Thursday, January 15, 2009

Google holds the key to conversational marketing

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBaseI like where Stowe is going with this
He draws the conclusion from the Google shakedown ( Google Ends Google Video Uploads, Shutters Notebook, Catalog Search, Dodgeball & Jaiku ) that the big G is lining up a bid for Twitter.

Interesting, because if there's anyone with the volume of advertisers required to make a business model work in Twitter, it is Google.

Interesting too, to imagine how a half-way house to the fourth dimension of marketing (co-creation with real-time adhoc communities of purpose) could be delivered with something very similar to google adsense.

Think of conversational marketing, think of people being rewarded for recommending products or services where-ever they (digitally at least) talk about it.

Think how we are all advertisers and all marketers now. How the only way messages are passed on in social networks is peer to peer.

Think how trust in you as a source of recommendation could be enhanced rather than damaged by payment (a la ebay's reputation system) when your recommendations aren't broadcast, but shared in peer to peer networks of trust.

If I spam my friends, if I fool my friends, if I fail my friends - then pretty soon they aren't my friends any more.

And if the value of your recommendations are ranked by the reach of your social graph - that should keep the spam down: Lie to make a quick buck if you like. But trust is your currency in this world - and you've just blown yours.

Mechanically how might this work? Perhaps I register with Google Conversation Sense (tm!) and I pick out a series of brands and products I actually like, use and would recommend to peers.

After this if and when I do recommend these in digital p2p communication, I get a micropayment. The size of payment depends on how many people follow/read/interact with me online (which correlates with trust, of course).

There are details to be overcome, for sure. For example, should your use of a specific term become a link whenever you use it - to a particular vendor, depending on bids of the kind used in adsense/adwords.

A simpler proposition would be that you get rewarded for the mention - those receiving the recommendation will use search (likely google) to find a vendor for themselves anyway!)

And I'm thinking beyond single networks. Google could track the conversation across all open networks - and reward participants where-ever the conversation is happening.

Which explains why Facebook (with its conversations beyond the reach of google) is seen as such a rival for them.

Ultimately that may mean that Facebook is the more glittering prize for Google to go after - since they can get at the conversation in Twitter anyway.

  • I want to thank Farhan Rehman for the thinking around adsense and conversational marketing.

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  1. emotional reaction is rarely valuable, but i noticed in reading this post that a negative feeling crept in when contemplating google purchasing twitter ...

    which is perhaps revealing about shifting opinion re google ..

    and that the "innocence" of twitter because it has no business plan is part of the appeal ... it feels free, unmonitored .. emphasis on the "feels"

    curious ... and tells me we still have some thinking to do about how to conduct business in a sustainable and non-intrusive way

  2. I think you are right on the money and I would be astounded if this did not happen. I think it is a perfect fit for either Google or Facebook with the only stumbling block being if the lads want to sell it before it gets really massive. It really should be the biggest tool for marketers going into the future:)

  3. Great post.

    This will be such an interesting one to unfold.

    I recently published a piece which touche don twitters revenue model and mentioned some similar ideas -


The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?