How has social media and Web 2.0 changed the media landscape?

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I was recently asked to briefly describe how social media has changed the marketing and advertising landscape. It’s an interesting question and I am glad that companies are starting to ask it.

The advent, adoption and use of Social media has created a new breed of professional consumer (Prosumer). People are empowered to research, share, opine and express. This creates a new challenge for traditional media and PR methods.

Ad script (ad copy), no matter how well designed pales in comparison to the authenticity of a consumer review when compared side by side.
People spend their time in places like (Facebook, Youtube, Twitter) where they have far more control over who and what they allow in their space.

Many of the old formulas no longer apply. Today’s advertising, PR and marketing professionals get to ask a new set of questions.

* How do I create a friend?
* How do I start a conversation?
* Where do I get feedback and how do I ask for it.
* Where do my potential buyers spend their time?
* What is the real value of a referral, recommendation?
* What do people like most about my product or service?
* What do people hate most about my product or service?
* How can I make it better?
* What is the “Value” of what I sell?

It’s important to note that while the formulas have changed, the landscape is essentially the same. The people are still there, just not where you left them.

* They spend less time watching TV and more time on Facebook, Youtube, etc…
* They skim the article but actually read the comments.
* They care more about a status update than a press release.
* They will, believe it or not, watch and share an advertisement. Check out the Swagger Wagon (Toyota Sienna) as a great example.

As for Web 2.0.

Web 2.0 is an over used term that gets thrown around haphazardly. If anything Web 2.0 defines a switch from Passive to Active. It brings the creator and viewer together and blurs the line between such concepts as publisher/reader, company/client, and seller/buyer.

Passive means being involved at the surface level.
Active means diving in head first and probing the depths.

Passive is “Us and Them”.
Active looks for what we have in common.

Passive is “Giving Directions”.
Active is a Co-Pilot

Active marketing means enrolling everyone into your vision. It means creating fans, evangelist, enthusiast and supporters.

Web 2.0 created Buyer 2.0 and this is unique in the history of commerce.

* He has access to tools that can tell him everything about your product, your company and your reputation in an instant.
* She is more comfortable buying from her computer than from a brick and mortar store.
* She can talk about your company and your products to 1000’s of people.
* He spends money where he spends time.
* She is empowered to tell you want she wants to buy.
* He craves authenticity.
* She is on the rise.
* He is eventual.

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