Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Social Networking and your brand

Last week I attended a social media event in Melbourne called the digital tipping point - The future of branding and social media. It was organised by Adknowledge and Digital Media (DM) magazine with the aim of giving marketing professionals an insight into building your brand through social media.

The event was promoted totally via viral marketing techniques whereby it featured on blogs and on the DM and Adknowledge websites. Over 200 people registered to hear from a social media speakers featuring Brett Brewer a co-founder of MySpace.

The host for the afternoon was Markus von der Luehe who is managing director of Adknowledge Australia. Markus has 12 years of experience covering online media and advertising gained from working for Sensis Interactive, Ninemsn, Nielsen//Netratings, PwC Consulting and OgilvyOne in Germany.

Brett Brewer gave the first presentation on "Who killed traditional media" outlining macro trends in the changes in share of voice. The decline of newspapers such as the once mighty San Francisco Times, The rise of social media which the included the habits of the gen Y demographic and provided a case study on video application.

Brett is a leading internet pioneer and executive who has built, operated and sold internet media companies. Brett co-founded his first internet company, Intermix Media two years after finishing University. From 1998 through to 2005, Intermix Media launched several different businesses including Skilljam.com, ecommerce site Alena, and the popular Myspace which was sold to News Corporation for $673 million. Brett was the only senior executive and board member to remain and lead the company from inception through sale to News Corporation.

MySpace was founded in 2003. In 12 months membership increased from 60 to 220 million users. In 2006 Facebook opened up to anyone aged 13 and over, 4,000 members increased to 37,000 in just 6 months. There are an estimated 57,000 developers working on Facebook applications. MySpace and Facebook are often compared however Brett observed there is a significant difference between the two. MySpace is about finding something in an open network whereas Facebook is about connecting with friends and family in a closed network.

Brett gave a social media example of the Burger King Whopper Sacrifice campaign. A Facebook application could be added to your page which allowed you to de-friend 10 people in return for a free burger. It proved highly popular with Facebook turning off the application as it breached their conditions of use. You can read more about the application on the NY times website.
In his current position as president and director of Adknowledge Inc, Brett is again building another successful online company. This advertising technology company has had strong growth in both revenues and profits last year making million dollars

The next speaker was Alistair Henderson the director OMD Fuse. His presentation was called “I Kissed Social Network Marketing, and I Liked It.” which featured a mash-up of amateur Kate Perry covers sourced from You Tube.

Alistair delivered a case study on V-Raw for V Energy Drink. Their client wanted to differentiate V from its competitors, ignite the brand’s personality, and give Gen Y an authentic reason for V to exist in the 18 to 24 year olds world. V identified the biggest fear for Gen Y was getting stuck in a mundane job. They want to work to live and not live to work. They were also highly motivated in getting a job they loved especially in the creative fields of music, fashion and design. As a result OMD created V-Raw on a MySpace profile which is a careers website featuring over 60 exclusive jobs in not advertised to the general public. Other marketing activity included Paper Tiger Media Groups key titles (Yen and Dazed & Confused), Chanel [V], Rolling Stone, mX and Avant Card. University campus activity and art, fashion and design events rounded out the program, with all communication leading back to the V-Raw MySpace profile.

The campaign resulted in a true connection for the brand with the target audience, the V-Raw profile has 13,491 friends and 563 comments and received more than 4,000 job applications. Eight months after launch, 25% of V’s target audience in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane were aware of V-Raw and one in 10 had visited the website.

Data showed that V-Raw significantly added to V’s sales growth. V-Raw has been credited with contributing to strong brand awareness and overall sales. Research indicated that V drinkers who were aware of V-Raw responded more positively to key brand statements and 30% more likely to buy V next time they purchased an energy drink. Those engaged with the V-Raw were 56% and highly interactive friends of V-Raw were 65% more likely to purchase V Energy drink.

Wisewindow provides a timely and accurate method for discovery of the most relevant issues on the minds of customers in market(s). EssenceWise provides brands with the most accurate and relevant information in the business, with a full suite of tools and full transparency of sources. It allows brands to build a custom application that taps into the value of user generated content. EssenceApps is an open-access platform that lets you quickly build your own tools using the power of the WiseWindow engine.

Loopd is an online community network for extreme action sports. Brian gave an example of Monster Army (an energy drink in the USA) who uses Loopd as their portal to talk to their consumers,

FlipGloss is an interactive photo experience that lets you flip, hover and discover. FlipGloss offers a fun way to browse photo content with visual links to inspiring objects, places and people across fashion, living, travel, culture and other categories.

The SocialVibe badge: bringing members together with their favorite brand and charity. Members make the badge their own by choosing design elements from every angle and once placed in the social wild, counts your points it earns along the way.

Fi Bendall the Director Bendalls Group delivered a talk on “How Social Media Translates into Social Commerce” Fi is a leading interactive and digital media specialist. With more than 20 years experience in the digital sector, she has developed key ISP strategies for the BBC, and has developed digital strategies for Australian clients such as Microsoft, News Interactive, Tourism Tasmania, RaboPlus, Amnesty International, and Earth Hour.

Fi explained only a small percentage of people contribute and are then followed by the ‘collective intelligence’. She then gave an example of You Tube where on 3% of the users upload the content. Fi described this group as the ‘collaborative intelligence group’

Fi recommended brands should know what consumers are saying about them and where they are saying it. She recommended organizations look at numerous analytic tools to gain volumes of research and understanding into perceptions of an organisation and their competitors. She recommended analysing data from Digg, redit, Google Alerts, del.icio.us, Serph, Gnoos, brandwatch co.mments.

The final speaker for the event was Laurel Papworth who is a Social Networking Strategist. Her speech was called “The Business of Being Social: Monetisation Models in Social Media.” (The truth about monetization models for online communities).

Laurel observed if you don't monetise your content, someone else will. She gave an example of the Techcrunch blog which makes $12,000 per month from advertising, Mobwars which is an application on Facebook makes $22,000 per day and Cyworld $100,000,000 per year from pixel products.

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