Last month, I had the pleasure of meeting and keynote alongside Jimmy Maymann, CEO from one of Europe's digital media agencies GoViral. In full candour, 70% of speakers I meet at conferences, I walk away underwhelmed...not so here. Jimmy has had a long history breaking barriers at agencies affiliated with Leo Burnett, now running his own gig, he has a strong ability to translate the changing marketing and media universe without the cardinal sins of: 1) being too preachy, b) being too boring, c) being to much idea, not enough practice, d) being too much cool for cool's sake and e) measuring what he does.
In his GoViral paradigm of Chaos 2.0, he makes an interesting parallel between the feudal lords of the middle ages and current media companies. Much like their centuries-old predecessors (Kings & Queens, Dukes and other royalty) who were swept away by urbanization, secularization and industrialization, the current feudal media lords are at risk of being swept away by the forces and changes in media distribution (user participation), audience (narrowcasted media) and media content (conversational value).
There is a much larger book or pdf you can receive of their GoViral's manifesto of beliefs here, but I thought their viral theories were crystallized in their Media Youcracy keypoints summarized below:
I) From Ads To Content
- Break with consensus - engagement and reaction is often provoked, be different
- Hire your users - regard your users as experts and colleagues
- Let go of content - it then become theirs and then potentially more valuable
- Respect people's time - 2.0 is a trading game of time and attention in exchange for entertainment, information, admission and fame
- Invite people in - follow the rules of the crowd
- Stories are conversations - they are the true measures of participation and engagement
- Create multiple elements - provide info, acknowledgment, entertainment and inspiration
- Beware the user's verdict - remember users are in charge of the evolution of what you do
II) From Consumers to Users
- Focus on content that leads to conversations - keep looking for good stories (and the stories behind the story) and spread them
- Identify the social glue that holds friendships together - wanting to help others is a basic human need, help your users to help others
- Identify the right influencers - treat your grassroots opinion makers with respect and open dialogue, perhaps even better than you would treat a journalist
- Let behaviour drive your media choices - monitoring behaviour is the best predictor of where to find your users and what they like to do
III) From Broadcasting to Narrowcasting
- Utilize the potential of new formats - constantly evolving needs of stakeholders
- Make the users, the distributors - help your users, help others
- Focus on relevant niche channels - never underestimate the effect of niche media, meet core users where they gather
- Create microexperience through contextual placements - content itself, or the presentation of it, should always reflect the context its placed in
- Ensure activities can be tracked - monitor and track engagement where the real value is, awareness is not the end game
Bringing this to life, was Go Viral's viral seeding and launch of the action-oriented Nissan Qashqai in October, 2006, This is the stuff most account people, clients and directors lust having on their career reels and CVs.
The stats: 12.5 million viewers, 1.7 million microsite visitors, 3x the normal level of engagement over the first 3 months - $0.05-0.10 per view, links to 4,370 sites in 212 countries.
The strategy: contextual placement of content within relevant skateboarding and alt sport communities in 6 viral stages, over-the-top stories and great production values
The execution - placement in 1,500 niche sites in 13 European markets and the following mock-umentary styled sport mashing up this fictitious but soon to be launched Nissan car with other action sports brought to life here and shown below....I love these, reminds me of a live version of Hot Wheels-turned-fringe sport - check out one of the drivers being slapped by fish - pure and delicious absurdity..