How many times have you gone to a conference and heard anything much said about the sponsors? Sure they are present and you see them – so there is a brand impact. But there isnt much in the way of real interaction.
At Barcamp London last weekend, there was definite interaction with the sponsors. From people saying “My view of Yahoo has completely changed” (they hosted the event and provided some of the food) to just the general gratitude towards the sponsors for providing things like food, drink, free t-shirts (I never saw so many in one place before!) and networking cables!
Here is the full list of sponsors:
Yahoo! UK, venue and connectivity!
eBay, Saturday lunch
Yahoo! UK, Saturday dinner + beers!
BBC.co.uk and backstage.bbc.co.uk, Sunday breakfast and Sunday lunch!
TechCrunch, drinks and snacks for the event!
Chinwag, sponsoring event t-shirts!
Belkin, power and network equipment
I read this post on Scobleizer and agreed wholeheatedly with him why Apple have a great brand. I felt that they knew how they could connect with their audience. The idea to remember Rosa Parks on their website was sound. But..
I just read comments on Mini-AOL‘s blog about the same topic. The question raised was “is it right to use her image with a company logo?” It’s a very good question. I went back to Apple’s website and had another look at the image. Sure enough there is the Apple logo and “think different” underneath, which I saw before but never really thought too much about – why should I? it is an image in memory of Rosa Parks – that was the main message. Apple’s logo and tagline is subtle.
If that poster had been used on a billboard somewhere I might have thought the same thing as Mini-AOL right off the bat. That of course for me is the problem. I think Apple did go too far “over the line” in this case. The line is of course blurry, but I think it would have been better to just show the image in memory of Rosa Parks – most people would have still have got the subtle connection to Apple’s brand – but at least the non-cynical could say that they were doing it to remember an important person in America’s history. I am not certain you could argue that with apple’s logo and tagline on it.
[UPDATE] There is a lesson to be learnt here – obtain all the facts before criticizing (or praising!) somebody. I found out over the weekend that Apple had previously run that specific poster in an advertising campaign – for me this changes things – they no longer took a poster of Rosa Parks and added their logo and tag.
It is not often that I write about Silverpop – a company that provides enterprise class email marketing solutions and one that I have worked at for 9 months now. This has not been because I have nothing to say, but more because I have been afraid of turning this blog into a marketing website for email marketing and Silverpop’s products (I am a fan so I choose instead to leave this blog for talking about the Internet, where I want it to go and what other companies are doing to move the medium forward). I think in hindsight this is a mistake and I should talk more about email marketing, especially as I am a huge proponent for it (I will try and avoid turning this blog into a marketing page though!).
So, what has caused me to look at this? RSS. IRSS (Individualised RSS) to be precise. It is an evolution of the RSS standard which will allow content to be published in a way that can be targeted, measured and personalised. This means that every subscriber to an RSS feed can receive unique content meant only to him or her or a specific group.
Silverpop have released a product called RSS Direct, which takes advantage of IRSS and combines it with an enterprise class email marketing solution. This means that marketers can start using RSS in the same way they already do with email such as tracking, content personalisation, segmentation, event triggered posts, enterprise level security etc.
More than that though, you can put an end to phishing emails by only communicating through an IRSS feed. This is one benefit I think will certainly change the way companies communicate with their customers. A bank for example can use IRSS to guarantee delivery and the authenticity of its messages. Right now there is a chance that a message cannot get through or that the customer will think it is a fake. IRSS means that not only will the specific individual see the message but also the individual will know that there is no danger of it being faked by those pesky phishers.
There are plenty of other scenarios I can think of but they will have to wait till another day!