Thursday, September 25, 2008

Marketing the Experience

Is it a pair of tickets to the symphony or is it a couple re-engaging with the music that was playing when they first met?

Is it a new computer or is it an ability to virtually connect with your grandchildren who live across the country?

Is it a ticket to a baseball game or is it your sons first time seeing the Green Monster?

Each of the above scenarios detail pure emotional experiences that consumers are engaging with everyday. Yet oftentimes, when we market our products, we are constantly selling the value prop, benefits, why it's better than the competition over the pure emotional connection this produce enables. Apple has done an A+ job of marketing the experience with iPod and continues to tap into that with their iPhone advertising.

Why not market the experience the product enables over the product itself? In the new world powered by digital media (TV, Web, Mobile), it's becomming increasingly difficult for Marketers to get our messages across. Extending your brands into relevant experiences that consumers are passionate about is a great way to drive relevance and engagement.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Crowdfire Launched at Outside Lands

This past weekend, Microsoft along with Federated Media launched Crowdfire, a crowdsourced digital experience where the audience contributes digital media into a massive content store. Here is the widget in action:

It is an exciting time to see the fusion of music and technology coming together powered by the new arsenal of social media tactics - live alerts, content sharing across social persona's, facebook extensions, mobile activation, you name it. What excites me most about this effort is that you can engage and contribute whether you are onsite at Outside Lands or in Paris, France. As of Tuesday am, we just passed 13,000 items of content, all now accessible to share across the web.

Another extension launched was the ability for concertgoers to immortalize themselves in a Rock Poster. 2400 Custom Rock Posters created by concertgoers at this last weekends Outside Lands Festival in the Microsoft Windows Experience area. Thanks to Marq Spusta and Gregg Gordon for making some amazing original artwork that people could work from. Stay tuned for more on this as we work to enable this experience digitally.

Great time, met a ton of great people, look forward to what the future holds...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Social Media Monitoring - Measuring the Buzz

I spoke today at the TechReady conference, participating in a Podcamp organized by Paolo Tosolini. I covered Social Media Monitoring and was not allowed any slides so here is a blog post covering my speech and some go-do's for Marketers out there.

Social Media is changing the Digital Media landscape in ways the web has never before seen. There is more information on the web today that is user generated through social media technologies than media driven. With this movement, the tools and technologies to market to your audience have changed as well. Let me say though, that Marketing is still Marketing; essential focus needs to remain on your business objectives and goals. Those coupled with the audience you are trying to reach should help drive your messaging and media mix.

Social Media Monitoring:
Social Media Monitoring is the way in which you are able to measure both the conversations that are taking place as well as who is influencing the conversation within the user generated content web. Searches are performed using keywords supporting your brand or product and any blog, micro-blog, and mainstream media article can be retrieved. Once you have the conversations, now it's critical to understand a blog with 2 viewers vs. a blog with 2 million viewers. This is done by tracking in-links (other blogs linking to your post) as well as eyeballs viewing the post. Combine these and you as a Marketer can now monitor both what the sentiment is about your brand as well as who is influencing your target audience.

Free Tools:
There are 3 categories of tools that I am leveraging day in and day out. The categories are below:

- Alerts (Live Alerts, Yahoo Alerts, Google Alerts)
- Blog Pulse (Technorati, Nielsen Blog Pulse)
- Micro Blog Pulse (TweetScan, Twittermeter)

With all 3 of these, you have the ability to have each tool package up that days information and have it emailed or added to an RSS feed. I recommend playing with each around the keywords that matter to you, but making sure you have coverage across these three areas.

Case Study:
Microsoft Windows just launched a campaign today called the Mojave Experiment. Traditionally, you'd have to measure success around this campaign by campaign site visits and click-through to end actions (learn more, buy). You could then layer on a survey (on site or off) that would hit on perception shift goals. Through the social media tools above, you can get a pulse of sentiment and influence just by doing 3 searches, see below:

Yahoo Alert
Results will be emailed

Technorati Blog Pulse

build into a watchlist for RSS delivery:
Technorati RSS Feed
- Just add keywords


Within the same day, you have a large amount of intelligence regarding sentiment and influence around your brand, product, or campaign.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Rothbury Music Festival - Think Tank's

Very cool and innovative to see think-tank work being done as part of the Rothbury music festival, I mean you can't stand and watch music for 4 days straight can you? I do think this is a great way to leverage the minds that are taking part in this event and not only get messages out to a very targeted audience, but to hear back from the audience on what matters to them. As these festivals become more about the experience than just the music, I see this taking on a larger and larger role. You 0basically will have around 50 to 60 thousand people b/w the ages of 15 and 40 at this event, stuck in the middle of Rothbury, MI for 4 days. What better way to get their opinions and mindshare.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Facebook profiles for sale

This could be the low point of Social Media Marketing:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

IAB Conference

I served on a panel at the IAB - Social Media / UGC Leadership conference in New York on June 2nd. The panel was focused on 'What's hot and what's next in Social Media'. I am lucky to sit in a digital media strategy role at Microsoft where we can innovate within technology and social platforms across the large global campaigns. We are currently working on advertising on blogs, facebook gadgets, building relationships with key influencers, and also have several leading bloggers within the company. In terms of what is next, I really focused back on the 'Why' and for your given campaign or company goals - what is your product and who are you trying to sell it to? There are several free to market tools - google blog search, Technorati, Digg, Social networks, ... that will tell you what consumers are saying, how they are engaging, and who is influencing these conversations. Building that discipline is critical prior to engaging in anything around 'what's next'...

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

VW Digital Campaign

I really like this VW Campaign Concept, but two submissions I had below were rejected. The SEO wasn't effective at launch either, the only top link I see in search results for 'what the people want' is a paid banner.

My two submissions:

- the cubs to win the world series
- Ticketmaster to go away

Is this really social media marketing if someone behind the scenes is editing / approving posts? Seems to contradict the core concepts of User Generated Content.