Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Top 5 Made-Up Words Of Web 2.0.

David Armano has been gaining a lot of traction with his tongue in cheek guide to the invented words of Web 3.0 but, in similar vein, let's not forget the invented words of Web 2.0.

Conversation

It's a metaphor folks. It doesn't mean that your customers want a conversation with you. They generally want a quiet life without unwanted noise from you. They want the ability to interact with you on their terms, they want you to listen and, most crucially, they now have the ability to have a conversation about you when you screw up. Your focus should be on listening and not screwing up rather than having a conversation.

Community

It's a bunch of people folks. As Clay Shirky has indicated, Web 2.0 means they can come together very quickly to form a group that might oppose something, but they're yet to come together to pursue a positive. Crucially, they can quickly disperse and, as Bob Putnam points out, there's not much community feeling out there. Your focus should be on serving individual customers rather than trying to create a false and inevitably fragile group.

Relationship

It's a one night stand folks. People want interaction on their terms. They don't want them foisted on them via your latest CRM initiative. They want a harem - a group of individuals that are happy to meet their specific needs whenever they call on them while turning a blind eye to their promiscuity. Your focus should be on ensuring that every time they encounter you, it's a wholly positive, time-efficient and memorable experience. If it is, they may want to repeat the liaison.

Content

It's attention-seeking behaviour folks. Ease of expression and creativity is great but it runs up against everyone's scarcity of attention. Fail fast, fail early is a fine philosophy, but only if you learn from the failures and do so increasingly early. Your focus should be on giving people content they want, when they want it and realise that as soon as you don't, they'll move on and remember your content as being irritating multi-media spam in their noise-filled lives.

Authenticity

It's totally subjective folks. But, if you can fake it, you've got it made. Trouble is, you'll get caught out if you try to do that. People don't like lies and pretension in their life, they're attuned to detecting it and will certainly not tolerate it if it's connected to relieving them of their money. Your focus should be on standing for something, behaving consistently in relation to that stand and trusting people's ability to spot that you're doing that.


The point of course is not that Web 2.0 is bogus but that these words are wrongly defined in alleged received wisdom. What Web 2.0 allows and indeed demands of businesses is a return to genuine old-fashioned customer centricity and greatly increased agility of response and attitude. The underlying world hasn't changed and the meaning of these words similarly hasn't changed. Nonsense flows from businesses seeking to monetise them. Profit will flow from really understanding them.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Angus said...

Nice post Dodds.

11:36 PM, April 14, 2008  
Blogger Charles Frith said...

Yes. Nice post but I can't help thinking that we use old words for new scenarios. Take community for example. Of course its not community in the sense that we all go to mass on Sunday but equally there is chit chat within groups that are familiar with each other. Facilitating this is where brands can do good.

I could go on with the other words but I think you get my point.

3:58 AM, April 15, 2008  
Blogger john dodds said...

Thanks Angus - honoured by your presence. And yes Charles that's true, but the words haven't really changed. Facilitation is one thing, trying to create or, worse still, buy a community off-the-peg is something else. But I know you think that too.

4:18 AM, April 15, 2008  
Anonymous Marcus innit. said...

Can I now write that:

"Attention seeking behaviour will kill your agency"?

Yes. I like that actually.

Excellent post old love.

12:02 AM, April 16, 2008  
Blogger Em said...

Sorted post... loving it

6:12 AM, April 16, 2008  

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