Netflix and chill

Digital marketing is the future. There is no denying that and even Mark Ritson admits it in colourful fashion.

He also argues that the “hype” around digital marketing is basically a facade that is manipulated by the media and that traditional marketing is still clearly very dominant. To an extent he is right and traditional marketing is far from dead without a doubt.

However I think in Ritson’s keynote he is too quick to dismiss millennial’s actions as the result of being young. The statistics showed around 85% of media is watched on tv in the general population compared to around 65% for millennials. That’s a significant gap and I think the notion of being more active when younger is not a feasible reason for such a difference. Also it could also be argued that young people enjoy staying home more than ever with so many options of entertainment available that give users freedom of choice with laptops to watch youtube or Netflix, phones to listen to Spotify, and gaming consoles that allow you to play with anyone in the world.

This difference is being fuelled by a change in eras. More and more generations are going to grow up with high technological use while each one exceeds the one before it. The decline in traditional media use won’t be a steady figure but rather a snowball with each year getting bigger than the last.

Traditional media is also kept afloat dominantly by very fundamental programming with the biggest example being sport. I could not count the amount of times i’ve heard “Foxtel is only good for sport otherwise I wouldn’t have it at all”. Sport is well in the traditional media domain because people love to watch sport together, sometimes talking about it with a mate is better than the actual game at hand. But even streaming websites for sport are starting to gain some popularity (Kayo sports could be a big player in the market very soon) and smart tvs allow use of these websites on a bigger platform.

The TV is the ultimate medium for media as has been the case for decades and it will continue that way for many more. With digital media beginning to become much more accessible through a TV it’s very clear to see that digital marketing is coming to an age of dominance sooner rather than later.

Bot or Not?

Anyone that has used Facebook, Instagram or snapchat would have seen a fake account or bot before. They’re genuinely very annoying and are all over social media. One may wonder why they’re even allowed on these sites at all. There are reasons for that ranging from the power they possess to the grey area on regulation of them.

According to the German Intelligence Agency back in 2017 LinkedIn was being used for Chinese intelligence to gather information on german officials and politicians as well as targeting 10,000 germans to recruit as informants.

It’s amazing to think of the political power that can be shifted and obtained through the use of something as simple as fake accounts. Obviously this is a much higher level of severity and involvement than a simple Facebook bot. However it does show how influential fake accounts can be when used tactically in the right manner.

This raises a big issue for the social media era that requires a solution. How can fake accounts like the ones from LinkedIn be realised and removed? For more complex fake accounts that aren’t randomly generated this is in no way an easy task. Combine that with murky governance of these kinds of accounts and it’s hard to imagine a direct solution.

It’s an ethical dilemma that can even be put on the general user of social media accounts. For the most part personal information is given out willingly in a public forum and that makes it very accessible. However, in some cases like the one in 2017, this can’t be put on the user as this information is basically required for LinkedIn and is used as a personal business tool.

It’s a simple problem with an unclear solution that’s been created with the rise of technology. Due diligence with personal information on social media is one way to protect yourself. Trying to recognise and block fake accounts from seeing your profile is another. Ultimately this problem is tied in with having social media accounts and a level of acceptance must be met if you wish to do so.

The ultimate 10 step guide to successful Viral Marketing

Step one: Decide why you want something to go viral. What is the purpose of creating something that spreads like wildfire and how will it help you.

Step two: Be prepared to back up the viral marketing with traditional forms of communication. Viral marketing is not sustainable on its own.

Step three: Create something that is unique, memorable and interesting that prompts people to share with others. If it doesn’t make people want to talk about it then it wont go viral. Easier said than done but use that marketing mind.

Step four: Having a mental blank? Maybe take a break and go enjoy yourself for the day, it’s not healthy to work too hard.

Step five: You’ve taken this break a bit too far. It’s been two weeks since you worked on that idea. Binge watching game of thrones won’t help you. (Side note: it actually might but probably best to be more productive about your approach, Winter is Coming)

Step six: After creating something special think of the best way that this will reach the market mavens of your intended audience. With a bit of hope they will further the idea along to the social hubs that will distribute this idea to the greater audience. With a lot of luck it’ll be seen and distributed by a popular talk show host. If that’s the case best odds are his name is Jimmy.

Step seven: Creating something that will go viral is the hard part. Reaping the rewards of it should be easy and fulfilling. If it is not achieving what you intended then work out why. If it’s having unfixable negative effects then best to pull the plug. Once its viral it may be too late but taking away the source may help.

Step eight: In reality creating something viral is extremely hard and takes a lot of luck along with the perfect idea. So cross those fingers and hope your hard work pays off.

Step nine: If it doesn’t go viral then don’t worry, as long as the idea was good and marketed properly then it likely helped achieve what you were after on a smaller level. Can start from scratch and try again at hitting a home run. You may even find your original idea becomes viral long after you made it. If it happened to Rebecca Black it can happen to you too.

Step ten: Realise that a uni student may not have the formula figured out to viral marketing and don’t take this too seriously. There are professionals that don’t either so it’s understandable. Nevertheless enjoy reading his blog post and realise that he made some good points about viral marketing.

What do a purple cow and the Nintendo Wii have in common?

Getting ideas to spread is effected by a variety of factors like the social currency it gives, the emotion it creates or the story it tells. Remarkability is another factor touched on by Seth Godin in his TED talk and how something that is remarkable is worth stopping for, noticing and sharing such as the purple cow. Think a little more about this example in the present and imagine how a purple cow photo that was shared from America could reach the standard social media user all around the world on Facebook or Instagram.

If there was only one purple cow in existence then it would be extremely special and remarkable enough that it would spread throughout the world. If there were one hundred still remarkable but not quite as special. But if every cow became and was purple (as strange as a phenomenon as that would be) then that photo is nothing out of the ordinary, it would not spread at at all.

This example highlights the effectiveness a unique idea has of spreading, that an idea out of the ordinary can make an impact. And when an idea is the same as everyone else then it its just another average idea that might not be bad but also isn’t really good, it won’t lead to customer connection or social currency because theres no innovation taking place. Here’s a link to Seth Godin going into a tiny bit more detail about his purple cow theory;

One key idea behind this is not targeting the largest market audience but instead targeting a segment of people that will invest more emotion and time, through these people willing to personally endorse an idea it can be spread much more.

A real life example that I think shows this idea of uniqueness making a difference is in the gaming console market. Nintendo are one the most innovative companies to ever exist and this has been reflected in many of their consoles. In 2009 the Nintendo Wii had more combined sales than the ps3 and xbox 360 per

Their were alot of factors that went into it but the core success behind the Wii was a unique, innovative idea that differentiated from the high-processing ps3 and xbox 360 which used a standard controller in a standard mode at high quality visuals thanks to HDMI.

The Wii also didn’t market towards the general market for gaming (young males) putting focus into targeting unique audiences like pre-teen girls or parents. It would be expected that most mothers wouldn’t have a Wii high on their personal list of needs. The few who did or bought it for children but then also played would’ve have absolutely loved it as a very unique gaming experience that was fun and was appealing to people of all types. As a result it could be talked about with other parents at things like children’s sporting events or school events which happen pretty much weekly. This spread the Nintendo console through channels that the ps3 and the xbox 360 simply could not and did help put the Wii at the top for a generation of gaming.

I guess a purple cow and a Nintendo Wii are both truly remarkable.

The Retail Shift

The rise of E-commerce is an interesting development in the process of retail and consumerism around the world. Because of technological advances that have made the “web” must more easily accessible through multiple forms such as smart phones, laptops and tablets we have seen a shift in the market for purchasing products.

While e-commerce only accounts for 5% of all retail sales it can have massive implications on the present and future of retail companies.

Any company in the present without an online store set-up and established is at a huge disadvantage of falling behind other competitors who do, giving up 5% of the market is a significant pitfall.

An example of this is Myer which was behind the curve in the online sales trend and from a marketing perspective did not believe it benefitted them to put a lot of effort into the area.

While they had ventured further into E-Commerce in 2017/18 with increased investment and saw increased online sales they posted a loss of $468 million in September 2018 for the financial year.

While low consumer confidence was a factor in this loss their online limitations clearly had a great impact on the company.

To the department stores credit, they turned this around with a customer-first plan following posting the large loss and within the plan invested more money into E-commerce which helped achieve net profit after tax in the first half of the financial year.

The impact of an effective online store is easy to see with this example and signals an evolution in retail from physical to digital, while this is not going to be immediate it poses to grow from 5% of the market in the future.

One of the big reasons for this is an online giant called Amazon which threatens to shake up the Australian retail market once it can establish itself here.

In 2018, they introduced the Australian website and entered the market. While it didn’t have the instant success some were anticipating, it was clear based off the company’s previous endeavours and analyst opinions that “long-game” strategies were in place for significant growth in the future.

Amazon have already influenced the market with every company ramping up their online efforts in the last year or two, Supermarket giants like Coles and Woolworths who have an almost duopoly have even felt the need for a big online presence.

Simply put Australian retail companies need to commit high amounts of money to E-commerce or risk falling behind too far in the market. There are present and future implications for those who don’t. Physical stores are closing at high rates all around the country and for some without an online presence this will likely lead to the closure of companies altogether. That current 5% of the market is already proving to be influential and that portion is only heading up.