The World is All a Twitter
The Guardian newspaper in England keeps writing about the importance of Twitter so it was not much of a surprise that for its April Fool it was that the print edition would terminate and the whole paper would be produced on Twitter. Well as it happened I just decided to follow my own local paper the Somerset Western Gazette, and last Thursday and Friday I was totally overwhelmed by Tweets from it. Apart from births, marriages and deaths I imagine they did Tweet the entire paper to their eleven followers. It would be interesting to learn from them the rational and approach they have towards this use of the digital space.
With pop stars and celebrities hiring staff to Twitter for them the value of this micro-blogging is certainly diminished (apart from Claudia Winkleman with 11267 followers and Stephen Fry with 377926) but three uses I have seen lately highlight its value and its potential. First was the way the University of Bath used it to tell staff or students whether buses were running during the heavy snow, the second was when a family member travelled around Africa and used a private loop to advise family and friends about where they were, and finally the ease with which we could monitor comments and events at the recent G20 meeting in London. The fact that both Sky and the Daily Telegraph were streaming these Tweets on a huge newsroom wall panel was indicative of how important Twitter is in modern news gathering.
When I ask my students (I teach a small number of marketing classes at Bath University and Yeovil College) I get negative comments about the interest in and use of these areas in their life and in marketing. Yet everyone has a mobile phone and a computer in their lives even if they do not spend all their time at home on Second Life and Facebook. What we have to recognise is that every consumer is configured in a different way. Some are relentless in texting and sending photos, some prefer to spend huge amounts of time on social networking sites such as Bebo and Facebook, and some are hooked on Twitter. The fact that Rupert Murdoch bought My Space, ITV bought Friends Reunited, and Google bought YouTube with a current rumour that they are interested in Twitter just goes to prove that all these tools are interlinked and to capture value from them as a business venture and as a marketer you have to work to understand how these linkages work with your customer segments. Since some marketers are not keen to experiment this becomes a problem as I still think the best way to get to grips with all these new ideas is to give them a try.
First Move to Ralph Lauren
There is no doubt that the iPhone and the iTouch has made a change in all this since the middle of 2008 with all its new applications. I am up to five pages in my iTouch with apps that go from news to stocks, through sports and scrabble dictionaries. I have today pulled off a lot of music to make more room for applications and podcasts. One I think is a harbinger for the leather world is Ralph Lauren with its simple easy to use feature on its seasonal range and the history of its iconic Ricky bag.