September 13, 2012 Leave a comment
You Don’t hear much about web 2.0 which was all the rage a few years ago. The concept of having a dynamic content management system for frequent updating to keep the content of a website dynamic and fresh is no longer sufficient. Technology moves fast and you can’t get any faster than real-time dynamic user generated content. This is why web 2.0 is dead and community 2.0 is alive and thriving. The introduction of Twitter and the mobile evolution has changed the way we consume data. We expect it to be dynamically served to us based on our preference and then we will engage when we find something interesting.
A recent Havard Business Review blog post by Bill Lee Marketing is Dead made me really start thinking about tis as I thought traditional marketing was dead 4 years ago. The more I thought about it the more I realized that not only is the way we market dead it has changed to how we engage and build relationships. So, what is next? Peer review and collaboration and I don’t think you have to look further than Amazon.com to find example of this as rudimentary as it is. Taking the web 2.0 platform and integrating a robust community experience is where digital marketing is headed. We as consumers don’t want to receive email blasts anymore and we don’t want to download your latest whitepaper. What we want is to search, find and discuss and you can’t do that with a static website.
If we look at consumers (inclusive of B2B as well) buying process, what we find is a desire for confirmation that the solution we have found via search is indeed the best fit for our need. That confirmation comes from peer review and user generated content. When I find a product that I believe has the specifications to suite my desire I want to talk to someone else who already bought the product and can verify if it was good, bad or ugly. What you will see companies doing very soon is integrating their social and community member discussion into their product pages on the website so there can be this dynamic user generated content to help confirm a prospects solution.
This accomplishes a few things. It opens up the transparency of your company product line to peer consumption and advocacy engagement with other potential prospects, ultimately shortening your sales cycle. Traditional marketing use to spend hours of effort finding and writing case studies for customers, then hoping others would read them. The case study is dead. Eliminate the middle man and put your prospects in direct contact with your brand advocates and let them sell the solution for you. While you’re at it put your customers in direct contact with your product engineers for dynamic product innovation.
This isn’t all without effort, but it will be a more efficient use of marketing dollars and with an infinite return on investment. A robust community, community management , content curation and strong advocacy program will be needed but you and your target audience will appreciate the direct access and honest engagement.