Voice – the oldest marketing and sales medium in the world and said to be “the second oldest profession” has now become the newest most exciting social media.
This week I have been doing a telephone survey and the freshness of insight I gained from speaking to real people whose job depends on having a good working relationship with my client was pure gold. I found them a chance to win back a big lapsed client; we understood their ethical leadership position in the industry; I was able to differentiate two core customer groups and develop golden questions to identify these tendencies in others.
As a marketing campaign it has delivered huge ROI already – and that was just the pilot.
Clubhouse rolls out
The launch of a digital chat room where you can speak (but not write or emoji) to other people who are gathering because they want to discuss the same topic as you has become the latest “wow” of the online social media world.
I see this as the digital opposite of my phone survey.
The excitement from pundits is real. Somehow having an app which allows users to schedule events with catchy titles like
- 10x List Building Secrets
- Shark Tank winners: how to be a founder and keep your sanity!
- Beauty industry DISRUPTION [yes, their capitalisation, not mine]
- How to talk to racists
is making marketing and tech folk around the world go mad with enthusiasm. [See screenshots at the bottom of the page.]
Some of these topics are frankly of no interest to me at all. And others have been nice chats with smart, well-meaning people. There’s a good UK marketing room which does “breakfast” every morning – they theme each weekday and sustainability was Wednesday and Tuesday was packaging. Both were well moderated and the topics included examples and case studies as well as discussion about challenges (Hello Fresh’s high plastic use; How to enable kids to unpack their toys and reuse cardboard as a play resource).
And copycats are already coming along – Fireside is a rival service already being talked about.
Same old same old?
Is Clubhouse just a symptom of the pandemic or has a truly new marketing medium launched?
The nicest part of a voice only platform has been the civility. Attendees don’t seem ready to yell and abuse each other and there hasn’t yet been a “Jackie Weaver” incident made public. A kinder version of the internet would certainly be welcomed.
I was also introduced to Frames this week – a virtual reality version of Zoom which is in private Alpha. It looks like any VR room but allows you to speak to other avatars; to live stream; put “pictures” and video onto the walls of rooms and design the virtual environment. The best part is a little blue line across the floor where your conversation can only be heard by others inside the line.
Yet is this really worthwhile?
- From a brand marketing point of view, not yet. Mass adoption hasn’t begun.
- From a direct marketing point of view – not at all, there’s no way of finding and contacting people except by hoping they’ll show up to your next room event.
- From a personal branding and ‘influencer’ content creation point of view – yes some people are punting their expertise – but are they finding the right followers? Who knows.
I do not like marketing that depends mainly on winning a personal popularity contest. It is not replicable or repeatable.
Marketing done well
The best marketing is done direct to people who have the possibility of becoming customers. Going niche not going broad involves finding the right audience not the largest audience, sharing resonant messages not undifferentiated spray-and-pray, where customers appreciate that helpful insights and advice gives a better return on investment.
For now, I’m not recommending you spend too much time on Clubhouse – but I do suggest getting on the blower – you never know what you’ll find out with some open questioning of your clients and prospects.
As ever, marketers are early into the new gig and some set some pretty onerous conditions for joining. And the coders have set up some simple ‘gamification’ tools to enable the fame game of popularity to grow your group.
The Clubhouse app is still in development – it’s not yet available for Android users (70% of all smartphones) and there are clear missing tools like the ability to search for a group or a user using key words or the ability to “produce” content, record or stream media into the group. It’s early days.
Ask me if you’d like an invitation… I’ve got six.