Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 Predictions: On Social Media (or how consumers will be by the end of the year)

What does 2011 hold for the lot of us digital marketers? The presentation which follows takes us through a narrative of how consumers are most likely to define themselves in 2011..
...and, with that, how are we then called to respond?

My own presentation got me thinking (talk about narcissism), if this was a deck reported to clients from different industries and had to come up with a major business decision based on this, how would they react?
  1. "Have the virtual goods department work triple shifts this year! I want my brand stamped on every virtual crop, shop, and lot out there!" Worth over $7B globally, the social gaming industry has had it made thanks to consumers who take their gaming seriously. And why not when it addresses most of their social media needs in one go! It feeds them what they want (hyper personalization) when they want it (rewards prioritization) in a manner that contributes to their online persona (digital reinvention). Consumer don't just plant virtual crops, they make sure that their plot looks and feels complacent to their identity. They don't wait out the minutes to have another round, rather they pull out time just because they need to get ahead of the game. What are you doing about it? (Still not convinced? Head over here and here. UPDATE: You may also read up on why consumers get hooked to games - in this case, Angry Birds - from a neuroscience POV here.)
  2. "...but make sure to put a social slant in there somewhere. Maybe a call against child labor or overworked farmers or something." Remember that time your Facebook wall was filled with images of Sailormoon, Daimos, and Little Lulu in support for the fight against child abuse? Turned out, it worked after all. The social slant might just have been thrown into the mix (as rumored) but it managed to get people talking (and donating) in 2010 - the year when other social good campaigns have either fizzled or boomed. The start of the year bore witness to Pepsi's Refresh Everything campaign. It was also the year when celebrities "died" and Google sold Chrome the social good way. Of all three (not including Pepsi as they seem to have a niche audience compared to all other campaigns, though you can read on more about why the campaign made waves here), I'd have to say that it was Google's Chrome for a Cause that managed to clamber into the consumers' consciousness. (The Facebook cartoon character profile was somehow immeasurable and celebrities were revived largely by a huge sum from a single donor.) What happened? Consumers want to help (digital activism) in the easiest way they could possibly do it (rewards prioritization). The Facebook profile picture change became a meme because it was fairly simple: you change your profile picture and post a status about it. Chrome for a Cause had it way easier: you download an extension and open tabs. The celebrity deaths? They just wouldn't be bothered by something mainstream (mainstream aversion). After all, these celebrities are rich enough to pay their way into reviving themselves.
Want to read more on what other social media sites are saying about the future of digital? Click here for Mashable's roundup.

+This has been partially intended as a fulfillment of one of the requirements of the Certified Digital Marketing Program (formerly known as the Digital Marketing Diploma Program). The CDMP (DMDP) is a one-year diploma course under the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philipppines (IMMAP) and Ateneo's Center for Continuing Education (Ateneo CCE). Enrollees go through a crash course on a number of digital marketing concepts and tactics and, in the end, have the opportunity to be dubbed as one of the few Certified Digital Marketers as recognized by IMMAP. To learn more, visit or go to their Facebook page here.

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