Trends that shift the Future of web, media and marketing (Social)

Trains come and go and the web, media and marketing landscape is going through very serious new trends coming. In order to understand these shifts and trends let us start with some truly mindboggling pieces of data surrounding the web and mainly the social web main present players and the way they are putting the self guided consumer – prosumer - in the center of web, media and marketing:

• Facebook claims that 50% of active users log into the site each day. This would mean at least 175m users every 24 hours… A considerable increase from the recent 6 months previous 120m.

• Twitter now has 75m user accounts, but only around 15m are active users on a regular basis. It’s still a fair increase from the estimated 6-10m global users from a few months ago.

• LinkedIn has over 50m members worldwide. This means an increase of around 1m members month-on-month since July/August last year. Source Econsultancy, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

A powerful management in any business it is about showing new ways of reading the present, get results and open windows towards new opportunities. There are rules, plenty of disciplines that may try to guide us through the present chaos, but in the end what really matters is the capacity of adaptation and deal with the present of uncertainty that will give us the strength to go on and define the right way of doing things and the trends that shift the present towards the future of the web, media and marketing in a way that one is successful.

More than all the present of markets, web, communications and marketing is based in the technology shifts. The world was and is constantly changing, albeit too slow, sometimes, for us to notice through unaided observation.  As the world and now the environment changes, faster than in any time in history (the Darwin evolution) different traits become certain and absolute. The capacity of adaptation has to live with the dissemination of ideas versus technology and the way of balancing it with the things that we want more.

There are various forces that drive success of businesses on the web:

  • sales
  • market share,
  • bestseller / quality products,
  • brand ROA (return on attention)
  • business location,
  • customer relationship,
  • capacity of innovation

and a host of other topics that everyone is looking and following.

Albeit over the last 5 years the major shifts have been towards:

  • Web 2.0,
  • The Long Tail,
  • Peer production
  • crowd sourcing and now sourcing
  • global scalability in most of the industries

and now the omnipresence of: Social Media with target self directed clients.

These are fundamentally different ways of thinking about businesses. Moreover as the social dimensions in the workplace expand and mutate the more important shift is about how we perceive the evolution of the web:

  • personal emotional intelligence and / versus social intelligence in a landscape of evolving web technology.

I would like to use this quote from the Bible:

“Enthusiasm without knowledge is not good; impatience will get you into trouble.” (GNB: Prov 19.2)

The social aspect of businesses is not new, and has always been present in real-life interaction since old times. But now with the shift of the social to more and more online just as economies and trading also move away from both manufacturing and transactions have changed to a scenario where creating, managing, and leveraging intellectual capital with the right technology solution is the dominant activity. This has in the last decades been referred to a knowledge economy and one of its key traits is a landscape where abundance of the fundamental resource (information) is common and scarcity is rare.

The ironic is that this knowledge post-industrial web economy in less than two years is becoming almost based in a totally social based web. And this is where the shift in the presence is moving.

So how to deal with this complex and evolving landscape? Some answers pass through:

  • Diversity: As the book of the proverbs points out, enthusiasm as to come with knowledge so to be successfully it is necessary to be creative and aim towards variation as a key driver of evolution.
  • Collaboration:  only different people / partners with varied experiences can solve the present challenges and answer quickly to new problems.
  • Flexibility with strategy and planning:  a business or an idea is only valuable as long is useful and within a necessity landscape.  So plan and being flexible is key to success and this has to have  strong strategically overview with focus in what is really core.

Going forward there are a lot of trends to have a look I will stress the following ones. Some of these topics I work them out with base in Greg Satell, Brian Solis and other authors I particularly follow:

  • Big Seed Marketing Network (as Duncan Watts define it) is about  a new multiple and varied approach to advertising. Big Seed Marketing is a complex and complete way to use the possibilities of mass media broadcast a message widely and to utilize social media to encourage consumers to pass it on.
  • Enhanced Self-Consumer Targeting: Any new strategy for business and marketing needs a methodology directed to self-consumers, a kind of “prosumers” than target groups. Through analyzing organizations, it has been found that influence shows up in surprising places.
  • Semantics web/marketing:  following Tim Berners-Lee work trying to transform the web through Semantic, many technological efforts are under way to improve web communications and of course advertising through semantic applications that help computers understand meaning in a way human do. In here the efforts of Yahoo and Google with contextual advertising has been key and all the work is to improve the relevance of communication and ads to the content which they appear next to.  This area although working with text, still has a way to go with pictures and video and the efforts of YouTube are getting this closer.
  • Applications and widgets: web is getting more and more focus on solutions that both joint both content and marketing in a way that they can adapt to both platforms: web, mobile, and so forth. With the iPhone and now the iPad a new industry of applications worth some say already a billion dollars is evolving and become the new way one plays in the online. These new trends of applications and widgets are part of effort of business and brands to get a presence and impact in different places and platforms and of course these new tools ar the way of adapting brands inside landscapes and create viral (SEO) value to websites and brands.
  • Total web optimization: SEO is about being ranked for relevant DNA keywords & getting incoming links from the right site(s) reaching effective goals & audience. The new challenge with the merge of search and social web is Total Web Optimisation (TWO). SEO is now TWO, no longer just Search Engine Optimisation, it is much more than just about positioning a given website with the right technical configuration for search engines, social websites, web platforms. Total web optimisation is now more than ever necessary in a way of improving rankings for the target keywords for a given website(s), social media, platform, videos, docs, applications, strategic usability both for users and of course technology and machines.
  • Total Analytical business performance skills/metrics are keys to any business today.  As consumer activity becomes more complex, the web and media industry will need to have the stronger analytics. Social media monitoring and sentiment tracking is essential for business and brand managers. It is necessary to measure data, numbers but also the sentiment more than solely in terms positive, negative and neutral,  but also for context and subtlety. Going forward measuring sentiment is to understand, answer and predict people’s behavior based on the nature of their online comments and performance now that the offline world migrated online.
  • Strategic branding with a voice and strategic purpose will become (continue) more important in the digital age and partly the key indicator of the power a brand have online in the web, in whatever the platform a given user is using.

The advertising industry has been evolving obsessed with coverage and creating buzz for most of the last 50 years. But nowadays the golden rush is not the buzz. The present trends are about making a shift in the web of digital media business in a way to create value, measuring data plus analytics on web behavior and in the different tails & answer back straight and direct to the customer relation. Because the consumer, the professional consumer – prosumer - is now the focus of any trend and the beginning and the end of any effective future of web, media or marketing. And besides that the trains will continue coming and going like all the trends.

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