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
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 Box.net, 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,
mouthshut.com, 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
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.
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
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.
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