I’ve had some time to synthesize some of the key memes I heard in and around SXSW Interactive, and here they are distilled for your near-sound byte consumption (and yes, some are obvious, but stating the obvious isn’t a bad thing when it’s obvious!)
Online video is poised for a full-on breakout, but significant issues abound. You know, like that billion $$ lawsuit the Viacom gang filed against Gootube. Also, concerns linger about the increasingly filled pipes (Where’s Senator Stevens when you need him?) and Net Neutrality (Who’s going to pay for carrying all those “Box in a Box” videos)? But those things aside, video’s about to break wide open.
Internet advertising is poised for 20%+ CAGR over the next several years, and even at that online spend is disproportionate to Internet usage. Do you know where your children are? They're probably on MySpace or Twitter, but you wouldn't know it from the amount of advertising being spent online. Also, improved targeting, local and personalized search, and usability are driving more efficiencies and growth for all types of Internet advertising. However, inventory continues to be an issue, and search will continue to dominate (3X that of display advertising online by 2010).
Search marketing – paid and organic – is rapidly becoming cost-of-entry marketing. Like global warming, its efficiencies and effectiveness are now unquestioned. However, incumbent ad agencies dependent on big media percentages are struggling to figure out how to make a living in the organic space, and many clients are turning inward to develop indigenous search talent, which continues to be at a premium. However, account control could be at stake, so acquisition is the quick way in. Look for lots of cultural and organizational dysfunction as the old media meets the new and tries to figure out how to speak a common lingua franca. GRPs and SERPs don't mix very well.
Web 2.0 is not about new features and functionalities – it’s about corporations learning how to give up control. Not giving up control is not an option. Marketers are no longer completely in charge of their brands, and they need to get over it. They must learn how to contribute to the conversation (via blogs, wikis, foras, RSS, etc.) without trying to continually dominate it. In the new media, listening is as important as talking, and those that continue to attempt to dominate the conversation simply don’t understand what’s going on out there and will soon find themselves like those trees that fall in the forest: they may make a lot of noise when they fall, but nobody’s around to listen.
Customer service is the new marketing. Helping your customers helps. Helping your customers help your customers helps more. Those companies who help their customers help their customers create new efficiencies and build brand loyalty. In embracing the new media you are de facto involving your customers in your brand and operations. Helping your customers help your customers is the new black. Wear it proudly.
Transparency is the new 4 “Ps” of Marketing. Forget product, price, place, and promotion. The new 4 Ps of marketing is “Transparency” with a capital “T.” If you’re lyin’, you’re dyin’…instead of being disingenuous, be genuine, frank, and honest. Instead of asking what your customers can do for you, ask what you can do for them. But don’t lie. Your nose will grow and you’ll feel really bad about it later. Anyhow, the cover up is always worse than the crime.
People participating via highly-motivated commons-based peer production can outproduce anything most single companies can make (if organized effectively). Just look at Firefox, Linux, and Wikipedia. These new modes of production – along with the network and the ability to overcome great time and distance via collaborative computing -- have put the power back in the hands of the people. And they intend to use it.
The consumer is back in charge and has many options, most available at the tip of a search query. Understand that Web 2.0 features such as social bookmarking, ranking and filtering, tagging and the like are not simply new widgets – they are a line of demarcation that demonstrate a firm embrace of a more participatory business environment. In this brave new world, listening is as important as talking. If it makes it any easier, most of us have two ears and one mouth. Your organization should be no different.[Read More]