Archive for the ‘Community Building’ Category

Research by Harris recently showed that 45% of people claimed they are influenced by who they follow online, with almost a fifth saying they are more likely to buy products from companies they have “liked” on Facebook. Indeed Facebook itself demonstrated that the number of Facebook fans a candidate had in the US mid term elections was a good predictor of election night results.
Tweets have also been shown to correlate neatly to sales. Research by Hewlett Packard showed that tweet volume was a very good predicter of box office success in the film industry. Indiana University demonstrated that tweet sentiment on a given day could predict the direction of changes on the Dow Jones three days later with an accuracy of 86.7%.
Recent TNS data shows that 30% of peoples leisure time is now spent online. In volume terms it overtook email in 2009! 90% of mobile traffic is still however just voice….yet those who access social networks via mobile do so at twice the rate as their non mobile counterparts.
Who isn’t going to own a Smartphone or device in the next few years? Who isn’t going to put Facebook and Twitter at the centre of their marketing?


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An interesting question is raised by the Times this morning in an article about the Richard and Judy Book club. The club was started as part of their C4 TV show, but now apparently is being relaunched in a solo deal with the book sellers W H Smiths.

The article claims that to get recommended by the club, authors need to pay W H Smiths up to £25k. In return it seems they get not only a recommendation, but a best seller (the first book they recommended by a debut author, went straight into the best sellers list).

The above may clearly show the effectiveness of advocacy but is it really ethical?

I have a simple belief here….as long as Richard/Judy have total editorial control i.e. they make the recommendations, it’s fine. The fact that W H Smiths then go to the authors and request monies to get this recommendation promoted and sold, is simply commercial sense.

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Happy  New Year! If you are thinking of hitting the January sales, check out Shoptogether. A US based service that allows shoppers to compare notes on potential purchases. They claim 25% more items are put in shopping carts, 50% higher order value and 400% more time spent on site.

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Excuse the dramatic title… I was simply trying to grab your attention!

Engagement is the name of the game in communications today. As a brand owner, thinking about how you hold the attention of the crowd long enough to get your message across is one of the most important things you have to do. ..right? So why continue to invest so much in TV advertising, a medium as blunt as one of my daughter’s chewed crayons?

Think about it. Your neighbours love of crochet bores the socks off of you…but to her it’s a gateway to endless hours of riveting conversation. You may both earn the same, your children may go to the same school, you may drive the same car, but frankly what she finds exciting leaves you feeling cold.

So, can you really engage broad, distracted audiences today with the same TV message? Of course you can’t (unless of you find a way of getting middle Britain to choke on it’s Cocoa …or of course design a nice cute mascot). That’s why PR is so powerful. Searching out communities, shaping relevant conversations, building the narrative over time. It’s the future…just mark my words.

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Beinggirl community

There was an interesting piece in Advertising Age last week about P&G’s Beinggirl community targeting teenage girls. P&G claim that the community, which very lightly promotes Tampax and Always, has been four times as effective at driving sales as advertising. Indeed the success of the community has driven P&G to roll the community out in 24 countries. It’s a clear signal of just how effective communities are at keeping customer advocacy alive.

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Harley Davidson know their customers. I love this video below. It’s a real rallying cry for those who share the values of the Harley brand. It’s also a fascinating glimpse into the future, where all brands are going to have to champion a cause on behalf of their customers….customers who just won’t engage with old style commercial messages.

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Another great presentation by Seth Godin, explaining why brands need to think again about how they recruit customers. Seth describes the need to move away from mass marketing push techniques, to strategies based on searching out unsatisfied tribes and championing their cause. Brilliant food for thought. Seth is a great champion of advocacy cause.


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