ads were contrived, forced efforts of brands and agencies running after the Oreo’s halo from Superbowl. Of note, JCP connected both there emotional TV spot, and tied it with Twitter engagement and even sent gift cards to Twitter followers that gave a positive reaction to the ads. Kellogg’s Special K deployed real time images in salute to award winners (Life of Pi), even without a TV spot, which limited their overall reach and opportunity to trigger engagement. Stella Artois had several photoshop templates that created Gifs that recognized winners, but didn’t push the content to the next level. AdWeek highlights how Oreos extended engagement from Superbowl to Oscars.
Above Diagram: Here’s one way brands should be integrated paid, owned, and earned, in a Converged Media manner. While most Oscar ads failed to complete this, JCP earned high marks, Read the full report.
Real time marketing was experimental at best, with many brands still trying to develop their playbooks for the second screen. Brands failed to integrate their paid media with social media, missing out on opportunities for the content to engage and resonate. Next year, expect greater integration between all the elements of paid, owned and earned, which we call Converged Media.
Update: There’s a discussion on my Facebook page, critiquing the ads.
The purpose of this post is to serve as an industry reference for converged media workflows: How companies will coordinate paid, owned and earned as one orchestration. This is continued coverage on Converged Media, read the full report.
Customers already experience advertising, corporate content, editorial, and social media at the same time, often in an integrated manner, although most brands do not approach the experience in one deployment. As Facebook, Twitter deploy social ads that utilize earned and owned content amplified by paid, these worlds are quickly merging. Brands that want to achieve the best experience for their customers in digital channels must approach in an integrated converged method, and understand how to utilize each channel’s strength. Brands that don’t have these workflows are at risk for inefficiency, and give agencies an opportunity to lead. Brands that produce these workflows working with agency and software partners can deliver an orchestrated experience.
Converged Media Workflows Represent Complexity in a Simple Graphic
This is continuing coverage of research I’m conducting with Rebecca Lieb (Bio, Blog, Twitter, Books), my co-author on this report as well as Jessica Groopman (Bio, Twitter), researcher. I recommend you first read the whole report on Converged Media (Paid, Owned, and Earned), in which we didn’t go into depth into the workflow that we found. As the industry starts to combine these often disparate channels, we’ll see new forms of workflows emerge that coordinate all these channels. Don’t be fooled by these simple diagrams, as each step transcends a different channel, intense coordination is required on brand side, agency side, as well as software. A new ecosystem of players will also converge in order to serve this new workflow, and professionals that run to meet this future need now will be ahead in their careers over those that do not.
Definition: A Converged Media Workflow is a simple yet comprehensive diagram that represent complex streams that coordinate paid, owned, and earned channels in a holistic manner across an entire customer experience –beyond a siloed approach. As a result, the entire customer experience has a greater net benefit to customers and brands than individual deployments.
Start with Strategy
Companies should not approach the Converged Media approach without first having a goal in mind, as there are significant changes that happen both internally, with agency partners, and new software requirements. To get the most return in your effort, start by:
- Have a Content Strategy that Works Across Paid, Owned, and Earned. Re-purposing the same content on each channel is not s recipe for success, as each provides a unique opportunity, challenge, and therefore approach. Instead, develop a broader Content Strategy by first understanding that all companies (even those selling widgets) are now media companies. Secondly, develop a strategy by understanding how to rebalance your marketing equation by developing a content strategy. Read Rebecca’s blog with many resources on this topic, or the specific report on Content Marketing to further understand this growing trend. New roles, content coordination, and the ability to track all of these content changes across the enterprise will emerge, as well as new professional opportunities for those that are seeking to grow.
- Expect Savvy Marketers to have Playbooks –Supplemented by Agency Partners. Don’t expect to brands to recreate a new workflow each time from scratch, we’ve started to collect some of the workflows below, and expect that many agencies and brands will develop playbooks and bring them forth in the planning stage. Don’t overly rely on the same play, as competitors may exploit the same play time and time again, so expect flexibility based on what the data tea leaves are reading. When selecting a converged media workflow, ensure that it spans both paid, owned and earned channels, but also looks at media sites, social networks, microsites, brand sites and hosted communities. Ensure these are also representing a global perspective, and consider how it can impact multiple product sets within the brand.
- Be Ready: Significant Industry Changes Ahead in Brand, Agency and Software. While the research report goes into greater depth on the predicted changes coming, we see a few significant changes to the entire ecosystem. Inside of brands, the marketing department will start to restructure outside of silos so that the advertising group, corporate communication, brand marketing, and social media teams start to work together on a more frequent basis. Then, we expect marketing leadership to demand that agency partners come together to look at converged media from one strategic viewpoint –digital agencies that lead this discussion will be in a position of power over those that do not. Lastly, new software solutions are starting manifest including from Adobe Digital Marketing, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Oracle Marketing, Bazaarvoice, Lithium, ThisMoment, IBM, ExactTarget, and a host others of suites that I’m tracking. Expect a network of software point players to assemble and connect to each other –in order to counter the suites.
Altimeter’s Research Found a Workflow Pattern
There are many workflows –this is just the most common one, although we know many more will emerge. Altimeter conducted research with 34 ecosystem contributors and continue to take briefings and share this workflow with others. Depending on who you speak with, you’ll find different emphasize on different parts of the workflow.
Above: Altimeter found a workflow pattern based on 34 interviews, while we heard a variation on workflow patterns, this one was common, read the full report to learn more.
Matrix: Breakdown of One Converged Media Workflow
||What You Need
||What No One Tells You
|Real-Time Measurement & Iteration (Center item)
||This is a baseline requirement across all phases. This internal center effort is apart from periodic reporting, as it should be gauging in real time the performance of all paid, owned, and earned channels and allow for rapid iteration. Don’t expect this team to be able to see the forest through the trees as they peer in closely, so ensure the periodic reporting phase is included –you need both.
||Real time measurements require a sane way to communicate these changes to the company, by providing daily wrap ups, trend diagrams, and maybe even real time tickers. Barry Judge, former CMO of Best Buy told me he has a digital ticker in his office with all mentions of his company so he can make iterative changes in real time.
|Periodic Strategic Analysis and Reporting (Top)
||If your effort is kicking off, start by conducting analysis of what’s happened in earned, and owned channels. We often heard from interviews that earned tells you what target market is saying or where they are, which informs owned. However in most cases, launches were built off existing products so analysis on owned was common. This analysis should be conducted looking back several periods (months to years).
||In addition to seeing what your customers say, analyze what’s being said of competitors and what they’ve said. Find out what’s resonated and what has not and why. Follow colleague Susan Etlinger to learn more.
|Content Strategy (Clockwise)
||Often companies jump to decide what they say, without analyzing what people want to hear, and that’s why the prior phase on analysis and reporting was a requirement. Companies can now develop a content strategy, but should understand how it changes and varies depending on the following variables: product type, geography, channel, screen, and source of information. Note that this spans many internal teams from corp comm, brand marketing, media buying, social media team and all related agency partners.
||To try to focus on a consolidated content strategy across all of the permutations (we call this the Dynamic Customer Journey) get focused on the top persona behaviors in each of the three channels and top screens. Get focused.
|Publication Across Channels
||This phase requires both internal governance on message and engagement orchestration that includes communication, internal collaboration, a series of meetings, a clear leader and the tools to support. We’re currently seeing a variety of tools from CMS, media network management, and social media management system (SMMS) technologies span this environment.
||Agency and brand stakeholders are seeking collaboration tools that will span all teams, in particular, watch how PBworks and Adobe Creative Cloud develop to serve these real time needs.
||Real time measurement and iteration (center item) should be occurring as a baseline, as a result, post-publication, teams will identify hot paths and hot conversations where content is resonating. Then, teams should invest in sending in content experts, community managers, product leads, executives, or influencers to trigger further discussion.
||Don’t limit engagement to only when a hot discussion is occurring, but set a baseline in monitoring and engagement. Consider how many brands are already deploying Command Centers (focused on social now, but quickly going broader)
||New media units have been on the rise from Facebook and Twitter in the form of social ads. These units often can be promoted based upon resonating with earned or owned content in social networks. Double and triple down on content that’s resonating to reach a broader audience, or tap into the social graph by allowing those involved to share with their networks.
||Social ads are not limited to social networks alone. Bazaarvoice has already launched social ads “media” product that aggregates ratings and reviews into IAB approved units. Expect new media networks to emerge that support social content.
||Nothing is static in this real time world –even your umbrella messaging and tag lines. Understand that messaging must evolve and change in real time to meet needs the changes of the market. Savvy marketers will know when to bend, by involving customers into these process –and know when to stay on overall message to lead market to a new stance in positioning.
||New tools will emerge that allow customers/end users to help collaborate in creating future messages and integrating across all channels. Watch Adobe, Salesforce, Oracle for tools that can enable this at the enterprise level.
||The workflow is a circle and in this workflow, the cycle should continue repeat, fueling consistent and constant content across coordinated channels.
||What we don’t know is how often this cycle will repeat, as there isn’t industry data on how fast this process can occur.
Notable Industry Converged Workflows
Altimeter has obtained a few of these workflows through online search, slideshare, as well as received content from contributors. I’ll continue to add notable examples as I see them overtime, please leave comments below.
Above: Edelman’s David Armano shows a workflow between Paid Owned Earned
Analyst Note: This early diagram quickly delineates a workflow among channels focusing on strength of each
Social Marketing and Engagement, Slideshare
by David J Carr (twitter, blog), Digital Strategy Director, Chemistry Communications
Analyst Note: The integration of social listening, social engagement, email, website and communities
Social Marketing and Engagement, Slideshare
by David J Carr (twitter, blog), Digital Strategy Director, Chemistry Communications
Analyst Note: The integration between multiple channels both from awareness push to engagement and across screens
Related Resources on Converged Media Workflows
I sifted through many online resources, found a few select pieces here, leave comments below, I’ll add to this over time.
- Slideshare Using Earned, Owned, Paid by Ford’s Scott Monty.
- Interactions, Engagement & Ecosystems by David Armano.
- David Carr Digital Fragments, which I referenced above, by David Carr.
- Workflows around Dove Case Study (cross channel, cross screen), see portfolio by David Carr
- Mr./Ms. CMO — tear down these walls! by Scott Brinker.
- Graphic on Paid Owned Earned by Dr Matt McDougall
- Case study of Huggies in HK (video), using social, FB, physical display by Ogilvy and Mather
- Infographic: Social Media Impact Across Bought, Owned and Earned Media by Spredfast.
- What’s old is new again: Earned Media can be your Hub by Todd Defren, head of Shift.
- Excerpts of Paid Owned Earned Book. This book was foundational to my research as it dissects each channel by Nick Burcher.
- Defining Paid, Owned, Earned, by former colleague Sean Corcoran.
- 10 steps to reinvent media strategy (new post) by Todd Defren
- Hybrid Theory was foundational thinking on how converged needs to occur in marketing, read this three part series by colleague Brian Solis
- Womma has shared this workflow, by Dana Oshiro
- Paid > Earned > Owned > Earned > Paid > Owned > Paid > Earned by colleague Rebecca Lieb.
Today, most workflows are limited to individual channel deployment and lack a holistic view of the entire customer experience. We found few public workflows in our quest, but see more emerging in briefings with software marketing companies and agency leads. Expect that a playbook will emerge from lead agencies and digital marketing suites that outline how all these channels and efforts work in a consolidated way. New opportunities for the emergence of a new market, professionals, strategists, and software and agency partners will emerge, and those that lead will have more opportunity to shape the conversation over those that follow.
I look forward to the dialog as this space evolves, please leave a comment with your point of view, or URLs to related Converged Media workflows.
While not new, most professional blogs follow the media and advertising model that has existed for decades on TV, internet, and media: Create compelling content, and subsidize with advertisements. We see this as only the start, as ads will now start to integrate the crowd to create, source, become the creative, and share.
Remember the “Markets are conversations” motto from Cluetrain? Yet when it comes to social, Cluetrain believers have tried to keep this medium separate from traditional media models and keep it purely conversational. When we look closely, advertising is the primary revenue driver for Google, Facebook, and most social sites who provide free and compelling services in exchange for brands to share their offerings.
All of this mixture of corporate content, consumer media, and advertising is converging into one media type. In our upcoming Altimeter research report this Thursday (co-author Rebecca discusses the premise), we’ll be sharing The Converged Media imperative, where after dozens of interviews with agencies, brands, thought leaders and software innovators, we have found a trend where a new media type has merged, which we’ve dubbed “Converged Media”.
To celebrate this interchange of paid, earned, and owned, I wanted to get your opinion as readers if how you would react, feel, or engage with advertisements on this blog in the right column or on top banner. My promise is to only bring relevant ads (of companies that are related to topics I write about) and that do not interrupt (no popups, no takeovers, no auto-start media, no page turns). Additionally, I would experiment with new advertising forms (such as converged media), and then write about, sharing my experience.
Your opinion matters, so I’m listening, please leave a comment, ads on this Web Strategy blog? Cool or Drool?
Update: After careful review of comments, discussions, I have now decided to allow advertisements to appear on the right hand column. These will not be disruptive (popups, blocks, tear across) and I will personally review all content to ensure it’s related to the content strategy of this website. I’m thankful we can partner in all directions: website owner (me), readers (you), and sponsors (advertisers), to advance with converged media.
I’m honored to be a guest on Mitch Joel‘s famed podcast, Six Pixels of Separation, to discuss my latest post that’s caught the Industry’s attention how Social Media Agencies are Turning to Ads. Mitch invited me on the podcast to discuss this further.
One of the assertions I make is the term “Social Media Agency of Record” (aka SMaoR) will eventually go by the wayside, as those pure play agencies are starting to move into advertising (starting with social ads), digital, interactive, and more. My take? We’ll just have a broader focus as social becomes nicely integrated with other digital efforts.
Listen in to the podcast below using the embed, or watch on Mitch’s website.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments, should the term Social media agency of Record dissolve? Or will this remain as a dedicated type of pure play firm?
In a stunning early finding of interviews with nearly a dozen social media agencies and software providers, I’m seeing a new trend: Social media agency of record (SMaoR) are now moving into advertising buying. I’ve just spent a week interviewing a number of social agencies here in Manhattan as well as taken briefings from around the globe (see below for source info)
Why this dramatic change from social media purists who once declared war on advertising?
The new advertising features from both Facebook and Twitter (Such as sponsored tweets and trends) encourage earned content to become advertising units and give an opportunity for social marketers to get into the advertising game. This also means the opportunity for ads to perform at a higher level because they’ve been ‘approved’ by the crowd is a unique opportunity afforded to the social media agencies vs the ‘carpet bomb’ approach of yesteryear. This results in three distinct impacts to the industry:
- Advertising is Limited to Social Networks: The advertising units that these agencies are purchasing are often limited to Facebook or Twitter –not broader banner and skyscraper ads across media and Google serp. In fact, in most cases they’re analyzing which earned content performs the best, then using the features like Twitter’s sponsored tweets to amplify this earned content to reach new audiences and drive attention or call to action.
- Social Media Agencies Don’t Have Solid Case Studies, Yet. Most of these pure play social media firms lack an advertising background and are staffed for engagement. They also tend to have a longer term approach for community building –not six week ad block flights. As a result, it doesn’t guarantee that they’ll be able to outperform traditional digital advertisers although most say they’re working on case studies to show higher engagement, and conversion.
- Expect a Battle Between Digital Agencies and Social Media Agencies. Now, there’s going to be a fight over advertising budget as social media agencies battle for small shares of advertising dollars. We’re also seeing digital agencies develop social competencies and battling the social pure plays. In the end, I believe we’ll get rid of the term ‘social’ or ‘digital’ as a prefix for any agency as they’ll all have the same competencies, esp after a mass M&A that biz dev execs are already starting to sniff.
Sources: As an Industry Analyst, I’m fortunate to speak to many in the industry for research purposes, In the past few weeks I’ve spoken to Adobe, Attention, Banyan Branch, Big Fuel, Buddy Media, Converseon, Deep Focus, Edelman, Google+, IBM (Social Products), LiveWorld, SocialFlow, VaynerMedia, We Are Social, and many others. Our analyst focused on agencies is Rebecca Lieb (Blog, Twitter), although we’re both talking to many-in-the-industry for our upcoming joint report on Paid Owned and Earned integration.
Update: Fast Company’s Francine Hardaway has answered this post discussing how Agencies are Going the Way of the Dodo.
By Altimeter’s Jeremiah Owyang, Brian Solis, and Zak Kirchner
Findings: Five Trends Indicate Cross Channel Integration a Mainstay. Super Bowl ads, while only representing the nation’s largest consumer facing ads are a bellwether for advertising trends for the remainder of the year. To best understand these trends, Altimeter Group’s research team analyzed each Ad in real time, and conducted analysis to best understand the advertising trends for 2012. Using Chicago as a middle ground, we reviewed all ads from kickoff till the game clock expired and found that trends out of 87 advertisements.
- Trend 1) Brands Heavily Invested in Promoting Traditional Websites
- Trend 2) Surprisingly, Many Did Not Promote a Call-To-Action
- Trend 3) Only a Sixth of Ads Explicitly Promoted Social Media
- Trend 4) Hashtag Marketing Emerged to Stimulate Continual Engagement
- Trend 5) Cutting Edge Marketers Teased with New Marketing Tactics, including Shazam
Above Graphic One: 2012 Superbowl Ad Analysis: Less than one-third of Ads don’t promote cross channel
Above Graphic Two: 2012 Superbowl Ad Analysis: Less than one-third of Ads don’t promote cross channel
Rather than push for fans and followers on social sites, brands invested in promoting traditional websites, and experimented with new forms of engagement like applications, Shazam, and even promoting hashtags. We found five trends:
Trend 1) Brands Heavily Invested in Promoting Traditional Websites
We found that 49% linked to a corporate website URL, also 9% linked to a microsite URL for a total of 57% of all Ads linking to traditional URLs. This standard deployment comes at no surprise, as a call to action is often needed for advertising ROI, and traffic surges are often the most common way to measure this. Surprisingly, despite many game watchers having multiple devices on in tandem to the TV, a whopping 32% did not have any online references to either a URL, or even a social site.
Trend 2) Surprisingly, Many Did Not Promote a Call-To-Action
In a surprising move, brands did not have a direct call to action. In fact, 32% did not link to any social site or URL as listed in trend 1. For example Chrysler’s Imported from Detroit showed the logos of their car lines, but did not have any URLs. Likely this is due to high brand recognition of brands, and the goal was to drive awareness, consideration –but not drive leads or intent on a website. Why did brands do this? We believe for a few reasons: to drive conversation among friends, or to make an impactful statement, or lastly because we live in a Google world, consumers can readily find URLs without being prompted.
Trend 3) Only a Sixth of Ads Explicitly Promoted Social Media
We define this instance as Ads that showed their social networking accounts like Facebook, Twitter, or even hashtags in text, or sometimes even written on signs in the ad content itself. Unlike previous Super Bowls where consumer generated ads were infused with traditional ads, we saw less than expected integration of content from the crowd. This year, we didn’t see any explicit mentions of content that was created by the crowd. Furthermore we found low integration with social media, in fact, 16% of brands linked or mentioned their social networking accounts. Among them 11% linked to Facebook, 2% to Twitter. We did not capture any integration with Youtube, Linkedin, or Google+. Despite the low explicit mentions of social in the Ads, nearly all of the ads are cross-posted on YouTube.
Trend 4) Hashtag Marketing Emerged to Stimulate Continual Engagement
While Twitter helped to promote their platform with the Twitter Ad Scrimmage (which lists more hashtags than we saw in-Ad), we found that 6 ads explicitly promoted hashtags (total of 7%), and only 2 brands promoted their Twitter accounts (2%). Interestingly, when hashtags were deployed, we found that traditional URLs nor a request to fan or follow. To highlight, General Electric’s Ad focuses on how their technology is a key component of the beer value chain, pointed only to a hashtag “#whatworks” rather than promote a URL or a social networking account. I asked GE’s Twitter account why they did this and they responded to me in Twitter “@jowyang It’s all about shared conversation tonight (and tomorrow). We want to hear from people. #whatworks” This sea change in tactics is an indicator of how brands want to extend the experience beyond the expensive 30 second Ad to an ongoing permanent discussion. Additional hashtag engagement was found by Budweiser pushing #makeitplatinum (in two ads, by our count), Audi’s #SoLongVampires, Best Buy’s #betterway, and underwear line using #beckhamforhm. These investments appeared to pay off as both Budweiser’s “#makeitplatinum” and Audi’s #SoLongVampires became trending topics minutes after their ads published, there was no indicator that either were sponsored.
Trend 5) Cutting Edge Marketers Teased with New Marketing Tactics, including Shazam
Beyond promotion the traditional website, microsite and social media account, brands have started experimenting with promoting new forms of marketing engagement for a total of 11% total incidence. To extend the experience, 3 ads promoted applications (often showing on an iPhone like Citibank’s Ad), 3 promoted SMS interaction, and GoDaddy promoted a QR code. We found that brands were integrating Shazam, a music finding application. In particular, Elton John in an Q1 Pepsi Ad was the first to promote this integration, encouraging further interaction by downloading media. Although not emerging, in the traditional sense, Etrade even promoted their phone number, which likely drove direct engagement. Brian Solis notes that this extends the experience and audience now becomes more engaged by downloading and consuming media beyond the game day.
Summary: Promoting Traditional Websites Still King –Social Integration Nascent
A majority of efforts had a focus on making a market impact by asserting new positioning, and linking to traditional websites and microsites. Unlike previous years which pushed CGM in Ad content, or a direct push to fan and follower, brands in 2012 were more focused on engagement in social media, extending the life of the campaign. A set of brands didn’t promote any cross-channel engagement, instead focusing on a powerful message, which we should expect to be a trend as brands can be found in every channel, esp aided by search. New forms of marketing are emerging that result in integrating data from applications, as well as mobile experiences, that we’ll continue to see pioneer through the year.
Altimeter Group, a research advisory firm, had a team of researchers including Jeremiah Owyang, Zak Kirchner, and a third party oursourced resource for independent data collection take note of each advertisement and notate if they linked to a URL, (corporate website or microsite) mentioned social media, or used other tools in the Chicago area, which is mid-country. Secondly, Altimeter retrieved a list of brands that were advertising and was able to retrieve Facebook fan and Twitter follower numbers in order to compare pre versus post (stay tuned). Scope of ads captured were post-kickoff, to end of game when game clock expired. We did not use ads mentioned by NBC during the game highlights. We found that some ads were localized for the Chicago market vs other markets, however the ratios and trends cross-country are likely accurate. In the spirit of Open, we’ve made the data public on Google Sheets.
Update: AdRants has commented on the data. Update: This data mentioned on USA Today.
The Altimeter Group was pre-briefed by Twitter COO Dick Costolo last week about this upcoming launch, we’ve had some time to think over what it means to the industry. Help your boss fight through the clutter, send them this post.
Summary: Twitter has launched Promoted Tweets, combining paid and organic media. Brands can now advertise promoted tweets on search pages, however the community has power over which tweets will appear measured by Twitter’s new metric called “resonance” which factors in behaviors like the retweet, at, hash, avatar clicks. Brands can now purchase CPM based ads to promote these popular tweets at the top of a Twitter search term –even in categories they aren’t well known in, influencing awareness. Marketers beware: unlike traditional advertising or social marketing this is both a combination of earned media and paid media. For Twitter this experimental move makes sense as it taps into deep pockets of online advertisers without jeapordizing sanctity of the community as users will self select which tweets will resonate and thereby become promoted ads.
How it will work, a likely use case scenario:
- Twitter users will continue to interact with each other, and popular tweets will receive a high ‘resonance’ score from Twitter. Some of these Tweets will be created by brands, and some by the users themselves.
- Tweets with heavy resonance can be purchased by advertisers in a CPM basis to appear as the first ‘sponsored’ Tweet on a search term. (Update: Just saw Dick’s recent video suggesting that promoted tweets will appear in other locations beyond search) The sponsored tweets will be clearly labeled and have a different background color.
- These promoted tweets will only stay if users continue to resonate with them, those that don’t will disappear and a different tweet with resonation will appear.
Matrix: What Twitter’s Promoted Tweets Business Model Means to the Ecosystem
This has several implications to the ecosystem as a whole, we’ve broken down the impacts to the various players in this matrix:
||What They Will Do
||What No One Tells You
||Finally gets a business model beyond search deal partnerships with potential to scale. Taps into deep pockets of online advertisers.
||Experiment. Expect black and gray hat marketers to try to game this system, in order to obtain resonance. Twitter will constantly tune algorhythm like Google does.
||Expect this to cascade to their partners and grow into the ecosystem as Twitter aggregates resonation on other 3rd party sites
||Have power over which promoted ads will stay visible
||Initially be shocked by changes, then learn they can help self select tweets that will be promoted.. In the real time resonace world users have a lot more power
||Power tweeters like celebs and digerati will be targeted by marketers to engage and resonate tweets. Twitter users that retweet tweets may be surprised to see their promoted tweets in search engine results ads.
||The conversation is now being monetized, with changes to the outcomes of whats expected of the online conversation and engagement.
||Educate traditional marketers. These folks will try to increase resonance of tweets by interacting with community. Will build an inventory of top promotable tweets
||Don’t go overboard, make sure you think of this in the larger context of integrated marketing. Avoid shiny tool syndrome. Must pay close attention to what terms are resonating with community to build inventory
|Direct Marketers and Advertisers
||Finally traditional advertisers and direct marketers have skin in the social game in a way they know.
||Flail. Many will try to buy their way in and obtain resonation without asking why a tweet resonates. Will fight over top searched terms in Twitter, expect a lot of contests to promote tweet engagement.
||Expect tension between this marketer and the social marketer if education is not completed.
|Developers and Agencies
||A clear goal (resonation) has been put forth, with opportunity to get a cut of the incoming advertising dollars.
||Developers are waiting with baited breathe for Chirp developers conference this week to see how this will be tied in. Twitter has indicated that promoted tweets will spread to clients, expect revenue sharing to be offered
||Don’t buy the first ‘resonation solution’ that comes around, expect half a dozen vendors and agencies to approach brands in the next quarter offering the ability to increase ‘resonance’ and case studies will show increase in resonance.
|Competitors and Search Engines
||A new player being in town a new form of advertising is afoot changing the game.
||Expect nervous deals to come to the table on how search engine results can factor in Twitter’s resonance. Expect players like MSFT and Yahoo to quickly launch their version of defining how the social web should be categorized.
||They will have the advantage of built in ad base of advertisers and millions more users. Expect existing Twitter partners Google Search and Microsoft Bing will fold this in and reward resonance and combine with page rank, or will create their own metric to reward social engagement
For Resonation, Brands Must Pay Closer Attention To Users –This Isn’t Traditional Spray And Pray. Power continues to be in the hands of the users, however brands that pay attention to why tweets resonate will have a leg up. here’s how you should approach this new space:
- Change your mindset, as organic and paid merge: This is a combination of organic and paid ads, you’ll need skills from both worlds to be successful. Direct marketers should educate social marketers, and social marketers should explain how resonation occurs in the conversational web. Remember, this gives top tweets staying power beyond the constant stream of chatter. In the end, remember that users have power over which advertising inventory will be created, chosen, and allowed to stay as a promoted tweet.
- Remember Twitter users have power over which promoted Tweets will work: Remember that users they get to choose which tweets can be put into the advertising inventory as their interaction will self select which tweets can become promoted. Secondly, promoted tweets that don’t yield community engagement will also fall off the stream. is that in the real time resonance world users have a lot more power. Brands must analyze what works for users first before promoting tweets.
- Then, carefully pick tweets to be promoted by analyzing the conversation: First, monitor which tweets are already resonating with your brand, take note of what is causing it to resonate and in what context. Secondly, recognize that these tweets should have long term impact, not a daily special as the tweet is promoted, users will interact with it, forcing it into a viral loop. For best results, experiment with promoting tweets from your customers –not just those that you create.
- Recognize that ‘Resonance’ is the page rank of microblogging: Advertising agencies and social marketing agencies will come out of woodwork with “resonance solutions”, yet most will do it wrong. Instead, look for a sophisticated partner that knows the value of social conversational marketing to create an inventory and the long term experience of an advertising agency. Expect resonation to also cascade to other social networks like Facebook and even community platforms and content management systems to derive what content should surface. Twitter has made nods to new dashboards to appear, expect your agency partners to align around resonation as the new ROI.
This post is the result of the collaborative efforts of the Altimeter team including Charlene Li (Leadership), Alan Webber (Web User Experience/Government), Michael Gartenberg (Mobile and Devices) and Christine Tran (Customer Strategy Research), learn more about the Altimeter Group. For more news, see Twitter blog, AdAge, we’ve cross posted on the Altimeter blog, and NYT for details.
Left: Pepsi launched a bold social marketing play, find out what went well –and what opportunities were missed.
Greetings, fellow strategists, In my latest column for the Forbes CMO Network (you can read all my Forbes pieces) I analyzed Pepsi’s big push into social. Also, you should see my detailed field notes, (I did my research before, during, and after the game, thanks to Trendrr folks) to measure any specific changes, before coming up with my findings. I did contact Pepsi pre article to get comments, although they sent me an email after the Forbes piece was up, see bottom response.
Super Bowl: A Missed Opportunity For Pepsi
Cola maker should promote its social cause on TV.
PepsiCo ditched the Super Bowl this year to make a major social media play. Instead of spending money for ad time on the Super Bowl, it’s relying primarily on digital initiatives to spread the word about its Internet-based Refresh Project contest and charity campaign.
The cause-marketing effort is a good one. Word is spreading through traditional media, online networks, social media and celebrity chatter. But I believe Pepsi made a big mistake in giving up its long-held Super Bowl ad real estate. A more integrated media approach–one that included the Super Bowl–would be a savvy play for Pepsi. And such integration is something top marketing executives need to keep in mind in their rush to embrace digital initiatives.
Let’s take a look at Pepsi’s campaign playbook.
The Big Gamble: Social Over Traditional Advertising
Pepsi, as a major ad player, knows that brand association is key to its marketing strategy. Company executives also know that there’s a shift in consumer adoption toward social technologies and that marketers can’t count on reaching the consumers they want to engage through TV. In response to this, Pepsi execs decided to spend the money the company typically plows into buying and creating Super Bowl spots–$20 million or so–to promote and fund a campaign that will identify causes that are worthy of supporting. At refresheverything.com Pepsi encourages consumers to submit ideas to improve community or causes then activate their personal networks to vote for the ideas. To date, the number of submissions possible for the first round of awards has been maxed. It also enjoys a continuous buzz on Twitter with the hashtag #PepsiRefresh.
Playing to its Strengths: Budgets, Celebrities and First Mover
Pepsi has a lot of things going for it. It has the deep pockets to keep a campaign going long-term. It has benefited from notable press buzz from being the first mover of a radical approach. Additionally, the company is using traditional media outlets to glean endorsements from celebrities, including New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees on NFL.com. His charity of choice: the American Cancer Society.
Missed Opportunity: In-Game Tie-In
Pepsi made a misstep in this bold media shift: The company alienated a key channel and missed out on tying Pepsi Refresh to the most-watched TV event in Western media (correction to “U.S. Media” see comments below for details). By not having any in-game discussion on the advertisements, it was unable to use the Super Bowl or its advertisements as a catapult to launch the campaign into the social sphere. In fact, after the game, overall mentions of Pepsi and the Pepsi Refresh campaign remained relatively on the same trajectory as before. To look at a detailed set of my field notes and data, I’m tracking mentions using Trendrr of blog posts, Tweets and news articles on my field notes page.
Campaign Analysis: Advantages
Pepsi’s novel approach to social cause marketing is headed in the right direction. Pepsi benefits from:
- First-mover advantage. By announcing a radical approach Pepsi took advantage of pre-event press coverage (including a story in Forbes).
- Using celebrities to spur campaign. Pepsi invested in influential relationships by the utilization of celebrity endorsements.
- Shifting to “we” over “me.” Pepsi has shifted traditional brand advertising efforts to now being more community-focused, enabling those who won the monies to spread the Pepsi brand on their behalf.
- Planning for the long haul. Pepsi is making its marketing dollars go to work by extending the program over months, rather than a short flight of Super Bowl ads.
Campaign Analysis: Risks
While innovative, Pepsi has some clear challenges–and missed opportunities:
- Pepsi has yet to show the world it gets social marketing. Its recent entry into the space with the edgy–but sexist–”Amp” iPhone applications resulted in severe backlash, and is now a case study on the infamous punk’d list.
- Cultural mismatch. Pepsi’s history of mass marketing means it will need to change its internal culture to embrace social marketing, where success lies in letting go of control.
- Missed opportunity to integrate Super Bowl TV ads with campaign. Pepsi’s biggest misstep is putting all its eggs in one basket–and not benefiting from synergies of multiple channels.
Takeaway: An Integrated Approach to Media is Best
By shifting so much of its annual ad budget from one channel to another, Pepsi missed an opportunity to spur word-of-mouth chatter about its Refresh initiative. Instead Pepsi should have relegated an appropriate amount of TV advertising budget to Pepsi Refresh, encouraging submitting ideas, voting and sharing in the context of the game. It would also introduce Pepsi as a socially conscious marketer to a larger group of people.
CMOs experimenting with digital and social technologies should not invest in them as a silo. They should instead be part of an overall integrated marketing effort.
JKO: Below is Bonin Bough, Pepsi’s Social Marketing strategist response via email. He’s given me permission to publish the following, and I appreciate the time he took to respond in an active dialog.
Bonin: I enjoyed reading your initial analysis of our Pepsi Refresh Project.
Let’s me start by saying on your key takeaway, we are on the same page: An Integrated Approach to Media is Best.
And that’s the approach we’re taking with the Pepsi Refresh Project. Throughout the course of the year-long initiative, we’re absolutely using traditional channels — television included — to support it. Our decision not to announce the program on the Super Bowl was not because we don’t believe in the power of television. We do. Or that we don’t believe in the Super Bowl, specifically. We do. (As you know, we chose to advertise other PepsiCo brands during the game.) The decision was based on the opinion that it wasn’t the most contextually relevant way to tell the story. Arguable? Perhaps. But the conversation around the program — the amount of it and the overall tenor of it — thus far suggests that it may well have been the right approach.
But we’re going to continue to engage in, enable, listen to and evaluate the conversation. And if it seems that we need to course correct we will. A sign, I think, of an internal culture and a senior management that is embracing social marketing.
Of course, the Pepsi Refresh Project is about more than marketing. It’s about engagement … about building affinity and building advocacy by making a real and measureable difference in people’s lives. And that’s why we take very seriously your point about impact. We’ve aligned with top-notch partners including GOOD, Global Giving and Do Something in building the Pepsi Refresh Project. A leading academic and research group will be assisting with project follow-up and measuring community impact. We’re optimistic about the very great potential.
We’ll be watching and sharing as the ideas build, the stories unfold and impact becomes evident. I look forward to watching your analysis and continuing the dialogue throughout the course of the program and the course of the year.
JKO: Thanks Bonin, we’ll continue to watch the interesting moves Pepsi is taking in the space of disruptive technologies. We agree, Pepsi’s core program is strong –but it can be refined by keeping all engines on –not putting all eggs in one basket. I appreciate the time you took to give me feedback. I’ll see you at SXSW again this year.
Remember early Jib Jab cartoons where you’d manually upload your own photo and that of your friends? Now, it’s much easier with just a few clicks to Facebook Connect.
Last week, I had dinner with Chris Pan (linkedin, twitter), Head of Brand Solutions at Facebook, who pointed me to a new social interactive marketing advertisement for a video game called “Prototype”. Upon accessing the site, Prototype Experience, (try it for yourself) you’ll be prompted to login with your Facebook account. After a rather lengthy loading period (it’s worth it, hang tight) you’ll watch a short teaser trailer.
This isn’t a normal trailer, as it uses your own social information in Facebook from your profile picture, your profile information, and photos from your friends. Here’s what I saw, see screenshots below.
What’s going on here? This is an example of more contextual ads based off social profiles, which is a trend as you can see my coverage of VW’s Twitter and Facebook campaign). These are early examples of the era of Social Context, where content, media, and ads will be personalized in the future based off your social information, learn more about this in the future of the social web.
User Experience: Screenshot Storyline
Here’s the blow by blow, with my thoughts.
Above Image: First, users are encouraged to login with Facebook Connect –a few clicks. If you’re already logged into Facebook, it’s just a few clicks –all without entering a password. Expect more people to interact as there’s less commitment and up front investment than finding photos and uploading them –Facebook already has the inventory you need.
Above Image: Promo video includes my profile pictures –making things a bit more interesting and personalized. As this evolves, imagine how your face and profile info will populate other experiences and content –we’re instinctively drawn to look at ourselves.
Above Image: “Is that me?” Yes it is, this promo video includes information from my profile –I’m right in the game. In consideration of my friends, I didn’t include their photos –which you’ll see in your own trailer video. Expect future ads where friends ‘promote’ or even sponsor content –some opt-in, some not.
Above Image: Participants are ‘hooked’ into the registration form in order to win in the sweetstakes, a good example of gathering leads from an engaged audience. Facebook isn’t a great way to generate leads, while you can get users to be ‘fans’ of your Facebook page, getting their true identity and email is often limited –as dictated by their Terms of Service.
Above Image: The participants are encouraged to share the campaign with their Facebook or Twitter friends, thus staring a “Viral Loop”. It spreads.
- This is clearly a trend, expect many interactive and digital agencies to offer this social campaign to their clients.
- Consumers will initially ‘freak out’ and be concerned that big brother is watching them –then will accept this as mainstream media over the next few years.
- At some point, nearly every campaign will have social content influencing the content –hitting a saturation point that disinterests users
- Expect site wide Facebook Connect initiatives to happen, allowing all of the media, content, and ads to be socially contextual. Expect media sites and eCommerce sites to launch this first.
- Expect recommended products and ads to appear from your friends and those connected to you in your social network.