Live Video Stars

We already know that the new generation of media consumers are not only consuming through new and/or established platforms; they are also distributing content themselves. Content that they just by instinct know will engage people, or content they want but can’t find.

Today you have your bloggers, vloggers, YouTube channels for every hobby on the planet, Instagram photographers, Instagram models, Snapchat Kings & Queens, lifestyle influencer brands that started as bloggers, and everything else under the social media sun that we now are very familiar and accustomed to. The next social media celebrities from the new generation seem to come through a less filtered version though – Live Video.

In most parts of the world we are very familiar with live video apps and services such as Periscope and Facebook Live, if we are not creators ourselves we at least seem to be paying attention to the live streams (Facebook has seen a 700% growth in video views in the last 14 months).

I personally find it fascinating that I can watch live video streams from both unknown creators and CNN within the same app. And take part in a moment on the other side of the planet, whether it be breaking news, a beautiful sunrise or the Olympics.

Even though we are just starting to embrace live video one should always keep one eye open for what´s next in how we consume live video content, and how we can utilize this tool. And who knows better how to adapt tools and make them their own more than the people of China. Of course, Periscope and Facebook Live are banned in China (together with YouTube, Google, Vimeo, Soundcloud and a long list of other tech companies), so they have innovatively enough built their own live video apps.

Apps such as Ingkee, Momo and Douyu are now the top live video apps in China in terms of number of users and their degree of innovation. Momo was initially a dating app and Douyu a gaming platform, both have now switched their focus to live video as China sees a reality TV culture emerge within the live video space. The content in the live video streams on these different apps varies from “look at me having lunch” and “watch me doing absolutely nothing” (really), to “watch me do my make up” and making conversation with their audience – basically real life or “reality TV” through a mobile lens with no filters. The live video stars also out test driving cars and promote whatever endorsement deals they have going on. The audience can of course respond and engage not only with different emoticons, but also by buying the live video stars virtual gifts bought with real money that the receiver can then take out as hard cash (50/50 split with the app owner). The gifts can be anything from virtual flowers to virtual yachts, and even though we are not talking real life amounts for each item here it is still proven to be a healthy business in addition to endorsement deals.

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“Wang Jianlin, founder of real estate colossus Dalian Wanda Group, streamed video of himself playing poker with associates on a private jet via an app backed by his son. More than 300,000 people watched, and many sent virtual gifts to China’s richest man”. Bloomberg.com

The live video sector in China is now growing at such a pace that it’s turning into a new economic sector of it’s own, which tech giants Tencent and Alibaba have also invested in. As much as “TV personality” and “blogger” now are considered careers, you can now also be a “live video star” in China.

I am very curios to see how live video will evolve the next few years. We can already follow professional news broadcasters on live video, but I would definitely like to see people involved in tourism, cooking, personal training, and real estate taking advantage of live video as soon as possible. Or why not live video Art?

 

Thanks to CNN.com, Bloomberg.com, WSJ.com and TheBeijinger.com for inspiration.

 

 

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Be different

“All you need is a better idea”

To disrupt a business or industry is to do things differently; serve a market that previously couldn’t be served, or cater your product or service to fit another distribution model.

But in order to disrupt you first of all need to think differently, look at things differently, see your product or service from a different angle (maybe someone outside your industry should help you see it from a different point of view), and get comfortable with the idea that you will never “be done” or even reach your vision. Every challenge, project, brief, situation, product development and communication needs to come from “scratch” ; the scratch being a blank canvas for your thoughts about the task at hand.

In a workshop ten years ago we would call this “thinking outside the box”, but there is no box (!)

Tech, social media, product innovation and marketing communication are now so closely linked together, or in my opinion at least should be, that we need to look at the way we communicate a product or service just as different as the product innovation itself. And if you are exceptionally good at what you do you have a team that work closely together on all of the above.

I get extremely geeky excited every time I see communication that strives to be different. With the first obvious reward being attention, you of course need more than attention to get to the long term effect but without the attention there is no scale of your message and hard work.

With Cannes Lions coming up a lot of great work surfaces from around the globe. So here are a few examples of daring to be different.

 

 

 

Thanks to Adweek and Cleverism.com for inspiration.

Why I <3 tech

Yes, I’m getting my geeky side on;)  But don’t worry, this is not about tech “stuff” or  1´s and 0´s. This is about what technology can do as a good for mankind and impact our lives in a positive and magical way.

Many see technology as a distraction instead of how it actually is a disruption that improves our lives. As all fun things it can also be used in a non-positive context of course, but that is not the focus of this blog article.  The objective of this blog article is to make you love technology too.

Technology is such a big part of our lives now and will continue to play an even bigger part in our future lives. It enables us to communicate with our loved ones across the globe just as easy as we can broadcast our message to a world of strangers.  It helps you monitor and improve your health, keeps track of your daily schedule, it increases the efficiency of your work, it simplifies your grocery shopping, and keeps your car and house secure and updated. But how can it actually improve YOU?  Let´s start with the most familiar; your daily activity. Whether you have a FitBit on your wrist or use the iPhone integrated health app you are now aware how much you move in a day. If you work out on a regular basis you are probably aware of your different pulse levels and calories burned during your workout. If you have any health issues where you need to keep track of what and when you eat and drink, an app on your smartphone might be very useful as well.

But what about your mental health? Maybe you don’t address your mental health at all? Exercise  strengthens your mental health, so does taking breaks, breathing and enjoying life. But do you make sure your mind performs to the best of it´s ability ? And do you take care of your mind the same way you take care of your phone, your mac, your car or your house? Ancient techniques to improve mental health can now of course be find in apps on your phone through guided meditation and yoga apps. With a meditation app on your phone it is to get started or keep up your daily ritual anywhere. But what really is innovating within mental health in 2016 is how technology can be used to promote mental health wellness and treat mental health issues. A great new example is the app Pacifica which is a self-help resource for anxiety. Pacifica incorporates principles of cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation and wellness to break the cycle of anxiety.

Another more sophisticated technological device for home use to help treat depression, anxiety and insomnia is the Fisher Wallace Stimulator. It let’s you sit at home and engage in neurostimulation therapy. This may be a future substitute to prescription pills.

These are just a few examples of how far technology innovation has come in the medical field. But how can we make sure that these innovation are available to everyone? One part of the solution is of course to make sure that health personnel everywhere get the best training possible. In April 2016 the first ever cancer surgery was broadcasted live in Virtual Reality, which enabled medical students to get a much “closer” look into the surgery procedure than if they had actually been in the same room as the doctor and patient.

Then combine this type of VR with hologram and 3D printing and you have the next level of medical training and surgery.  Already there are neurosurgeons have operated 3D printed parts to use in the human skull! (If you have an particular interest in this, watch this TEDx talk where it is all explained: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9J9ApJZdbI)

So my point is that technology plays such a big part in our lives, has such an impact, and the opportunities seems to be endless. You can use it to improve your life and professionals can use it to sustain or further enhance your quality of life.  And that is why I love technology. I will leave you with this heartfelt story

 

 

Your passion!

Passion is defined by the Oxford dictionaries as as an intense desire or enthusiasm for something.

Do you know what your passion is? Or passions are? Can you say it out loud?  If you don`t know what your passion is – you need to find out. Not because you should quit everything you know and go chase/pursue/follow it, but because without it; does life really make sense?

If you don`t believe you have a passion, or several, read the definition at the top one more time. Or a more impactful exercise; imagine someone telling you that you can never do that thing ever again. How does it make you feel?

You might be passionate about gardening, working out, travelling, books, science, cooking, football, making art, teaching, learning, sales, fashion, writing, fixing cars or in what ever business field  you are in.

Your passion is what drives you, it drives you to be in a passionate state, and that passionate state often lead to happiness. And sometimes it is the result of being able to do, or take part in, several of the things you are passionate about that makes you happy. Maybe you do have a passion that makes you happy – but you don`t recognize it because you haven`t  defined it? You don`t need to define it, but if you do you will appreciate it more.

I`m passionate about many things, I often find myself in passionate state of mind whilst doing a lot of things that I probably would not define as things I have an intense desire or enthusiasm for. But one of the things I am really passionate about is storytelling, in general, and the art of marketing. And when a story comes together like the one I am sharing with you today, it`s just a fantastic work of art! And I just want to discuss it , watch it over and over and share it with everybody!

One on One

How different generations  communicate and how we as marketers can be a part of that conversation are questions that seems to stand the test of time. There are of course the demographic variables to take into consideration as the world of communication and the world we live in interconnect. But no matter where your customers live, how they communicate and how they approach different products and brands (or don`t), there is always something to be learned from it.

What I find interesting now is what differs the most from the part of the world that I live in; which is China.

With the great firewall of China blocking facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter it is no wonder that WeChat has become the Chinese populations “everything”. The innovation in WeChat is still impressive though and the rest of the world should pay close attention to the service they provide within the app. This is an app that has 570 million daily users and it is not just a chat app, it is your mobile wallet, your daily news provider, your blog platform, and might even be your recruitment platform soon as they have a LinkedIn integration as well. Apps like Whatsapp pale in comparison to the services available for WeChat`s audience in China.

Media and brands are now finding their way in to take part in the conversation with their target audience in an app that is such a big part of this populations life. As for most social media channels the individual is very much the hart of the conversation, and to just set up an account for an official media publisher within WeChat is likely to not have as strong of impact or influence as an individual voice has.

Some publishers recognizes this by encouraging their reporters to set up their own public accounts on WeChat sponsored by their publisher employer. This way the news are communicated in a personal way and not only in a “texted” version from mass media content.

KLM is one of the brands that has started their conversations with their Chinese customers on WeChat, and by integrating this platform into their CRM system they can use this channel more efficiently based on previous interactions with their customers on other platforms. KLM take their social media seriously and believe that they can serve their client best `where ever they are` .

Outside China we are more familiar with WhatsApp, which now has 1 Billions users. KLM are of course using the popular WhatsApp chat app as well in their social media mix. At Schiphol airport in Amsterdam you can now rebook your cancelled flight via WhatsApp, so you don`t have to stand in line at the service desk should your flight be cancelled due to an ash cloud or earthquake. A service that might be more useful on a frequent basis is how the Starwood Hotel Group use WhatsApp to communicate with the guests staying in their hotels. At the W Hotel in Doha you can ask the Guest services/ Concierge/W Insider for a wake up call, dinner reservations, room service, butler assistance, dry cleaning and more.

This of course opens up to new expectations in how your audience will demand that you are accessible to them. Whatsapp, Faceboook Messenger, Viber, and the likes of them, can prove to be a vital step in how you build customer loyalty when your audience`s phone is glued to their hands. And for the travel industry it is also an excuse to make communication easy in a world where no traveller really needs them anymore unless something goes wrong.

We as marketers and/or publishers now need to carefully take part in this conversation, and to quote Marissa Meyer about Tumblr ” promise not to fuck it up”.

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(Researching for this article I used my own experience and the following sources: Tech in Asia, Fusion.com, KLM, and Cmo.com)

The Digital Expats

Digital expats, definition by yours truly:

The digital expats are the new breed of expats; we are a culmination of digital nomads and the traditional expats. We do not consider ourselves true digital nomads as we do not travel as often as they do, and we do prefer a fixed base, often in an exotic location though. We do not consider ourselves traditional expats as the majority of us are self-employed and/or entrepreneurs, and not shipped out by an employer in our home country. We decided it was time we got our own name.

More and more people are trying their hand at entrepreneurship and/or working freelance. Being employed may seem less secure than before, being your own boss does not mean less work but work when and how you want,  the digital economy opens up to so many opportunities, and time is the new currency. I can`t really continue without quoting the cliché “life is too short” ; is a 100 years even enough for all we want to accomplish?

The technology enables us to communicate and work from almost any location across the globe. Thanks to internet everywhere, the smartphone, mac /pc, Skype, Slack, Squarespace, WordPress, gmail, Upwork.com, social media (I could go on, but I think I made my point), we can basically work from anywhere.

Here in Ibiza we are now quite a large growing community of digital expats. Who knew that this beautiful island, best known as the worlds best party island, actually inhabits freelancers and entrepreneurs from all over the world? When I ask people why they chose Ibiza, most of them say that they wanted somewhere beautiful, with a nice climate, good vibes, and the majority of them had visited Ibiza before and the island made a lasting impression on them. It is all about quality of life, no matter where you choose to venture out to.

So how do we actually manage to work from here?

  • Try to do more of the work you are passionate about and less of what you care less about. Congratulations, you will now actually love working!
  • Have a dose of discipline; set up a schedule, set up a budget
  • Use technology do make your tasks and your overall work easier
  • Set up a nice home office or rent a desk at a shared office space
  • Be responsible for your own learning, in general and within your field; you would be surprised of how much you can learn online; free online courses, university courses and degrees (coursera), video streams from conferences all over the world, TEDtalks, mentors, free online training in how to do anything, take a language course, you should be learning something all the time.
  • Find people like you! Do your research, you are definitely not alone.
  • Join co-working days. In Ibiza we meet once a month to share a work space for the day. We work from 10-18, and then have after work drinks. Congratulations, you now have colleagues!
    • (Co-working offices are available all over the world, check it out next time you are out travelling).
  • Find the motivating factor in your new life; in my spare time I get to go dancing, in my spare time I get to go to the beach, kite surf, play tennis etc, in my spare time I will meet up with my friends, in my spare time I will learn the local language, this evening I will see the beautiful sunset.
  • And when you wish to see your family, friends or clients – they are only a flight (or two) away.

Are you curious about the digital expat life in Ibiza? Thought so, take a look:

 

If you are not quite ready to take the plunge and be a digital expat, you can test it out by doing a workation  – a combination of work, vacation mixed with all kinds of fun activities. Take a look at this exotic opportunity: http://www.doawesomesh.it/snowmads

 

 

 

Emotional content in marketing

Super bowl is coming up, and what I am excited to see of course are the new commercials! So while we wait, here are a few of my favorite commercials. Enjoy!

Research studies have shown that adding emotions to a brands marketing communication can mean a higher level of economic success. Emotional content will likely have a higher success rate than rational or rational and emotional combined.
These are just a few of the commercials I really like, which has emotional content, and they play on different emotions in order to get the message about their brand and product across without actually showing you the product (in most cases).