Monday, August 27, 2007

Is Conversational Marketing Already Dead? Nope

Since John Battelle of Federated Media (FM) was nice enough to comment on my post about whether conversational marketing is already dead, I figured I ought to at least read the recommended reading.

Sometimes I think my brain is so well trained to ignore marketing (it’s not perfect, I do have an iPhone) that my eyes don’t even notice it. There are definitely a couple of FM Campaigns that I’d put in the conversational marketing realm. One is very, very well done in terms of doing something new and that’s the FM: Tech Battle Royale (brought to you by Toshiba). It’s true three-way conversational marketing and I’d like to learn how the campaign fared someday.

I also really liked the Rackspace campaign. I’m not sure this quite meets the three-way standard in the way that Tech Battle Royale does (in fact, I am sure that it does not), but it has some nice tie-ins with FM and I’m a total sucker for real stories from real people. Lots of conversation from real live people. I like the campaign.

The HP iPaq 510 “Did you Hear the Email I sent” campaign seems like a nifty campaign, and it’s very slightly interactive. But one of the not all that high-trafficked blogs (OhGizmo) running a regular “voice post” as a tie in to get people acclimated to listening to text, doesn’t really cross it over into conversational marketing for me. And again, the ad was just barely interactive. Still pretty nifty though.

A couple of disclosures. I think Battelle is a great conversational marketer when the brand is John Battelle (that’s a compliment, not a ding). It’s far easier for people to be conversational marketers for themselves than it is for an advertising agency.

I was disappointed when the reaction was so strong and so swift with the People Ready campaign because people are always averse to change (especially, apparently, if it involves Microsoft). I suppose I expected/wished Battelle would have “coached ‘em up” when the heat got turned up high, but admit that’s easier said than done.

Conversation marketing is certainly not dead as far as FM is concerned, my brain is just too well trained to notice. And that’s fine in general, but it’s darn stupid when you’re writing about something your brain automatically filters out!

FM is playing around with the space, and I am glad they still are. If your company is willing to fork over the $900 for the conversational marketing summit FM is hosting, I say go for it. I’m sure it will be a great networking event, and you just might learn something. Besides San Francisco, is usually lovely in September and the Presidio is just plain gorgeous.

1 comment:

Lester said...

Thank you for the coverage Robert. There's one detail I wanted to call out with the Toshiba campaign:

-Toshiba took it a step further and had employees join in the conversation and even built a custom Battle Royale landing page on their own site:

Toshiba could have just thrown a banner up or some links to their notebooks within their sponsored section the Battle Royale page but Toshiba is taking the time and resources to add to the conversation.