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Almost overnight, the Internet's gone from a technical wonder to a business must.
I believe that this notion of self-publishing, which is what Blogger and blogging are really about, is the next big wave of human communication. The last big wave was Web activity. Before that one it was e-mail. Instant messaging was an extension of e-mail, real-time e-mail.
I think one of the big errors people are making right now is thinking that old-style businesses will be obsolete, when actually they will be an important part of this new civilization. Some retail groups are introducing e-commerce and think that the bricks are no longer useful. But they will continue to be important.
Some say Google is God. Others say Google is Satan. But if they think Google is too powerful, remember that with search engines unlike other companies, all it takes is a single click to go to another search engine.
The Internet has been the most fundamental change during my lifetime and for hundreds of years.
The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow
The new information technology, Internet and e-mail, have practically eliminated the physical costs of communications.
The Web is functionally fantastic, but it's a tool. A terrific place to present information but not, at this stage, a tenably emotional location.
There are managers so preoccupied with their e-mail messages that they never look up from their screens to see what's happening in the nondigital world
They say a year in the Internet business is like a dog year.. equivalent to seven years in a regular person's life. In other words, it's evolving fast and faster.
We have technology, finally, that for the first time in human history allows people to really maintain rich connections with much larger numbers of people.
What happens when you combine blogs, Google and millions of dissatisfied customers? An e-mob.
Nothing is 100% safe or 100% contained on the Internet. If you need to be 100% sure it won't appear on a million PC screens worldwide, don't use the Web.
This is the model for the 21st-century advertising agency. Sitting upstream of the silos, agile, flexible, one touchpoint for the client, with the ability to understand and connect with the consumer, and ideas that rise above media schedules and engage with people in a way that has true mutual benefit and value.
With the creation of Web 2.0, we are seeing the emergence of a new type of digital consumer, who is no longer simply a passive 'site-seer' on a fixed consumer journey but an independent explorer craving freedom, adventure and companionship. The challenge for businesses and advertisers is to engage with the active digitraveller as well as the passive digitourist.
Traditional market research, Research 1.0, was designed to work in yesterday's world, where suppliers, customers, and employees were all kept at arm's length. In a participatory world, new techniques need to be developed, which work with the powers of collaboration, rather than the out dated concept of command and control.
Risk - calculated risk - is key to success online. There's no need for complicated metrics to prove this point. Logic tells us that with so much content clamouring for attention, offering something new, authentic and genuinely interesting is the only way to get people to pay attention.
The arrival of MySpace, Facebook and Bebo has given consumers the confidence and the ability to take more control of the relationship they have with brands.
Although marketers recognize the political and economic force of China, many have yet to respond to the increasing importance the internet is playing in shaping the country's consumer opinion.
Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge.
It's almost impossible to make a name for yourself on the internet unless you do something scandalous.
This use of advertising - to add a subjective value to the product - becomes increasingly important as the trends in our technology lead to competing products becoming more and more the same.
A handful of companies, such as Apple, Google, 3M and Reckitt Benckiser, still do real innovation. For the majority who don't, the long-term consequences of serving empty marketing sandwiches will prove dire. The internet searchlights of blogging, social networking and comparison sites will increasingly focus on the filling, and mercilessly expose empty sandwiches.
Observing and understanding the social media phenomenon is one thing—leveraging this trend for advertising purposes is quite another. While most companies recognize the value of social media advertising opportunities, not many have figured out how to execute these kinds of campaigns and the unique risks they entail because of the potential that a viral marketing effort can backfire and actually harm a brand.
It's hard to find things that won't sell online.
The future of retail is the integration of Internet and digital services with the retail network.
The web attacks traditional ways of doing things and elites, and this is very uncomfortable for traditional businesses to deal with.
Twenty years ago, the annual US spend on food and beverages was $614 billion; $2 billion was spent on computers – a ratio of 300 to one. Today, that spending ratio is at parity. We spend as much on technology as we do on our nutritional needs.
The high growth rate of China's online population reflects the general mindset of the region's consumers, which is one of early adoption. In the west, things take a while to be truly embraced and accepted by the public; in Asia, consumers are constantly looking out for innovation.
Understanding how to behave in social media is easy: be nice or leave.
Customer service and research should be the departments that first adopt Twitter in an organisation. Every brand should be listening when its customers talk, and every brand should be proactively engaged in resolving customer problems wherever they find them, and there are many to be found on Twitter.
To accompany the four Ps of classical marketing, marketers would do well to instil the digital four Cs, around conversation, collaboration, culture and compensation.
Commercial blog publishers play a potentially powerful role in creating new product buzz for marketers, but must tread a careful line between blatant product endorsement and spirited independence if they are to retain the trust of their audience.
Many advertisers are yet to be assured that online advertising can have an impact on branding, to positively shift attitudes and perceptions. To convince them, you need proof.
Search is an integral part of truly integrated marketing campaigns that ties offline and online elements together, pushing consumers to engage with static media, or giving them the option of responding to offers or ideas promoted by them.
The main problem is that there is still enough money in the old world to hold off the transition. With media fragmentation and proliferation, the advertising industry has been somewhat sheltered from these changes. However, the longer they hold off, the bigger the trauma is going to be. Look at the music business.
'Corporate' has become a swear word. In the democratic, fiercely independent and idiosyncratic wilds of web 2.0, where openness, dialogue and personality are the new marketing watchwords, the very worst thing a business can be is a corporation, with the living, breathing people behind the brand lost in a faceless, formal group.
Every advertising campaign, irrespective of the size of the company, hinges on appealing to individuals. Why is this emphasis not shared when it comes to approaching online customers?
The digital revolution has not just arrived, it has well and truly settled in. Traditional communications channels have mutated, fragmented and diversified to create a spectrum of media experiences that give consumers unparalleled options and freedom of choice.
Generating buzz for your brand around social networks does not absolutely require bespoke content for people to share with friends, but it certainly helps.
While the 'public journalism' that social media enables has the potential to produce considerable amounts of junk content, a need to sort the wheat from the chaff continues to produce increasingly smarter ways for communities to authenticate and aggregate content worth noticing.
Risk - calculated risk - is key to success online.
A company blog is not a press release; making it just another channel for company fluff is the fastest way to kill it.
An invitation to participate online is unlikely to provoke a negative perception of the brand involved, even if the respondent does not wish to participate.
The internet affords a level of relationship with consumers hitherto unfathomable.
The web has staged an interactive coup and has handed power firmly to consumers.
We need to embrace this new influence of the consumer as now product innovation has become so democratic, consumers are unlikely to hand back the reins of power.
Bloggers have become experts at managing their own data and are practiced at only publishing information that they are happy sharing with a wider audience.
Opportunities in social media marketing seem boundless; the best do not seek to disrupt conversations but to integrate – to add something useful and compelling.
There are unlimited opportunities for display advertising. In fact, we're in the process of massive change in the display industry - how it's bought, how it's sold, and how it's targeted.
Online is old news. Online in social media is today's news … Social media is not a subset of the internet. Social media is the internet.
The digital premium business content model is broken and we should all be taking appropriate steps now to ensure the viability of this business is preserved by other means.
We actually sense a growing acceptance of surveillance [among web users] so long as tangible rewards are received in return.
Whilst one can outsource execution, one can't outsource strategy.
Technology may profess to be bringing us closer together, but one of the things its doing (other than creating an entire generation who can't spell) is tearing us further apart.
Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc. are not successful because their technology is especially clever (although it is), they are successful because they tap directly in the Super-Social collective, and provide easier and more fulfilling ways for people to exhibit group behaviour.
We're about to see an acceleration in technological platforms that, for marketers, will be on a scale rivalled only by the arrival of color TV.
You talk to a lot of brands and they're terrified of the user-generated space. We all have to get a little bit more comfortable that the … conversation is already happening. It's whether or not we begin to participate that counts.
If the first phase of the internet was getting people online and the second phase of the internet was helping people navigate… the third phase of the internet is about producing great information where people can actually spend more time engaged with information, engaged with brands, engaged with writers and things they care about. That's where we believe the next wave of the internet is going.
Technology is great but we must not forget that the future has an ancient, living heart. Human nature keeps that vital organ pumping in search of hope, predictability, and comfort.
Overnight the digital age had changed the course of history for our company. Everything that we thought was in our control no longer was. But within a year we had invested in social media and digital experts. Now Starbucks is the number one brand on Facebook.
Online advertising doesn’t have to be a "wild west."
Digital media has a fundamental role to play in best practice sponsorship activation now. Further developments in technology will only make it easier for brands to reach fans and target audiences and to enhance their experience of, or interaction with, the sponsorship property.
The number of clicks on display ads is not an accurate predictor of the effectiveness of online display ads.
Think twice before using simple Flash. Make sure your animation communicates rather than annoys.
Social media can be a laboratory for understanding more about how people react to traditional media. We need to build on our learning about TV spots, blogs, and the Web - in fact, about everything we post.
You should create your own social brand guidelines and start a conversation with your customers. Watch and learn as you go along.
The next horizon will be deep integration of the physical and interactive worlds. The future of online is offline.
Advertising is the life blood of the digital economy.
In the virtuous cycle of paid search, you need advertisers. The more advertisers you have, the more bids you have. The more bids you have, the more traffic you have. The more traffic you have, the more money you get per search.
Digital and above-the-line can work both ways. The best approach for ad agencies is having an element of separation and an element of integration, working together but separately. The beauty of being in the same building is that you can achieve that.
The more obvious benefits of search advertising tend to be around behavioural effects and metrics such as click-through and tracked online sales. The brand effect of search is less obvious to identify and more difficult to evaluate.
Sometimes what you really really want is world 1.0 - physical stuff. Doesn't need to be internet-enabled, internet-of-things real stuff. Just real see-it and touch-it and take-it-home-with you physical stuff.
The more we use the internet, the more we use it for our direct personal or financial benefit.
Technology often presumes there's just one right way to do things. There never is.
Privacy isn't dead, although it is fashionable for digerati to say so.
Microsites have a limited life, whereas you can have a Facebook page and invite a dialogue with users on an ongoing basis for years, if you so choose.
The i-generation is more demanding. But it's a myth that brands are unable to communicate with youth. But we've got to work harder to engage them … [and] if there is a value exchange, they will engage.
Those manufacturers and retailers who are mis-aligned and "out of synch" with the consumer don't acknowledge the dream and aspiration of the digital categories. They treat it as a commodity category, with the consequence that they value down the category.
The future success of online social networking sites as an advertising medium depends on its acceptance as an advertising vehicle that can deliver a message to a micro-target in a manner that will be well received and that increases the likelihood of interaction.
Web 2.0 has created a generation of proactive communicators who are no longer content with the marketing monologue.
[Digital] really is a very difficult area for FMCG brands. It hasn't got the silver bullet that great creativity brought to television, that built a lot of powerful brands.
Whilst it's great to have widgets and apps and stunts on Facebook that isn't going to make the Kellogg company stronger. We need an integrated solution.
Website reviews can help build retailer image / reputation and customer loyalty. Done properly, this strategy could result in higher profits.
It's not necessarily about spending more, rather spending more strategically by thinking about the consumer's online 'journey' and reflecting that path in the marketing plan.
The brand plays a crucial role in the co-creation process: especially in the non-mediated medium of the internet, the brand offers the only recognisable interface that frames the conversation between producers and consumers.
You wouldn't buy a TV that required you to press ctrl-alt-del to switch it on. Or a fridge, or a car. So why copy the outdated protocols of 1970s computing when you design your software?
Social is a different and much more potent beast than conventional advertising. For one, it's intrinsically part of the shows that stimulate it. There's no filtering or polishing, no Photoshopping up the best bits; what people generate based on what stimulates then is what gets created and deployed.
Connectivity doesn't just mean you get a lot more chances to deliver messages about customer service and pricing plans. This isn't one-sided. It enables people to talk back.
Most analogue marketing hits the wrong people, or the right people at the wrong time. Digital is more efficient and more impactful because it can hit only the right people, and only at the right time.
You can’t set out by saying, ‘Oh, we’re going to deliver you a viral video’, because you’d be lying.
Just as conventional advertising must recognize and address cultural cues, digital marketing will increasingly be compelled to do so as well.
Gaming is more mass-market than it has ever been. There are different types of games for different types of people, many games types are more female than male, and many skew much older than you think. So, it might be worth considering gaming, even if your knee-jerk reaction is that yours is ‘not a gaming kind of brand.'
Social networking sites in China are a different species from Facebook and the like. In China, they are gaming businesses with a social networking skin.
Expect to see in-game ad formats and opportunities being built around integration with a brand's social media strategy – such as in-game content that unlocks based on user engagement on a Facebook page, or brand engagements in the game being seeded out to an individual's social network.
Working in social media provides a good sense of what the American Goldrush must have been like – people piling into frontier towns with very little idea of exactly what they were doing, but a burning desire to make a buck doing it.
The smartphone means that no one will be lost ever again.
Leveraging social activity around virtual goods proved enormously successful for building awareness of the brand, influencing positive opinion about the product and driving purchase intent.
To acknowledge that, in digital, the tasks of leading the development process, understanding agency fees or demonstrating the success of activity are all far from straightforward management challenges is seen almost as an admission of failure. Digital communications can thus all too easily become the “emperor’s new clothes”, with all sides colluding to talk it up.
Just as we no longer really ask or notice if someone was in the same room as the person they were talking to or speaking on the telephone, soon we won't bother to distinguish between forms of interaction or whether they are on or offline.
I get the sense many people are unsure about their digital media allocation. Even those who believe they are progressive in their thinking wonder if they have got it right.
In the next five to ten years the mobile will be the device that allows the retailer and the brand owner to influence shopper behaviour.
Experience has already taught us that even if a new all-singing and dancing platform is available, without high quality appropriate content, consumer adoption will be low.
Search represents a huge opportunity for brand advertisers, as long as it is planned with as much care and attention and granularity as would be given to a television branding campaign, and as long as it is not planned in isolation from other media initiatives operated by the advertiser.
To many, viral internet marketing embodies the shotgun approach to brand campaigns. The advertiser tries to reach the greatest number of people by creating a message with broad appeal which can be quickly forwarded.
In recent years, far too much of the noise around ‘social’ has been about tactics (social media etc) and far too little of it strategic – being at the heart of our brand thinking. We need to be more strategically social.
The key to delivering successful initiatives is establishing a reciprocal relationship with consumers that respects their privacy and reassures them of the benefits of receiving tailored messaging. This should form part of a holistic approach that embraces new marketing strategies, while improving traditional tried-and-tested techniques.
At the birth of the web, companies aimed to get their website bookmarked. Marketers should be in a race to get their apps on the home screen of consumers’ smart devices.
Social networks and social media offer great opportunities for marketers, especially in gaining feedback and customer insights. The biggest problem, and the biggest barrier to entering this online world, is that we might not like what we hear.
Social media is no more a concept in India but something that brands are investing real time and money into, as we speak. There is an overwhelming acceptance of the fact that there are huge gains from this medium if used correctly, and that is shown in the structured approach that brands are adopting - in deployment as well as measurement.
Our emphasis is on digital marketing because we feel that by harnessing the power of the web we can overcome language barriers as we expand globally. We also believe that an image speaks a thousand words and images and music transcend language. Combining the web and placing an emphasis on image and sound can be extremely powerful when creating global campaigns.