Tuesday, 29 August 2006

Knowledge changes you

It was a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and critic Mark Van Doren who wrote “Any piece of knowledge I acquire today has a value at this moment exactly proportioned to my skill to deal with it. Tomorrow, when I know more, I recall that piece of knowledge and use it better.”

Tuesday, 25 July 2006

Word Of Mouth - Pass it on!

I read a very interesting article recently about how Word of Mouth (WOM) is influencing the box office receipts of a number of new film releases. Yahoo Movies, have discussion forums for people to discuss up coming film releases and films currently showing in film houses, where they can share reviews, background info and just gossip about the stars and what they are doing.

Professor of Marketing, Yong Liu has analysed this “chatter” and has concluded that Word of Mouth for Movies has a dynamics impact on Box Office Revenues. Liu characterizes the message board postings as “word-of-mouth” and examines “the dynamic patterns of WOM and how it helps explain box office revenue” in the July issue of “Journal of Marketing

The WOM data were collected from the Yahoo Movies Web site. The results show that WOM activities are the most active during a movie's pre-release and opening week and that movie audiences tend to hold relatively high expectations before release but become more critical in the opening week. More important, WOM information offers significant explanatory power for both aggregate and weekly box office revenue, especially in the early weeks after a movie opens. However, most of this explanatory power comes from the volume of WOM and not from its valence, as measured by the percentages of positive and negative messages.

In other words, any WOM is good WOM. Whether Yahoo Movies message board comments are “pro” or “con,” the more messages posted, the more interest is generated for a movie, and subsequently more movie tickets are sold.

WOM is something that many marketers have flirted with over the years. There was even a company in New York City which employed people to ‘talk up’ products that they liked within their social groups and peer relationships and were rewarded if sales grew. This strategy is particularly hard to measure and accurately map, but there is no doubt that people buy goods and services because their friend/family/colleague recommended it to them or endorsed the item.

So how do we utilise this powerful tool to market our own products or services? I subscribe to the notion that humans are essentially tribal by nature and seek to belong to groups where they subscribe to a philosophy, ideology or music. These groups bear symbols and icons that identify themselves as members of that tribe. Be it religious iconography (crucifixes etc) or simple tribal dress (hip-hop hoodies, heavy metal tattoos & piercing, financial sector pinstripe suits) every tribe has ways of identifying themselves and communicating to each other. They also have "modus operandi", they way the do things, specify goods and services and where they will buy these goods and services. Tapping into this and understanding the characteristics of these nuances is key to success.

We as marketers need to find new ways of cutting through the collateral noise generated by mass media campaigns and focus on identify the tribe (target audience if you will) that we are aiming for and communicate our messages in a way that they seek information, and in a language that fits their tribal culture and need. This is a powerful way of challenging the norm and seeking to deliver true value to customers and life time value to the vendor.

Friday, 2 June 2006

Web 2.oooh!

When it comes to Web 2.0, there are lots of pretenders to out there in Blogs and Wikis' but on rare occasions you come across a genuinely inspiring website. This has to be classed as one of my favourite Web 2.0 sites and, in my humble opinion, is quite masterful! With quotes such as "Link my Blog! Link my Blog! With isolatr, I can finally tell all these schmucks to get bent!" What's there not to enjoy?

Have fun.....


This came via ( Skype Journal)

Thursday, 25 May 2006

Making the right choice

It struck me the other day that a lot of life is about learning to make choices that enhance your quality of life. What do I mean by that you may be asking yourself.

Let me explain....

After a life changing event some months ago, I realised that the only thing stopping me from doing what I wanted to do was me! For example, we all know that we should eat a more healthy diet, but when presented with the choice of a fat, juicy, sauce dripping burger or a healthy herb salad, well lets just say I haven't always made the choice my Dr would approve off!

But that is the beauty of simple truths is that we make our own choices in life whether we are aware of what we are doing or not. The significance of this is that each choice you make (whether the right, wrong or just don't know) has an impact on you and those around you.

Thinking about these decisions and how easy we make them is key to understanding how to change your life and make a difference. I choose to eat healthy rather than choosing to eat rubbish. I choose to use the car less rather than driving every where. I choose to share my thoughts on this blog rather than do nothing.

Choices are simple, but their effects are infinite.

Thursday, 11 May 2006

Quiet air of authority

My wife and I recently attended a friend’s wedding reception where I was asked to help out by filming the proceedings as I was the only one with a video camera. This was not a problem as it gave me an opportunity to go around an talk to the guests (most of whom I did not know).

I spent a lot of time going around and filming people and getting them to leave video messages for the happy couple. All pleasant enough, but the constant close observation through the camera's viewfinder gave me quite a bit of a headache .

When I returned to my table, I was a bit subdued and did not join in much of the conversation. One of the guest at the table leaned over and remarked to my wife that "your husband is very quiet, he has a quiet air of authority about him" to which my wife replied "no, he is just vacant!"

Life's little graces, eh!