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A very interesting view from Pete Blackshaw, The Nielsen Company, on what to do and how to prepare for the future of online marketing. Responsiveness is key to success, but also being aware of what you need to respond to and planning for what the consumer might do next. Pete suggests “that there is a new accountability standard that has been put on the table by consumers and that may lead to better advertising” . He also cites the Nielsen research that suggests that “consumers trust each other more than they trust advertisers” , ” if advertisers can figure out a way of co creating with consumers, everybody might win”. Brands should be both reactive and proactive in planning for what consumers might do through better websites and better feedback loops.
Recently OgilvyOne Paris released a widget for Croquons la Vie , Nestle France’s revamped online Consumer Relationship Marketing Program . Aided by what appears to be a concerted digital PR campaign targeting blogs and digital influencers and using its inherent widget -portability or share-ability , it appears to be making some traction. Readily downloadable from the main site Croquons la vie its easily transferable to Netvibes or iGoogle where you can make a number of choices on where and how you want to display the widget.
When it comes to looking at CRM practices this widget doesn’t disappoint from the marketer’s, and more importantly, the consumer’s standpoint. Loaded with a rich content offering of monthly recipe videos, recipe links , and coupons , this widget provides the “value add” that consumers expect from relationship marketing programs. As well, it also adds the possible concept of social marketing and content distribution into the CRM mix as it extends the digital marketing ecosystem beyond websites into the desktop world and potentially into mobile phones overtime.
What is clear about using widgets is that you can extend the CRM based services and value added content , personalize it , and use them as your own private brand driven media channel , pushing content or marketing communications to the widgets, where ever they may be. By simply adding the widget the consumer has actively subscribed to the brand communications , placing themselves very clearly in control of the content they will view as it changes over time. The relationship is nurtured through a constant evolution of digital content offerings and the promise of discounts via coupons that can be claimed directly through the site. What will become apparent over time is that as the install base for the widget expands dramatically, so does its propensity to become a media conduit for other brand communications . Content could even extend to retail partnerships as a way of subtly extending the shopper communications that may link consumers back to instore promotions or e commerce applications.
What is also clear is that in the coming year through consumer uptake of iPhone an or smartphones and the development of Google’s Android ( Open Handset Alliance Project) in 2009/2010, is that the mobile phones will become “widget compatible” . The consumers use of smartphone or Androïd platform, will not be bound to simple static applications but open to a diverse range of content services that can be streamed onto the phone , although for the time being the support of Adobe’s Flash file format seems hard to accomplish on phones.
As Bruno Walther , CEO of OgilvyOne Paris says “The more time passes, the more I am certain that the widget is the future of the client relationship (CRM). ” , and on this note I can only agree with him wholeheartedly. Pick the widget up from Netvibes
In the world of “Digital Dialogue” Email is possibly one of the most accessible forms of media and communication for consumers and as such should be considered as a pivotal media channel. In todays marketing world where the pundits description of a consumers exposure to media is “fragmented “, it is best to consider Email as a marketing imperative not a “nice to have” or a one off throw away campaign . Email impactsbrand relationships and loyalty and should be considered as a integral personalized communication channel in any marketing mix.
Its use or misuse can also effect a brand’s image or the trust a consumer can have in a brand. In a time where we consider the consumer in control of their media consumption, via a myriad of choices, Email, in the consumers mind has become the most convenient and controllable channel available. In the digital world where consumers are taking charge, Email is a tangible, flexible media they can control. Take it. Leave it. Delete it. Opt in, Opt out. Respond to it. Pass it on: Think about it , who do you know that hasn’t received an email that contains a witty piece of humour, movie, picture, or link passed on from a trusted colleague or friend who knows them well?
And when it comes to looking at consumers and consumer trends surrounding Email marketing the question of whether you want a Digital Dialogue channel with your consumer base it becomes a no brainer.
Consumer have the power to choice withan Emaile.g. do Iwant to receive , open,save , delete or act on an email
90% of consumers will use email to engage in and determine the value of a relationship with a company -JupiterResearch
Consumers ranked email ahead of traditional media like newspapers, magazines and radio as a good way to learn about new products - American Marketing Association, Mplanet
•68% of consumers said they were prompted to browse a Web site after receiving an email from a retailer -RightNow Technologies & Harris Interactive
25% of US internet users share content via Email (word-of-mouth) on a daily basis; 63% share on a weekly basis - eMarketer, Email and Word-of-Mouth
Here are some other facts to mull upon:
50 million people per daycheck email 5 times per day
Email drives 80% on retail sales
Email is an everyday activity for most us
94 % of companies use email
Marketers worldwide are sending 5.2 millionpromotional Emails per month
On average email users receive 41 messages per day – 34% receive 31 or more messages per day
45% of Email users say they are interested in receiving email about products and services
53% say they unsubscribe when the Emails are irrelevant
Source: Jupiter Research LLC 05.2007
Email is a Highly Effective Branding Tool
As advertisers ask for accountability, more agencies are launching email disciplines
In 2007 email marketing generated $21.9 Billion in sales**
“An emerging network- centric platform to support distributed, collaborative and cumulative creation by its users.”
- John Hagel
Web 2.0 is such an amorphous terms that defies a hard definition. In the many years that have been talking about and working in in web development and interactive marketing I would often describe the evolution of the web as generational, heralding each leap in concept from media, content, browsers, systems and platforms as contributing generational stepping stones to where we are today. The hyperbolic change that occurred in the early internet years seemed to have generational change each successive year with competing technologies, media companies and battling it out for a controlling position. When the dot com bubble finally burt in 2001 there was a turning point in the web. The point where after a shakeout the ascendent technologies began to differentiate themselves from the raft of “frothy flotsam ” washed up in wake of the the crash. Perhaps the corporate agendas of owning or controlling the web , the antithesis of its organic and free form, had failed. What was apparent at this time was that new sites and technologies kept on revitalizing the digital space in an open and collaborative way.
While the boom was definitively over the web just kept evolving in open way and the transition to Web 2.0 was enabled by the emergence of platforms such as blogging, social networks, and free image and video uploading, that collectively allowed extremely easy content creation, access and sharing by anyone who had a computer and a connection. The barrier to entry of web publishing or content creation was over and the social voice of the digital consumer had begun its transformative ride over traditional media.
If you think Web 2.0 as simply social networking or just about the technical or geek jargon…. you really need to think again. Every aspect of Web 2.0 is driven by consumer participation, from content, its voice, browser development, technology platforms, and an ever evolving digital life. The most definitive trend and primary direction of Web 2.0 is for users to control the content they create, the data captured about their web activities and their identity and their willingness to participate and socialize collectively. The gradual opening or advances in digital standards have allowed for a common interfaces and integration across content and applications allowing a less constrained environment then had previously existed before. Decentralized in its architecture, participation, and usage, Web 2.0′s real power and flexibility emerges from distributing applications and content over many points rather than having them locked down on centralized or controlled systems. Its is truly becoming a plugin and play open environment for digital interplay between content and devices where the consumer experience of media or content mobility is quintessential.
What is very clear is that the Web 2.0 is not a trend or fad, it is not going way or will disappear, its here to stay. What is even more interesting is that the internet development chatter is about the next evolution , Web 3.0 or the semantic web, an intelligent web based on behavioural understanding of the consumers digital actions. What’s going to be interesting about Web 3.0 and will define just how far it can go will be the consumer privacy laws. There’s potentially an imminent consumer back lash looming in the near future concerning the use of known and personal data points surrounding behaviours.
There are a small number main characteristics that help define web 2. 0 In the marketers world there are a few we should be aware of as these have become part of the mainstream marketing language:
New Media Marketing: a term to describe the building and managing of social networks and online or virtual communities, and extend the reach of marketing to the low-frequency, low-intensity consumer in a cost effective way.
Buzz Marketing: The strategic use of word of mouth, the transmission of commercial information from person to person in an online or real-world environment.
Viral Marketing: The intentional spreading of marketing messages using social networks, with an emphasis of the casual, non-intentional and low cost.
Collective Intelligence or Collaborative Filtering : Essentially what this means is that “users” contributions greatly help build and make the foundation stronger and more popular by adding their content, such as links, comments, forum posts, reviews, rating others, an aggregation of the best work of thousands, then millions of web users (example: YouTube – more comments, more “thumbs-up” the more popularity), and any content contribution really. Without the end “user” the sites popularity goes down – if there is no interactivity for the end user, it’s not collective “anything.” So in short – the site grows organically in response to user activity.
Users Add Value: The architecture of your software development relies on “public” users to add their own data thus adding more value to your application. FireFox, Mozilla , Red Hat Linux WordPress ,(possibly the most used blogging software in the world ) grow in functionality through a network of contributing developers.
“Some” Rights Reserved: Expanding the range of creative works accessible for others to legally build upon and share. The Creative Commons (CC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to just that. The organization has released several copyright licenses known as Creative Commons licenses. These licenses, depending on the one selected, restrict only particular rights (or none) of the work instead of customary copyright, which is more restraining.
The constant Beta: Sites like, Frappr, CafePress, Flickr, FeedBurner…etc. rely on a services evolution or constant improvements and enhancements , New features are packaged up into massive releases, but instead added them on a regular basis as part of the normal user experience.
Rich User Experience: Web 2.0 applications are built of a network of cooperating data services.
When it comes to the driving Web 2.0 technologies we should also aware of:
Aggregation: Bringing multiple content sources together into one interface or application.
API : (Application Programming Interface) A defined interface to a computer application or database that allows access by other applications.
Embedding: Integrating content or an application into a web page, while the original format is maintained.
Folksonomy: Rich categorization of information that is collectively created by users, through tagging and other actions. (cf. taxonomy)
Mashups: Combination of different types of content or data, usually from different sources, to create something new.
Remixing: Extracting and combining samples of content to create a new output. The term was originally used in music but is now also applied to video and other content.
RSS : (Really Simple Syndication) A group of formats to publish (syndicate) content on the internet so that users or applications automatically receive any updates.
Ruby on Rails: An open source web application framework that is frequently used in Web 2.0 website development.
Tag cloud: A visual depiction of tags that have been used to describe a piece of content, with higher frequency tags emphasized to assist content comprehension and navigation.
Tagging: Attaching descriptions to information or content.
Virtual architecture :The creation of avatars (alternative representations of people), buildings, objects, and other artefacts inside virtual spaces.
Widget: Small, portable web application that can be embedded into any web page.
XML : (eXtensible Markup Language) An open standard for describing data, which enables easy exchange of information between applications and organizations.
Open web: The entire space of the World Wide Web open to anyone to access and participate. This has been the initial domain in which Web 2.0 technologies, applications, and attitudes have developed.