Tag Archives: cause marketing

Forty Billion Videos but How Do I Find One I Want to Watch?

ThiFindings question headlines a blog post in MediaPost Publication, VIDblog by Daisy Whitney who hits hard noting “With Americans watching upwards of 40 billion videos online each month and rising, how do you even find anything anymore? Discovery is becoming a huge issue and is regularly cited by advertisers, agencies and programmers as one of the biggest challenges facing the online video business.”

Discovery is when you find something and is not to be equated with searching when it comes to the Web.  Four years ago when we founded EarthSayers.tv, a cause-related site which aggregates and curates videos highlighting the voices of sustainability, a search on Blinkx for the term, sustainaibility, netted 21,000 results.  Today it’s up to 386,000. And, we know from experience that a full 50% of them are duplicates as people upload one video to YouTube, Vimeo, and Blip.tv, sometimes with different titles.

One can understand why “advertisers, agencies and programmers” see discovery as one of the biggest challenges facing the online Screen shot 2011-11-09 at 11.29.56 AMvideo business, but what about cause marketers charged with a task to educate and motivate our citizens to solve complex problems? It’s a big, big problem, but is largely unrecognized by non-profits, large and small, who are barely getting their feet wet with Web 2.0 tools and techniques, let alone addressing the whole finding issue.

Screen shot 2011-11-09 at 11.29.32 AMThe over-commercialization of the Web continues largely unquestioned or challenged by those with an education agenda.  Our strategy in terms of sustainability and citizen education is to aggregate and curate content for interest-led social networks using our content management system and content library, but branded for a specific network or subscriber base.  Portion control based on a taxonomy allows for special collections and using other more traditional ways of organizing books and periodicals to appeal to browsers is basic, but under-utilized by Web publishers.  It works for categories of sustainability such as conservation, design and architecture, eco-economics or other causes involving citizen education.

Cause-driven Organizations: Stars not Planets

A recent Pew research study which examined nine months of consumer data spanning the first three quarters of 2010, and summarized at journalism.com “sheds light on the significance of search aggregators and social networks, the importance of creating a family of related Websites, and hints at which kinds of sites might have more success with paywalls than others.Screen shot 2011-05-12 at 11.53.57 AM

The importance of linking sites with mutual interests, say all those around water, needs to be emphasized to cause-driven organizations who continue to view their Website as the center of the universe, rather than as one star among hundreds in a virtual constellation accessible to educate our citizens on becoming more conscious and aware of this one planet and its needs. We  need to connect the stars for  them and view their learning process as a journey, an exploration.  For us at EarthSayers.tv we are connecting the people around the sustainability movement and beginning to organize them into  special collections around geography and issues such as water.  Linking is what we do to increase awareness and adoption of sustainability principles and practices. We always appreciate when organizations link back, but few do.  That’s got to change.

Not an Option

There is much talk in the news about how when the economy tanks, sustainability and its consumer-focused cousin, the Green movement, are moved aside.

A recent article in Sustainable Life Media reported on a study by Cone Marketing and Duke University Fuqua School of Management that found “Consumers are more receptive to cause messages than ever before. More than half (52%) of respondents say companies should maintain their level of financial support of causes and nonprofit organizations, despite current economic woes.” Sadly, the article also noted another study by Duke indicating “marketers appear to be taking the opposite tack… chief marketing officers from Fortune 1000 companies predict that more marketers will be shifting away from their cause-related messages over the next year as a result of the souring economy.

One wonders what planet these CMOs are living on if they think they can move away from sustainability practices and products.

A year ago, Andrew Zolli in a March 2007 Fast Company article addressed the conflicting beliefs of “corporations having pressing obligations to civil society and the planet as a whole that go well beyond the economic sphere” and the clinical, value-neutral capitalism championed by Mr. Friedman who warned against “burdening business with wider goals.” Mr. Friedman argued it was “pure and unadulterated socialism.” Mr. Zolli went on to write:

“The clinical, value-neutral capitalism of old is about to follow the recently departed Friedman to the grave.

There are several reasons why this is so, but the first should be obvious to any one but the most hardened anti-environmental skeptic: If we don’t do something soon, we’re screwed. A quick (and necessarily depressing) look at the numbers suggests that supplies of our most basic commodities–potable water, fossil fuels, arable land, clean air–as well as critical industrial commodities such as aluminum, steel, and even silicon, are all under stress.”

I just don’t get where anyone has the idea that the movement towards sustainability is optional.