I just got back from attending Adweek’s MIXX Conference, which took place on Monday and Tuesday in New York. MIXX brings together marketers, publishers and agencies to discuss online media. There was good conversation and some big ideas to chew on.
The first big thing to think about. Awareness. If there is a message that anyone cares about, they get it so fast from blogs that spending on building awareness is outdated. Knowing the ten people to tell is king. The days of having to broadcast your message to all media outlets is gone; you just have to reach the most influential bloggers in your space, the bloggers everyone turns to. The message, if it’s important enough to them, will be disseminated to everyone that matters.
Big idea to chew on, number two (for publishers, ad networks, and just about anyone selling online ads): TV trumps online for ease. It takes too long to buy, run and manage an online campaign compared to TV—it’s much easier to spend a large amount of money on TV. Google gave some data on the time it takes to spend a dollar on TV vs online. For big money to move, it needs to be easy to spend the same or more in the same amount of time. There is a big opportunity for scale and work-flow.
Big idea number three: creative ideas are plenty, but few can execute. More money is going to high-end production of web content. The hope is a viral hit with organic traffic. There’s a big opportunity in ensuring that people show up to the party once it’s built.
Which leads to big idea number 4: a sophisticated digital strategy has dependency on many platforms. Take launching the new American Express Green Card (a made-up example). The agency builds a sophisticated mini site with gorgeous video, and many interactive features. Some media needs to be purchased. Hope to get the Yahoo home page. Shit. It’s sold. Let’s see if MSN home page is available. Really? Damn. OK, we’ll go with AOL. PR folks embargo a release with bloggers. Five secret clues are dropped. Each one deciphered yields a number. One person decides to send an SMS message to the number. They get back a secret URL that expires in 15 minutes. The bomb starts ticking. The URL drops them on a video that is all black, with one message: “It’s coming!”, with a subtle American Express hologram in the letters. Someone clicks on the video and the message turns to a single pixel. With each click a new pixel is added, until every pixel has been clicked. It looks like…a jumbled puzzle. Frantically the pieces are arranged. Yes! Bono from U2. In his instantly-recognizable Irish accent, he says that you and five friends are invited to a private concert for the first 20,000 people that signup for the American Express Green Business Card. Everyone is going green. Then you get three widgets to place anywhere you want with never-before-heard songs from U2—of course, the music videos are tastfully branded with American Express Green Card. Plus…ringtones! Oh, and you get a limited edition Bono iPhone that plays video. Sweet. You show up to the concert and they want you to record the show to spread to all your friends. But wait. Steve Jobs walks out on the stage. He pulls the iPhone from his pocket and types in the 5 numbers. There’s a live streaming feature that the code unlocks as well. All your friends can go to the Apple site and watch the concert live as well. And they can get the American Express Green Card which comes with a dollar donated to green causes for every dollar you spend on green products for your business at some of the coolest environmental retailers. Ah, yes! But the really cool part is the card is green. Made from all recycled parts. It never expires—so you don’t have to get a new card (that’s wasteful). And your bills are all paperless. A Facebook green community is launched that helps small businesses do their part. Brought to you by you know who. American Express sponsor Green Content Ideas on HubPages that pumps the Facebook app full of useful content. Your smile widens. You get 2 million people to the website. 15 million people see the music vids. Your database of SMS addresses has nearly 1 million. Solid gold. 20,000 people signup for the American Express Green Card in under a minute. Apple sells a bazillion new iPhones. Live mobile video streaming takes off. And the world is a better place.
The formula is simple, and yet complex. Integrate a website, video, widgets, mobile, social apps and content into an immersive experience. Collect emails, mobile numbers. Give as many exclusive items away as possible. Creativity is easy. Execution is priceless.