Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wrapping your head around Web 2.0

Just as some declare that Web 2.0 is now passe, others are still trying to figure out what it is, and how to employ it.

For marketers, Web 2.0 means you get to have a conversation with your customers and learn more about their passions. For advertisers, it means you can no longer pitch products with one directional messages. For brand managers, it means your customers own your brand and are talking about it in ways that you might or might not like. For direct marketers, low response rates means Web 2.0 (at least the social networking and widgets part of it) hasn't lived up to the hype.

For software engineers, Web 2.0 meant you could easily get your hands on lots of great data and make it do what you wanted, or make other things out of it - but this posting is for the marketers out there.

I've found one of the road blocks to expanding into a Web 2.0 strategy is educating management on what exactly Web 2.0 is, and how it can help the company. Engaging directly with communities of customers is a new and scary concept for old school executives and PR agencies.

Here are a few resources that might help you educate others on what Web 2.0 even is, and how it can be leveraged (I'll add to this list from time to time as I find more sources):

  • The book Wikinomics by Don Tapscott is an intense introductory course on how collaboration is changing everything.

  • A McKinsey study Six ways to make Web 2.0 work by Michael Chui, Andy Miller, and Roger P. Roberts explains Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and covers some basic strategies to encourage participation in Web 2.0 solutions.

  • The article The Secrets of Marketing in a Web 2.0 World by Salvatore Parise , Patricia J. Guinan and Bruce D. Weinberg has rules of thumb for marketing departments, including the very scary words "Don't control, let it go."

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