Wholesome Marketing Ideas, Bite Size

Wholesome marketing ideas, bite size

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bieber, DeGeneres, and "Like" marketing


There’s a classic question about marketing that everyone asks at some time or other: does marketing create needs or just uncover them?

The answer has always been: both. 

It is absolutely essential for marketers to understand what customers want. And it is just as important for marketers to be able to influence what the customer wants -- to create needs.

These two objectives are admirably dovetailing in social media where the marketer is able to enlist influential consumers in the creation of needs.

The “Like” button is a brilliant way for marketers to uncover what customers, uh, like. It offers free market research while the customer surfs. It uncovers both media habits and consumption habits, and even political and religious preferences.

And the data from the Like button is untainted by the usual problems of market research: the difficulty of reaching the respondent, the respondent's attempts to please an interviewer, to guess the purpose of question, and respond differently depending on who is asking. The Like click occurs in its natural social habitat, where consumption occurs, among friends.

The Like button is also a method of influence: it allows a potential influencer to influence his or her friends, and direct them to the "right" brands and products. For the marketer, more Likes are better than less, and a Like from a highly influential social consumer is more valuable than a Like from a less social being.  Marketers are willing to pay for Likes -- it's called endorsement. And, yes, there is even a market for fake Likes where marketers buy Likes for their brands.

But take the idea one step further: wouldn’t it be cool to get consumers to showcase your product, to create a show window of the products they like and display these shop windows to their friends? That would turbo-charge influence marketing.

Enter Pinterest.com, a social media site that lets users create an album of pictures (mostly of products and brands) they like and display them to their friends. The marketer discovers what consumers like and the consumer influences others to like those things. Both marketing goals are satisfied.

But there is still one little nagging detail: in the digital world, it is too easy to Like something. Click-happy consumers spend their Likes like there was an infinite supply of them. Oh, wait, there is an infinite supply of them. If Likes are infinite, are they really meaningful? You can Like anything you like, and even things you don't. You can put any pictures you Like in your Pinterest album, there’s no limit.

When there’s no limit, the data as well as the influence become less “authentic.” That, at least, is the premise behind a new startup: Stamped.com.

Stamped.com creates digital scarcity. It only allows its users a limited number of Likes (100 Likes, and you're done). You can “follow the people you trust and respect” (the influencers), and the site allows you to “put your stamp of approval on the world.” The idea is that if you have a limited currency of Likes, you will use it more wisely, making both the data and the influence more valuable.

Stamped.com also creates a platform for those with influence over customers to cash in on that influence by selling their Likes to marketers.

Is that why early investors in the venture include Justin Bieber and Ellen DeGeneres?  

Check out the Bieber interview for Stamped.com below, and the following posts for more on Social Media marketing:
End of Social
Five gold coins for my attention 
Facebook's $100 billion valuation: Does it compute? 
Should Facebook break itself up?
The (social media) genie is out of the bottle
   




1 comment:

ed kish said...

This is one thing that I find to be so great about facebook. You get to use it for marketing purposes without your customers even noticing.

Ed