links for 2007-05-16
Represent (or be misrepresented)

Web2.0 for marketers: Who let the tech out?

iStock_000000464605XSmall.jpgThe past couple of days have covered the history of Web2.0 and provided background and setup for today's post. Our topic has significant impact for marketers trying to get a grasp on Web2.0. A lot of the talk that goes on focuses on technology. Don't get me wrong, the technology is the foundation of Web2.0, it's just not important to marketers.

Web2.0 is the elimination of technology boundaries. Here's what I mean. Web1.0 sites were hard to use. The design may have been good, but the technology got in the way (think about the first time you signed up to post on a message board or user group). The experience was clunky and was mostly designed by technology folks who focused on functionality, not experience.

Web2.0 is the elimination of technology boundaries.

Let's look at the following diagram of what a Web1.0 site looked like. Notice that the technology components are segmented and so are the users that touch them. There were multiple points of contact, but they weren't working cohesively and the users saw limited benefit. The company was able to get some metrics, measure signups, interact on the message boards, but they were all disjointed. Web2.0 requires a shift in that mindset.

Web1.0

web1example.png

This shift is subtle. A lot of companies attempt to make it and fail by overcomplicating things. The focus in Web2.0 is not on the feature, it's on the experience. Web2.0 is all about creating value. Value in the interaction, with your message and with each other. The more value you enable them to receive, the more loyal they will become, the more time they'll spend with your brand and the more likely they'll be to spread your message. The experience is communal. The Web2.0 site is a hub for like minded members to join in the conversation. The features mesh together to form new methods to communicate.

A great example of the elimination of technology barriers is the blog. Every blog is a micro community. There is no registration like on MySpace or Facebook, but the membership is still there. Let's take a look at this blog and see how the technology allows me to connect (hopefully) with you.

web2nexus_small.jpg

Click here to see a larger image.

You can see that all of technology I use here connects me to other people and their communities. It's not complex looking to you the reader (though the systems that run these sites are very complex). Your experience has been put at the forefront.

This is a great lead in to tomorrow's post on communities when we'll talk about how marketers can use communities and Web2.0 to strenghten relationships, build brand loyalty and get people talking about you.

Here are my thoughts to build upon the last couple of days and this post:


  • Is there anything that your customers experience online that could be made better using new technology?
  • What can you simplify today to add more value?
  • Are you creating a community for your customers?
  • Are you connecting to your customers' other communities?

Like I said yesterday, anything is possible in technology. Don't be afraid to ask. We as marketers need to open our minds and not limit ourselves to things in the realm of the known. The area beyond what is known will be tomorrow's innovation.

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments.


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