Social media shifts to a crowdsourcing, crowdfunding and contextual big data combo at X-Summit

Social media was initially perceived to be a conversation between the brand and the customer, but is now shifting towards building platforms for consumers to be social on so that they can draw insights and feedback on what to do next to better serve their customer as was well explained in ING’s crowdsourcing efforts by Andrea Wahbe.

While the latter is disrupting the traditional marketing research agency, crowdsourcing and crowdfunding are now working together to potentially change how big studios choose programming through new services like MobCaster in the entertainment world as explained at last week’s X-Summit conference held by Interactive Ontario.

MobCaster, while currently in development, aims to allow users to choose the most popular shows which in turn are more likely to get funded. Essentially, if MobCaster is successful, they will eliminate the need for entertainment studios to run pilot tests and do traditional screening research beforehand. They say: “Find It, Fund It, View It”.

That’s probably something Justin Erdman of Universal Music Canada and other entertainment companies would welcome as a Business of Music in Games, Film, Ads and TV panel said that marketing budgets are increasingly smaller.

IBM, according to this article by InformationWeek is now winning the “big data” race even has brand new CEO Virginia Rometty saying in a Fortune interview with columnist Jessi Hempel what she meant by making markets: “Clearly one of the big target audiences is the chief marketing officer, one of the most underserved in the marketplace”.

Recently, I showed on Techvibes an example of clarity in social statistics with Edelman’s Twitter tracker being inside the 5% polling standard after the Ontario Provincial Election. Rachel Noonan of OglivyOne agreed at X-Summit as she said that social statistics were seemingly more accurate than traditional metrics she’d seen from her days in the Digital and Out of Home Industry.

With so many new metrics, a loose definition, misunderstanding of what they really bring to the table, and too many Twitter analytics providers, we’re often seeing reporters struggle to contextualize it all like in this CTV article that determined social media had little to no impact on the Ontario Provincial Election.  

Granted, it was mentioned to me at an IABC Toronto meeting about the Ontario Provincial Election last week that these kinds of numbers in political elections only matter to the speculators and influencers during the election itself. However, it seemed like the social media numbers were able to show what kind of political marketing was working and what was not accurately. Those types of real-time results can allow for politicians to adjust their strategy accordingly and grab hold of an election race in a shorter period of time than ever before. Was that the reason why the NDP were able to surge so far ahead in the Canadian Federal election?

Regardless, the latter example translates to the business world, where more accurate metrics can allow for better strategic planning and in turn produce more profitable companies. Not to mention the impact it’ll have on the way marketing research has traditionally been carried out as “big data” plays a significant role in business.

However, those handling the data will have to be increasingly careful about how they contextualize it- something statistical economists struggle with everyday. That has given rise to a field of creative economists. The best marketers will understand that data doesn’t replace creativity and common sense- it only serves as a tool to assist in getting the job done for it is getting easier everyday to both be liberated and burned by data.