I'm in Lake Tahoe this week combining some business and down-time and recently spoke at "Snowcial"—billed as "SXSW for the snow sports and hospitality industry, it attracts a really cool cross section of people who span marketing, technology and even journalism. If you love skiing or snowboarding and marketing/technology, it's worth considering for your event calendar. I kicked off day one yesterday with a short talk about content, convergence and connectivity. Below are a few themes from my talk:
Content As Currency
There's a good reason everyone is talking about the role of *content these days but you have to understand the psychology of it all. Thanks to social networks, people share interesting, entertaining or even informative content because it makes them look good. There's a reason why the word "meme" has "me" in it. So it's not enough just to produce content—your content has to be designed for sharing. I like to think of content in today's hyper connected world as being "snackable"—sending out bits and bites of content which can be digested and shared rapidly. The reason why we're seeing a revolution in visual content which is designed for social newsfeeds and mobile is based on this core understanding of why people like, share and engage around content.
I shared a recent experience I had with Jeep where I tweeted for help and was not only responded to but had my issue resolved through their customer care service which was facilitated through my initial interactions on Twitter. This is by no means a new model, but clearly Jeep had a process in place and was able to close the loop with me efficiently. This is an area brands will continue to grapple with as people move from traditional ways to initiate contact with brands and go directly to public forums. The obvious follow up question is how does this scale? My answer is figure it out because it's not going away. And yes, my car is working just fine now.
Insights > Influence
For all the hype around influence—we've still largely got it wrong. We should be looking at analyzing who and what are driving conversations in the same context as we might run a focus group. Technologies that allow us to analyze conversations and how they spread and who influences them can provide great insights if we know what we are looking for. For example in working with the association that represents US dairy farmers—we analyzed conversations in forums and found these emerging. As we audited the content the organization was producing—we identified opportunities make future content initiatives more relevant to what people were talking about.
You Don't Not Need An App For That
There's no doubt that we are living in an App economy, but it's time to step back and ask ourselves if we need an app for every idea. Unless that idea involves significant functionality, it might not need to be developed as a stand alone app creating yet another format to maintain. My team has been developing content solutions using responsive design techniques so the design reacts to the format it's being viewed it. It's not a perfect solution for every development issue, but worth tapping where it makes sense.
It's All Converging
Lastly I talked about the convergence of media models and marketing tactics. First from a broad perspective inspired by Altimeter's model of converged media, but also ad it applies to new digital advertising formats which blur hard lines. Facebook sponsored posts are a perfect example of how paid, earned, and owned dynamics all come together. You can read more about that on the unofficial All Facebook blog who covered my talk.
Looking forward to hitting the slopes again before I leave!
*ConAgra is an Edelman Digital client