I have to admit that I was in the dark on the true meaning of 'Web 2.0'. It sounds so technical, almost like a development platform or programming language. But, in reality, it all about me, a marketing professional and all about you, whoever you may be! You see, Web 2.0 gives us instant control over both the content we create and consume. Now if you are a marketing professional, like me, you may be asking 'How does Web 2.0 affect my marketing strategies?'. Let me explore a few ideas.
Marketing Communications: No matter the channel used to send communications (direct mail, email, telesales, or any other form) you need to consider how to kick it up a notch. Much has been said about 'lump and dump' information being sent to a wide audience bearing generic information - it doesn't get results! This can be attributed to the fact consumers want information pertinent to them. The only way this is possible is by learning, in innovative ways, as much as you can about your consumers. Traditional surveys offer great information, but provide no insight into behavior which in some cases is a better indicator of interest. A combination of survey responses and actions is a great way to gain insight into the individuality of each consumer. Doing so will help you to not only deliver messages, but engage in a meaningful dialouge with the consumer.
Offers: In a TechTarget report titled, 'Web 2.0: The Impact of New Media on Online Technology Marketing', the most useful media offers were identified. The top five offers included case studies, blogs, newsletters, videos and software downloads (trials and demos). Although, the top five are a mix of new and old they are not surprising. Closely following the top five are new media such as podcasts and wikis. Any of these offers provide the opportunity for lead generation, but also think of them in the context of Web 2.0. Use the interaction with these offers as a way to gather intel on your prospects and customers in order to develop an evacotive and fruitful relationship with them.
Reporting: The same TechTarget report included an interesting timeline depicting the evolution of pressure for accountability over the past decade. Pre-2000 marketers were most concerned with brand recognition and impressions. As the web evolved, marketers started measuring click through rates, web responses, cost per thousand, cost per click, and conversions. These metrics provide information on the activity of the campaign but do not indicate its success. During the past two years, marketers have realized the need for ROI metrics showing which campaigns resulted in sales and generated a positive return. With the introduction of new media sources, such as blogs, marketers must couple the quantitative ROI metrics with engagement and interaction levels to prove success. The only way to gather this type of analysis is by integrating the execution of all marketing mediums.
The bottom line is this - Web 2.0 is in its infancy. But instead of being stagnant, become an early adopter to stay ahead of the competition. Be creative and invest in the technology needed to deploy Web 2.0 marketing strategies.