This coincides with the launch of Shycast, whose invite email I received yesterday. It seems I had forgotten when I first signed up for their service. A quick read through the email shows it came from Techcrunch who featured it a while back as a social network connecting people and brands. From the Shycast beta invite email:
Hi everyone, you’re receiving this because you’re on the beta notification request list for Shycast…and it’s showtime! Thank you so much for your help.
As you read on TechCrunch, Shycast is a community of people and brands; the brands we work with actively seek to connect with people from the Shycast community. We encourage them to listen to people’s ideas, and think of creative and exciting ways to engage the community over time. We imagine that when brands can see and engage the people who really love their stuff, in a safe place on common terms, great things might happen. It’s a big experiment in the way companies and people talk to each other…we’re not sure what’s going to happen but we’re glad you’re joining us in finding out.
Shycast’s unique positioning in the lucrative marketing industry is worth a study:
But Shycast does differ slightly from other forays in one significant way. Instead of going after traditional advertising, PR, direct response, or online marketing budgets, it is targeting promotional budgets, an area of marketing that typically has been relegated to the coupon and sweepstakes industry…
…It’s an interesting strategy, because most big media companies ignore promotional spending. During the 1980s when markers began upping their promotion budgets due mainly to the rise in so-called “trade” promotions, and it looked like promotional budgets were beginning to cannibalize on traditional advertising, most big media companies developed promotional marketing units to tap into the craze. But in recent years, traditional media outlets have backed away from the strategy. While plenty of integrated media deals have a promotional component, they generally are not earmarked against promotional budgets.
The full article from MediaPost is here. IKEA has essentially endorsed Shycast’s approach and is actively getting their customer to produce videos based on bed-making.
Looks like 2006 might really mark a turn in the tide of marketing with the power balance tilting back to the consumers with social media backed by the youtube phenom. I am working on a similar project and experimenting with a live marketing campaign. Lets see how that turns out.