Want to be a billionaire? Easy, says David Rowan. Just master ‘SoLoMo’…

This morning, Chartwell attended “Mobile World”, a conference organised by Editorial Intelligence that explored the implications of the digital information age for business and society.

During the opening discussion, Mark Rogers (CEO & co-founder, Market Sentinel) argued that the internet has opened up ‘private’ conversations to the public domain; it is now possible to track the spread of ideas much more easily. For Mark there are three key ingredients that maximise the chance that an idea will go viral.

  • An appealing universal message. This means people are more likely to ‘like’ a message on Facebook or follow it on Twitter.
  • Present your idea in a positive, or at least neutral, tone. Academics don’t have much success on Twitter because they approach what they write from too critical a mindset. Government authorities, too, are usually too negative in their message.
  • Don’t rest on your laurels. You need to keep up your presence to maintain engagement with your audience.

Theresa Wise, founder of T Wise Consulting, pointed out that viral messaging is something of a double-edged sword for business. It can be great for creating brands such as the Obama Campaign or Susan Boyle. However, it also presents the risk that, when something goes wrong, everyone knows about it very quickly. For her, other key trends included:

  • The rise of recommendation engines, such as Amazon or Rotten Tomatoes. Their influence forces brands to secure a more personal relationship with the consumer to ensure their loyalty.
  • Brands are now competing for attention span, not shelf space. Keep the public hooked by maintaining the positive aspects associated with your brand name, whilst continuing to innovate.

David Rowan of Wired UK, who also spoke at Chartwell’s Breakfast Club in February, said the latest buzz word in Silicon Valley is ‘SoLoMo’. If your business can be Social, Local, and Mobile, your rise to fame and fortune is unstoppable. Honest.

  • Social: Use social networking to sell your product. VW launched their latest GTI model solely on Facebook, allowing people to design their own custom models and display it on their Facebook page. VW realised that people are attracted by what their friends buy. Get your brand into the social networks, and your business will fly.
  • Local: There is a demand for products that provide access to important information about your immediate area. For example, in New York, doctors are developing Asthmapolis, an app that tracks air pollution hot spots by monitoring when and where inhalers are used.
  • Mobile: All the action is happening on mobile telecoms devices. Africa is a market with huge growth potential. The amount of available bandwidth on the continent and mobile access is set to increase hugely in the next five years. Get in there quick.

Mark Rogers is CEO and co-founder of Market Sentinel, a consultancy that uses complex maths to allow marketers and communicators to understand their marketplace.

Theresa Wise is founder of T Wise Consulting, and was previously Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy for EMEA at The Walt Disney Company

David Rowan is Editor of WIRED UK.

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