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On Friday, March 11 2011, we were lucky to have Jadis Tillery as a guest speaker in the module “Marketing and New Technologies” (MSc International Marketing, King’s College London). Her talk nicely complemented prior guest lectures in the module, given by Rob Wilmot and Ilicco Elia.

Jadis, a KCL alumni, currently works as Social Media Manager at dottalent, an agency that helps celebrities to enhance their brand by using the web and social media effectively. In her lecture, Jadis provided an overview about the various tools and technologies avaialble on the web for companies as well as customers to make themselves heard and thus create a brand image. She argued that the increasing pervaiveness of social media has led to the emergence of social media marketing as a fundamental shift away from traditional marketing practice. Social media marketing rapidly transforms traditional marketing practices, characterised by the marketing concept, the 4Ps,  by allowing customers to contribute to all aspects of the marketing mix.

In the broadcast media social media sometimes still are seen as a fad. Statistics of memberships in social networking sites and the growing spending on digital marketing campaigns tell a different story. Furthermore, the recent political changes in North Africa and the Middle East that have used social media sites like Twitter and the importance of social media for people’s communication in regions affected by environmental disasters powerfully show that social media matters.

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The immense growth of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have stimulated companies to increase their digital marketing budget on advertising their goods and service online, rather than on TV, and to open sites on Facebook where they not only engage with customers but also sell their products. Jadis illustrated this development by pointing to FMCG, fashion and travel brands that now use Facebook pages for ecommerce activities. 

Whilst Facebook with its 500Million members is the best known social network, the importance of other sites such as Twitter and YouTube is not to be underestimated. Twitter’s attractiveness is in the opportunities it offers people to engage in conversations with brands, like companies or celebrities. These conversation need to be carefully conducted as they are publically visible, and can create embarrassement or even lead to libel action.  

 

Libel

 

Over the years, YouTube provides people and companies with new ways to entertain, inform and engage others with a brand or project. There are a large number of videos that have “gone viral” and thereby drawn a lot of attention not only to people, companies and events but also to the importance of social media as a new advertising tool. Amongst those viral videos that have been influential and have gone viral are entertaining/fun clips like Keyboard Cat, clips that customers of companies have produced after having had a bad service experience like United breaks Guitars, and YouTube Channels like the Uncultured Project that raise awareness as well as initiate and support campaigns in regions struck by disaster.

Over recent years, the importance of social media has further increased through the growing popularity of smart phones and other mobile devices. Jadis pointed at statistics that show the growth in mobile Internet traffic. For example, in 2010 the mobile data traffic was three times the size of the global Internet traffic in 2000. It is anticipated for the mobile data traffic to increase 26-fold between 2010 and 2015. These developments are being supported by the success of app-stores. 

Jadis who works for dottalent, an agency that helsps celebrities to use social media in an effective way, argued these developments are of importance for everybody. As people use social media they leave a digital footprint that is accessible by (potential) employers and customers. It therefore will become increasingly important to create one’s own digital footprint, or in marketing terms, to create a personal brand online, using tools like Twitter and LinkedIn. 

 

 

Relevant Literature (referred to by Jadis)

Anderson, Chris. The Long Tail: How Endless Choice is Creating Unlimited Demand. Random House Business Books. London, UK. 2006.

Cakin, IdilM.. Implementing Word of Mouth Marketing: online strategies to identify influencers, craft stories and draw customers.John Wiley & Sons. Hoboken, NJ, USA. 2010

Fraser, Matthew and SoumitraDutta. Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom: How Social Networking will Transform your Life, Work and World.John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Chichester, UK. 2008

Jarobe, Greg. YouTube and Video Marketing: an hour a day. Wiley Publishing. Indianapolis, India, USA. 2009.

Levy, Justin R. Facebook Marketing: Designing your next marketing campaign. Pearson Education Inc. USA. 2010.

Smith, Jon & Jose Llinares.Dominate your Market on twitter: Tweet your way to Business Success. The Infinite Ideas. Oxford. 2009

Shih, Clara. The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Build Better Products, Reach New Audiences and Sell More Stuff. Prentice Hall. London, UK. 2010.

Shirky, Clay. Here Comes everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations. Penguin Press, New York, NY. 2008.

Webber ,Larry. Marketing to the Social Web: how digital customer communities build your business. John Wiley & Sons. Hoboken, NJ, USA. 2009.

 

Ilicco Elia, Head of Consumer Mobile, Reuters Media, gave a lecture as part of my module “Marketing and New Technologies” (MSc International Marketing) at King’s College London. Ilicco who has been working at Reuters since 1993 and at Reuters Mobile for the past 6 years, highlighted the increasing difficulty for media companies to retain their integrity whilst reporting news as they emerge.

Reuters are a news agency that over the decades has built up an image and a brand that stands for trust and integrity in news reporting. It now is confronted with the pressure that their customers Reuters to deliver up-to-date accurate information about events as and when they happen. Therefore, Reuters use about 2500 journalists to gather, edit and disseminate news to a global audience. These journalists use mobile technology, including networked high-end cameras, camera phones, mobile phones, laptops, etc, to gather information (pictures, videos, text, …) and immediately send it to the editor in the London office who produces news items that are disseminated across the various Reuters distribution channels. Illico illustrated the process by referring to the Football World Cup 2010 when pictures taken by journalists in South Africa appeared on Reuters mobile seconds after they had been taken. On the next day, the same pictures were published in newspapers around the world.

The immediacy that people increasingly demand from news organisations is driven by the growing pervasiveness of consumer mobile technology, such as mobile telephones, laptops and tablet computers. It is not sufficient anymore that Reuters disseminate news via its website but they have to develop applications, ‘apps’, that run on a range of different mobile devices and systems. Based on the opportunities offered by the iPhone and Blackberry phones Reuters created applications that deliver news through different kinds of mobile device. For example, Reuters New Pro, Reuters Mobile Website and Reuters RSS deliver global news to customers who are on the move; and Reuters Galleries exhibit the best photographs taken by Reuters correspondents around the word.

Ilicco highlighted the profound changes to journalism that have been initated by the wide distribution of mobile technology to consumers. It not only influences the consumption of news, everywhere and at any time but also the organisation of news production, editing and disemination. The scope of these changes is just becoming visible in the editorial offices but little is known of the emerging practices of news consumption.

The new technologies also facilitate new forms of journalism. In recent years, citizen journalism and the contribution of news by consumers in others ways has become more and more popular with many news organisations. This seems to be a dangerous path for organisations like Reuters that have built their brand on the integrity and authenticity of their news. News and information delivered by people other than Reuter’s journalists are difficult to assess in their truthfulness and authenticity. Similar, it can sometimes be difficult for news organisations to hold on and evaluate information before disseminating it, as competitors may push forward with the distribution of an item. Examples of the speedy dissemination of wrongful news are manifold. The Guardian for example pressed forward with repeatedly reporting that Nokia Smartphones would soon be running Google’s Android operating system. As we now know Nokia have entered a close collaboration with Microsoft, rather than Google.

The ease of diseminating news is a tempting for news organisations as for mobile users. By clicking on a few buttons a news item with (maybe incorrect) information, can be shared with friends and followers on social networks. The sharing of wrong news by mobile users can badly reflect on their image in the ‘twitterverse’. As Rob Wilmot highlighted in an earlier guest lecture in the same module in January, ‘trust’ is difficult to gain but easily lost in social media. And this valid for businesses and organisation as well as for individuals.

Ilicco Elia in the News

Media Guardia 100

NMA Portrait (£)

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