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Johnson & Johnson get into social networking

Who says traditional companies can’t play in the social media space?

I remember subscribing to J&J’s Babycenter‘s weekly email just over 10 years ago, when my wife was pregnant with our first child. You got a very well packaged 1 page email explaining what part of the baby was growing. Babycenter has continued to grow, providing advice related to planning and having babies.

This week Paidcontent tells of Babycenter‘s purchase of Mayasmom, which is a social network aimed at mothers. The social network will be extended across the Babycenter network. Along with this purchase, there are plans to create an Advertising network for this category.

Perspective: This is a smart move by J&J, and just shows that finally some big corporations are not just placing ads on existing social networks, but providing consumer driven communication channels.

Word of Mouth checklist

Perhaps because alcohol products have had greater restrictions advertising on mainstream channels and therefore have had more time to experiment with other levers. But it is now more evident with the announcement that Jim Beam’s CMO Rory Finlay is committed to refocusing it’s advertising budget into activities aimed at generating Word of mouth.

Word of mouth marketing is not new. It started around the camp-fire when people debated over what were the best hunting tools, and conversations continued into market places where trade flourished. But since the invention of the TV, which radically changed the way brands spoke to consumers, many big brands have either forgotten or ignored the levers that drive word of mouth marketing.

Perspective: The science of how you measure word of mouth marketing is still in it’s infancy, and no doubt organisations like WOMMA will continue to promote various metrics to try to standardise the way word of mouth can be measured. But there are some quite simple initiatives that marketeers can do to maximise the word of mouth marketing effect of their campaigns.

Here’s a check-list that it worth considering as part of every campaign or activity, which should help you enhance the word of mouth marketing impact.
1. What conversations will this campaign drive?
e.g new product feature discussions, boasting about the experience, will they be category discussions or specific to your brand?
2. What mediums will these conversations use?
e.g. at an event, on an online discussion group, social networking commentary, dinner table discussions
3. How can we make it easier for these conversations to take place?
e.g. Can you provide photos of an event that consumers can download and post to their social networks?
4. What can I do to monitor some of these conversations? (one of the easiest success measures is an increase in online discussions that unlike tacit conversations are recorded. Hint, you need to know what the existing conversational levels are to measure a change, so if you don’t have an online monitoring service, consider starting one.
5. Testing
Can I test the campaign’s word of mouth impact before hand or with a smaller sample? For example, run the campaign in an area where you can more easily measure the impact, this will provide an opportunity to make any changes before a major launch.
6. Incentives
What incentives can I give people to share the conversations with others, and what ways are there to reward this? Are there opportunities to allow people to create Consumer generated content to express their opinions.
7. Involve your staff.
Can you utilise your existing employees to generate conversations related to the campaign?
8. Call to action
Does the campaign have calls to action which allow people to sign up to special offers?
9. Use your evangelists.
Do you have a record of brand advocates, or a loyalty program, and if so, have you involved them or made them aware of the campaign? if you don’t, then use this campaign to start a database.
10. Evaluate the results
Make sure you learn from the results, get into the habit of asking these questions before the campaign is designed, so you can change where necessary.

Facebook – adds up the ads

Facebook is set to capitalise on it’s massive growth and the depth of knowledge it has within the millions of profiles by providing an Ad-targetting service that goes beyond the current selections of age, gender and location of the user.

The new service will allow targeting based on the profile’s favourite activities and preferred music. Currently Facebook displays ads in flyers around the border of Facebook pages, but the new ads will appear in other places interspersed with profile content.

This follows on a report commissioned by Newscorp called Never Ending Friending, which discusses two campaigns from Addidas and EA there were run on the Myspace network. The report was compiled by Forrester research and argues that communication should be measured by the spread of a message not just from a business to a consumer, but also the ongoing discussions from consumer to consumer.

Perspective: Social networks can no longer be ignored as a serious communication medium. Determining how to “join” the conversations for marketeers will require innovative value equations. For example, a health business might decide to sponsor a niche health groups, providing free consultations as well as relevant advice to facilitate conversational engagement.

via Wall Street Journal

Consumers use Facebook group to revive chocolate bar

Nearly 1400 members of a facebook group known as “Bring back the Wispa” seem to have convinced Cadbury to relaunch the historical chocolate bar, which will be relaunched on October. There are about 90 facebook groups that were used by Wispa fans to record their appreciation for the brand.

wispa

“We have noticed the web interest for some time and the consumer passion has undeniably swayed our opinion to relaunch Wispa.” said Cadbury spokesman Tony Bilsborough. He went on to say “This is the first time that the power of the internet played such an intrinsic role in the return of a Cadbury brand,”.

Perspective: Brands should be monitoring consumer conversations not only for research, but as a communication strategy, allowing fan clubs like these an active say in how the brand grows.

via NYTimes

Youtube adds ads !

Following up the discussion on Video advertising, it seems Google is finally ready to puts advertising into Youtube videos.

Sample here which works if you are using IE as your browser.

The ads appear about 15 seconds after a user begins watching a clip as an overlay. Users can close the ad, but the ads will disappear themselves after about 10 seconds. Rates are suppose to be $20 for 1000 impressions.

Perspective: Google has been testing these ads for a while, and it will be interesting to see how quickly marketeers move into this medium. I expect caution at first, until confidence is established that the right ads can be run against the right content. This initiative may also encourage more content deals between Youtube and major content distributors seeking to monetise their video content.

via NYtimes

Update: looks like Ten (australia tv) may be about to sign a deal with Youtube, reports B&T.