Next Things First

Web 2.0 Basics for Marketers, Part 2 (From Tobin Arthur) by charlottegee
December 19, 2008, 12:47 pm
Filed under: marketing, web 2.0 | Tags: ,

Yesterday I talked about why people are using Web 2.0 tools more and more. Once marketing teams within companies come to grips with the fact that Web 2.0 is part of a larger societal shift rather than a fad, the justification for embracing Web 2.0 as central to marketing efforts is easy. However, just as the Internet has affected societal shifts, marketing departments have a shift to undergo of their own.

Companies with old secure brands tend to want to control everything said about their product, etc. HP was one of the first Fortune 100 companies to embrace the fact that if people are going to talk badly about you, it’s better for you to be engaged in that discussion and not hiding from the fact that they exist. So, they opened internal corporate blogs to the public and let their employees dialog. Open discussion may bring out blemishes … but any company that thinks that avoiding Web 2.0 technologies allows them to maintain “control of their brand” is fooling themselves. Customers will talk whether we embrace it or not, so better to join the conversation and embrace the feedback – the good and the bad.

With more and more of people’s time being spent online, and especially on social networks, companies have to be engaged or they risk corporate death. The shift in people’s time spent online versus newspaper, television or radio is significant. Smart companies are responding accordingly.

Once a marketing team decides to get serious about Web 2.0 initiatives, someone needs to lead the effort. If the person leading the effort is older than 35 years of age … find someone else to do it. The best Web 2.0 models deployed to date have been targeted to younger audiences, so a younger person will have more context for how to introduce the value of Web 2.0.

The fact of the matter is that consumers are talking about your products or services. Companies that decide to engage in the conversation are setting themselves up for success while those that stick to the comfort zone of their old-school marketing programs and ignore the conversation are losing ground without any say in the matter.

web-marketing-bSubmitted by Tobin Arthur
CEO of iMedExchange


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