Social serendipity in real-time



Searching through case studies from Sony’s social summit earlier this year (only now do I have the time to read them!) I came across a nice deck on how Sony Music Entertainment promoted a song by Willie Nelson and Snoop Dog, to their respective fans.

And particularly liked the fact that ‘influencer promotion’ was key to success, along with timeliness of the launch and campaign novelty, not to mention the #thinslicing fact that “better tracking analytics would have lead to more intuitive data on users”.

However, as I have recently been talking with Chris Arnold at Awedience about the potential of his product I was drawn to the phrase “Real-time key influencer engagement” as a factor in the campaign.

So I did a search in with that term and on the first page an article on The Power of Influencer Marketing and Social Media stood out as both recent (Sept 2012) and ’cause it contained all the relevant keywords – influencer and real-time.

And what do you know, when I clicked on the link the piece by SeanClark is about the power of Chris’s real time influencer marketing product. Not to mention the fact that the process of discovery was a nice example of serendipity too.


Thinslicing The Hunger Games


Plenty has been written about the significant role played by a carefully organised and orchestrated social campaign for The Hunger Games. So I’ll simply jump to my ‘thinslice,’ namely how the movie marketers used fan response to tweak as they went along. First of all though consider that this process is much like gaming company wooga carefully monitors user response to tweak aspects of its online games to help boost engagement and thus ROI.

Secondly, to get back to The Hunger Games, and to illustrate what this means – the value of feedback from fans – to be able to optimise your campaign here’s a key quote from Lionsgate’s senior vice president for digital marketing Danielle DePalma:

“What seemed to work the best, too, was fan-created content. I mean, the Peeta memes were always the top performers. That’s how we were really learning about what our audience liked most, through those Facebook results.” This character-focused social media strategy is also backed up by Crimson Hexagon’s analysis of the factors impacting on the success of Julian Fellowes, creator of the popular period drama ‘Downton Abbey’, with the US version, ‘The Gilded Age’ soon to be launched:

“Our analysis indicates that in order for Fellowes to recreate “Downton Abbey” with “The Gilded Age,” he must develop compelling, witty characters with strong moral convictions.”

In other words (ref: my previous post on the value of thinslicing), joining together how your audience behaves (qualitative) with what the data tells you (quantitative), gives you the intelligence to optimise your campaign as you go along – providing you possess the level of organisation and flexibility to allow that to happen (context) effectively. That’s what we’ve been doing at Sony EU in Q3 to good effect too, on the back of the colossal success of ‘Skyfall’.

What this means is that social media marketeers have to think and act on fan data much more like online gaming companies if they are going to both engage their customer base, and deliver real returns.


My creative contribution to ‘Skyfall’


As it is the official premier of James Bond film ‘Skyfall’ today (though it opened in LA yesterday?) I wanted to post my contribution to the event from a Sony business pov.

Bond TV advert

Bond also involves the theme of ‘product convergence’ with Sony looking to use the film to show Bond use many of its different devices, from Xperia phone to Vaio laptop. And in consumer terms it’s looking to prove to customers that it’s worth investing in inter-connected Sony devices. For example my little Xperia mini pro also works as a remote control for my Bravia and Google TV box.

To help bring this potential to life my suggestion is pretty tried and tested:

1. Post a competition on Facebook for people to show a short video of their use of old and new Sony devices, and display their creativity.

2. The winners get invited to a day long ‘hackathon’, where they will get to play with all the best Sony devices, to create something exciting.

3. The day and the end result will also be video’d of course.

4. The winner will get further coverage, and it would be good to have one VIP creative on hand during the day in Apprentice like fashion to hand out advice, and to help judge the end result.

So what do you think, does it fly?


Witty comment on customer expectations


Saw this witty comment on people’s expectations around products on an Engadget piece regarding the new Google TV launch:

Man people go off-topic fast… can’t we just comment on the actual product instead of making useless comparisons?

“Get an Xbox instead because of X & Y”
“Instead of an Xbox get a PS3, because it offers Z & X”
“Yea but why a PS3 when you can just get XBMC, you can do Y & Z”
“Forget XBMC, just get Plex because it does W & T”
“Or just get an iPad w/ HDMI so you can do Z & W”
“Ew don’t get an iPad, get a Transformer Prime because W & Z”
“Or get a computer, since it does X, Y, Z, O, M, G, S, T, F, U”
“A computer can’t move, get a car because it seats at least 4 people”

2011 was a fun year in computer security..


Now this sounds like an interesting BCS event covering cyber-security with Gareth Lapworth from De Montfort University, clearly surveying the collateral damage with an expert eye. Should be epic!

“2011 was a fun year in computer security. The term “epic” doesn’t quite do it enough justice, but it’s the best term we’ve got. The lulz were had by the bad guys, the overtime was pocketed by the good guys and it was gripping for those sitting on the sidelines.

“One of the most public and explosive attacks of the year was aimed directly at the Sony corporation, not just once, but at least four different times. In order to solve their problems they simply laid off a significant number of their security team. Epic.

“2011 also saw a rise in malware related attacks. Whilst most computer users were worried about receiving viruses and attempting to solve that problem, computer security dudes in the power and water industries were trying to secure centrifuges and utility supplies. They failed. Miserably. Epic.

“It was a win for those that did manage to secure their computer systems, but not those that chose Symantec anti virus. We found out recently that the bad guys had access to the source code of some versions of this software. Of course, the same bad guys helped the world by uncovering that the Indian government requested that Apple, RIM and Nokia placed back doors in their hardware/software solutions. It’s always pleasing to know that a government has access to all of your private data. Epic.

“Don’t have nightmares, though. William Hague wants you to know that we’ll strike first in any cyber war. Super Epic.

“This lecture discusses some cyber security related activities and gives a taste of things yet to come in the next 12 months. It is hoped that you will walk away from this lecture with a feeling of helplessness and fear that will instil in you the correct level of paranoia when conducting yourself online.”

It appears Gareth has left out the FBI arrest of 16 suspected ‘Anonymous’ hackers in July, not long after the PayPal Twitter account was hacked. Which in turn came not long after news that PayPal had dropped online banking for WikiLeaks.

Also see ‘Six security forecasts for 2012′ written by the BCS’s David Lacey, starting with Space weather creates concern: “…increased solar activity will probably cause a few minor annoyances to GPS users. The larger concern, however, is that it might take out mobile communications, power supplies or perhaps anything with a GPS chip. Not quite Y2K in impact, but longer, less predictable and much less researched and publicised”.