Tag Archives for Marketing
Zynga, the company that brought Facebook users Farmville, spent $120 million on marketing in 2011, inside the world’s biggest self-service marketing platform.
Efferman Ezzel looks at why Zynga should be focused on why and how their users play social games and not on how to use more marketing dollars to keep them engaged. As new user retention numbers slip, Zynga has started spending $300 — or losing $150 — for every user to marketing costs.
I had asked him earlier this weekend, why would any company spend that much money per user, or any money at all, re-socializing the marketing in an already social system?
Why is Zynga spending that much money to market a “social game”, and why are they spending that much money to market a “social game” on Facebook? I believe they’re doing it for two reasons: 1) because they don’t understand why new user retainment is falling (why user growth is plateauing, why there’s a low conversion rate of users who become paying customers, why new user engagement is shrinking), and 2) because they assume increasing Zynga’s market presence will assure new user retainment upon trying their games. As was said in the Edge Magazine article, “The really hardcore [players] are, perhaps, finding themselves trying FarmVille, Castle World and CityVille. The newer audiences are trying and finding that this is all the same and leaving”. It is obvious Zynga needs to redirect their focus from new user retainment to new useradaptability, because they appear to be approaching user retainment from the same understanding they had when user growth skyrocketed, and that was when it was attached to the rapid growth Facebook experienced.
Zynga was supposed to be a dramatic re-imagining of gaming. Social and baked into the world’s largest social graph platform, Zynga offerings seemed like a capstone on any problems that might have been created when a new gaming company had to tackle distribution.
But the one constant thing about Facebook is that user expectations of what it does for them will change. And that’s without even factoring in that Facebook itself changes all the time.
A gaming company like Zynga that depends on Facebook is going to be out in the cold. And it looks like they have been.
Read more of Ezell’s post to find out what he thinks the company should be doing. Basically, find out what has changed for users. I would put a finer point on it. Find data, take down some narrative, and use the Jobs-to-be-done approach to find out what is causing non-consumption inside Facebook. Is there non-consumption within Facebook, in general?
Facebook Suscribe Button and the Rise of Streamed Feeds
My hunch is that Facebook users are becoming much more interested in using Facebook as a platform for understanding the real world and the world around them.
I have 18,646 subscribers to my public Facebook feed. Many of these people are people outside of the United States. They want a look into someone else’s life.
Facebook is moving away from a platform will you will have fun with friends. It’s trying to fashion itself into the place where each individual is a media hub for publishers and advertisers. It’s challenging every company it can think of, from Google and it’s Google+ offering, to Yahoo! Search and branded content.
As it moves in that direction, say goodbye to Farmville. That experience is way too static. It’s not real. And it doesn’t keep people interested or engaged in finding new people with different lives.
In Hong Kong, the rapid pace and the hyper dense population can mean a wonderland of split testing and data analysis for mobile apps developers.
Ranee Chung, CEO of Mercury Media, is a former advertising executive who was born in Hong Kong and has worked in the United States for years. She has returned from a stint in the United States to launch Mercury Media. She talks about how apps are the new advertising — instead of straight from the brand messaging, apps enable brands to build a culture and community around the app and the brand.
She and her partner Julien Hauss sat with me at a local Starbucks in Central, Hong Kong to talk about the launch of their new app, OpenBar.
You can listen to the radio show here.
It’s not often that I have a face-to-face encounter with a disruptive technology that actually disrupts my life in a good way and pushes me to the envelope of innovation and progress. But I have had that experience with Airbnb.
It’s changed my life. I am not the only one.
Right now, in New York City, two young women, age 24 and 27, are staying at my apartment, renting it for the month, while they find an apartment somewhere in Manhattan. I am sitting at a worktable in a huge, cavernous warehouse flat in Brooklyn, on a street I never even knew existed in this borough, while I wait the next 16 hours for my flight to Hong Kong.
[edited] I am now in Hong Kong, about to move from my friend’s flat to the apartment down the street, which I rented online one month ago.
In the last part of 2011 and in 2012 I plan on visiting: Senegal, Morocco, Barcelona, Hong Kong, China, Sweden, Chile, Argentina, and Iceland.
This year alone I have been to Costa Rica, Fiji, New Zealand, Mexico, and Seattle.
And I do not have a full time job at a corporate headquarters.
I am an intelligence agent for the social web. Or, I am a professional networker. Social networks online mean nothing unless you actually meet the people who follow or friend you. That’s what makes them social.
So, to get the job of meaning creation done, I travel around the world building up the social media cache that we use at Re-Wired Group by meeting people face to face and interviewing them. We tell their stories, and find ways to inform the public about how entrepreneurs are finding ways into the jobs to be done framework.
Listen to our two most recent radio shows: An interview with Raphael Ouzan about the social layer of billing statements; and a twenty minute interview with Ringbow co-founder Saar Shai and his girlfirend, the lovely Alicia Zur Szpiro, as they talk about the disruption of global corporate infrastructure brought on by the massive data coming-of-age.
Airbnb has made all of this travel and work possible, simply because it has introduced me to people I never would have met at a bar, at a church or standing in line for a concert.
I am ready to proclaim that 2012 will be the Tipping Point year in a technological revolution that will unsettle lives and create new lifestyles and career choices for millions of people. It’s not the economy, stupid. It’s the apps.
Airbnb allows me to collect rent on my place while other people use it to discover the city. I can then use that money towards travel, where I visit other countries and develop new businesses, create new networks of social media influence, and create meaningful value in work for my clients, globally. I’m like a one-man global media company.
This is an example of a job that a company like Airbnb allows one to accomplish to experience progress. It’s another example of what I have written about in the past: that business is no longer about the mechanics of business, it’s about being social and helping people find meaningful progress in their emotional lives.
As Chris Spiek says about the advances brought on by Airbnb:
This is a great example of an innovation unlocking what is possible in terms of making progress. Most people that have had the same aspirations (job) as you, wouldn’t think of accomplishing it by renting out their place.
They would not, I think, because their emotional energy is tied up in ego management. Their ego is so connected to the stability of a choice that was really not theirs to make. To consider doing what I have planned and executed on would require al etting go of the meaning that was really not theirs to begin with.
With Airbnb, I — and millions of others — have fond meaning in purchasing what on the surface is just a service. But it gets so supercharged because by hiring this company we are achieving the creation of meaning that we created, that we can own.
And in my experience, that makes me a loyal customer and consumer of Airbnb. It’s not that I am satisfied with the service. I am satisfied with myself.
Companies need to get this. companies that don’t get this will end up like Blockbuster video, or GM, or any of the thousands of companies every year that fail.
It didn’t use to be this way, but it is this way now, because of this magical data-linking, people channel called the Internet.
If you can help someone make a meaningful choice in their life, then they will do more than buy your product. They will be loyal, to the bone. And tell their friends about it.
Shell Martinez started using Airbnb last year, and she and her roomate are now thinking of buying their own place to create a kind of international hostel for the hundreds of people who have stayed with her and would stay with her again.
I wrote about her a little bit on my travel blog, For All the Dogs in Mexico.
In short, Shell and Rita have both decided that there are things they can do now that they had only thought about before.
They can start a business, help Airbnb, travel around the world, host parties, and even put together new friendships and relationships based on common interests.
Shell even built a sixteen foot table out of wood and industrial steel pipes. Airbnb’s customer service reps come here on Fridays and set up shop.
It’s an example of a home turning into a business, and within that business the creation of a social layer around getting work done. This never could have happened twenty, or even five years ago.
Steve Wozniak, greatest Apple fan on earth, and longtime friend of Steve Jobs, spoke with a TechCrunch reporter outside the Apple store in Los Gatos, California yesterday. In his interview, he reveals an unsettling feeling with how Apple is talking about its products. This caused our ears to prick up at Re-Wired Group, since we remember that what made the Jobs keynotes so remarkable was that he explained what Apple products do with the consumer’s needs in mind.
Wozniak says that consumers don’t want to know about the details of dual core processors and other geekhat mumbo-jumbo. They just want to know what is it, and what does it do? Will it help me connect to the internet and get my email?
Here’s the video: