menu

Ed Cotton: Useful Trumps Engaging

Ed Cotton: Useful Trumps Engaging
Advertising

How can brands, in the face of increasing media fragmentation, enhance the consumer experience?

Ed Cotton, BSSP
  • 9 july 2012

Tim O’Reilly posted an interesting thought piece up in Google+ about the challenges Google faces in its battle against a myriad of competitors, not least Facebook.

O’Reilly believes Google has lost its focus and moved away from its core DNA which was providing access to information in the fastest way possible to a world where engagement is the most important thing.

“With a little time to reflect on the Google I/O announcements, I’m disappointed by how many of them were social time wasters rather than real improvements in utility.

….my advice for competing with Facebook is to constantly focus on how to make social data more useful – which may mean less time on site – rather than more “engaging.”

Of course, both Google and Facebook time on site is dwarfed by the “time on site” of television, that vast wasteland of passive consumption. That ought to tell us something about the folly of time on site as a metric. 

I want services that help me get more benefit from less time online, not services that take me further and further from time in the real world.  

This may be why of all the announcements at Google I/O, I’m most excited about Project Glass.  While the demo for Glass emphasizes how it can be a powerful vector for social sharing of experiences (that skydive was awesome!), Glass will avoid marginalization (I heard several people refer to it as “the Segway of 2012″) only by focusing relentlessly on becoming useful rather than becoming engaging.  It will need to slip into the background rather than being in the foreground, a tool for enhancing our engagement with the real world rather than our engagement online.”

O’Reilly neatly sums up the challenges Google faces with ensuring product success.

Maybe part of this is to do with the desire for the “wow” factor in order to generate breakthrough and press for the brand. There’s probably an emphasis on “sizzle”, in order to make the jaded tech press take note and these days, who in any marketing department doesn’t want to generate some nice social media metrics for launches.

Google’s problem is also the challenge that many brands now face- given the complexity of media fragmentation, brands want to try and create deeper engagement through social media channels with their creative assets, but there’s a big danger here; brands need to be providing things that are ultimately useful to consumers.

Too specific a focus on communication engagement might lead brands to take their eye of the ball and not continue to innovate their product portfolio, falsely believing that engaging communication is a substitute.

In addition, brands need to find a way to make their communication useful- this isn’t about rational factoids littering the purity of the creative message, but thinking of smart ways that digital content can be turned into useful things that help enhance the consumer’s experience with the brand and do something positive for their lives.

(Read original post here.)

Ed Cotton is the Director of Strategy at BSSP, and is curious about all things relating to brands, marketing and culture. Read more at influx insights.

Advertising
Trending

Lyft Gives Free Rides To Those Who Have Had Too Much To Drink

Advertising
Syndicated Yesterday

Banned Books Week Urges People To Seek Out Controversial Works

Joining the annual celebration of the right to read, US author Jessica Herthel called for 'more information, more voices' to protect diversity

Augmented & Virtual Reality Yesterday

Outdoor Camp Presented In 360° VR By X Games Gold Medalist

The video features campers riding BMX trails, zip lining through the woods, and performing big-air jumps

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Travel Yesterday

Boeing Wants Passengers To Control Their In-Flight Experience Through Their Phones

The airline manufacturer is embracing automation through a new generation of mobile travel apps

Augmented / Virtual Reality Yesterday

VR Surgery Videos Offer Interactive Medical Education

Dutch startup MDLinking hopes to globalize communication between students and medical care professionals with virtual reality content

Related Expert

Will Berman

Teenage Denim Fashion Designer

Culture Yesterday

Use Twitter To Learn A New Language

tDict is an app that uses the social media platform to help you search for words in local dialects

Mobile Yesterday

This Startup Wants To Digitize The Loose Coins In Your Pocket

CoinOut is a new app that lets you save your extra change from cash transactions as electronic funds

Advertising Yesterday

McDonald’s Is Accepting Trash As Currency In Exchange For Burgers

An initiative in Stockholm is trying to keep streets clean while satisfying hunger

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed september 23, 2016

Productivity Expert: The Magic Of The Five-Hour Workday

Stephan Aarstol, Founder of Tower Paddle Boards, explains why the modern notion of office hours needs to evolve

PSFK Labs september 22, 2016

The Future Of Work: Why Innovation Is Every Employee’s Job

PSFK Labs sits down with management at Johnson & Johnson to learn how the company comes up with their next ‘big idea’

Culture Yesterday

Google Is Using Virtual Paper Airplanes To Bring People Closer Together

The tech giant released an app that lets people throw their good wishes out into the world on the International Day of Peace

Advertising Yesterday

Get Paid For Traveling In San Francisco After Rush Hour

BART Perks rewards commuters who take early or late trains by giving them extra points to trade for money

Culture Yesterday

Artist Designs Covers For Books That Don’t Exist

Published by the fictional 'Specious Books,' the subversive works facilitate a conversation regarding the artistic integrity of graphic designers

Work Yesterday

Editorial Roundtable: The Arrival Of The People-First Workplace

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX enumerate the reasons why companies need an employee-embracing workforce in order to exist

Food Yesterday

Bringing Food Innovation To America’s Crowded Milk Market

a2 Milk's Blake Waltrip, Chief Executive of the USA region, discusses how the distributor plans on bringing the popular drink for the dairy-sensitive to the States

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Financial Services Yesterday

Device Makes Digital Currency Feel Tangible

The concept gadget wants you to experience the highs and lows of spending money

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Why Building Better Offices Is The Key To Employee Engagement

Interaction Designer and Audio-visual Technologist at ESI Design illustrates the value in creating environments filled with surprise and delight

Augmented / Virtual Reality Yesterday

NBC Is Planning To Stream The Presidential Debates In Virtual Reality

Partnering with AltspaceVR, the broadcaster offers another way for Americans to engage with the election season

No search results found.