The Extraordinary Revolution of Media Choice

In the traditional model, you can only play one program at a time. One radio show or one movie or one show…

Scarcity of spectrum has changed just about every element of our culture. Scarcity of shelf space as well.

There are just a few radio stations in each market, and each station gets precisely one hour to broadcast each hour. Scarcity of spectrum, inflexible consumption (listen now or it’s gone forever).

There are only a hundred or so channels on most cable systems. Each viewer is precious and you can only program one show at a time. So program for the largest audience you can find, because that’s how you get paid. Share of viewership is everything.

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The Gamification of Social Media

Empire Avenue is the new game in town. It sits squarely in the social networking space, but it has a different twist – one from which I think businesses may be able to gain valuable insights, all while allowing people to enjoy themselves.

What is it?

Essentially, it is a rewards system that makes what we already do on the web   – create and share content – fun by making it a stock market-like atmosphere. You can earn money (their currency is “Eaves”) by buying other people and you can see your own worth rise by getting other people to invest in you. When tied to other accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn and blogs, your net worth rises based on the content you either create or share. But like the other sites, it’s also a social network itself. It’s a chance to connect and brainstorm with others by finding affinity groups (“Communities”) within Empire Avenue.

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Blogging Is Dead

It’s almost like a rite of spring. Every year, pundits proclaim the death of blogging.

As far back as 2007 ReadWriteWeb was asking the question. In 2008, it was Wired, wondering if the rise of Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and the like would be more en vogue for individuals, who were getting pushed aside as the conglomerate professional blogs were beginning to take prominence. In 2009, Copyblogger declared blogging dead (again) but noted that it would continue to live on. Just last year, Problogger debated the role that email played in all of this, and concluded that it’s not an either/or decision.

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Must-See Twitter

Once upon a time, we used to watch TV by appointment. Families gathered together around a tiny screens – screens that were even smaller than our current laptop screens – and share the experience of watching a program together. Even earlier than that, families used to sit around their radios and “watch” their favorite comedies, dramas and adventures.

Whether it was the Jack Benny Show on radio or the amazing Thursday night lineup on NBC in the 1990s, for the better part of half a century, we enjoyed entertainment when the broadcasters decided we should. What’s that, you say? You work on Thursday nights? Sorry, but that’s when our show airs.

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Are You Measuring What’s Important?

We often talk about social media ROI being measured differently. These are different behaviors and we should be applying new and different measurement standards, right? One of my favorite demonstrations of this is K.D. Paine’s legendary acronymn HITS = How Idiots Track Success.

A recent eMarketer article asked Is the Click Still King? To the average user, there are so many ways to engage with a site. So you would think that there would be more relevant and prevalent ways of measuring success. But take a look at the top methods that both the CMO Council and Chief Marketer respondents indicated were important:

Click-throughs and website views. How very 1999.

Although, I will give the CMO Council the edge on this one, with looking at registrations, which tells you a little bit about actions taken and level of commitment to engage. That’s a positive thing. But it seems like we’re still treating the Web like a version of television, where “eyeballs” are what’s important.

Take a look farther down those charts and see some of the interesting ways of measuring success: content download, transactions, engagement (which is a little vague), and increased knowledge. Those are all methods of demonstrating effectiveness that can determine your content strategy and marketing channels moving forward. But ultimately, each time a campaign is launched, the methodology for measurement needs to be customized to the goal at hand. Click-throughs and hits are not a universal metric for every campaign.

Some metrics that might appeal to me as a marketer include:

  • Likelihood of a customer to become an advocate for my brand
  • The spread of information across the Web – especially via social tools
  • Sentiment of comments generated by a post or campaign
  • Effective integration of offline calls to action and online actions

These are just a handful of suggestions for different types of measurement. As I said, it depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. What are some unique and different measurement standards that you’ve seen evolving?

Scott Monty

Photo credit: raneko (Flickr)

Three B2B Marketing Trends (To Avoid)

Three B2B Marketing trends have surfaced during my travels in the past few months that are worth sharing with you as we move deeper into 2010.


The first is that the overwhelming majority of marketers I am speaking with are thinking of social media marketing as something separate and distinct from the rest of their corporate marketing plans. I don’t believe this is being done intentionally, it’s just happening. We saw this same thing (and still do to some extent) happen when companies were first considering how to begin marketing on the internet.

While this approach may work on a small scale for a limited time, to realize the full benefits the social web has to offer your B2B marketing, your social media marketing needs to be integrated with your overall marketing plan and targeted to specific buyer personas. It needs to share the same overarching goals, share the same voice, and most importantly, share the same performance metrics. Thinking of it separately will not be giving it the attention it deserves (and the resources it needs) to truly help you realize its benefits.

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