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Is there Gold in the Trash? Lessons from the Film Industry

Recently at the Consumer Electronics Show I had a enlightening conversation with the head of a major movie studio.  He told me that they spend close to $1 billion annually to “acquire the same customer over and over--people that go to movies.”  That’s because the natural goal with each movie is to maximize box office revenue.  Since web properties deliver little incremental revenue today, all their effort is placed on the traditional revenue streams.

They create web properties and social engagement platforms primarily for promotional purposes that live for about four to six weeks after the in-theater window.  Then, they are abandoned and they start over on the next film.  With the cost of the average Hollywood movie promotional website running about $1-3 million, the studios lose an opportunity to understand, engage and monetize that audience.

The lack of recognition on digital opportunities goes even deeper.  At the Digital Media Wire/Variety Future of Film Conference, a tech startup that does social widgets for film sites said they loved coming to Hollywood because it was “like printing money--every film studio wants to ‘do social.’”  They said they were surprised at the end of each engagement because they’d try to transfer the audience data they collected via the widget back to the studio, and they’d be told to keep it; that the use of that data wasn’t the studio’s “job” and that they wouldn’t know what to do with it anyway.  The startup said it was fascinating to watch studio CFOs scrutinize the ROI on every campaign as measured by impressions, click through rates, etc, but then walk away from the most valuable assets--the data and the relationship with the consumer--that the social app was generating.

Movie studios perhaps are optimizing around revenue today (box office) but not yet optimizing around the revenue and asset of tomorrow.   That asset is data.  By having a source of data about their audience that can do useful things, studios can both decrease marketing costs and develop new revenue sources around that audience and film property.

While Cisco Eos can help studios accomplish short term promotional goals via a socially enabled entertainment experience, the real added value is over the long term.  That value is realized in three ways: Read More »

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WebEx Tip: Use Polling to Make Your Meeting “Social”

With social media capturing the interest of marketing and sales folks everywhere, we are all looking for ways to increase engagement in the tools we already use. By using the polling feature in WebEx, you can do just that.

See how to run a poll in WebEx.

Just Search, a leading search engine marketing company in the United Kingdom, offers some ideas Read More »

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Executive Social Engagement

March 22, 2011 at 7:33 am PST

Last week, the co-manager of the Cisco Networking Academy Facebook page (@HilalChouman) pointed out an amazing customer post to me.

Ricardo Beltran’s girlfriend had baked him a custom Cisco birthday cake that obviously showed his dedication to Cisco. He was so proud of it, that he shared it on the Networking Academy Facebook page for all 188k fans to see.

Read More »

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Visualizing Your Brand’s Audience Engagement Profile

We recently introduced the concept of a Brand Value Index (BVI) — a composite index media companies can use to assess the relative value of their social entertainment sites powered by the Cisco Eos platform.  (Read the blog entry here.)

As I noted, a singular number like the BVI can help provide context at a portfolio level,  but it doesn’t provide a lot of prescriptive power on what I should do to improve or optimize a particular site experience.  For that kind of insight, we need more data points and the ability to compare individual factors to comparative benchmarks.

We can achieve both of these by standardizing each of the 11 variables in the BVI on a common scale, and displaying them on a radar plot like the attached.  (For those that are interested, this graph has also been normalized on a scale from 0-6, where the average across all sites is always a “3″ and “0″ is the absence of a particular factor).

Remember Site A and Site B from the previous post?  The question I posed about was: would you invest your limited resources in Site A, an over performer in the portfolio, or Site B, an under performer?  Without more context, you can’t make a good decision one way or the other.

To help you answer this question, let’s look at each site’s situation and BVI footprint for context: Read More »

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Social Media Recipe: “Must Have” Ingredients

November 22, 2010 at 12:58 pm PST

A few weeks ago, I was asked to give a short speech on social media. “You have 8 minutes”, they told me. I scratched my head. I have so much to say! How am I going to do this in 8 minutes? I don’t know any more if it was Top Chef or Cake Boss that suddenly triggered a thought in my head. Social media is just like cooking or baking. Your dish tastes best when you pick the right ingredients, add the right quantities, mix them together at the right time and see the process through. “That’s it”, I shouted with excitement, “I’m going to talk about the “must have” ingredients of social media”. Here are some of the takeaways from the 8-minute version I came up with (condensed version):

Educate and enable your employees. Education and enablement are on-going activities that need to be constantly reassessed to reflect and cater towards participants’ level(s) of social maturity.    Read More »

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