What to do with Web 2.0? I have spent a considerable amount of time over the last few weeks trying to grasp the concepts of Web 2.0 and the significance of it to my world of marketing. If you don’t have a clue about what is Web 2.0 I’ll direct you to a few sites that can describe it better than I. The question is how to apply this ‘new’ communication technology to real world marketing tasks. (I say ‘new’ technology because much of the technology has been available for some time. Only now is it being more broadly adopted.)
I had a coffee this week with fellow marketer Steven Groves. After we agreed that there are some great benefits to blogging and that fantastic technologies like Second Life are still virgin territory, we tried to wrap some real world value to this. In other words, aside from the fascination, how’s does one create ROI on time and money spent developing a Web 2.0 presence? Sure, there are the comparisons like, “What is the ROI on your phone system?” but when it comes right down to it, why pay someone to create and maintain your blog, My Space, or Second Life presence when the same resources might been used for advertising, direct mail, email, website or just meeting people for coffee?
I suspect we will find that Web 2.0 is here to stay and that the type and amount of a person’s or company’s presence there should be determined by
- Having at least a general understanding of the capabilities available today
- Understanding the reach of Web 2.0 into your target market, and estimating the change in that reach over the next 6-12 months
- Understanding how your presence will really drive business (or whatever you results metric is) vs. other investments resources.
Sure, most marketers should learn about the medium quickly, as it seems that the technology adoption curve may be steeper and longer than any we have seen yet. That learning time will be a necessary investment or R&D expense for the future. But let’s see in what applications we can make Web 2.0 pay off now. Your comments are welcome.