The evolution of media, marketing and brands!
All developments in long term context.
Hyves opens up profiles
Social Network Hyves makes it possible for third parties to read profiles. In the test version of so-called People API, other websites gain access to profiles. This is the same one could see in a real-life visit, without being a Hyves member. The amount of information then is limited. However by granting a brand permission, the brand can get access to someone’s friends list (em, Dutch).
TodaysArt then places your friends on a map. So far for the gimmicks. Now it really will be possible for brands to connect their accounts to Social Networks, to Hyves accounts. With that, it will be possible to see what customers know each other. Then ‘advice’ can go one step further: ‘friends who went to this hotel last year absolutely loved it!’ Then the most powerful medium, word of mouth advertising, will get an extra injection. It is all about to start now.
PC Zapper invites consumers to office
Video portal PC Zapper invites consumers to her office for a yearly feedback session. On a Wednesday night consumers are coming to tell PC Zapper how to do better. For participating they receive a gift certificate of 25 euros, their travel expenses are reimbursed, and they get free pizza and soft drinks (pz, Dutch). Thus brands more and more involve consumers in the process. In a qualitative way, by having people send them ideas. In a quantitative way, by having people cast their votes. And creatively by involving people in sessions like this. In a next step, consumers will also help design the product. With that, the border between supplier and consumer slowly disappears. Brands are having their brand coming out, and PC Zapper shows us how to do this.
Voting for Buzz Awards has started
On January 15, 2008 the Buzz Awards will be given out in the Netherlands. These are awards for the most ‘buzzed about’ products of 2007. What product or service did we most talk about, did we recommend to each other, or buzz to each other? I myself am proud to be one of the judges. From the nominations consumers have proposed over the last month, we selected 25 products for the grand finale of the Buzz Award 2007. And another 10 products for the category forecast 2008 (products or services that haven’t been buzzed about a lot in 2007, but which we expect a lot of for 2008). Now it is up to the Buzzers. We’ll see the end result in January!
Cell phone will soon read bar codes
Google soon will introduce Android, their own system for phones, which also can read bar codes. The system can read several types of codes, among which the QR code (mb, Dutch). That means starting next year, we can aim our mobile phones to all products containing bar codes. Then the dialogue with the brand can start. In a next step we will be able to wireless read the RFID code, and then see the unique product, so that the brand can see directly that you are the owner of the product. To then open up a 3D brand world on all screens around you, initiated by your cell phone. We are getting closer to the future in small steps every day.
Mirabeau puts employees online
ZoMoto determines prices
Auto site ZoMoTo now can directly determine the value of a second-hand car by putting in the license plate. The site also developed a very smart way to search in the complex supply of occasions, and besides offers the possibility to search for new cars. (em, Dutch). Now ZoMoTo still wants to earn money through advertising. As a developing mobility coaching brand ZoMoTo in the future will also help you when you are using your car, by answering questions like: Where is the cheapest gas station right now? Who can fix this damage the quickest and cheapest way? Or: should I just buy a new car? Every time, every couple of months, a little bit of extra value is added, so the service becomes better and more personal. At a certain point its added value becomes so obvious, that we are willing to pay for it. Then ZoMoTo doesn’t just get a spot in our heads, but also - and especially - in our hearts.
Restaurant Libreije shows video presentation
At Dutch restaurant site Iens, restaurants from now on can present themselves through video. Restaurant De Libreije in Zwolle is one of the first who have used this possibility, and it shows a professional video. (em, Dutch). In the developing of coaching brands and transaction brands, it becomes more and more important for transaction brands to present themselves through the coaching brands. All means will be used to make this happen, and video should not be avoided, as people tend to think very visual.
Link your accounts to Social Networks!
Brands now have the possibility to gain access to friends lists in Social Networks. The so-called People Data API, part of Google’s OpenSocial initiative, makes this possible. This standard is already supported by networks like MySpace, LinkedIn, and SalesForce. European network Hyves will also participate. As a result, brands will soon be able to link their users account to a Hyves account, to see what friends your customers have, and if those friends are your customers yet. Then you can even ask to share shopping history with friends. Or you can advise: your friend Gaby bought this blender 6 months ago, and is still very happy with it. Brands have to (learn to) think tribal. This gives them the opportunity.
Microsoft ad obligatory interactive???
If on the website of broadcast network RTL you want to see an episode of Dutch TV series Gooise vrouwen you can now first go through an interactive MS Office commercial (dc, Dutch). There are different versions. There is one version which you can just watch for several minutes, but there also is a version which requires you to click some buttons. You have to click, otherwise the commercial stops. At some point you ask yourself: why did I get here in the first place? In the unlikely case there are ‘Gooise vrouwen’ fans who still get a positive feeling about this totally unrelated product, who then visit the Office pages on the Microsoft website, then are shown a commercial for bra’s there. Microsoft used to give direction to changes in the world, but since its strategy seems to be to just earn more money through advertising, it seems to hit a dead end in full force.
Facebook connects to ActiveWorlds
Social Network Facebook recently has made a connection with 3D world ActiveWorlds (similar to SecondLife). After clicking an ActiveWorlds icon, Facebook asks permission to pass on login information to ActiveWorlds. Facebook asks to pass on:
- Know who I am and access my information
- Put a box in my profile
- Place a link in my left-hand navigation
- Publish stories in my News Feed and Mini-Feed
- Place a link below the profile picture on any profile
Then part of ActiveWorlds appears within FaceBook (dc, Dutch). This illustrates how brands in the future pass on information of customers. Coaching brands, brands that have access to the consumer (Facebook is a developing social coaching brand), will very carefully manage the information, but they will make it easy for consumers to transfer the information, so that they don’t have to give the same information over and over again. This is an example of how this can go.
MSN Reporter requires login
If you want to write a reaction on news site MSN Reporter, from now on you have to first create an account, or log in through an existing Live/hotmail account (dc, Dutch). At first sight, it looks like a user unfriendly step, but it will improve the quality of the service, and with that the satisfaction of the users. As people who react can now be identified, comment spam can be avoided more easily, and also people who purposely write very negative or very positive don’t get much chance any more: they will be traced down quickly. Also, an individual can only vote once. Through that, a poll evolves toward market research: it becomes more and more representative (although lots of steps have to be taken to make it statistically relevant). Furthermore, MSN Reporter can build visitors profiles by looking at the reactions of an individual, and with those start developing dialogues necessary to become a news coaching brand.