Posts Tagged ‘web


Crowd Sourcing, Marketing and Music Ticket Sales – might just work

I’m not a big fan of crowdsourcing in marketing. You might have guessed that from my coverage of the CGU Rap crowd sourcing campaign. The reason is that it’s often so poorly executed… it so often comes off as companies either (A) being lazy or (B) trying to do something that they’ve heard is hip / ‘the new thing’ without understanding the concept properly (crowd sourcing was probably one of THE marketing buzz words for 2009). There are exceptions, but they are few and far between (I liked the Smiths Chips ‘Do Us a Flavour” campaign. Although the flavours are no longer available in shops, that campaign was a provided customers a new reason for people to go out and buy not just one bags of Smiths Crisps, but 2 or 3 or 4 to sample the new flavours that Smiths had crowdsourced). 

Blaise Agüera y Arcas shows off Bing Maps and several crowdsourced features.

I need to clarify that I’m not anti-crowdsourcing in general – it is awesome for things like what Bing Maps are doing (see video above) where, for example, people are able to layer PhotoSynths of their favourite places over Bing Maps. Further, Bing is also able to pull geo-tagged images down from Flickr and stitch them together, meaning that a lot of the time, a human user doesn’t need to even create the PhotoSynth – it is automatically made by pulling down the millions of images on Twitter. See, crowd sourcing can be awesome. 

 But I digress… is an awesome new(ish) business aiming to crowdsource sales of music tickets to fans. It mimics the role of bands’ street teams, whilst acting as a ticket selling intermediary. And I really like the idea. 

In a nutshell, the site allows users to earn a small commission upon directing a friend to buy a ticket to see a band… the people who refer buyers (called “Posse Agents”) are given a unique referral code which tracks how many people have been referred by that Agent, and the Agents are then paid the corresponding amount based on how many ticket sales they accrued. Agents may also receive certain other perks such as free CDs, VIP access to shows they sell tickets for etc. Whilst for the average user, the small amount received for referring their friends might not be worth it, you can imagine that this provides a very interesting, exciting new way for music blogs and industry influencers to earn some solid cash. This is potentially very attractive for those Influencers who are active in some of the more ‘niche’, underground genres, where they reach a large percentage of the fan base but a small percent of the overall population. This allows them to generate the sort of revenue that display advertising would never be able to replicate. 

Whilst I hesitate to call an idea as awesome as Posse ‘affiliate marketing’ (which is a dirty word if ever I heard one), that is essentially what the site is – it’s an affiliates program for the live music industry, where promotions and effectively ticket sales are crowdsourced. To the best of my knowledge, that is an original concept for live music. 

Premo's Coming to Australia... and using Posse

Premo's Coming to Australia... and using Posse

I do have one concern with Posse – it’s a business model that is easily replicated. Whilst I’m no copyright expert, I’d say there’s not sufficient IP involved in the site to prevent established ticket sellers cheaply imitating the same functionality with some quick code or the affiliate marketing software of their choice. Posse will really need to hit the ground running over the next 6 months to build a solid user base and cement itself as the originator in this area before the bigger players start to take notice, because I think it’s a concept that has the potential to become an industry standard. All the same, despite this challenge, Posse’s an inspired concept and I wish them well.


Average amount of time spent on Social Media by Australians : Facebook stats

The Sydney Morning Herald reported today that Bebo is going to close it’s Australian offices – no surprise there really, since Bebo’s Australian user base has been rapidly shrinking… it was only a matter of time until operations in Australia became unfeasible.

The really interesting part of the article, however, was the stats included from Nielsen that a whopping 29% – almost one third – of time spent online by Australians is on Facebook. I can hear the jingle of marketing dollars being moved around as I type, diverting funding from their PPC campaigns to developing more useless Facebook apps that will create videos of your Facebook friends as dancing Easter bunnies.

Also interesting was this tidbit – “Australia now leads the world for time spent each month on social media sites (7.12 hours), ahead of Britain, Italy, North America and Japan.”

But the real lesson here: Stats are awesome!!


Hubspot’s Social Media Marketing Madness

I came across this on the HubSpot marketing blog, and couldn’t help but laugh but also feel kinda defensive. It’s hard to not read too much into the way each character is drawn – I’d consider myself a ‘marketer’, and I also blog about marketing, so does that make me a pretty blonde chick or a sleezy looking suit? 🙂 Maybe I should start tweeting about pocasters that talk about marketing bloggers so I look like an Apple user.

Anyway, this cartoon is topical, as there’s a seemingly endless volume of noise out there around marketing, social media etc. It’s getting harder and harder to find those gems that deliver real value and don’t give you 90% filler to make more ad revenue / increase page rank. So moving forward, I’m going to be doing a series of ‘RECOMMENDED’ tagged posts on this blog, giving props to marketers who are doing their thing and who are providing genuinely useful content to the marketing community. I’m also toying with the idea of a series of “NOT RECOMMENDED” tagged posts (I’ll obviously come up with a catchier tag than that), where I flame people who are just adding to the noise. But that will in all likelihood be hurtful, so I’ll let the crowd decide… feel free to let me know if you’d like to see a “NOT RECOMMENDED” tag by filling in the comments section below.

Nice work, as always, Hubspot – you get the first of my “RECOMMENDED” posts for a whole lot of reasons (see below for a few). If anyone wants to see more from Hubspot (who are probably one of the best organisations I’ve come across for driving online community / knowledge sharing for marketers), check out the following:

The HubSpot blog

The Facebook group

The LinkedIn group (17,000 members can’t be wrong)

Mike Volpe’s Twitter account (I’m slowly giving up on reading blogs… I’m finding podcasts are a much better way to keep in touch with what’s happening, and this is a podcast definitely worth checking out)

Twitter Grader (yeh, they built Twitter Grader…. and website grader….and Press Release grader.)


iPhone making companies pay attention to mobile web.

Flying to Sydney this morning, I noticed in Qantas’ in-flight magazine that Qantas have launched a mobile web site. Fair enough… I’d say it was long overdue. The site offers the ability for flyers to check their agenda, check arrival/departure times and give feedback to Qantas. The functionality that would have been really interesting and valuable to users, such as mobile check in and mobile booking / payment are conspicuously missing, but at least they’ve made a start.

Anyway, what makes Qantas’ new mobile site more interesting is not the functionality, or the user interface (it’s incredibly sparse), but the fact that they are openly admitting they are releasing the website on the back of the (now 3 month old) iPhone 3G. In fact, the site is apparently optimised for viewing in Safari on the iPhone. Hmmm…

At first glance, this seems to make sense… iPhone, to many Australians, is the mobile web. Most of the comms we have seen for iPhone 3G in Australia so far have basically pitched it as some fantastic new way to access the Internet on the go. With Australian mobile web use being traditionally quite low, the introduction of the iPhone will be the first time many Australians step into the world of Internet access on their mobile. This means that the potential market for the Qantas mobile site is bigger, and the development spend from the site is much easier to justify as it will conceivably get more traffic.

However, the fact that Qantas have released a website on the back of the iPhone rollercoaster is a mistake… the site should have come earlier, and it is geared towards the wrong device.  When you consider that Qantas’ most regular and loyal customers are it’s corporate accounts, who probably have Blackberries or Windows mobile devices, why would you go and optimise your site for iPhone? This same segment of the market are more likely to be using data/web on their mobiles (since they don’t have to pay their data bill – the company does), so optimising for iPhone makes little sense. Steve Ballmer announced at a conference earlier this year that Windows Mobile will outsell iPhone this year. Add to this the fact that Blackberry still leads marketshare in the enterprise mobile phone market. The reason these devices are so popular in the enterprise space is that they are dedicated business devices. Despite recent added functionality to sync up with Exchange (meaning the iPhone can now theoretically do corporate email) the iPhone is still not a business phone…

So Qantas have released a website on the back of the release of a phone it’s most loyal and valuable customers are unlikely to be using… seems funny. On the upside, this somewhat knee-jerk reaction by someone at Qantas to the iPhone release is a very good example of the power and excitement around the iPhone. It has made the mobile Internet an attractive space both for marketers who were reluctant to pay for a mobile website, but who are now convinced of the excitement the mobile web can muster. It has also increased dramatically the number of end users who will consider using the mobile web to access a company’s services. This, really, is the most important part of any mobile service – people actually using it and finding value in it. iPhone has, as stated above, become the mobile Internet for a whole new generation of previously unconnected mobile users, though maybe not the enterprise (well, not yet anyway).

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