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Social Media spend set to increase

Marketing Spending on social media will surpass traditional marketing spend by the end of 2012, according to a study conducted by TWI Surveys, writes New Communications Review.

260 senior PR and Marketing Communications professionals were surveyed and the results surprised even me.

– 81% of survey respondents said they will spend at least as much on conversational marketing as traditional marketing by 2012.
– Two-thirds of respondents plan to increase their spending on conversational marketing in the next 12 months.

The top obstacles to increased spending on conversational marketing, according to survey respondents:
– Manpower restraints: 51.1%
– Fear of loss of control: 46.9%
– Inadequate metrics: 45.4%
– Culture of their organizations: 43.5%

I would add to these obstacles the following :-
– Agencies do not have the necessary skills to capitalise on emerging marketing trends
– Changes in ownership and consolidation of the large social networks

Perspective: I have always been one to research and explore emerging marketing trends, and whilst I agree that social media spend will account for an increasing portion of marketing spend, I am not sure it will overtake traditional marketing within 5 years. There will also be a convergence in the media channels which will make it increasingly harder to categorise something as traditional or emerging. What I am convinced of is the need for brands to start experimenting with how to engage consumers where they will no doubt be spending more and more of their time.

Creative Crowd Sourcing

Genius Rocket, is a community designed to allow companies with Creative needs to connect with Creative resources, who submit creative entries which are then scored by the members of the Genius Rocket community.

The concept is valid, but whether the site is successful will depend on the quality of creative talent it can recruit, and then whether it has enough “assignments” to allow this community to be rewarded. I suspect agencies and perhaps small businesses will be the main users of this site seeking cost effective creative input.

Perspective: Crowd Sourcing is a topic that i am convinced will grow. It’s also interesting to watch the various implementations of how sites like Genius Rocket execute this. So far, they seem to have implemented a rather simple rating system which allows the community to rate various entries. I think these systems are prone to abuse until you get a large critical mass of people are active. Otherwise, the submissions who have the ability to call for votes from their friends will bubble to the top. I think with Creativity, you ideally have a process where people can collaborate and build on the best ideas.

DIY goes web2.0

Renovation has got to be one of the most talked about topics, and so it’s no surprise to see a social network built around sharing advice.

Refurber is a well laid out site, and built on the same platform as Minti (the parenting advice social network).


Refurber has some cool features such as Latest Activity which shows by timestamp how long ago the social network was updated and by who. It’s a good indication that this social network is very active.

The company behind Refurber is Vibe Capital and they are also offering the network engine to people wanting to build an advice driven social network. An example is Building London.

Perspective: Social networks will continue to appear and over time, there will be a place for just about every conversation. So think about the category your brand is in and explore what social networks are emerging. Make sure you establish a program to monitor the conversations as this is a valuable source of research. Then, figure out ways to engage in the conversations, such as establishing advice services, or sponsorship of existing social networks. Conversations in social networks are growing .. is your message being heard?

Social language learning

Social Network, Live Mocha launched this week.

The site describes itself as “The social way to learn a language”, and the site is built around these 3 areas.

1. Community. Livemocha is the first-of-its-kind online language-learning community.
2. Lessons. Fun and interactive lessons that move at the right pace for you.
3. Motivation. Track your progress and reach your goals with Livemocha tools.

It is very well laid out and even includes integrated chat so you can get help for the language you are learning as well as give help to those learning your native tongue.


I worked in Asia for many years and managed to learn some basic Japanese, Chinese and Thai. Almost all of this learning occured in the country where you can interact with real people, using necessity such as needing to find transport or food to inspire learning.

Learning languages should be fun, and you do need help from a community. Whilst I still think learning languages in the country where it is spoken is the best method, Live Mocha will be a great way for people to learn online. I love the concept, have signed up and are in the progress of doing my first course .. Chinese 101

How to use Facebook to sell something?

Bob Dylan is using a very clever facebook application to promote his latest album.

The application allows you to add 10 messages which are then displayed on the sheets of paper in the famous music video of Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues.


Check out my script here

Perspective: Simple, powerful and has a strong tie to the actual product .. i.e. the new album.

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