Conversational marketing – will it scale

By August 7, 2007From mobile

Posted by mobile phone:
I`on my phone here because I can`t get the wifi at Aspen airport to work – so this will be a short one with no links.

I attended a panel session today with a guy who helps Nike and Starbucks, amongst others, with how they should approach marketing on social networks.

The good news is they are keen to do things. They want to spend money to reach 15-30 year olds and this is an obvious place to do it.

I am pretty well convinced that the best way to do this over the longer term is conversational marketing. As I`ve said before people are getting increasingly blind to banners. That was a sentiment echoed at the conference. Putting video into the banner will help, but I get the sense that most people only expect this to have a temporary effect on banner performance.

The question I have been asking for a while now is `how will conversational marketing scale?`

I asked that again today and the short answer is that nobody knows. Not yet anyway.

Doing conversational marketing well requires consistent and ongoing effort from the agency/brand. Compared to most forms of advertising the cost is relatively low – but it needs a lot of man hours. That is the scaling challenge, in a nutshell.

One thing I hadn`t realised until today is that conversational marketing doesn`t necessarily translate into big bucks for the social net. Brands are not so much buying media from them as participating in the community. That said Myspace is apparently now charging six figures to set up a profile for a brand and seven figures to market to it.