Use Web 2.0 when It Makes Sense

Articles, news features, blog posts and presentations about “what’s hot” are still, well, hot. We thirst for what is new and different. A few of us for idle curiosity. Others to be the first to use/own/know it. I do what I can to keep up. But there is a lot out there. And given their relative success rates, it’s often a waste of time. Most companies, rightly, don’t want to invest too much in developing something that isn’t going to last—like HD DVD players.

I tend to take a different, though not necessarily better approach. One that evaluates new stuff based on how I could put it to use.

The other day I received an e-mail inviting me to speak at a conference this summer. The topic focuses on what is hot in marketing. Oh, yes, and how to put it to use. They want it to be practical, learning what they can and can’t ignore, deciding what is right for them, the costs involved (and not just money as mentioned in this post from Media Guerrilla), how to implement and get started. At least they’ll give me 55 minutes to tackle it.

Most often this isn’t what people think they want to hear. Usually, they see the however many million people using MySpace anforum.jpgd Facebook and want to know how to reach them. In certain instances and over discreet periods that might be the right medium. In many cases, however, it’s not. I’m not bashing them or any other social networking application. For select businesses and select uses, they serve as excellent venues for spreading the word. The rest of the time, we have to find other avenues.

We have to interact with our customers and potential customers where they are or are likely to be. Let’s say there are 50 million people with MySpace profiles. In a nation with 300 million people, that means that 250 million don’t. Which group has your customers, the ones on or off MySpace?

At the same time, you would say that 50 million people are a lot. I agree. As I am writing this in the middle of the afternoon, nearly 70,000 videos had been uploaded today. Which of those 50 million are going to see your one or two uploaded last week?favorireseausz.jpg

So, we are left looking even harder at finding our customers. It was easy before when it was TV, radio, print, outdoor and in-store. You had five media to tell her (or him) about the Wonderbra. Before cable TV it was even better with just three networks. Now, there are literally thousands if not millions of places you audience can go. Granted 99% of them involve a screen, keyboard, mouse and internet hookup. But the world is in that machine, and they could be anywhere at any time.

Yes, it sounds dire. It’s not. Really. The best place to start is with your customers. Ask them. Then let them help you. It works.

Also see this article from Computer Weekly.

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One Response

  1. […] of Marketing Perfection”, Ardath Albee and I corresponded by e-mail. She had read my post “Use Web 2.0 when It Makes Sense” and questioned the idea of […]

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