Here are some interesting XM and online marketing news items and links for your perusal:
- Social Media Crime and Punishment: A couple of days ago I shared a news item about how a couple used social media to cover and perpetrate a crime, so it's only fair to tell you how social media helped fight crime. Wired has an article about the owner of a car that was stolen who posted information about the theft and thief on an online forum. People who saw these posts found the guy and used Google Maps and other means to track the thief and get him arrested. The car was returned with some minor damage, and inside the car was a baseball cap owned by perp, so the victim put the hat on eBay. The latest bid is $265.
- Experiential Books: I happen to think a good book is an experience unto itself. A book envelopes you in emotions and situations in a way that extends beyond the mere words on a page. But Penguin UK is taking this a step farther with their We Tell Stories line of books, which enhance the reading experience with online and real world components. Penguin is seeking to create deeper experiences by adding interactivity as a means to engage reader's emotions and attention. For example, Charles Cumming's The 21 Steps, allows readers to follow the protagonist's movement with Google Maps in order to learn more about the story. These gimmicks cannot help a bad book, but they could help a good book become more involving, especially for today's short-attention span, multi-tasking younger readers.
- Movie Viral Done Right: A week ago we shared some observations about the marketing campaign for the movie "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," which revealed too much to work as good viral marketing. The LA Times has a very interesting article about the viral campaign for "The Dark Knight," the upcoming Batman movie, and it demonstrates how to do viral right. The campaign started with billboards for a fictional campaign to elect Harvey Dent for DA. Soon these billboards were defaced--all part of the campaign. Those who explored further found an Alternate Reality Game that involved clues spelled out in skywriting, cellphones embedded inside cakes, Internet red herrings, and even political rallies. Several players were nearly arrested in Chicago while engaging in civil disobedience to promote the movie. And, unlike the Sarah Marshall blog, which was immediately obvious as a flog (fake blog), IBelieveInHarveyDent.com makes no mention of the movie and could pass for any politician's blog. The LA Times labels this Advertainment--a mixture of entertaining content and advertising.
- Social Media is Like a Marriage: Adweek has a great article about the difficulties marketers have quantifying the value of social media. Ads on social networks aren't being clicked, but Heidi Browning, svp of client solutions at Fox Interactive Media, believes all the focus on typical online metrics are a bad thing: "We've taken a step backwards with people talking about click-through rates." Ian Schafer, CEO of Deep Focus, likens social media to marriage, noting that quantitative measurements will only get you so far. "You can't assign a number to that," he said. The article concludes, "The key to measuring both social media and ad campaigns seems to lie in not forgetting what makes it distinctive: conversations." As mentioned in this blog ("Social Networks Will Fail (At Advertising)"), if Social Networks and brand marketers can view consumer interactions on social media sites not as traffic but as discussions, they will find a way to make social networking work.
- Social Influence Marketing vs. Social Shopping vs. WOM: Given my distate for buzzwords, you might think I'd hate a blog post dissecting the difference between Social Influence Marketing (SIM), Social Shopping, and WOM; and you'd be right. I think the primary reason to draw the distinctions is to make the blogger seem smarter. Of course, in this case, the blogger is smarter--Shiv Singh, of Going Social Now, is a guy I find quite insightful and worthwhile. That's not to say I don't believe he is trying to slice his buzzwords too thin--for example, he argues WOM is only about getting people talking to one another and not influencing each other, which I think is a bit absurd--but I will suggest you'll find his thoughts on SIM, Social Shopping, and WOM interesting. Also, while you won't get as much from seeing Shiv's slides as actually attending his presentation, you may find the following worth five minutes of your consideration--it's the deck he used to introduce the SIM concept at the annual SXSW conference.