The world of digital marketing is always looking for the next new convenience that fixes the problems of the previous generation. Recently, the New York Times Company announced the launch of a program known as Ricochet, a so called “new approach to digital marketing.” Ricochet is already being implemented in the infrastructure of two major clients, SAP and Mindshare, a media agency.
Ricochet began as a way to tie New York Times articles to businesses more readily, creating a legitimate need for all of the articles that are printed on the site, no matter how small the initial audience. The overall effect of the marketing solution is much bigger.
How does Ricochet work?
A brand that is looking for connection to certain articles within the Times Company’s archive can use Ricochet to connect that brand to relevant articles. The patent pending Ricochet Platform will then create a new and temporary Internet address that will connect the advertising of the brand to the articles for a certain duration. This duration can be extended much like any marketing program. The brand then has the opportunity to share the Ricochet links that are created through any social media channel like Facebook, Google Plus or Twitter. It can also share links throughout its own sites.
If the two conglomerates who are already using the Ricochet service are any indication, the product definitely serves a niche. Both SAP and Mindshare have commented that the Ricochet program allows them to combine both push and pull marketing strategies in a targeted way – only the customers that they want to see the links are seeing them. This cuts down on paying for useless impressions on Facebook and Twitter ads, increasing conversion rates and decreasing bounce rates on click throughs to the website.
Ricochet is also extremely different in that it offers security and protection for the users. It is based off of the famous Tor network, which means that all users are hidden. Basically this means that users no longer have the necessity to have complicated digital security while using the network. This could really cut down on digital security costs for digital businesses. It would be similar to a physical business no longer needing their security guards or special cameras such as Pro-Vigil. This means that companies will be able to decrease their overhead and increase profits.
Ricochet Versus the Traditional Advertising Platform
Up until now, brands have needed a consistent generation of content in order to reach customers. With Ricochet, these brands do not have to rely on content necessarily, because the content is reaching the audience through the brand. Companies will be able to direct their own connection lines to customers through their social media profiles and proprietary websites. The content does not have to be produced in house – the Times takes care of the professionalism there. Ricochet allows brands to surround themselves with this content, creating a more professional look without having to pay for professional content production.
The Times brand also holds a great deal of weight within certain audiences; having these articles as a backdrop to any brand creates more trust for that brand.
How exactly will Ricochet change the digital world?
Up until the implementation of Ricochet, there has truly been no media aggregation service that combined the resources of earned, paid and owned media in one big package. With Ricochet, the discovery of content that is relevant to an audience will be easier for an audience, taking yet another step into the social media world of tomorrow.
What do I need to understand about the way that Ricochet is programmed?
A knowledge of programming will definitely give you a leg up in using programs like Ricochet. As more brands attach themselves to the service, the competitive advantage of simply using it will dissipate. The brands that will continue to gain use from the program will be those who understand how to manipulate it from the inside out. Note this is not cheating; the advertisers who are succeeding on Facebook and Twitter today have mastered the proper use of keywords and conversation threads – the environment will be no different for Ricochet users.
The successful Ricochet user of the future will understand how to direct the system to connect its brand to content that may not seem to be directly connected at first. However, as Ricochet integrates itself into the major search engines and social media sites, there is sure to be more in store for dedicated programmers.
Lee Ying has over 10 years experience in the tech and security industry. He currently writes for various websites, if you would like to contact him you can find him on LinkedIn. Follow me on Twitter @LeeYing101