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技术 - 2011科技头脑风暴

Twitter首席执行官畅谈生财之道

Adam Lashinsky, Sr. 2011年07月28日

7月19日,在《财富》科技头脑风暴科技大会上,Twitter的CEO迪克•科斯特洛阐述了Twitter的业务模式,包括其客户现在购买的广告产品类型,以及Twitter的广告销售方式。

Twitter首席执行官迪克•科斯特洛(左)与《财富》杂志的亚当•拉辛斯基

    Twitter的公司估值高达数十亿美元,但是收益却相对较少,因此那些认为硅谷再度出现了泡沫的人往往拿爱Twitter来说事儿。7月19日,在《财富》科技头脑风暴科技大会(Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference)上,Twitter的CEO迪克•科斯特洛阐述了Twitter的业务模式,包括其客户现在购买的广告产品类型,以及Twitter的广告销售方式。他甚至暗示了Twitter未来的一个主要产品领域——利用其他人在Twitter上的商业活动来生钱。以下是他的谈话摘要,略有删节。

    Twitter广告平台的好处就在于这些广告都是“推文”,它们并非只是有机地被推送到你的粉丝那里,而是先被推送到粉丝那里,然后再推送到你想推送的任何目标顾客那里。你可以设置搜索词,可以在主页上定位热门话题,你也可以说:“我想把广告推送到对这些产品感兴趣的人那里,让他们都成为我账号的粉丝。”我们有很多不同的广告产品,推文所及之处都可以做广告。只有推文的地方,就会有促销的推文。只要我们告诉哪些用户他们可以关注哪些账号,这些促销账号就可以接触到哪些客户。我们在哪里显示了促销热榜,这些促销热榜就会到达哪里。因此对于Twitter平台来说,广告系统是有机的,内容到哪里,广告就会到哪里。

    我觉得从理性的角度看,如果放眼未来,你就会发现这个广告系统的妙处所在。将来浏览器、电脑、智能手机、功能手机和电视等平台都可以无缝接收推文。这些推文到哪里,你的广告就会做到哪里。这为广告商创造了“实时营销活动”的机会——“实时营销活动”也正是宝洁公司(P&G)的CEO和信息总监刚刚讨论过的话题。一些电影公司已经在这样做了。比如在某部电影上映前一个礼拜,他们就开始在Twitter上推广电影的预告片。等电影上映时,或者等电影上映后,他们就开始在Twitter上显示一些观众的影评。

    这种实时编辑和管理营销活动的能力和全球传播的能力是前所未有的,这一点非常激动人心。我们会按实际广告受众的人数进行收费。就像谷歌(Google's)的关键词广告(AdWords)一样,只有当人们阅读了你的营销推文,我们才会收费。

    有一点很值得关注:我们广告的用户参与率非常高。这些广告的用户点进率和参与率基本上都在30%、40%、50%左右。我想有史以来顾客参与率最高的广告,应该是大众汽车(Volkswagen)为他们的新甲壳虫轿车(VW Beetle)所做的促销推文,它的用户参与率高达52%(所谓的用户参与是指Twitter用户点击、回复或转发了该推文)。也就是说,如果你看到了这则广告,但是没有参与进去,那你反而成了少数。与搜索相比,这种广告也很有前景。

    现在我们所有的广告销售都是直接销售。我们把销售团队分成了一支直销团队和一支内勤销售团队。直销团队负责拜访全球250个顶尖品牌,内勤销售团队主要通过长途电话来拜访客户。我们以后还会推出自助式服务。现在这个广告平台上的广告商数量已经增长了600%。去年年底还只有几百个,但现在已经增长了600%。有80%的广告商都续订了服务,更新了Twitter上的营销活动。无论从任何指标来看,公司以及这个平台的财务状况都非常健康,一切正在按部就班地进行。我们已经制订了一套明确的、系统的方法,以使促销推文传播得越来越广。不过在此之前,我们一定会确保良好的用户体验。

    ***

    我认为广告将是Twitter未来最主要的收入来源之一。我之所以说“之一”,是因为这个平台上已经发生了大量的商业活动。这里可以举一两个例子:比如在谷歌的Google I/O大会期间,开幕式那天早上,他们发布了一条推文:“嘿,知道吗,只剩110张票了,550美元一张,请用这个优惠码订购。”这条推文发出后才11分钟,他们又发了一条推文:“票已售罄,谢谢。”也就是说他们仅凭一条推文,在13分钟时间里赚了55,000美元。

    又比如,圣地亚哥闪电队(San Diego Chargers)曾在一个周六的下午发布推文:“如果观众上座率不够,比赛将无法转播。为了转播比赛,我们需要再卖出1,000张票。”只过了40分钟,他们又发布了一条推文:“票已售出。”

    我刚刚说广告将成为Twitter运作的核心方式之一,也将成为我们核心收入来源之一,我的意思是说,只要我们愿意,我们完全可以利用广告这个商机。可以想象,在这个过程中,我们会减少商业活动的阻力。现在做网络广告的话,必须进入一个第三方网站,输入优惠码,或是诸如此类的东西。如何才能减少这种交易行为中的阻力呢?经济学有一条颠扑不破的真理:如果能减少交易中的阻力,就有钱可赚。我们现在正在思考,在这方面我们可以为市场提供什么,同时也在尝试设计不同的东西,并在内部进行试验。

    译者:朴成奎

    With a multi-billion-dollar valuation and relatively small revenues, Twitter is Exhibit A for those who believe Silicon Valley is experiencing another bubble. At Fortune's Brainstorm Tech conference on July 19, the company's CEO, Dick Costolo, explained how the company's business works, including what ad products its customers are buying and how Twitters sells to them. He even hinted a major future product area: capitalizing on the commerce currently being conducted by others on Twitter. A lightly edited version of his description, in his words, follows.

    The beauty of the Twitter advertising platform is the ads are just tweets, and instead of just going organically to your followers, they go to your followers and then whoever else you want to target them to. You can target search terms, you can target trends on the homepage, you can say 'I want to target people who are interested in these kinds of things to follow my account.' So we have lots of different ad products, and those ad products go everywhere the tweets go. Promoted tweets go everywhere tweets go. Promoted accounts go everywhere we show people what kinds of accounts they can follow. Promoted trends go everywhere we show trends. So the ad system is organic to the platform and goes everywhere the content goes.

    I think the fascinating thing about the ad platform philosophically is that when you think about the future of Twitter, where tweets are being distributed frictionlessly to browsers, desktops, smartphones, feature phones, television, etc., when you've got ads that can go globally everywhere those tweets go, it creates this opportunity for advertisers to do the kinds of things that [the CEO and chief information office of P&G (PG)] were just talking about: Real-time marketing campaigns. We already see that from [movie] studios on Twitter. The week before the film comes out, they're promoting trailers on Twitter. The moment the movie comes out or the moment after the movie comes out, they start to show some of the quotes that people have been tweeting about from the movie.

    So this ability to edit and manage a campaign in real time, as it happens, and distribute that globally has never existed before. I think that's fascinating. We charge people on a cost-per-engagement basis. So, like [Google's (GOOG)] AdWords, you only pay when people engage with the tweet.

    The important point to note there is our engagement rates are through the roof. We are seeing ads literally with click-through rates and engagement rates of 30, 40, 50 percent. I think the highest one of all time was when Volkswagen ran a promoted tweet for their new VW Beetle that actually had an engagement rate, where an engagement is a click, a reply or a retweet, of 52%. So, you were in the minority if you saw the ad and you didn't engage with it. That compares very favorably with search.

    Right now are sales are all direct. We actually divide our sales team into a direct sales force that calls on the top 250 brands in the world, and then an inside sales force that calls on sort of the trunk. We'll roll out self-serve later on. The number of advertisers on the platform is up 600%. It was low hundreds at the end of last year, and is up 600%. The number of advertisers that renew campaigns is 80%. Along any axis you want to measure the financial health of the platform and the company, it's fantastic. It's going according to plan. We've got a very specific and methodical way we're thinking about rolling out promoted tweets broader and broader and broader, and we're only going to do that as we ensure that the user experience is good when we do that.

    ***

    I think of advertising as one of the major revenue components to Twitter going forward. I think one of the only reasons I hedge and say one of the major components going forward is because we already see a tremendous amount of commerce taking place on the platform. Just as a couple examples, when the Google I/O conference was taking place, they tweeted the morning of the opening of the conference, "Hey, you know, 100 tickets left, 550 bucks a piece, use this promotion code," and then I think 11 minutes later tweeted, "Sold them, thank you." [That's] $55,000 with one tweet in 13 minutes.

    The San Diego Chargers tweeted on a Saturday afternoon, "We need to sell a thousand more tickets so the blackout can be lifted in San Diego tomorrow," and 40 minutes later or so tweeted, "Sold those."

    When I said advertising will be one of the core ways that Twitter operates and one of the core revenue streams, what I'm saying is there's a commerce opportunity there for us to take advantage of if we want. You could imagine all sorts of [ways] we remove friction from the process. Right now, you have to go to a third site, enter a promotion code, something else. What would you do to remove the friction from that transaction? You know, classic sort of economics: There's money to be made when you can remove friction from transactions. We are thinking about the kinds of things that we will offer to the market, and designing different things and experimenting with different things internally.

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