Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Another new age in Digital Marketing

Between 2006 and 2009, there have been so many changes in how advertisers, media planners and clients view their marketing efforts!

Social media, viral marketing, customer experience, two-way communication about products and services, more transparency in how products and services are reviewed, mobile advertising, portable intelligent devices, games and gaming consoles as advertising platforms... the list goes on and on - and the target is constantly moving.

So where does someone who's new to the game, or someone who's completely confused about what to do and how much to spend, go?

The Razorfish Digital Outlook Report 2009 is easily the most insightful articulation of the changes we see in the online world today.

Razorfish Digital Outlook Report 2009

Not only are organizations modifying their budgets for a more digital skew, they’re changing the mix to less SEM and more social and interactive online media. As most marketers have predicted, top-down branding is losing significance and social media messages are resulting in increased influence in purchase decisions. Advertising on social networks isn’t doing very well, and while that will improve over the next 3 quarters, going after “influencers” is still paramount.

The one biggest take-away some marketers in India still haven’t completely got their hands around: If you want your brand to be well known, it should be visible and movable across media: TV, newsprint, magazines, niche publications, mobile, portals, discussion boards, social media, intranets and even down to your recruitment consultants. It’s not too late to start listening to conversations and participate in engaging customers across all these channels.

Seth Godin, in one of his brilliant “condensed wisdom” blog posts, says:

“Who should you listen to? The critics? The fans?
You should listen to the people who tell the most people about you. Listen to the people who thrive on sharing your good works with others. If you delight these people, you grow.”

The best way to engage these hives is to take a huge dive into the social media space. Will it bring you more sales? Probably not directly - but if you take Dell as an example, that works too.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Misunderstood Web 2.0

It’s a common occurrence for people to get annoyed with overused, rarely-understood and highly overrated buzz words. The Trouble With Web 2.0 - Alexander Wilms - Boxes and Arrows
But to know what’s really entertaining, you should try taking a look at large “formal and hierarchical culture” corporations who desperately try to look hip and cool because they adopt “web 2.0” technologies in their existing web applications.

This very interesting article on “The Trouble With Web 2.0” elaborates on what seems to have become a strangely fascinating trend in enterprises. CIOs are talking about it, Senior management in a bunch of companies are trying to show small software services shops are touting it to every prospective client and even PR firms are trying to sell it as an “additional service”. The trouble is: most of these folks think that adding some audio clips, social bookmarks “Digg This! Add to! etc” to their boring, corporate, centralized content generated websites makes them Web 2.0.

The most important and most simple is that corporate behaviours and processes are not changed just by implementing a new IT service. Installing a blog in a formal and hierarchical corporate culture will not change the company in an open and informal community. Web 2.0 patterns will only work if the corporate and even national culture is already responsive to more collaboration and participation or if the implementation is accompanied by other measures to support cultural change.

The entire “collaborative content”, “decentralized knowledge creation” thing seems to be a little lost on monolithic corporations who’ve lived and thrived on an environment of “protect and hide all knowledge until absolutely necessary”. As for the ones that have evolved, they wonder why their brand spanking new Web 2.0 intranet just isn’t being used as much as the old intranet.

What attracts users to donate their time and energy to contribute to Web services like Wikipedia or Flickr while not doing so to corporate services? Psychology and economics teach us that there is no such thing as altruism – whatever people do will create a personal return of value for them. This personal value is measured by individual criteria.

Respect and prestige, personal reputation, political beliefs or desires, and of course monetary incentives influence the decision as to whether their contribution creates this value. People create an article in Wikipedia because they believe that the topic is interesting or important or because they want to see their name in print, and put pictures on Flickr because they want to share them with others, thereby influencing how they are perceived by others.

I agree, the answers on how to solve these issues aren’t here yet - Mindset changes along with the new technology is what’s needed, not just shiny new technology.