Marketing And Web 2.0 …Posted: October 7, 2008
There is a lot written about the impact of web 2.0 in the marketing space. About how organizations can use the power of web 2.0 to rive their marketing activities. This said, there are still a large number of companies (the majority?) who havent brought onto this concept.
This brings up the question … why not. Look at it this way … around a decade ago, Rodgers and Peppers wrote a very interesting book about 1-to-1 marketing … interesting because the book describes how the entire process of selling would change. And, it has. Today, everyone is talking about, if not doing, personalized campaigns. In a scenario where consumers are receiving more and more media messages from organizations, with one program being sponsored by Coca-Cola, and the next one by Pepsi, these messages can be distracting at best, and confusing at worst.
And this is where the power of web 2.0 can deliver value to marketeers. Look at it this way … In a web 2.0 world, people are looking towards their friends for advice about things. This has been happening for a long time … remember that restaurant you went for Dinner to, because a friend recommended it? Or, consulted a doctor because a friend told you he is good? So whats new, you might ask … put simply, new is the scale. Today, we find web 2.0 taking this entire recommendation process to a different scale altogether. Rather than just talking to your friends (who could be sitting in any part of the world, or whome you arent even in touch with too often), you can access information from your friend’s friends.
Put simply, today, consumers can become brand ambassadors who are far more effective than any formal brand ambassador. Most IT companies have some form of referenceability program in place, where they try to get referenceable customers, who can then recommend their work to prospective clients.
How does this impact marketing? Lets look at it in a basic sort of way … Traditional marketing talks about the STP model. Here, though, the segmentation is based on what the organization feels their market is, and the targetting is done based on what the organization perceives this segmentation requires. So, you identify segments, identify their requirements, and target your products at these requirements … What a lot of marketeers are missing out on is the role web 2.0 can play in this segmentation process … identifying communities can help them build segments at a micro level, which couldnt be done earlier. And the positioning part is simple from here on … blogs targetted at the community, with participation from the community itself.
The most interesting part of this is the simplicity. More useful is the participation aspect … read consumers describing the products they want, and the organization building products, and positioning around this feedback. What this requires, however, is ample investment, more in terms of effort and organizational time, than money, into community building. And this is where a lot of marketeers today are not focussing.