Influential Not Influencers

There’s been a heated online debate about the ways consumers are influenced to buy things and adopt new social trends. Some people say a small group of Influencers drive most

Marketing in a Social World

The business equivalent of making sausage is the marketing of marketing. In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal (November 29-30, 2008), Tom Hayes and Michael Malone explain the new world of marketing in a Web-based world. They have a provocative name (“Marketing 3.0”) and a new concept (the business meme or “beme”). In the end, they sound like apologists trying to make a pitch for why advertising agencies are still relevant and reminds me of this humorous video imaging what would happen if a modern advertising agency designed the stop sign. In short, they are marketing marketing.

Online Communities: Ignore at Your Peril (I)

In the strategy work I do with tech companies, I’m frequently asked about web communities — how they operate, what they can and can’t do, and how a company should

Online Communities, How They Work (II)

This is Part II of a series of posts on online communities (that is also available in PDF form: Rubicon-web-community) originally done at Rubicon (the company I led/founded). To return

Online Communities, Why They Matter (III)

In strategy work with tech companies, my team and I are frequently asked about web communities — how they operate, what they can and can’t do, and how a company

Online Reviews Second Only to Word of Mouth as Purchase Influencer in US

A broader investigation into how business can exploit online community underlines the importance of online information in driving purchase decisions, but the most influential information is beyond the direct control of companies selling products and services. Courting the small fraction of Internet users who write online reviews and comments is a very important task for many companies, but one they often neglect.
Many companies downplay the importance of online communities because only a few percent of all Internet users contribute to them heavily. What they don’t understand is that most other Internet users read those reviews and rely on them heavily when making purchase decisions. Taking good care of online communities can be a huge money-saver for companies trying to get more marketing impact from limited budgets.

Beyond Web 2.0

A popular sport in Silicon Valley is arguing about what exactly Web 2.0 is or is not. Is it about collaboration? Social networking? Custom services?
We think the argument misses the point. Web 2.0 is just an effect of a broader trend: the fundamental remaking of the software industry as a result of the Internet.

Influencer Marketing Matters

A Rubicon Sparkler at the beginning of the season saw CEO Nilofer Merchant presenting a discussion on influencer marketing with Nick Hayes, co-author of Influencer Marketing: Who Really Influences Your Customers.

Don’t Throw Your Influencers Under the Bus Just Yet

One thing the marketing industry and the tech industry have in common is that they’re both periodically swept by fad ideas (call them memes if you want to sound hip) that enchant everyone to the point of obsession. That obsession then produces a backlash that causes everyone to swing the other way and completely dismiss the original idea. We’re going through one of those cycles right now with the idea of influencer marketing. As usual, the reality is somewhere in between the hype and the backlash–influencer marketing is not the be-all that some people made it out to be, but it’s not bunk either.