Entrepreneurship is everywhere, but everywhere isn’t a level playing field. What’s the playbook for your region or country to make it so?
Scalable startups are on a trajectory for a billion dollar market cap. They grow into companies that define an industry and create jobs. Not all start ups want to go in that direction – some will opt instead to become a small business. There’s nothing wrong with a business that supports you and perhaps an extended family. But if you want to build a scalable startup you need to be asking how you can you get enough customers/users/payers to build a business that can grow revenues past several $100M/year.
With 317 million people the U.S. has a large enough market that most U.S. startups ignore the rest of the world until they scale in their own country. Outside the U.S. a rough rule of thumb for scale is…
View original post 843 more words
Technology is constantly changing. At no other time in history has innovation been so prevalent in society. What is new and cool today can be– as the cool kids like to say—so last year, tomorrow. Creative destruction will continue. Technology is going to constantly reinvent itself. These are all things we can be certain about in the coming future. However, the debate that has been raging for years now is whether or not Social Media will still be relevant as the years go by. It is a fair question, but at this point we already KNOW what social media is, the real question is where it will evolve into?
As of right now, any large brand or company can justify social media simply as an extension for customer service. The savings a company can achieve by pushing customers to use social media instead of their call lines can be clearly and justifiably shown. For that reason alone, social media will be around in the business ecosystem. However there are shifts going on that companies need to be aware of in the future in regards to their social media strategy.
The first one is that the relationships matter more than the technology. Never before have people been able to and have a need to voice their opinions. That won’t change. Whether it will be on Facebook today or the brand new social network of the future, the freedom that social networks offer people to voice their thoughts will continue. As one of my favorite authors that talks about social media, Charlene Li says in her groundbreaking book, Groundswell, “it’s not the technology that matters, but the relationship that the technology allows” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 19). That is something that every company needs to understand, social media has given people an outlet to share their opinions. So regardless of which social network will be relevant in the future, companies must craft their social media strategy in a way that will continue to foster this kind of two way communication.
The second thing that companies need to watch out for is the emergence of smart phones. I know that people have been saying it is the year of mobile for a few years now, but the truth is that facts don’t lie. In a 2013 study conducted by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, KPCB Internet Trends 2013, states that mobile use of the internet will take over land use of the internet by next year. Other take a ways from the reports are that usage in Vine is also increasing, combine with the fact that Instagram reached 100 million users in just 26 months, nearly a year faster than it took Facebook, it is easy to see why companies have to start strategizing their social media to target and convert users on their mobile phone. Whether it is clothing companies creating 6 second clips of new outfits using Vine or companies using Instagram for hashtag contests, companies must figure out how to properly engage these users. As smart phones continue to advance, there may come a day when everyone’s computer may just be there cell phone.
Let me know if you agree or disagree below!
Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social
technologies. Forrester Research Inc.
Since the day Viral Marketing was coined, many a marketers have lost countless hours of sleep pondering how they too can make a campaign go viral. Dr. Ralph F. Wilson defined viral marketing as, “any strategy that encourages individuals to pass on a marketing message to others, creating the potential for exponential growth in the message’s exposure and influence”. Used correctly it could make a company rich and famous. However, as many people who have tried to harness this power have realized, it’s not easy. Below are five characteristics of viral campaigns that one must understand in order to achieve that elusive virus.
This one is geared towards larger companies who want to help put a face on a brand. IBM did so with their “Art of the Sale” video series where they created a mockumentary style video of their sales lessons. This was unexpected because IBM is viewed by many as stoic corporate juggernaut. However, with these videos they were able to show their personality and let the world know that there are actual genuine real people working there. As of this date the video has been watched on Youtube over 350,000 times!
In 2006 Office Max launched the “Elf Yourself” Campaign which allowed people to upload their faces onto the elves as they danced around. The initiative was simple (you just had to upload a pic of yourself) and fun (who doesn’t like to see themselves dressed up like a little elf dancing around on computer?). Note that Elves have nothing to do with Office Max, but that’s beauty of viral marketing—if it’s fun, people will share regardless of who is behind it. The initiative was so successful that more that 470 million people uploaded pics since its launch in 2006. Now that’s market awareness!
Call to Action:
Regardless of what you think of the creator of the video, the Kony 2012 blazed through the internet like nothing before. The video was emotional, captivating and most importantly, after it had you emotionally invested, gave a simple call to action. The video has over 97 million views on YouTube.
Connect with the Right People:
You may ask, “Isn’t the point of a viral video to be picked up spontaneously through the internet?” Yes, a viral campaign does happen naturally, but there are ways to cheat the system. If you’re making a campaign targeted for a specific industry, wouldn’t it be better to get the influencers in that industry on board? Take a look at what Universal Orlando Resort did with their Harry Potter themed rides. Did they go and pay millions of dollars for billboards and commercials? No. They targeted seven influencers of Harry Potter blogs and shared with them via webcast about the rides. Then those seven people shared with their communities. From there the “viral” aspect became alive. As was said in The New Rules of Viral Marketing: How Word of Mouse Spreads Your Ideas for Free by David Meerman Scott, the campaign reached over 350 million people, with no money spent on advertising!
This is probably the most important characteristic of any viral video and one that each of the four examples above used. You need to make sure that the content you create can be easily shared. It can be as simple as a social share widget that allows people to immediately share it with their friends via their social network sites. The easier you make it for the audience to share the faster your campaign reaches the mass audiences.
Remember, there is no guarantee or formula to make a campaign go viral. Sometimes it just takes dumb luck. However, though these characteristics are not the end all and be all, a viral campaign should have one of them.
Finally, I shall leave you with a quote from the movie Prometheus, “All big things have small beginnings”. So go out and start brainstorming!
Feel free to agree or disagree below.