Thursday, May 20, 2010

60% of polled believe TV commercials not as effective as they once were

This is a statistic delivered by Maggie Fox of Social Media Group at yesterday's Digital Media show, Mesh, in Toronto.

Thanks to Marketing Magazine and David Brown for the coverage.

Source: Marketing David Brown
In its five years, the Mesh conference in Toronto has grown into a two-day must-attend event for anyone working in technology and digital media. Mesh 2010 got underway yesterday at the MaRS Centre and Marketing's editorial team was there to post updates to Marketing Daily twice a day and even more frequently on Twitter @Marketing_Mag.

Marketers need to start thinking like media companies to create and distribute good content and long-lasting distribution channels.

That was the message from Maggie Fox, founder of Social Media Group to a packed room of Mesh attendees yesterday afternoon in Toronto.

More than 60% of advertisers feel that traditional TV ads aren't as effective as they used to be, she said to kick off her session on the "Art and science of scaling social media."

It's not that TV ads suddenly got bad. It's that people's attention is fragmented and so marketers have been trying to attract new attention by creating content.

"But your content sucks," she said.

Brands have always been focused on quantity—it was all about impressions—while media companies cared about quality content; content so good that people have been willing to steal it. But that has to change.

"The question is how to you flip your content to make it good enough to steal," she said.

The objective should be to create "social objects—things worth spreading, things worth sharing," said Fox. Sometimes that content has to be created by the brand, but other times consumers are creating it for you. Videos, blog posts... it should all be viewed as content to build your brand, she said.

"It just has to be good. It just has to better… People don't get tired of good."

But just as important as creating good content and taking advantage of earned content created by consumers, is sharing the content quickly and effectively.

She cited a recent pilot program with Ford and that saw a Ford-sponsored link in the Digg listing that directed visitors to a third-party blog post about Ford. The program was part of a value-add to a traditional display buy, but aside from the small "sponsored by Ford" message above the link, it looked like a typical Digg listing.

You also have to think like a broadcaster and build permanent real estate, she said. "Build channel… No more microsites." Marketers should be carving out a space—be it on YouTube, Flickr, Twitter or other options—where consumers will return again and again, rather than a temporary site that disappears with a promotion.

Asked why she hadn't used the words "conversation" or "relationship"—popular buzz terms in social media marketing—Fox suggested those terms are overused.

Scaling social media is about taking content and getting it to as many people as possible as quickly as possible, she said. "This is mass marketing."

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