New discussion round with Leszek Izdebski (Cisco), Ted Shelton (Technorati), Dick Costolo(Feedburner), Peter Merholz(Adaptive path) and Evan Williams (Obvious corp.).
Evan Williams talks about how to use Twitter for advertising and to make money. Will they put ads on a message? The idea is that they will have opt-in commercials. Democratic, on demand ads. So far, I think it is not so creative. Twitter is a phenomenon and the trick here is how to have more creative advertising etc happening in here. The trap is to adopt the traditional way of advertising into a new medium. Viral and word of mouth are words they mention as well, which is a more interesting way to go. This is how their own service got popular too.
Behavorial advertising networks, is what Dick is talking about. The instant ads: when you go travelling you want to see ads bases on that. Once your trip is over, you do not want to see it anymore. I think that takes the experience out of your life. For most people if they go on holiday, this is something that will stay with them for the rest of the year, maybe even longer. When do we start tapping in to experience advertising, use the memories that people have and that make them feel happy or secure etc?
Deborah Shultz is interrupting the discussion by saying how can we educate media buyers that we will in future use this medium without being interrupted by things you do not want to see, like dumb ads.
Ted of Technorati, says that one of the problems is that companies hire PR companies. Public Relations, but in fact it is journalist relations. They do not engage into communication with the public at all. That is too difficult, but in fact the thing that is really needed. It is about engaging people in something they really care about, in stead of rubbing something in their face of which you don;t even know if it is worth it.
Ubiquity is out, exclusivity is in. Advertisers can no longer be everywhere where the audience is. They have to select specific places that are most relevant. The old be omnipresent is simple no longer possible. Deborah again wonders: how does it scale? She uses the example where different brands are tapping into Twitter to get information out. Is that the new model of how to engage? What is the payment model, how do you price engagement?
What is the cost to get the attention of a person is a particular dollar value, says Ted. The new possibility that marketing has now is annuity. And that means that once you have a certain person in, it will cost much less to get the next one in, if you are using their networks. If it is relevant, this new user (x) will get in other people for you. Word up.
Fun. Finally the point is made that there are blogs writing about your brand, company and products. Most big companies do not want to be there and in fact neglect it. Is there a change in this trend, they ask. It comes back to the same discussion of this morning about the CEO blogging. He has to, because the market is blogging about you as well. Well, if your company will not engage in these discussions, they will get a lot of harm. The longer they wait, the worse it’ll get. They talk about Jeff Jarvis of Dell that is engaging in the negative customer service that was published about. It does cost money to engage for them, but it is money much better spent, than throwing out more ads. The power of letting consumers into your product development can change critics around to a positive movement, where you engage and empower the people that care.
Twitter Evan talks about the hot or not of Hotlist. Here people are talking about the brands they like or don’t. And others gravitate to that. They look for similar minds. It is one of the smartest things happening now he says. Deborah seems to approve of it. It is not only about personal relationships, but also about influential people whose opinion you respect. Darth Fader could for instance find Quiznos hot. (Now we are finally coming to the real creativity. Virtual meets real. But for sure there are people that will identify with Darth Fader because he represents something they are or like to be.).
Startups can much more efficiently tap into communication with the bloggers etc. They are new and can start from there. For big established brands it is much more difficult to change their strategy and tap into this world, because they have a history already.
Other good point of Ted Technorati, I am turning into his fan, is that even if in the strategies of companies they say that a huge part of the budget has to go online. In the end that is where there clients have turned to en masse. So they make campaigns etc. Then the media planner comes at the end and he will advise the company to reallocate the budget and put more into billboards etc and take it away from internet, because they know what will happen when you put your money there. The knowledge about internet with these people is much less and so those are uncertain results.
Let’s not forget that we are a bunch of evangelists here. The marketers and CEOs of big companies still talk about eyeballs and demographics. They are thinking mass markets, that is industrial marketing. They are not at all aware about micromarkets. That is in fact what we are dealing with now. It is more turning back to the pre-industrial way of selling/marketing. We were good at it one day and we have to go back to that again and let go of mass marketing.
Dick claims that there have been counterintuitive results with online ads. Nice visual ads and word ads. The word ads get in worst case twice the clicks and best case ten times and more clicks. This feels really strange to marketers, because they want the nice brand etc. But the word ads are working more effectively, which does not make sense to a lot of them. They have to find out whether there is something wrong with the visual ads or whether they have a bad karma around them being looked at as spam?
Last cool remark is about liability. The plumber is willing to do new things with banners etc because he does not mind being next to a XXX ad. Coca Cola however wants to have this under control. If they are next to this XXX they will sue you.
p.s. Thanks to LaSandra Brill of Cisco, who is sitting next to me and checks the spelling of my difficult words! And he bows.