Understanding Recommendation Markets - Part 2

***Disclaimer - You are going to need 10 minutes to digest this, grab a cup of coffee and settle in*** Today we return to looking at Recommendation Markets by examining an example of how a recommendation can change value and worth when it is traded in different types of Recommendation Market. (You can find part one to this post here by the way! - Recommendation Markets Part 1)

I explained in the first part to this post that there are two types of recommendation marketplace online, Networked Marketplaces and Collective Marketplace, which each have their own qualities, difficulties and benefits. To bring this to life a little I thought it would be useful to give an example of how a recommendation's value may increase or decrease when it is traded in different types of market place.

Trading a recommendation in a Networked Marketplace

There are some great examples of how the power of many recommendations being traded in a concentrated period of time can have a great effect - take when (RED) turned twitter red for World Aids Day in 2009 or the infamous bring back Wispa campaign. These examples were so effective because they played on the power of the networked market place.

As we examined last week, recommendations traded in a networked marketplace can often be fairly lite in their content, but when the crowd gets a hold of them they can wield a lot of influence very quickly. Let's take the example of ASOS.com to illustrate this further.

In Facebook, ASOS.com have a very active UK fan page, with over 320,000 fans at the time of writing this post. Why did ASOS choose to setup another site for fans to communicate with them, rather than trying to pull all that traffic, friendship and love to the site where they actually sell their stuff? Simple (resisted a Meerkat reference there) - because Facebook as a networked marketplace is already geared up to make recommendation very, very easy. From the "Like" button to "Share of Facebook" to the simple ability to comment and let that be pushed to a news feed, Facebook allows recommendations to spread like wildfire.

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However due to the sheer amount of traffic flowing through the Facebook landscape, and the slight ambiguity around the meaning of "Like"ing a product page, it means that for all that traffic generation and goodwill the content of each individual recommendation remains fairly shallow. So how does ASOS.com tap into it's fan base to leverage or encourage much deeper levels of recommendation?

Trading recommendations in a Collective Marketplace

As I mentioned in the first post on this topic, the Collective Marketplace is a little harder to define. It may look like the bloggosphere as a whole, or a group os bloggers (e.g. British Mummy Bloggers or TechCrunch) but I think the best example of a Collective Marketplace is YouTube.

At first you may think of YouTube as a Networked Marketplace, and I think there is a valuable argument for that, but I see it as far more of a Collective environment. This is because each individual YouTube user, particularly video bloggers or podcasters have far less influence on one another, from a automated position (i.e. If I comment on a YouTube video, or share it on another platform, that doesn't necessarily become visible to a network of my peers, unlike in Facebook or Twitter).

This means that the power of a recommendation within a collective marketplace often has it's greatest value when it is shared proactively by another member of the collective or by someone sharing that recommendation into a network like Twitter, Linkedin or Facebook.

The recent trend in "Haul Videos", where teenagers (girls for the most part) talk their YouTube fans through their latest shopping purstuis is a great example of how a recommendation in the collective marketplace can really drive attention towards a brand. As you can see from the video below from meganheartsmakeup on YouTube (which at time of writing has had over 112,000 views) shows how a recommendation in a collective marketplace has a far deeper level of engagement, and requires more from the person giving the recommendation.

Haul Videos and similarly UnBoxing Videos, product reviews on Amazon or hotel reviews on Trip Advisor are all examples of how a recommendation in the collective marketplace can provide a far more substantial, and more deeply engaged recommendation, that then has the power to spread back into the networked marketplace.

Over to you...

Is you brand facilitating recommendation in collective or networked marketplaces/ if so how?

Is there more value in a recommendation from a collective marketplace or is volume in the networked marketplace more important?

Coming Soon... Recommendation Forces

In the next post of this series we look at how Recommendation Forces can affect the value of a recommendation!