Sunday, February 24, 2008

How Will Social Sites Make Money?

From the DNA article - Ads give local networking sites the pass

Since the past 18 months, many local social sites such as Yaari, Minglebox, Bharatstudent, Desimartini, Ibibo, Indyarocks, BigAdda and Campus18 were launched ....

... The biggest challenge is the revenue model, which online marketers say is not easy to work out. Social networking, with around 20 million users in the country, hasn’t really proved a goldmine for advertisers as many may have liked to believe.

Page views, impressions and click-throughs — three metrics which online marketers swear by — haven’t yet adapted to the social networking environment in a manner that does not encroach upon user experience.

Absolutely. Pageviews, impressions and click-throughs as a way to measure user engagement with one's brand or product and her perception wouldn't doesn't quite click. Considering the existence of Natural Born Clickers.

So what's the solution? Perhaps, devising better metrics and integrating experiential elements into one's online campaign planning. Robert McLuhan has more in this article in Brand Republic.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Natural Born Clickers - More Clicks Not Equal To Better Brand Building

Findings from a new study by Starcom, Tacoda and comScore’ suggest “the click is dead” as go-to measurement of effectiveness for brand-building display advertising campaigns .

..The study illustrates that heavy clickers represent just 6% of the online population yet account for 50% of all display ad clicks. While many online media companies use click-through rate as an ad negotiation currency, the study shows that heavy clickers are not representative of the general public.

Further preliminary Starcom data suggests no correlation between display ad clicks and brand metrics, and show no connection between measured attitude towards a brand and the number of times an ad for that brand was clicked. The research presentation suggests that when digital campaigns have a branding objective, optimizing for high click rates does not necessarily improve campaign performance.

The study only bring to light the problem faced by marketers(if they are aware of it, that is) and the agencies helping them. action being tracked and metrics clearly defined, using the medium for purposes of brand-building and brand loyalty is a problem waiting to be solved.

More on the study here.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Teaser Campaign Using Websites..

...and offline promotion of the same.

It's perhaps a campaign for a mall to be launched soon. The stat counter on the site at this point reads 16137. Decent enough numbers one would say for a visit to such a website.

The previous such campaign which is still fresh in one's memory is the whatiteez campaign for Krackjack(?) featuring Cyrus Broacha. Interesting trend this, of using the internet to run teaser campaigns.

Monday, February 4, 2008

No Such Thing Like Early Influencers?

Turns out then that The Tipping Point theory doesn't quite tip a lot of things.

Duncan Watts at Yahoo! Research has this to say -

A rare bunch of cool people just don't have that power. And when you test the way marketers say the world works, it falls apart. There's no there there.

Oh what then about a lot of poor souls who bet heavily on things to succeed hoping things will go viral, or that they are through by winning over the influencers? Interesting, because most things which became hugely popular, at least over the internet, owe their success to the viral power. More in this FastCompany article.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Lot Can Happen Over Coffee. A Lot, Really!

While we're at it, trying to understand if it's just coffee for which people hang out at coffee shops, YouthCurry has an interesting discussion on the same subject.

From Coffee to bahana hai -

I bumped into a friend who has just joined a mobile start up company at Barista in Phoenix Mills. "Aajkal yehi mera office hai," he grinned.

"Hmm.. investors ko bataana padega aap unke kitne paise roz coffee peene mein waste karte ho..."

He replied, only half in jest, "Rs 500 a day is a steal. When our office across the street gets ready we'll be shelling out Rs 1.75 lakhs a month on rent alone!"

Point to hai. Reminds me of the scene during the earlier dotcom boom when junta had made the Oberoi lobby and coffee shop their adda-cum-office. Paanch saal mein kuch progress hua hai: cheaper coffee and data modem cards to access internet anywhere. In the near future we'll see more of public wifi access.
For the start-up types!
Current hotspots for startup types include:
Just Around the Corner, Bandra
lobby of Marriott hotel
And in Bangalore, the Leela coffee shop
Interesting how each coffee shop serves as a convenient location for different people and different purposes.

Of course, coffee shops are not just the preserves of recently-quit-job-looking-for-VC types. There are many other species, and in fact each location has its own peculiar set of customers.

Barista Chembur: popular with MLM (multi-level marketing types). They make snazzy presentations which promise anyone can make 3 crores in 2 years if they work hard enough and get enough other idiots to join.

Barista & CCD Lokhandwala: The preferred hangout spot of filmi and TV wannabes. I suppose they actually hang out here waiting to catch the eye of some hotshot director, or at the very least Ekta Kapoor's casting crew.

Barista, Colaba (near Regal cinema): Always full of backpackers - has it got a mention in Lonely Planet yet? Possible description: 'A place where you can rest your dusty feet and use the free loo, for the price of one black coffee'.

This, is so very true. Having observed quite a few of such interviews.

At all Baristas, everywhere: Arranged marriage 'interviews': ladkas and ladkis who've located each other at Remember Konkona meeting Irfan Khan in Life in a Metro?

Of course usually there are parents and sometimes even extended family in tow. After a few pleasantries they move six tables away and give the boy and girl a chance to 'talk in private'.

Kuch nahin jama to you don't need to feel like a loser. It was just a casual meeting at a coffee shop!
Definitely, a lot can can happen over coffee. In fact, more than a lot. If nothing happens, it was just for coffee. True, no?