The media landscape of today looks different than it did 10 or 20 years ago. For most marketers or communicators, this is a simple fact of modern maturity.
However, for the executive working outside of those functions, the world is very different than the one once described in a college textbook – which was often their last close examination of the subject. Those not immersed in the daily nuances of building awareness or generating leads might find it harder to understand the shift by staring at digits in a spreadsheet.
This is one of the reasons that in some ways, marketing has gotten harder. There’s an internal education requirement for every new experiment, initiative or program, that’s above and beyond what has been traditionally required.
Marketing today is dynamic and requires curiosity matched with continuous learning. The static nature of publication is almost to risk condemnation by irrelevancy. Amazon is chock full of social media marketing books based on an organic effort – an opportunity that’s all but evaporated today.
Web 2.0 was, a decade or more ago, the renaissance to a dot-com recession. It was a revival rendered through creative destruction – a rebirth of the technology sector not unlike the first harvest after a massive wildfire. It democratized media and brought technological change that has fundamentally shifted marketing, so long as there remains a worldwide web.
And that’s the theme for this week’s Unscripted Marketing links [UML]. As it is every week, I offer three links under a common theme, with highlights, commentary and a recommendation for closer examination.
1) Web 2.0 brought new vehicles of communication
The “Twilight of web 2.0” is a phrase borrowed from Matthew Hughes, who wrote about the final demise of the social bookmarking site Delicious for The Next Web. In a piece titled, It’s the end of an era, as Pinboard buys and shutters del.icio.us he reports:
“After almost fifteen years, the site [del.icio.us] has been acquired by rival Pinboard, and will be shuttered on June 15, when it goes into read-only mode. While the site will continue to be viewable, users won’t be able to save any new bookmarks.”
Delicious has died and been reloaded several times over. In a time before bloggers wrote roundup posts, Delicious could be used to publish links that had been neatly organized and bookmarked.
The site sold for a mere $35,000 according to reporting by Mr. Hughes. It’s a paltry sum compared to the contributing impact it had on modern social media.
It’s been several years since I’ve logged into the site, but recently I added one final bookmark for posterity.
2) Web 2.0 paved new approaches to marketing
Content marketing, branded content and native ads are all derrivatives of Web 2.0. It gave rise to the notion of every business as a content business, an idea Billee Howard places into context for Forbes.
Her piece entitled Why Taking the Brand Out Of Branded Content Is So Important says:
“Traditional PR and marketing has rapidly evolved since then from a transactional form of push communications to an interaction driven tool of quality engagement catalyzed by compelling content. However, it has taken us until, perhaps this moment, to realize that the best content created by brands is content that informs, entertains and delights, and has less to do with the brand producing it, and more to do with the experience it generates.”
Indeed, branding happens in the mind and experience is a fundamental aspect of that manifestation – it’s why content marketing is the new branding.
3) Web 2.0 fundamentally changed marketing roles
Web 2.0 brought something previous marketing efforts could not provide: data. We could really begin to see and trace a buyer’s journey – which brought with it a host of marketing automation technologies aimed at tracking just that.
The effects can be felt all the way up to the chief marketer, according to David Yovanno in a piece for Adweek called How Marketing Technology Is Forever Recasting the CMO Role. In it he observes:
“The CMO is no longer the executive with the big vision to develop flashy ad campaigns, but a leader who must be conversant across big data, creative and technology. To succeed, they must now be as much a quant as they are a creative thinker.”
However, he also calls for balance:
“None of this is to say that branding and storytelling no longer matters, nor does it mean that every CMO needs to hold a degree in data science. Rather, CMOs need to be aware of how marketing technology opens the door to new requirements in marketing, such as understanding audience signals and event-level performance and strike a balance across their organization.”
There is a lot more science in marketing, but there is also still plenty of art.
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Perhaps we are watching as Web 2.0 ride off into the sunset. It has, however, left a lasting impact on marketing and communications.
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PR, Social Media and the Imperative of Content Marketing [UML]