Mar 31, 2007

Welcome To "The Largest Ad-Platform On Earth"

So - the rumours were true after all. NBC Universal and News Corp. have joined forces to create a venture focused on distributing premium online video content over a network of sites estimated to reach 96% of all U.S. Internet users. How much did Google pay for Youtube again?

The goal is to create a one-stop source for consumers and advertisers seeking premium video content. Both full-length TV shows, movies and clips will be offered. In addition, consumers will be invited to manipulate the premium content to create mashups and parodies. Non-program-related user-generated content will also be accepted, but is not the focus of the enterprise said Jeff Zucker, president and CEO of NBCU.

The smartest thing about this is that they'll sell the ads and they can determine what cut to give to the partners," said David Hallerman, senior analyst with eMarketer. He said that how well they can break out of the pre-roll video model may determine the ventures ultimate success.

eMarketer predicts spending on video advertising will grow from $775 million this year to $2 billion by 2009, and $2.9 billion by 2010. And while video ad spending growth peaked this year at 89%, according to eMarketer, growth will remain above 50% through 2009, falling to 45% by 2010.

It's note worthy that - with this move, News Corp. and NBC are better positioned than YouTube to forge deals because of their existing relationships with advertisers and general interest portals alike. Whatever the case may be - the video space just got a lot more interesting...........

Mar 30, 2007

"Citizen Marketers" -

Jackie Huba started her presentation by commenting on MTV's atlas initiative and Time Magazine naming "You" as the Person of the year. Clearly - we have moved into an era where User Generated Content is clearly shaping perceptions about Organizations, Products, Services and notably - well known Brands. This trend has been largely facilitated by the "Democratization of Media" - cheap broadband, access to tools on your PC's- make it possible for anyone to generate/create content.

So, if I'm a brand manager for a large Global Brand UGC and Citizen Marketers in general, will certainly have an impact on how the general public views my brand. As an aspiring World Changer and Citizen Marketer - I now have a voice, vote and vocation. One great example which Jackie mentioned is Barack Obama's social network site. Apparently it has spurned plenty of UGC and Groups Clearly, "Word of Mouth" has never been more influential than it is today.

I learnt a little about how Jackie and Ben about how they define and categorize Citizen Marketers - as Firecrackers, Filters, Fanatics and Facilitators. It appears that the categorization is based on the relative intent of each user - sounds pretty subjective to me. Truth of the matter is that every Citizen Marketer can belong to any of category. Any one of us can be the provider of Negative UGC - Comcast Repairman , purpose driven UGC - such as the Surge Site. My favourite examples of Citizen Marketers are the "Netflix Expert" and the independent Mini Marketer. One key question which I often ask myself is - WHY? Why are these people doing all this stuff? What's going on with them? Jackie contends that Citizen's see UGC as a form of Productive Leisure - people are doing something they love - a hobby or casual pass time. Well, it probably starts out that way.

Okay - so here are some of my key takeaways from the session........

Any democratized forum often operates by the 1% rule. Less than 1% of the visitors actually generate and populate the content - in spite of the fact that everyone can create content and just about any one can benefit from good content. Organizations seem to favor contests as a means of interacting with Citizen Marketers. One way is through Contests. such as the Chevy Tahoe debacle or the Converse "Chuck Daly" campaign. Another way is through the "Co-Creation" concept. Recently Shakira's record lable came up with an interesting idea to promote her new single "Hips don't lie" by asking fans to send in their own video of the song. Co-creation encourages citizen participation, which helps create a viral marketing campaigns.

Learning About Citizen Marketers

This morning I am attending a Marketing session - hosted by Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba. I expect thier presentation to revolve around their recently published book - titled "Creating Word of Mouth via Influencers and Customer Evangelists". Having read a few of their blog posts, I am already intrigued about this trend. how do I become a bonafide "Customer Evangelist"?

Mar 6, 2007

Thinking For A Change

One of my "New Year Resolutions" was to start doing more reading. I've always aspired to motivate and encourage others - and I'm also passionate about learning. So - I bought a whole wack of books - and now I'm gradually going through them.

Thinking For A Change - By Robert Maxwell is my first book of the year. So far it's proven to be quite inspirational. I'll probably start using the WorldChanger blog as a medium for publishing my "book reviews". I'm hopeful that I can extract key learnings from each book - which may be useful to some of you World Changers out there.