Chief Marketing Technologist

Scott Brinker has a great article on AdAge.com about his reoccurring idea of having a Chief Marketing Technologist. A few notable quotes:

  • marketing has become deeply entwined with technology
  • marketing must officially take ownership of its technology platforms and strategies
  • the software you adopt now plays a significant role in defining your organization’s capabilities
  • those software choices you make are not independent of each other
  • it’s hard to be agile in a technology-powered environment without native technical talent on your team
  • technology expertise must become a native part of marketing’s identity

Scott suggests that this person report to the CMO and have three primary responsibilities:

  1. Choreograph all the disparate technologies under marketing’s umbrella
  2. Nurture a growing technology subculture within marketing, raising the department’s overall technical proficiency
  3. Collaborate with the CMO on strategy, translating the CMO’s vision into technology with high fidelity — while also inspiring the shape of that vision by advocating for what new technology can enable

This goes perfectly with my recent blog entry “Demystifying Technology” and that “Marketing Must Control Its Technological Destiny”, which references Scott’s previous thoughts on the CMT role.

Social Gaming for Brand Advertisers

As promised, I’ve pulled together my view of the social gaming industry. You can get the full presentation on slideshare here, but my summary is this:

  1. Moving forward, almost all games will have a social hook
  2. Brands & Social Gaming: This is still very early days, but options include In-game advertising, custom branded games a sponsoring existing games

And my recommendations for brand advertisers is that games in general, social or not, have a large and engaged audience that will continue to get more and more social. Brands should be part of this, therefore:

  • Alignment: Align your social gaming plans with your overall brand strategy and goals. The social game plans may simply be part of your overall social plans too
  • Test the Social Networks: Test a branded game in your Facebook or MySpace page or as a connection point from a branded game to these networks
  • Test the Social Games: Look into the options for advertising within social games, such as FarmVille and others
  • Advertise (Paid Media):
    • Leverage existing in-game advertising to get your brand seen during game-play
    • Leverage online banner and search advertising to drive a large audience to your social game efforts
  • Measure, analyze and improve your advertising efforts in social games

About The Social Gaming Industry

I’m pulling together some thoughts regarding social gaming. Here’s the high-level and sources I’m pulling from. If you have others, please contact me – I’ll make sure to give you some recognition.

What is social gaming? (my explanations)

Any online game (PC, game console, web-based, mobile) with one of the following capabilities:

  • Invite a friend to play the game with or without you
  • Entice your friends to play the game by sharing your achievements
  • Multi-player (synchronously or asynchronously)

Somewhat related to social media

  • Some social games started on social networks, such as Facebook
  • Some social games added social networking to an existing casual game
  • Some game environments encourage friends to play the same game by sharing achievements, such as on Xbox Live

Social Game Studios & Players: I plan to pull from:

Where are social games being played? http://mashable.com/2010/08/11/social-gaming-business/

Engagement, Audiences and Revenue: I plan to pull from:

Winning at social gaming: http://mashable.com/2010/08/11/social-gaming-business/

Examples of Social Branded Games: I plan to pull from:

Examples of Brands in Social Gaming: I plan to pull from:

And of course, I plan to reference the current top games on Facebook:

http://www.insidefacebook.com/2010/08/02/top-25-facebook-games-for-august-2010/ and the game dynamics that SCVNGR uses:

http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/25/scvngr-game-mechanics/

What am I missing?

More About Brands and Location-Based Services

Christopher Rollyson has just written a great article that perfectly compliments my recent presentation about Location-Based Social Media for Brands. Some highlights are some examples of using LBS:

  • For large busi­nesses, aware­ness will be a more real­is­tic goal than huge sales increases because geoso­cial users prob­a­bly rep­re­sent a very small por­tion of their total cus­tomers. How­ever, if your busi­ness is focused on early adopters (i.e. bars, enter­tain­ers, events), it can be very rel­e­vant now.
  • Law firm sem­i­nars on import/export stan­dards usu­ally attract 30, but when atten­dees tell their friends, it increases by 50 percent
  • Restau­rant clients check in for drinks, and their friends can join them “spon­ta­neously” for dinner
  • Out­door equip­ment retailer gives away climb­ing gloves to peo­ple with a cer­tain num­ber of check-ins; remem­ber, when some­one checks in, all their friends know, and friends tend to have sim­i­lar interests
  • Uni­ver­sity eco­nom­ics forum attracts 33 per­cent more atten­dees when atten­dees check in to the forum
  • Ice cream shop gives free Rocky Road sun­daes to kids who check-in wear­ing sun­hats between 3:00 and 5:00 this after­noon, dra­mat­i­cally increas­ing excite­ment and sell­ing radius
  • By the way, Foursquare et al have Twit­ter and Face­book plug-ins, so check-ins are often broad­cast to their users’ larger net­works (much to the cha­grin of their friends, who often tire of barhop­ping ordeals)

Check out the entire article for more: http://www.socialmedia.biz/2010/09/13/cmo-guide-to-foursquare-gowalla-loopt-brightkite/

Ad Agencies and Social Media

Yesterday, Jason Breed write about how the ad agency model is changing and today on Twitter was the #Sm77 chat that turned out to be very insightful into how ad agencies are dealing with social media. While this can’t be considered an extensive bit of research, it does represent 56 individuals who are somehow involved with, or at least opinionated about, ad agencies.

The following is how I summarize the discussion from today:

  • Some agencies don’t know how to bill for “listening”, so they don’t necessarily want to do it for client and they don’t want to expose the fact that they may not have been listening to the consumer in the past.
  • Agencies are concerned about losing control of the campaigns they manage since consumers are now empowered and can so easily steal the conversation on social media services.
  • The agency can more easily be held accountable for bad work highlighted by the consumer’s new voice found in social media.
  • Social media is new, and big ad agencies don’t want to show weakness and that they don’t know how to deal with it. With social media, the consumer is part of the advertising mix; whether by design or not.
  • Talking with consumers is different, and requires more work, than talking at them. Ongoing dialogs and relationships with consumers are even harder.
  • Some agencies are only integrating social media with traditional methods because they are being pushed to do so by their clients.
  • Social media should be embedded into all efforts, not a single department in an ad agency, which is what some are doing.
  • Agencies need to be listening either for or with their clients so they can learn take action quickly (as needed) to improve a campaign and show involvement with the community. However, being responsive to consumer feedback, gaining insight and being agile isn’t easy for some agencies.
  • Agencies still rely on focus groups even though social media can give much better insight
  • Large agencies should leverage niche agencies as needed so they don’t have to become experts in everything, especially the latest and greatest technologies and social media services which may turn out to be high-impact, but short-lived. Are the big agencies willing to be partners with small, niche players?
  • Agencies need to gain new skills and become experts at sharing, helping and engaging. Related, the agency model, skills, and organizational structures probably need to change.
  • Active listening, a key part of participating in social media, requires empathy. Are agencies ready to be empathetic to their client’s customers?

Thanks to Hank Wasiak for hosting the chat.

Feel free to leave comments on my blog here if you disagree or want to defend your own agency.

Location-Based Social Media for Brand Advertisers

I’ve been having fun thinking about how brands that don’t own their own retail stores can use Foursquare, Facebook Places and other location-based services. To make it more interesting, I’ve been adding to that how online advertising should be used to enhance the efforts. I’ve now collected my thoughts into a single presentation/report.

Location-Based Social Media for Brand Advertisers on SlideShare.net and on Windows Live SkyDrive

Please let me know if you find it useful or insightful.

Social Media and Game Dynamics

I’ve been inspired by the TED presentation from Seth Priebatsch, founder of SCVNGR. I hope they’re working on a Windows Phone 7 version of their app! What inspired me is the distinction he makes of social games from social media. Specifically, current social networking influences connections between people and things (locations, brands, etc.) on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Gaming on these networks influences behavior. Four of the main game dynamics behind the location-based services, according to Seth are :

  1. Appointment dynamic: Players have to do something by a specific time, such as fly to get mileage points, buy when a sale is on, etc.
  2. Influence and status dynamic: Players want to be perceived in a certain way, such as achieving the highest level in a game, having branded clothing on their Xbox avatar, etc.
  3. Progression dynamic: Players want to achieve or complete something, such as seeing a partially completed profile on a social network
  4. Communal discovery dynamic: Players have to work together to achieve something, such as going in with others to activate a Groupon or unlocking the Swarm badge on Foursquare.

Any advertiser can apply these game dynamics to their own efforts on social media and a variety of other marketing efforts, such as their rewards programs and contests.

See Seth’s TED presentation here: http://www.ted.com/talks/seth_priebatsch_the_game_layer_on_top_of_the_world.html

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