September 2008

In a great initiative by Telstra, Bigpond have set themselves up on Twitter. What a great way to connect to their customers.But, like in so many cases, old practises don't work with new media. They've almost applied the same rules you would to writing your customer a letter.You'll notice that nearly every one of their responses is the same spammed message on where to send an email. Instead of directly dealing with the issue at hand, they lead the customer to another place. And the tweets aren't even unique, just copy paste jobs.You'll also notice the ® after every use of the term BigPond. Lame. And not very personal.I think it's great to see them jump on board. So so so much potential. But at the moment they're not really Twittering, just using Twitter.Hopefully their social media response team isn't just on Twitter and will respond to this blog post too.So what is a good example of a company using Twitter? Check out NASA, and even then they're only using it as a broadcast....

I love when brands show a fun side. Google does it a lot. Not only does it humanise them, but I think it shows the people who work for them are passionate. Here's one I recently discovered...

The front page of this week's B&T says social media marketing is about to become massive. Of course some of us have known this for a long time.Roy Morgan is moving into word of mouth and social media research. The Population has just launched, one of the first pure social media agencies. Neilsen Online is montioring conversation buzz in the blogosphere. And Nestle has just launched Australia's biggest social media campaign costing around $1 million.Except the campaign is shit. And not even a social media campaign.In fact, I feel like I'm almost going to repeat myself word for word.Once again we're seeing traditional approaches towards new media. The Chunga Championship campaign is about a fake character who plays a fake game. He has a fake blog. And a fake Facebook page. And a YouTube channel. All of which will die in three months.There is no integration of the brand. There is no content creation with consumers. In fact there is no engaging with consumers at all. No influential people or niche communities have even been asked to join their conversation. But there are banner ads. Lots of banner ads. Oh dear.John Broome, head of Nestle's confectionery marketing responded to the $1 million cost and future campaigns saying, "I think we'll see ourselves going above that...

Many people have questioned whether or not there is a possible business model in new media. Looking for not only a sustainable one but profitable as well. Doing what I do best, wasting time on Internets, I have discovered and named four highly successful ones.Punchbowl ModelBased on a series of YouTube clips called Trent from Punchy this model involves producing free non commercial content. An extension of the brand is then developed, in this case tees and other merchandise. In just three weeks profits from tees have been reported as $15,000. Considering the low production cost, immensely successful.Ninja ModelPerhaps the most common model, and based on the Ask A Ninja series, free content is produced which is sponsored. This award winning series would be pulling in a substantial amount of profit based on high audience numbers. Note they are also using the Punchbowl Model with DVD and book extensions.Gervais ModelThis model involves production of free content for a limited time. After a certain period, the content is taken down where it must be paid for to access. This highly targets the innovators and early adopters and usually relies on strong word of mouth. The Ricky Gervais Podcast has reportedly made millions by charging just a small amount with many downloads. This technique was used in the recently successful Dr. Horrible series. Note that in case of The Ricky Gervais Podcast they also used the Ninja Model with the original content being sponsored.Radiohead ModelBased on the recent release of Radiohead's album In Rainbows, content is available for free where consumers have the option to pay. Critics have argued that this was only successful because it had never been done before but this model has also been used successfully by the band Nine Inch Nails. The model usually requires a loyal following. Note that In Rainbows is no longer available, also categorising them in the Gervais Model.There are two common themes in these four models. The first is remarkable content. None of these can be successful without content that is both highly entertaining and easily spreadable. The second is the lack of a middleman, no record labels, producers or publishers. Instead, the product goes straight from the producer to the consumer.What models do you think are missing from this list? Do you have any examples that fall into the current four?...

The first time you see a cow it's exciting. The next time it isn't. Unless it's purple.The first time you see a busker it's exciting. The next time it isn't. Unless they're playing on your train.I was on my journey home on the train last night when a young man with a trumpet jumped on and announced he would be playing a few songs. For the next twenty minutes during my ride out of the city I listened to a rather talented trumpeter.Being the Uni student that I am, I rarely give to buskers unless they are remarkable. Yet I gave to this guy.Matt Granfield has an excellent post on how anything can be remarkable if you make it, including brown shoe laces. And now buskers....

One of my marketing hates is when a campaign, usually a television spot, advertises an industry and not a specific product.Most advertising fails to integrate the content with the brand. Throwing a logo at the end of a commercial rarely does anything. Same with making the logo bigger. This spot promotes online casinos, not Ladbrokes Casino. This joke of a campaign advertises instant noodles, not Fantastic Noodles.But when you see an Apple iPod commercial, you know it. They aren't advertising any MP3 Player, they are advertising iPods.Same with Coke and Pepsi do it well too. Schweppes has done it well here and I think Solo has pulled it off here too. In all four cases, they promote their specific product and brand, not the soft drink industry.Yet so many campaigns don't. A waste of money and one of the many reasons the television spot should ensure their will is all in order before a long and painful death....