The New Physics of the Consumerverse

Prime_position__digfestival

If you weren’t able to get along to the inaugural DiG Festival in Newcastle, you certainly missed an amazing event. But not all is lost. The DiG Festival team are making a great number of presentationsavailable for viewing. They’ve just posted mine – and it seems they’ve nicely edited out some of the glitches I had with the slide controller. Would love your feedback – drop me a message in the comments below.

Nick Aronson – The Future of Payments @ DiG Festival

Prime_position__digfestival

The folks at the DiG Festival in Newcastle have started posting videos of the keynote presentations. Here, Nick Aronson from the Commonwealth Bank talks about the future of payments.

To Be Talked About Online, Be Hyper-real

The french mime Jyjou*

About a million years ago, when I studied theatre and movement, I was fascinated by what appeared “real” on stage and what looked like it was a person slouching across an open space. There was a real difference between an actor who was able to inhabit and own the stage and someone who seemed to shrink within its open space. For some actors, this ability comes naturally but many have to work on it. And it is these techniques that interested me the most.

For a while I studied with Leisa Shelton, a brilliant and patient teacher. We would spend hours in quiet, but intense, routines, learning to stretch our bodies, extend our arms from the shoulder to the fingertip, create difficult but beautiful arcs across our shoulders, and walking with fluidity. One of the core “figures” we’d work on was drinking a glass of water – amazingly technical and challenging to master.

Leisa had, herself, studied for years in Paris, working with Ecole de Mime Corporel Dramatique de Paris-technique Etienne Decroux (1983-89) and was a member of the Meryl Tankard Co (1990-93). As a result, she generously shared not just her abilities and experiences but her stories which brought her theory and theatre practice to life for us all.

But there was one particular story that has stayed with me. It was about the physical proportions of Rodin’s The Thinker. Taking into account the position of the viewer, Rodin had created his famous sculpture larger than “real life” in order for it to appear in-proportion from the audience’s point of view. Parts of the sculpture – especially across the shoulders and back, were significantly larger than they would be in real life. And the lesson for us in this, was to appear “real” on stage, we had to work to extend the appearance of our bodies on stage, not just to be seen, or for aesthetics, but to appear real.

The same principles apply in the digital world. In fact, we are seeing a greater blurring of the distinctions between the on and offline world – they are merging into what we call “life”. This is made ever easier by the five forces impacting the future of business – social media, mobility, big data, unified communications and cloud computing. As consumers we are ever more connected and connectable – and enterprises continue to struggle to keep pace with consumer expectation and business demand.

However, we DON’T need to be in all places at all times. We need to take a lesson from Leisa Shelton and Rodin. We need to be larger than life in the spaces that we do operate. We need to be hyper-real – 10-20% bigger than we are in real life. And now, more than ever, we need to be PRESENT. That means we must be hyper-real and IN LOCATION.

Take a look at this great video promoting the upcoming release of the movie Carrie. It’s 6 million+ views come not just from a great idea, but from brilliant execution. They captured a real world impact and amplified it into our digital lives. They put a physical experience into our consciousness through digital storytelling.

In a world where our experiences dominate our perceptions, businesses, governments and not-for-profits can no longer be satisfied with a DIGITAL ONLY presence. To be talked about online, you have to be remarkable in the real world. You must act with purpose. And serve with intention.

It’s time for leaders to step up and own the space.

The french mime Jyjou*Creative Commons License jyjou via Compfight

A Cup of Chaos #80: Dino Prank

raptorial elegance #2

I have not done a cup of chaos on a Friday for sometime … but this just seemed too delicious to ignore.

raptorial elegance #2 Jes via Compfight

We Are Smarter Than TV

1963 ... television eyeglasses

Back in 2007, Drew McLellan and I embarked on a journey of crowdsourcing discovery. Inspired by the We Are Smarter Than Me collaborative writing project, we wanted to see whether the collective intelligence of marketers across the globe could make sense of the emerging social media landscape. Three months later, the first edition of The Age of Conversation was published. It brought together over 100 writers from 22 countries and captured the mood of the time.

Three editions and six years later, working on these collaborative publishing projects has made me a firm believer in the power and insight that comes from focused communities. In fact, working on the latest edition – Age of Conversation 4 – is again reminding me of the breadth and depth of insight that comes from a diverse – yet focused – group of professionals.

The one consistent theme through all of the four editions, however, is the role of inclusiveness. From a brand perspective, we tend to think of this as a “loss of control”, but through the lens of the consumer, it’s a different story. Rather than seeing this transformation in terms of a shift of power, we should view it as a fundamental mark of mutual respect. And rather than thinking about limitation and even copyright, we should think of generosity and awareness. Effectively this shift means a transformation of what we consider the “marketing funnel” with “conversion” being less about sales and more about shifting our customer relationships away from transactions and closer to longer term engagement. This in turn requires an understanding of customer lifetime value.

The publishing industry has faced this transformation for decades and continues to struggle. The music industry is now making a much better fist of the challenge, but TV seems resolutely trapped in the quagmire of industrialised thinking. This makes the entire industry ripe for disruption. And platforms like Netflix and Hulu are well placed to deliver this kind of broad disruption. And as Oscar winner and artistic director of the Old Vic theatre in London recently said, it’s time for TV to learn from other industries. It’s time for them to learn from the crowd. After all, we are smarter than TV.

1963 ... television eyeglassesCreative Commons License James Vaughan via Compfight

Kickstart Your Campaign with Video

kickstartervideoinfographic.jpg

The crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter, is a fascinating microcosm – it brings together all the elements and challenges of a business often before that business exists. So in many ways, a Kickstarter project is a pre-startup startup – and accordingly it faces many of the same immediate challenges. But where startups sprint towards product, Kickstarter forces a path towards market development. Those who can’t market, don’t win. And like current marketing trends indicate, video plays an increasingly important role in that process.

Research from MWP Digital Media shows that Kickstarter projects that have a video are 85% more likely to achieve their funding goals. This tends to match some of the trends we are seeing in broader marketing circles – with YouTube and Vimeo consumption continuing to rise – impacting not just brand and engagement metrics but also working at crucial junctures in the path to purchase.

Video, however, is a steep learning curve – so there are obvious benefits to outsourcing. But new features in familiar apps/platforms like Instagram and Twitter (via Vine) make it easy to experiment. And I have a feeling that the role of user (or brand) generated video content is only going to accelerate in the next 12-18 months. I have already begun testing this out for myself and with clients.

These days marketing never sleeps. I hope this shift isn’t catching you napping.

kickstarter-video-infographic

Travel Like a Local – AndableTV

Taxi

Travelling for business can be pretty boring. Once you fight off the jetlag and close out the meetings, many business travellers find themselves hanging out in their hotel. In the bar. In the lounge. Or in the room.

It’s almost the opposite of being social.

But what if there were ways to tap into the local community? What if you could find and meetup with others who share your interests? That’s where various forms of social media can really transform your travel experience.

This episode of the new AndableTV channel looks at things you can do to travel like a local. There are some great ideas to try out on your next trip. And there’s more to come on the AndableTV sustainable living channel. Be sure to subscribe.

Taxi Al Fed via Compfight

A Date with Lindsay Lohan. Or How Celebrity Adds Punch to Your Brand

herbiefullyloaded

If there is one thing I love, its when people are publicly honest. Or self-deprecatingly honest. Or self-deprecatingly honest in public. But I love this even more when the person at the centre of the confession is famous. Or hyper-famous, like Lindsay Lohan.

So, imagine that you are the brand manager for eHarmony, the dating site, and you notice that your social media mentions are going through the roof. What could it be? A crisis? A catastrophe? Another cat picture?

Maybe it’s a parody by Funny or Die. Featuring Lindsay Lohan.

Convergent Storytelling – or how to tell a mofo of a story

Convergent storytelling

When we think of convergence, we tend to think of the obvious – of like things coming together. “Convergent media” for example is often seen as a force for disruption – yet for me, it’s far from disruptive. In fact, I’d go so far to say that it is assertive.

But what happens when the technology of production and the technology of distribution are brought to the forefront of the experience? What happens when the gaming and comic genres forcefully collide to produce new narratives and modes of storytelling? What happens when music becomes a mode of expression and commentary, doubling in on itself? And what happens when the viewer is drawn into the total experience, emerging gasping minutes later?

That what you get with the Biting Elbow’s official video for their song Bad Motherfucker (yes, don’t play it in the office without headphones).

So now think, what can you learn from the techniques, craft and approach? How would a tamed down version of this drive engagement with your customer base? What would it mean – and would you be ready for a luke warm take on this?

Biting Elbows – ‘Bad Motherfucker’ (Insane Office Escape 2) from Ilya Naishuller on Vimeo.

It’s Not Risk. It’s Gaining Trust

IMG_9400

We often (still) hear stories of businesses and individuals fearing social media. And if you listen closely to what is being said, you will hear the fear. You will hear anxiety.

And when you hear about those folks who brave social media – who push the envelope within their organisation, you will hear them talk about managing risk. Engaging stakeholders. Dealing with the randomness.

But this great TED Talk by Amanda Palmer reveals a new way of thinking about this.

What if, rather than managing risk, we were to think about “gaining trust”. What would that mean for the way we approach our customers, audiences, stakeholders and employees?

And how would it change what we do.

IMG_9400 bluedance via Compfight