Sponsored Tweets / Forrester’s POV

A repost of a Forrester summary Sponsored Tweets

Executive Summary

New product launches involve many moving parts and require tight synchronization between product management, product marketing, sales, service, and engineering — as well as a multitude of third parties — to meet corporate goals. Customer and developer feedback has emerged as an essential information source to help disparate groups quickly build consensus regarding launch priorities and decisions, which decreases time-to-market. As a result, tech marketers seek better ways to more frequently incorporate customer and developer feedback into the product launch process to introduce a new product that is truly ready for the marketplace. By monitoring and measuring social media conversations on new products throughout the product launch cycle, technology marketers can gain valuable and timely customer and developer feedback to help accelerate, improve, and influence product launch readiness.


Twitters Bad Idea






Posted by George Colony on July 13, 2011

Twitter is searching for a way to make money — a prerequisite for a  Bubble II IPO (http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/07/07/investment-values-twitter-at-8-billion/)

An idea it’s been pushing since April is something called promoted tweets

(http://support.twitter.com/articles/142101-what-are-promoted-tweets) — auctioning the rights to place advertising at the top of popular Twitter streams.

Google places ads — why can’t Twitter? One big fat reason:  Twitter’s ad imposes itself into a discussion among real people. It’s as if you held a dinner party and an uninvited stranger barged into your house screaming self-serving non-sequitors — and you can’t get rid of him. A search ad has the potential to help you; a “conversation ad” is simply disruptive.

Promoted tweets appear to be directed at the B2B space. Only one problem: Forrester’s research indicates that Twitter possesses very limited influence over B2B transactions, at least in the technology space. Twitter influences one half as many Business Technology (BT) buyers as Facebook, and only a third that of LinkedIn. You can find a very short precis of the report here (http://www.forrester.com/rb/Research/social_tech_product_launch/q/id/59509/t/2) . Promoted tweets are a bad idea on many levels — Twitter should scrap them and head back to the whiteboard in search of a less intrusive way to justify its irrational market valuation. I’d love to get your comments..

Pricepoints : Some interesting comments show a variety of POV’s. I can’t disagree with Josh’s accurate assertion of Twitter’s rights as a business to monetize its system. Capitalism, right? As a marketer, I see the value of right time, right place relevant communication. Relevant is key and open to debate sans clarification.  And, importantly, still subscribe to the theory of market correction, in this case, marketing‘s  ability to correct itself. Bottom line for me, the promoted tweet needs to add value, not be a re-tweet retread and most certainly be identified as an injection into the conversation.

Assessment is right on (/george_colony/11-07-13-twitters_bad_idea#comment-12627)

Comment from Jason Freeman (not verified) on W ed, 07/13/2011 – 11:18

Your assessment is right on. That said, would love to know what you think the revenue model should be. Thank you for the post.

Get used to those Twitter ads (/george_colony/11-07-13-twitters_bad_idea#comment-12628)

Comment from Josh Bernoff on W ed, 07/13/2011 – 11:19

Twitter has to find a way to make money — just like Facebook and Google and Yahoo. It’s a heck of a lot better if it makes that money from advertisers than from charging users.

Promoted tweets don’t get in the middle of conversation any more than paid search results “get in the middle of” natural search or display ads “get in the middle of” the news in the New York Times. It’s just that we’ve gotten used to those other ads — meaning we know how to read them and how to ignore them.

In my opinion (I’d say “in my humble opinion” but nobody ever called me humble) the problem is that the ads look TOO MUCH like tweets. I’d be happier if the ads looked more like ads. Then people would read them or not, just as they do with any other ads. Twitter needs more advertising.

The problem with promoted Tweets… (/george_colony/11-07-13-twitters_bad_idea#comment-12638)

Comment  from George Colony on W ed, 07/13/2011  – 15:01

There’s a big difference between promoted tweets and ads in the New York Times or in Google search. Tweet topics and streams are created by the users — they are private ideas and conversations. Ads in the Times work because that company created value (the articles), so readers will put up with ads. Same goes with Google — that company deployed its amazing algorithms to get the users accurate search results — so the user will put up with the ads. But let’s say you created a conference, let’s say SXSW as an example. You spend a lot of money getting people to your conference, you rent a facility, and you create a hash tag for the conference, #SXSW. The attendees (and others) now use Twitter to talk about the conference and the content, but there’s an interloper who bid to persistently appear at the top of that stream — a very, very strategic spot. That’s unfair to the content provider (SXSW) and disruptive to the Twitter users. Ads only work when there’s a fair trade at work. In the promoted tweet case, that’s not the case.


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