Tag: twitter

Real ambition for Real Time Planning

This morning I saw a great presentation – #Ownthemoment – from our Twitter sales representatives in which they highlighted the most effective ways to take advantage of Real Time Planning behaviours using the twitter platform. Particularly they highlighted 3 types of event you can look to associate yourself with – Live, Connected, and Everyday.

They then proceeded to highlight a variety of planned “newsjacking” type behaviours that actually mirror the kinds of tactical reactive advertising the press advertising industry has been indulging in for years, but that twitter has provided a low cost and more immediate entry point to. See this Innocent example around the recent furour surrounding the Gareth Bale transfer

gareth bale

Their key point (which I very much agree with) is that Real Time Planning is MORE about the Planning part than it is about Real Time. Most of the “reactive” campaigns that have been celebrated in our industry are in fact meticulously planned responses to highly predictable events. The key is the effective analysis of data to predict likely scenarios and then have a plan for when those scenarios eventually emerge.

That’s all fine. There is definitely a place for placing a series of small reactive bets that IF they pay off can deliver a proportionally huge return on investment. Using the framework of “Live, Connected or Everyday” moments is a sensible way to structure our social communications if we want them to appear relevant and get consumers to engage with them.

My problem with it is simple – it is just too small. Advertising spend on Twitter represents approximately 0.1% of all advertising spend globally. If we generously guess that it has an equal effectiveness to all other advertising then it is essentially worth 0.1% of all advertising effect. If you then manage to align the planets correctly and hit the jackpot with a promoted tweet that is bang on for your brand and a rising trend that day, you might be able to increase its effectiveness by a factor of 10 – or 1000% – giving it a total value to the average campaign of 1%. But it takes a lot of work and a lot of failed attempts to get that jackpot moment. For every Oreos blackout moment

oreos

there is an Epicurious Boston moment and hundreds that just don’t get noticed at all.
epicurious-boston-tweet

That isn’t to say that Real Time Marketing isn’t important – quite the opposite – I think it has the potential to revolutionise the way we run marketing campaigns, it is just that I want to make it worth more than 1% (at best!) I want to find a way to apply those Real Time insights to a medium that can make a real difference.

On average, TV advertising makes up 63% of all advertising spend and is rising. If we can use these real time insights and cultural understanding to make our TV budgets work just 10% harder, then that is worth 6% of all advertising budgets. To put it in money terms – the potential prize for getting it right with twitter is global increase of $5billion (and I think that is incredibly generous), but the same level of effort could conservatively be worth $30billion if applied to my TV budgets.

I know where I’d rather focus my efforts.

Advertisements

In #myextrahour I’ll disect this new twitter campaign

I returned from new York last Sunday to discover this campaign from Europcar had cropped up all over London.

For those of you not in London, the basic premise is that Europcar’s new service “FreeDeliver” will save you time, essentially giving you an extra hour in your day to do with as you will. I first saw this campaign on a fairly standard panel on a train and noticed at the bottom it suggested that I should twitter what I would do with #myextrahour.

My initial reaction was somewhat cynical “Really? People are going to bother tweating about Europcar? and are Europcar’s audience really on Twitter anyway?”. I believe that social media can be a powerful force in the right campaigns, but it has to be an organic process. Surely the UK public aren’t going to fall for this are they?

But the general commentary amongst my peer-group was pretty positive and when I looked into it, this was a well structured media campaign. The static posters drove people to twitter, but in turn their tweets were being displayed on Digital 6 sheets and billboards across London allowing consumers to broadcast their ideas for how to spend their spare time. I also thought that this was a pretty brave approach and at least they are trying to do something a bit different. It definitely stands them apart from their competitors.

But then my cynicism kicked back in and I decided to follow #myextrahour to find out what people were saying. I discovered that people tweeting it divided up into 5 groups

1) People who work for Ogilvy (the creative agency running the campaign) complying with the spirit of the campaign and suggesting activities for the extra hour that ranged from the banal to the inane
2) People who work in social media and web marketing hooking up with Ogilvy in a mutual love-in and orgy of self congratulation
3) People who suggested defacing the campaign in their extra hour
4) People trying to get past the moderator and get profanity onto a London Billboard
5) One guy who was using it to send people to a competitor site (enterprise) and lots of people re-tweeting the “Corporate Twitterbot FAIL” that ensued.

oh and 6) Europcar

In total since Saturday there have been about 60 tweets, and I can’t find one that is from an actual member of the public who has engaged with this campaign in a non-cynical and genuine way.

This a) makes me happy because I was right and b) makes me sad because I was right.

I just don’t think that a brand like Europcar which has no defined brand identity or personality (or none that exists outside of their own marketing team) can drive a social media movement in this way and expect people to actually bother engaging. We are a cynical bunch, particularly in London and we won’t be told what to think, what to share or how. Fundamentally people don’t have an overwhelming urge to engage with advertising campaigns and to get them to do so you need to deliver a great deal more value to them than this campaign does.

Whenever I look at campaigns like this I revert to my standard motto which is “what does the consumer actually get out of this”, and in this case, I really have no answer.

I also think that if you insist on trying something like this you need a much clearer call to action and use a media that can really bring “an extra hour” to life in an emotionally engaging way. This seems to be crying out for a full-on “Bisto” style emotional TV treatment that might just cut through our cynicism, bring a moment of laughter, joy, nostalgia, etc into people’s lives and maybe, just maybe get people to share some truly inspirational and worthwhile thoughts.