Thursday, January 7, 2010

Real-Time Marketing

Being 'reactive' in the days of Web 1.0:

See / hear demand for particular product or service. Discuss with Marketing Team. Agree to run a print advert in a leading magazine that will be published in three weeks time. Three weeks passes, print ad runs, target audience no longer has need for product / service required three weeks ago.

Being 'reactive' in the days of Web 2.0:

See / hear demand for particular product or service. Act upon it:

The deluge of snowy weather currently causing chaos around the UK may be keeping many marketers from their offices, but has this stopped the flow of marketing communications? Far, far from it.

Several outdoor brands (as well as supermarkets) are turning the winter weather to their advantage, pushing out marketing communications through – you guessed it – social media.

'But there's no ROI!' the doubters continue to scream. 'We can't measure anything!'

That's right – we can't measure the value of being instantly reactive and being able to offer real-time marketing to our customers. Why?

Because it's priceless.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Time to Wave Goodbye to Google?

Google, a company with omnipotent brand powers and an unrivalled status in the digital sphere, has been positioned as a ‘leader’ for so long, its foray into the social media scene was inevitable, not to mention anticipated. But am I the only one who is, well, rather disappointed?

It seems that only a few months ago, the digital universe was filled with a cacophony of virtual shrieks, as digital geeks (myself included) announced that they had received their prestigious Google Wave invites. Come January 2010 however, and it seems that the fanfare surrounding ‘the Wave’ has declined almost as quickly as a certain golfer’s career.

Let’s not beat around the bush – Google’s social media venture, so far, has failed.

Google has previously built its incredible success on creating unrivalled solutions to people’s needs: search, analytics, online advertising. What the company didn’t bargain for with Google Wave however, is the fact that people’s social media needs are already extremely well-met by the plethora of platforms currently out there.

Sure, Wave is a nice concept – a real-time communications platform that ties up emails, instant messaging, file sharing, collaborative working and networking. But many of these needs are already provided for through other channels such as Skype, LinkedIn and, contrary to early doubters, Twitter.

Another problem faced by Google Wave is that social media is by its inherent name, social. We may have enjoyed a feeling of superiority and prestige upon receipt of that longed-for Wave invite; however this soon dissipated upon realisation that we arrived in a vast empty chasm with no-one to talk to!

Don’t get me wrong – it’s still early days for Google Wave, and the company no doubt has a wealth of further digital talent it can throw at the platform, but will they have an audience left to market to? Social media is only just beginning, but if Google is to have its slice of the market, its time would be better spent focusing on needs that aren’t currently met yet.

Am I alone in this sentiment? Can anyone dismiss this argument and champion Google Wave?