In the perfect late summer weather in Marina Del Rey, the Ritz Carlton hosted The Digital Hollywood Summit Conference.
Dynamically structured with events and panel discussions, the conference strove to evolve the understanding of entertainment for industry professionals in the current climate of a fast paced digital age.
The conference I attended was Marketing Hollywood Content--Using Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Smartphone and Tablets, Building Audience-Building Buzz--Understanding Metrics and Measurement of Success.
Interestingly, this vast topic probably could have been discussed in multiple discussions, for a much longer period of time. However given the broad nature of this topic, the members of the panel did their best to make the information they shared as useful and informative as possible.
Most interesting about this discussion was the sharp attention placed on distinguishing the difference between number of likes and or friends and followers, one garners from social media, and the number of individuals one can actually engage in a call to action. Jon Vlassopulos founder and CEO of Trailerpop, and the mind behind the idea to engage American Idol fans in text-voting; discussed the value of allowing your built in audience, (your friends, likes, and followers) a reason to engage, by giving them an opportunity to offer their opinion. In the case of American Idol, “to vote”.
Likewise, Mike Tanaka, Head of Business Development and GM, WhoSay, Inc., works to provide a specialized forum for fans which works in all different forms of social media, be it on a smartphone, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and or Tumbler. Through the vast database of people who use WhoSay, he is able to use “smart targeting” based on the knowledge WhoSay has accumulated to offer members information and opportunities they are inclined to be interested in. This in turn serves his business by keeping people coming back to WhoSay as a useful source of information.
Dean Newton, Board Member, Attorney, Pandoodle Corp. added the refreshing observation that the value of followers and likes is measured only by their willingness to engage and respond to a “call to action.” In other words, will they follow a brand?
Alex Barkaloff, Principal Connect Ventures LTD, reminded us of the undeniable influence the television show Mad Men has had on the current trends in fashion, and how in some ways this is ushering in a new era of global productions, and the current market awareness that fans influence content.
Over all the panel demonstrated that engaging fans at a pre-production level by requesting their input, as well as paying attention to the dominant likes and follows in a smartly collected database will influence the future of entertainment. This idea was solidified in a description by moderator Michelle McGuire Christian, Senior Manager Stategy Deloitte Consulting, by demonstrating the principles behind Netflix’s House of Cards. Perhaps not so widely known, but uniquely interesting is the fact that the show was created around and based on the information of most searched actor, most popular subject and content. Based on the information Netflix already has in their vast database, they created their first very successful series from a different starting point. Less organic, more scientific, but nonetheless very creative, and deeply satisfying.
Ultimately a database, and knowing how to leverage it, are the keys to the future success of marketing Hollywood Content using social media.
Jennifer Cozza James
October 24, 2013