Archive for May, 2012
A good friend fo mine just climbed Mt. Everest and made it to the summit and back (very important part of the story) for the 10th time. This time he did it for Samsung to fulfill an Olympic Promise. He is a world-class mountaineer.
You have a choice. The status quo is what everyone is does. They create ads in Google, compete on price for the best placement and get single digit conversions. It’s the IBM maximum of digital advertising “No one ever got fired for advertising on Google AdWords”. Your choice is whether or not to take a risk, leverage data, share your results and make yourself the Marketing Mountain Guide.
Many of you know I’m a ski and mountaineering fanatic. From the back bowls of Vail to the off-piste surrounding Mt. Blanc I’ve done it. The most valuable piece of equipment when pushing the envelope isn’t new skis, bindings or boots. It’s a great high mountain guide. I know a ton of them. The best ones get you to go beyond your comfort zone, push yourself to new highs. When you go out with one of those world-class guides the rewards are always great.
To any organization with marketing requirements a mountain guide is the most valuable of employees. Being the person willing to take risks and look at new things that are unproven, risky and laden with unavoidable failure is invaluable and guarantees you’ll get noticed. From those new risky efforts come great discovery and new routes that keep the company way ahead of the competition.
The mountain guide is always checking the weather, digging avalanche pits to see different type of snow layers and crystals, reconoiting the crevasses during summer. In other words checking the data and looking beyond the obvious that everyone does. You have to do the same in your company.
The mountain guide in the organization will try Facebook sponsored stories, build a Pinterest Presence, deploy social media experiences at events (with dwinQ of course) and other new and potentially rewarding strategies.our company. Analysis is the octane added to being innovative and taking risks.
Like the mountain guide they will swim in the data, fishing for the one nugget that says this program had a 30% conversion or this Newsfeed Placement earned us 30,000 new followers, etc. at the same time they aren’t afraid to stop doing something and say this is not working – like the mountain guide who looks at visibility deteriorating and turns back.
To be a champion in social media advertising requires risk, exploration and innovation. Once you live through that phase, you will have become one of the most valued people in not just your organization, but likely your entire industry. I know a lot of those people and they re always sought after.
We’re having Friends over tonight for drinks, among them a guy who revolutionized the ski industry and then left to change the travel industry, the guy who set the standard for adventure films and a leader who is helping students fix our broken planet. All of them have three things in common, they are highly in demand and constantly innovating with calculated risk taking and they always go back and analyze the data.
Go be a Mountain Guide and change your company and change your life!
Like many strange announcements just before a big IPO there is more to the unusually timed announcement from GM that they are pulling back on their traditional Facebook advertising. The truth is that they are stopping 25% of a total $40 million spend. This is the banner ads and videos. Look at the content they are developing the OpenGraph tools they are using and the engagement they are getting in the Newsfeeds and Timeline. THey will increase their spend significantly over the next couple years, but that is the topic of a longer post.
CNBC asked me to produce a blog today on Facebook, so I’ll share more information there. Keep an eye out for it!
You’ve got a really great idea – you may even have a product and customers. Time to start a company. So you go up and down Sand Hill Road or Route 128 and knock on as many doors as you can. You get a couple of term sheets then the VC jerk you around a bit and change the terms and finally you take money to start the company. This process takes about six to 12 months. Expect to give away from 20% to 80% of the company. Frictionless social media is rendering that model obsolete and putting the power back to the entrepreneurs.
Look no further than Kickstarter. This week, after a scant twenty days on the site a new e-Paper watch looking to raise $100,000 has raised $10,000,000. Is this the lottery? No, not at all. That’s a lot of orders to fulfill, a lot of production to create, significant infrastructure to create. They have their work cut out for them. But they, like Twine and 3-D printing have found a real market need and used a frictionless form of social media – kickstarter to create tremendous value for the idea and invention – not just for having deep pockets.
Frictionless social media will allow brands and people everywhere to monetize the moment.
For many of you who follow me on twitter (@PJSweeney) you know I’m a big fan of Wired magazine. This months issue features Mark Andreesen on the cover and inside has an article called “How to spot the future”. If the editors at Wired new about dwinQ they would have made it the posterchild for the number 1 topic–look for cross-pollinators.
When we started dwinQ in January it was because the company I founded in 2002 was simply the best at RF ID and mobile technology. The smart folks at like Facebook and Vail Resorts came to us trying to make frictionless social media work in the real world.
If you asked me three years ago if I would bet my future on social media, there is no way I would’ve even thought about it. After all, I was the author of RFID for Dummies and the leading RFID engineer certification book on Amazon. That made me a maven in the RFID industry. Why consider to social media?
Clearly, as Wired states it’s no secret that the best ideas, the ones with the most impact and longevity are transferable. An innovation that started during World War II and evolved at MIT with the notion of creating the “Internet of things” unwittingly developed the technology to enable the future. But the future is not an Internet of things.
The future is an Internet of people
The Internet has all the data and information storage people can handle, in fact it’s got too much information now. Google and Bing are fighting to try and make relevance of searches and it’s just not working.
Luckily, the Internet is being redesigned around people. The re-architecture of the Internet has to include one’s environment and the real world. That’s where cross-pollination and adapting data capture technologies like RFID, NFC, GPS, and other mobile technologies will create an environment that changes the way we fundamentally communicate with each other.
Wired magazine had it right that the cross pollinators will be the future. Every person in the world will be on social media in the next 10 years, and it will happen frictionless partly because of technology that’s been under development since World War II. We just never knew the potential of those technologies until we applied them someplace where it really mattered.