Friday, September 28, 2007

Facebook and social networks...viable for mobile critical mass communication?

The WSJ recently announced that, "Microsoft is in talks to buy a minority stake in the popular social-networking Web site Facebook Inc., a sign of a new urgency by the software giant to jump-start its online business at a time when Google is widening its lead in the fast-growing Internet-advertising business."

Today, John Gray who manages online media campaigns for, says social media is not just for kids! According to Gray, "Over the past few years, social networks have emerged catering specifically to older, more educated, and often more affluent audiences. Like the social sites most marketers are familiar with, this next generation social networking site for older generations offers both traditional and unique ad customization options, and a new avenue through which to reach baby boomers and busy moms."

Social Networks and Portals discussed include:

When we think in terms of internet-advertising business, the future is "mobile." And social networks have a dynamic role to play. Revenue Science issued a press release on Sept 24, with headline: REVENUE SCIENCE FIRST TO DEPLOY MOBILE BEHAVIORAL TARGETING IN JAPAN. According to Revenue Science, Japan's advanced user adoption and homogenous network infrastructure make for an ideal entry.

Whether this "model of mobile critical mass communication" translates elsewhere depends on a number of factors (among others):
  • infrastructure & investment
  • network consistency
  • culture (sub-culture)
  • translatable "globile-viral-mobile-experience"
On Wednesday, I attended the ad:tech London '07 Digital Consumer Panel Forum and listened to John Baker, Managing Partner of Ogilvy One, discuss the Unilever case study. He said that brands work when they're entertaining, useful, and sexy. Did I get that right, John?

And his views tie in with an article I read in Wired titled: "How Mobile Phones Conquered Japan." Xeni Jardin writes that mobiles shaped Japan's culture (and can shape other cultures). From the article, I picked out some words used as "shapers" - here they are:
  • state of wireless closeness - zone of intimacy - relationships
  • territory machines - transformers of space - personal room
  • integrator of virtual and physical realms - tools of sustenance
  • portable pedestrian - history, legend, culture, stranger link - vivid experience
Ogilvy One use 360 degree brand marketing and as a "non-marketer" (?) I'm intrigued at the fun involved and the outreach. With mobile, the potential of using layers of social networks (and more Google?) to mass communicate is immense.

Those in Telecom who have studied the statistics on mobile users around the globe are aware of infrastructures, networks, and cultures. Marketers have opportunities to share in collaboration on multi-social media levels to learn what is best for their brand.

Links of Interest:

USC Marshall CTM 6th Annual Global Mobility Roundtable 2007: The Adoption of Mobile Phones in Emerging Markets: Global Diffusion and the Rural Challenge by Kas Kalba, Kalba International Inc.

Ingenta Connect: European Journal of Information Systems - Perceived critical mass and the adoption of communication technology by Van Slyke and Ilie, et al

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