Are we moving too fast?
Quick catch-up for those of us not in the Oprah know: The show’s book club read for February was A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. To promote the author and the book, Oprah is hosting a 10-week online class on Awakening Your Life’s Purpose with the author.
Participants can watch the classes live or archived and each registered fan gets a workbook to track their own learnings and observations.
Technologically speaking, this isn’t a big break through. Most of us have been enduring Web conferences since the late 90s. But, the content was so compelling and so well-fit for the audience that the response nearly crashed the live programming and quickly catapulted Oprah’s site ahead of traditional American favorites:
"The number of visitors to Oprah.com topped five million in February, making her site one of the top 225 ranked sites in the United States. To put this in perspective, more people went to check out Oprah.com in February than the popular NASCAR, eHarmony, Fidelity, Barnes and Noble or Walgreens sites." __Compete blog (Lots more stats here.)
Meanwhile, locally, I was following David Armano and others on Twitter as they covered Ad Age's Digital Marketing Summit. As thrilling as it was for me, when I tried to share the content about what was going on with friends and colleagues, I pretty much got the blank stare of … what?
Or, more broadly, I’ve been watching StrawberryFrog's news mini-cooper-ization of Scion at scionspeaks.com:
"Scion owners design their own personal “coat of arms” online, a piece of owner-generated art that is meant to reflect their job, hobbies and — um, O.K. — karma.
In making their personalized crests, Scion owners can choose from among hundreds of symbols, all designed by a professional graffiti artist. The symbols range from an eagle, a jester, a king’s crown and a worker’s fist to Japanese anime-style flowers, a three-person family and a yin-yang circle. Customers can download their designs and have them made into window decals or take them to an auto airbrushing shop to have them professionally painted onto their cars." _NYTimes
Incredibly cool, right? But what will the adoption really be like?
And don't even get me started about last year's speculation Second Life.
The Oprah story is a great reminder to pause and think about what we should do as much as what we could do.
In the end, the rules of great online experience marketing are simple:
- Understand the objective: Why are we doing this?
- Know your audience: Care about what they care about
- Know your audience (again): Grow with or just barely ahead of their technology adoption
- Invest in content: If it’s not valuable to your audience, they won’t come back or pass it on