Global Trend Report | Focus 2012

This trend report has been created to help you prepare for, and bring about, a very different approach to business in 2012.  Moving beyond advertising and marketing, we suggest a collaborative business design, one empowered simply by the ability to create sustainable connections.

Video Inspires a Cycle-of-Courtesy via @TEDTalks

We often use the term Cycle-of-Courtesy for describing a reciprocal process within social media.  In this talk TED’s Chris Anderson shares his thoughts for how web video is creating and inspiring the ideal conditions for innovation.

These conditions create intense levels of understanding and connection. Advantages grow from collective ideas, not individual agendas, or predetermined direction.

Chris Anderson  “Web video is driving Crowd Accelerated Innovation”

Original and inventive ideas come to life, they are set into motion via a Cycle-Of-Courtesy.   The benefits of these powerful ideas and connections is still, yet to be discovered.  But, we do know that it remains important not to disrupt the natural process of discovery and sharing.  Within collective innovation, this natural process establishes the intention of ideas and a course for innovation.

“A new Cycle-of-Courtesy has developed; where people, compelled to share ideas and experiences with others, has become a common and expected task. It’s as if they feel it’s their duty…informing others is simply a natural part of the reciprocal process”

So, We Don’t Want to Engage with Brands via Social Media

I have been curious to learn how much our Digital Life has developed during the last year. The TNS Digital Life study of 2010 offered a comprehensive view across 46 markets and helped companies prepare for what was ahead. This week TNS released their 2011 Digital Life results.  The report reflects the Digital Life of 72,000 people across 60 countries and the findings are extraordinary.

Of course I am anxious to dive into all the data!

What was interesting? Everything…

Allow me to start with “Engage”

Our lack of excitement for engaging with brands via social media is rather interesting and I wanted to share a few thoughts.

TNS discovered that 57% of people in mature markets are simply not interested in engaging with brands via social media.  Folks in the UK [61%] and in the US [60%] are particularly disenchanted with brands via social media. This may not be surprising, but at the same time, people are increasingly creating “original” content and are anxious to talk about brands with anyone located within reach of their social voice.

  • 57% of people in developed markets do not want to engage with brands via social media
  • 47 % of global digital consumers now comment about brands online

Authenticity and Conviction

This is a time of discovery for brands. A journey that should soon help them understand, the idea of social media engagement was not designed to pick up where traditional marketing left off.  Even more compelling, high levels of engagement do not lead to influence or true connections.  Using social media as a form of engagement without trying to nurture a real connection is ridiculous.

Take into account why people are using social media. To communicate, to interact and to share.  Every social act comes with the anticipation that it will offer relevance to someone.  A good deed has been done, a smile has been shared and in each, a response is simply the best!

For brands the purpose of social media is to communicate, understand people, and how they see your offerings. Social media should also support collaboration, but to do so requires a very different mindset and almost humble positioning.

Within social media brands have an entirely different role.  Brands must have and express an authentic persona; offer services, resources and position (enable) people strategically within every endeavor. Simply engaging with people is not enough, brands have to form connections. Identify emotional triggers, begin a conversation and respond with conviction.  Co-creating and extending the brand experience is the essence of social media success.

How? People are creating original content, at the same time brand messages must be unique. Celebrating what people are naturally doing, or co-creating even branded-content, supports emotional ties.  Within the dynamics of this approach, people are positioned as the vital element. If conditions are right, people will reward brands with a mention on their Facebook page, Twitter feed or their most important circle!

The data also supports our suggestion that brands enable people-to-people connections. Supporting these connections will encourage a brand’s social mission.  

  • 47% of people comment about brands online

TNS’ Digital Life  also reports that people are open to talking about brands via social networks and are often excited to share their opinions.

  • Among those commenting, 46% of the reasons for writing comments is to HELP! 

We refer to this process as a Cycle-of-Courtesy.  People are compelled to share ideas and experiences with others. This has become a common and expected task within the most trusted of social groups. It’s as if “they feel it’s their duty…informing others is simply a natural part of the reciprocal process”.

Social Media…The Pulse of Revolution | Excerpt from @mathewi

A great post by GIGAOM, “Social media, tipping points and revolutions”  supports our idea of “original”, the evolving need for people to be heard and…our trend report cover :o!

Truly emotional, somewhat political, but completely original!

Mathew explores the role of social media within the “Arab Spring” revolutions.  He supports the power of connections via  Jon Elster and his idea that revolution has four “distinct” and essential phases.  Mathew then shares the brilliant perception of Zeynep Tufekci, The University of North Carolina, Sociologist and Social-media researcher who describes social media as “collective action/information cascade”.   (See Below)

“Now or Never”

We agree, Mathew has shared the important elements that have motivated a reformation of the idea of governing.   For instance, have a look at the differences between “The Tea Party” and “Occupy Wall Street”The Tea Party was propelled by a very focused political agenda.  Occupy Wall Street began with one simple demand, but seems to allow for “original” ideas, with flexibility and a diversity of  issues, that address more than a disappointment with government.  The organic nature of various “Occupy” locations and topics is more likely to ensure that people’s interest remains sustainable.

Thoughts from our recent report –

The Ability to Collaborate

One of the key emerging trends is the idea of “Original”.  Original can mean many different things, but  most notably “original’ intensifies the need to collaborate. People are keen to play a stronger role in influencing performance, and absolute in their demand for relevance.

It has been said that Facebook did not start the idea of revolution, and this is true. People took on the role of disruptor in order to gain a voice, and a place within their community and government. Social media simply acted as the connector, an enabler of dialogues and information, and perhaps more important the collective confidence that others share their original ideals.

The Results

Filters are created from shared passion(s) and information. At the same time, authentic connections are not disrupted by  the misrepresentation of traditional channels… People continue to create new and very trusted-original sources.

Please visit GIGAOM for the full article.

Life In A Day| Truly Emotional…Completely Original via @YouTube

Monumental…

Google has released the final version of Life In A Day via YouTube.  In an inspiring example of co-creation, thousands of people from 192 countries, uploaded 4,500 hours of life to YouTube on July 24, 2010.

The film’s executive producer Ridley Scott and director by Kevin Macdonald have captured a global moment in time…life as it was on July 24th.

 

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$10.00 to help stimulate Google’s open commerce ecosystem

Google offers $10.00 to try Google Wallet.

Google Wallet is automatically available for Samsung‘s 4G Nexus S, and soon, all other NFC-equipped handsets.

What will be interesting to follow:

    • Loyalty and Rewards
    • Merchant Adoption
    • and…challenge of non-NFC mobile wallet offerings, most notably Square and PayPal