The online world is in the midst of a fundamental shift. As described by the Web 2.0 movement, this shift is marking the end of the large, proprietary websites that lived through the dot-com years with a “we produce/you consume” operational dogma. Web 2.0 is all about democracy. There are now over a billion Internet users around the world, and they want a say in shaping their online experience going forward. They view the Web as a platform, a set of ubiquitous, easy-to-use tools for self-expression, information retrieval, and social interaction. The successful sites of yesterday excelled at attracting users and offering them something “sticky” to stay.
The successful sites of tomorrow will excel at attracting, engaging—and involving—their users. There is tremendous value in harnessing the collective intelligence of your customers, and Orbius provides the perfect solution to do just that. It is clear that user-generated media will increasingly compete with professional media when it comes to the attention and free time of users. Companies that choose to embrace social media applications will enable a more direct and positive relationship with their customers, which will in turn drive increased engagement and loyalty.
Marketers are in the early stages of product adoption curve. As interactive marketers become better educated and learn through failed efforts that Person-Person communities create un-natural environment for brand relationships, they will fully understand why brands cannot be turned into Friends (MySpace) or Groups (Facebook). They will look for solutions and approaches that minimize the opportunity to tarnish their brands. They will reach out to solutions that optimize the paradigm of conversational marketing dialogue and can address the safety concerns of their targeted audience who have a life with many dimensions. They will learn that “flat” user profiles are ineffective for cost effective behavioral analytical target marketing.
"About 150 years ago, influencers began to become concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer entities, mainly media companies. Over time what became important was the publication, the broadcast, not the writer or broadcaster. The soapbox of media became owned by someone else, someone who could silence them if they went astray. The new influencers don’t need corporate parents and corporate pressures. Mainstream media will be around for a long time. It will change and adapt to a new world. But it will become less and less relevant to markets.”
A Shift has Occurred
We can now be “connected” to anyone anywhere with the click of a mouse. We can now express ourselves freely with no influence from institutions. Our ability to express and connect has now created the means to converse and be heard. We finally have found the pathway to open and honest conversations which had been blocked for decades upon decades. Historically business models and structures have followed form with traditional media. The few at the top controlled the conversational content and direction aimed at influencing the masses to behave according to the needs of their markets. Now the masses are the markets and the conversations can no longer be controlled. Rather, the conversations of the people will influence the business markets. Businesses that understand this shift will make the required transformation in models, structure and most importantly the conversations. These businesses will gain market share quickly by adopting the new conversations of the relationship economy.
Marketers Take Note
There is a conversation going on today that wasn't happening at all five years ago and hasn't been very much in evidence since the Industrial Revolution began. Now, spanning the planet via Internet and the World Wide Web, this conversation is so vast, so multifaceted, that trying to figure what it's about is futile. The top three marketing reasons for social media are to discover emerging trends, gain competitive insight, and to understand the word-of-mouth about the company. You can only achieve this though if you are talking “amongst” your community.