Ben McConnell provided the second keynote.. His blog is Church of the Customer.
I came back late from the break, so I missed some of his opening remarks, in which he was talking about MTV's "catch-up" attempt to get their customers to remix video and music.
Then he went on to talk about the number of people who are involved in "Citizen Marketing." Traditional media companies are being disrupted. But so are companies in every industry.
Why is it happening?
It's so easy to become a content creator.
Profiles: Fernando Sosa and his friend Thomas.. in their 20's. Both were involved in Second City Improv. They came up with a spoof/rap on Chicken McNuggets. Their friends saw their song, posted on YouTube, and couldn't get it out of their head. The total cost of production was $1.. the cost of the McNuggets. If an agency had done it, it would have been $1.5 million. Now it has attracted 100,000+ users on YouTube and on StupidVideos.com
What we have here are the roots of amateur culture taking shape. They're free to create whatever they want. They've grown up having their lives documented for them by their parents. So it's natural for them to document their own lives and share them with their friends. This is why YouTube has become the fourth media channel.
Tila Tequila--most connected person on MySpace... 1.7 million friends. A young woman with a foul mouth. Released a song. Started a music career. Released it directly to iTunes, bypassing traditional record companies. She has the ability to create this stuff. And the ability to connect to a huge set of folks.
Amateur culture collides with traditional marketing. When people create content about your company without your approval, they are Citizen Marketers. Marshall McLuhan said, "we shape our tools, then our tools shape us"...
We're now social media. Include the community into the media and inviting them to engage. More than 55% of kids 12 to 17 are involved in social networks. This is being fueled by access to broadband. By the end of Sept. 2006, there were 139 million households with broadband access.. X 4 per household. Soon, we'll have 600 Milion people online around the world who have broadband access and will be creating STUFF.
Freedom of speech and freedom of assembly -- traditional values.
We need to give people a voice, a vote and a vocation.
This is influencing politics in a very big way.. in the very first week.. 70,000 members on Mybarackobama.com. 2400 separate groups, hundreds of fundraising pages--all of this in one week.
All of this adds up to influence.. that's what YOU hope to do--let the community become the voice of your brand and your product. The traditional media and broadcasting media are losing their sway. The number one driver of influence is Word of Mouth. People look online and it influences conversations. The traditional structure of "getting the message out" to the people," -- the people organized into your community becomes the message. Becomes the clarification and edification of who you are and what you are...
THE FOUR F's
FIRECRACKERS make a lot of noise.. George Masters was a vocational school teacher who loved his ipod and wanted to do animation. He spent 5 months working on a video to teach himselve animation.. created an Ad for the ipod. Showed a GREAT video clip on the iPod mini. He asked for feedback from Apple fans... Got written up on Wired, CNBC, YouTube, New York Times, etc... 1 million impressions. A few months later a production organization in southern California was offered a job doing video animations. For Apple of course, control is out of control. It's not about losing control. It's about handing over more ownership.
How things can go awry. Brian Finkelstein, law student at Georgetown U. Had a problem with his Comcast modem. Had trouble.. Brian created a video about it. The Comcast technician spent an hour on hold with Comcast, fell asleep on my coach. Thanks for two broken routers, losing a week, thanks for everything. After Brian posted his video to YouTube, 790,000 views; began a story on the NYTimes, on the 20/20 Program, Google has a long memory, never forgets... if you search Comcast technician on Google, every result is about the sleeping technician!
Control is out of control for those who are worried about managing their reputation. Let your seller beware--this is going to have an impact on your operations
FILTERS--Brian started a blog about Starbucks.. He spends all day going from Starbucks to Starbucks and posting things on his blog--Starbucks Gossip. This has become the Starbucks water cooler. Breaks all Starbucks news.. including leaked memos from the CEOs.
FANATICS. Eric Harper.. 26 years old. Has spent the last 3 years lobbying Coca-Cola to bring back a dead soda-- SURGE. You can buy expired cans on EBay. People have drinking parties with Surge. It was killed from Mountain Dew. But these young men, love this alien green, caffeinated brew. Savesurge.org. Script on what to say and when to say it. Call bottlers. Grass roots organization to lobby bottlers and Coca Cola to bring back Surge.
CocaCola tried to come out with a new drink like it, called Vaultkicks.org.. for the pilot launch.. 2,000 customers flocked around it. 2006, nearly 10 years after we introduced Surge, we'll introduce Vault with traditional media. Ignored the citizen marketing push that had already been building. There were thousands of people standing by to assist Coca-Cola. The citizen marketers took over Google.. The first two pages of results for Vault soda take you to the citizen site.
FACILITATORS - Paul Mullet, 26 years old, stay at home Dad who loves MiniCoopers. It has hundreds of thousands of posts from people who love the MiniCooper. He started a campaign on his site for the next gen Mini.. marketing banner on his site.. just the name: 28-07-06-Mini2.. Midnight.. people were ready. He unveiled it for his community.. photos and videos at midnight. I'm buying my car, I ordered it online...
Every example, are people who do this for free...
Why? It's a form of productive leisure. It's a hobby. It's fun! They don't want to be paid. All the research we've done says no.. that would make me a slave laborer. There's also a bridge between home life and work life for these people. Let's them do things they can't really do in their work lives.
Only about 1% of the people who come to your community, will create content. E.g. Wikipedia number of people visiting vs. creating content. Also true of MS's Channel 9 Web site. Only 2% of visitors created content. QuickBooks--100,000 visitors, 1% will create content.
Yahoo--1% will create content or a group, 10% will synthesize content. But 100% of people benefit from it.
Inequality is the Rule
The people who do this are not your average customer. They're the oddballs. They live on the edge of the culture. They don't care what society thinks or what the general culture thinks. They get to live life the way that they want.. Many of them wear an actual patch over their hearts--1% (motorcycle gangs)...
Shakira's hips don't lie song became the number one hit song in the world, after thousands of people submitted videos of themselves dancing to her song.
Threadless is a business model of the future. Threadless has never had a failed product. It will do $60 Million after 3 years in business.
MTV is working on the ability to create a culture of participation.