There Is Definitely Something In The Air


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We are connected to others more than ever. It has more impact on the way everything revolves around. This document is my quest to address few possibilities in the future.

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There Is Definitely Something In The Air

  1. 1. There is definitely something in the AIR. It is estimated that 4 exabytes (4x10^19) of unique information will be generated this year. This is more than previous 5000 years. There are 31 billion searches on Google every month. In 2006 this number was 2.7 billion. The 2008 the world had 1,000,000,000 internet enabled devices. In 1984 it was 1000, in 1992 it was 1,000,000. There are 540,000 words in English language. This is about 5X as many as during Shakespeare’s time. A weeks worth of New York times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century. NTT Japan has successfully tested a fiber optic cable that pushes 14 trillion bits per second down as single strand of fiber. That’s 2.600 CDs or 210 million phone calls every SECOND. What all these information pointing us? I believe strongly that the following things will change the way we consume media in following years:
  2. 2. a. Cloud computing b. User generated content / crowd sourcing c. Social media / real time information a. Cloud computing: Every day we can see that more of our information going in to the clouds. We no mere need a hard disk! We can save all our photos in Flickr, videos in Youtube, documents in, presentations in Sideshare, Scribd etc.. More enterprise solutions are in the pipeline that is planned exclusively designed to be in the clouds. What happens? Consumers no need to be PHYSICALLY present in an location to access information. This can change the way we work, the way computers/notebooks that need to be designed, positive effects in global warming, more importantly it will create more Digital nomads! b. User generated content/Crowdsourcing: User generated content is defining the way the information on products/service is passed to the users. It’s a know fact that almost 80% of people trust consumer reviews and peer to peer recommendations when it comes to purchase. It’s an increasing trend where users listen to consumer reviews from sources like youtube,
  3. 3., dedicated blogs etc to know more about the brand and then visits the corporate website! One of the reason for this is over 84% of consumers don’t trust advertising! One can see multiple user review channels in youtube where most of the times these reviews define the fate of many products. Crowdsourcing becomes active part in product cycle in which consumers are involved even in the product design! This has many positive effects. Consumers feel that they own the product and do their bit by creating conversations around the product. Brands no longer can do marketing TO consumers; they need to start marketing WITH them and great examples are Digital nomads from Dell and mystarbucksidea, threadless and lots more. c. Social media: Social media is definitely not a fad! It took just 9 months for Facebook to add 100 million consumers while it took 4 years for internet to reach 50 million users. Social media has become the first preferred activity in the internet. Twitter provided us the luxury of accessing real time data where you can find what’s happening RIGHT NOW on any topics under the sun. Users no need to find news anymore, news will find us. Just imagine one bad customer service experience. The next second it will tweeted.
  4. 4. In the next 5 minutes few thousand users will share similar experience to them with the particular product or brand. The very next day, a teaser video will be created and uploaded in Youtube which will fetch over million views. More users are subscribing the news feeds from their favourite brands, companies in twitter/facebook which will reduce the need to log into log in to the brands website. Brands need to think out of the box to make people connected to their brand like Zapos where it integrated twitter to its corporate website or like Bestbuy, whose Twelpforce initiative is a lesson for many retailers. Brands and advertising agencies need to stop talking about their products since good products will obviously make others to do the talking. Rather they just need to provide a platform for users and to provide a trigger for a conversation. Initiatives like “DigitalNomads” from dell where there are NO promotions of Dell at all and the platform is for people who leads an on-the-go life or nomadic life where they need no physical space to work! What happened is the magic. The platform has triggered great bonding where Dell just played the role of conversation agent/party organizer and listened to the conversations, took inputs from the people and implemented in their product design which made the users to feel proud that their inputs were heard and implemented. This transformation has changed the fate of Dell where few years back Dell
  5. 5. was considered as me too brand and now it generated over $ 300 millions just from Twitter! Few marketers have realized the importance of social media and while others don’t have any idea on where are they now and how to start. Few companies like Dell, Ford, Zapos, Starbucks etc have shown the world how powerful is the social media. Few take-away from paperwork: 1) If any one from an advertising agency is reading this please think again before you suggest that great TVC, trend setting Print campaigns etc. Think how can you involve the consumers in the process of the brand building 2) Brand managers. Just don’t imagine about the competition and stand by the traditional research methodology. We are living in real-time world. Just type your brand name in twitter search and you will get to see what the real image of your brand is! Try Addictomatic, scoopler, twitter search, collecta, trendsmap etc. 3) Give mobile it due respect. Accept the fact that MOBILE is not about the device but your mobile consumers. All your consumers are on mobile and don’t forget that.
  6. 6. 4) Don’t worry about your brand image and market share. Just take care of your consumers and they will take of your worries. 5) If your products suck then no one can save you. So if you think your products are not aligned with the present consumer trend or not relevant to the changing times. Drop it and start from the scratch! That’s the reason Apple has millions of brand evangelists who generate huge positive brand content on behalf of Apple! Feedbacks welcome. Good day. Manoj Kandasamy.