Exclusive Interview: NMK Meets Adam Boyden, President of Conduit
As organisations of all sizes engage in social media, New Media Knowledge’s Chris Lee caught up with one firm looking to help its clients gain more mindshare through browser-based applications.
Social media is set to be the big marketing battleground of 2010 and getting a share of surfers’ Web time is going to be even more competitive than in 2009. Adam Boyden is president of Conduit, which offers a software-as-a-service (SaaS) tool which he argues helps Web publishers of any size to extend their content and brand onto the browser and desktop. Currently, more than 200,000 Web publishers from all over the world are offering customised “conduits” as part of their online marketing. Branded conduits have been created and deployed in more than 80 languages and are used by more than 60 million users, according to Boyden.
The Problem with Social Media
Most organisations are still at the exploratory stages of understanding how to use social media to best engage with the public, Boyden told NMK. Conduit’s own research found that more than half (56 per cent) of Web users search for products and services to buy online and are increasingly using social media to interact with brands directly, making it imperative for companies to engage with consumers via social networks.
“27 per cent of organisations admit they don’t understand social media campaigns,” Boyden said. “It’s new; people are still trying to work it out. What is obvious is that people want to use it more and more, and publishers are increasingly losing control of message delivery.”
One way to build loyalty is via discounts and special offers. Around two-thirds (60 per cent) of consumers say they would be tempted back to a particular site by special offers and discount codes.
Larger organisations are going to have to change the way they operate to compete with smaller, nimbler firms in the social media era, Boyden warns.
“Organisations will have to stop thinking in the tradition silos such as public relations, marketing and customer service, as they’re increasingly becoming one and the same,” Boyden said. “People on Twitter and blogs have as much opportunity to change the message as press releases, so marketing is blurring. Some US companies have even abandoned press releases and now announce news via blogs and social media.”
Boyden believes the biggest challenge now for brands is how they can get noticed by consumers in an increasingly crowded Web space.
“There’s so much going on, gaining mindshare is increasingly hard as consumers are dragged off into different directions,” he said. “With Conduit [sitting on the browser] publishers can get in front of consumers all the time.”
Conduit’s client list includes the Football League, Tottenham Hotspur, publishing group Trinity Mirror and discount site MyVoucherCodes, which uses a conduit that connects all of its marketing efforts, including social media outreach, contests and search.