The Flip Side of New Media

Published On June 12, 2009 | By mbalogh | Blog, Uncategorized

In discussing new media marketing most of the questions I get widdle down to "how do I get my message out?"  This is a very Marketing 1.0 perspective on Marketing 2.0.  We’re not going to talk about that.  What we are going to discuss is all the other, non-billboard-like, uses of new media.

The first thing to note is that simply creating a blog, twitter, youTube, or facebook account does not mean you are instantly utilizing the power of marketing 2.0.  It takes a lot more than that.  One of the highest hurdles for traditional marketing folk to pass is making the mental transition from one-to-many (mass) marketing, past one-to-one (customized) marketing, to many-to-many (social) marketing.

Many of us get caught-up at that second phase, one-to-one, or even one-to-many, because we have a hard time releasing control of our message.  We are convinced we know what the consumer wants.  In his best selling book, The Tipping Point , Malcolm Gladwell describes many ideas that take on a life of their own.  He calls this the tipping point, boiling point, or reaching critical mass.  This book was a NYT best seller, so millions of you bought it, read it, and said, "wouldn’t that be great".  Yet, for some reason, you still refuse to relinquish control to the social.

New media is social media.  Pretend, for a moment, you attend a social event every day.  At that party is a very interesting person but they only ever talk, never listen.  At first you may find them intriguing, so you stick around and listen.  The second week is a bit more frustrating so you begin to branch out (after all, this is a social event).  By the second month you’re warning newcomers to steer clear of that arrogant windbag.  Listen, and there is a lot you can learn.

Listen to the peopleCroudsourcing is shorthand for the trend of leveraging the mass collaboration enabled by Web 2.0 technologies to achieve business goals or, more succinctly, distributed problem-solving and production model.  By now everyone has heard the Henry Ford quote,  "if I had asked the people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse", but Ford, of course, did not have access to products like IBM’s Jam software which facilitated Innovation Jam 2006, the worlds largest online brainstorming (croudsourcing) session.  Since then they’ve used the application to help impact issues of urban sustainability, hunger, environmental concerns, health, and quality of life.  IBM listened to the people.  Then they invested $100 million in 10 new projects that resulted.

Google did something similar with Project 10^100 (pronounced "Project 10 to the 100th") by calling for ideas from around the globe which change the world by helping as many people as possible.  The neat part about this, I thought, is that you only need the idea, not the skill to implement nor the knowledge to make it work.  Just the idea.  To make it all happen Google set aside $10 million to finance the winning idea.  The winner, by the way, will be picked by you.  With over 150,000 submissions, Google is going to change the world by listening.

Listen to the clients .  If you’re in business, then you’ve got clients.  The CEO of my company (Zain Raj, Euro RSCG Discovery), for example, has a blog .  If you think you might want to do business with us and want to know what he’s thinking, there it is.  Likewise, if we want to win business, the CEO of a potential client might also have a blog.  Read it.  The company may have a newsletter.  Sign up for it.  Take an active and real (they’ll know if it’s not) interest in your clients and what they want.  Cultivate the relationship.  Then, and only then, ask what you can do to help.

New media is social media.  Listen, or risk being ignored.

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