Docstoc

LEVERAGING WEB 2.0 FOR MARKETING ADVANTAGE

Document Sample
LEVERAGING WEB 2.0 FOR MARKETING ADVANTAGE Powered By Docstoc
					LEVERAGING WEB 2.0 FOR MARKETING
ADVANTAGE
Discover the opportunities - now!



By Professor Stuart Read - January 2009




IMD

Chemin de Bellerive 23
PO Box 915,
CH-1001 Lausanne
Switzerland




Tel: +41 21 618 01 11
Fax: +41 21 618 07 07
info@imd.ch
http://www.imd.ch
 LEVERAGING WEB 2.0 FOR MARKETING ADVANTAGE | Discover the
 opportunities - now!



 Web 2.0 has turned the web upside down. Marketing professionals who fail to recognize this
 may, at best, find themselves left behind. At worst, they risk losing control of their message
 with potentially giving a marketing advantage to their competitors. But for marketers who
 leverage the technology in smart and flexible ways, there are excellent opportunities for
 communicating with clients, building awareness and driving innovation.




 What is Web 2.0?

 A few years ago, a company could put up a website and consider itself web ready. Users were
 fed the information the company wanted to feed them. Web 2.0 makes the Internet bi-
 directional. The experience is more interactive and control has shifted to the user. The
 engagement style is more spontaneous and chaotic. Communication cycles have been reduced
 from months and years to minutes and hours. Web 2.0 is driven by a range of Web
 technologies and uses. This includes:

         −         Blogs
         −         Mash-ups
         −         Podcasts
         −         RSS (Really Simple Syndication)
         −         Social networks (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn)
         −         Audio/Video streaming
         −         Wikis (Wikipedia and offshoots)




 For politics just like for business

 Barack Obama’s presidential election campaign offers an excellent example of these tools
 delivering powerful results like mobilizing voters and unprecedented grassroots fundraising.
 Using tools from Facebook to YouTube, Obama’s Web presence outpaced McCain’s and gave
 Obama an inexpensive and powerful edge with an influential tech-savvy voting group. While
 past presidential elections have underscored the emergent power of a new technology, such
 as the first televised debates, the Obama campaign may be looked back upon as the moment
 the public understood the impact of Web 2.0.




IMD - www.imd.ch                  LEVERAGING WEB 2.0 FOR MARKETING ADVANTAGE             Page 2/5
 LEVERAGING WEB 2.0 FOR MARKETING ADVANTAGE | Discover the
 opportunities - now!



 Successful marketing in a Web 2.0 world

 The possibilities of Web 2.0 demand a novel approach to marketing. The competitive advantage
 will go to those who can work with the new approach and tools, accept the user’s voice as part
 of the mix and give users options for interaction. Creative and intelligent use of Web 2.0 tools
 can help marketers reach customers (through better understanding of customer needs and by
 adding new depths to interaction with customers); better understand and manage their image
 on the web; and refine operational practices to stay ahead of the competition. From the
 spectrum of uses, here are some of the most useful, together with example companies:


      1. Listen and understand. Consumers interact on the web through social technologies like
         blogs, YouTube, Facebook and consumer forums. Tune in for valuable insights into
         consumer needs and desires. Del Monte, for example, uses a private community to
         understand the desires of pet owners.


      2. Talk. Executive blogs like GM’s FastLane are a quick and direct way to talk to, and with,
         the customer base. But businesses must be willing to forsake the message control of
         older methods. Blog posts don’t get PR sign-off. If they do, they will likely be perceived
         as phony. Another way to reach the audience is with podcasting like at IBM. Increase
         impact of podcasts by including text to ensure search engine hits and by encouraging
         RSS feeds.


      3. Energize, support and embrace. Use social technologies to unite your most enthusiastic
         customers, supercharge the power of their word of mouth and make them brand
         ambassadors, as Fiskars Brands did with its Fiskateers scrapbooking community or
         Nike with its Nike+ community. Tools like forums and wikis help customers support
         each other and can save costs for companies who run forums, like Intuit. Customers
         can also be integrated into the workings of the business. Dell’s IdeaStorm is a powerful
         example of how customers’ suggestions can help improve products.


      4. Track and manage brand image. When consumers share information through social
         technologies, it can have a real impact on your brand—one way or the other. Use
         Technorati (technorati.com) to evaluate who is blogging about you and where and what
         is being said. Manage appropriately, such as ensuring the accuracy of Wikipedia entries.


      5. Gain the edge with up-to-date information. Use RSS feeds to deliver valuable up-to-
         date information to you. Some useful feeds you can create are:




IMD - www.imd.ch               LEVERAGING WEB 2.0 FOR MARKETING ADVANTAGE                  Page 3/5
 LEVERAGING WEB 2.0 FOR MARKETING ADVANTAGE | Discover the
 opportunities - now!



         − Blogs, news sites, etc. that discuss your company or product
         − Competitors’ websites and blogs/news that cover competitors
         − News searches, trend forecasters, etc. related to your target market.


      6. Enhance internal communications. Use Web 2.0 tools to improve effectiveness across
         organizations through better knowledge management, fostering collaboration,
         enhancing company culture and providing training opportunities.




 What holds people back?

 At a recent IMD Discovery Event, “Reinventing Marketing”, I discussed Web 2.0 with about 65
 marketing executives from a range of industries and geographies. When asked about the top
 issues holding their firms back from embracing Web 2.0 technologies, the answers suggested
 that lack of understanding and fear are the main reasons that organizations lag behind.


 But aside from the creative power that these technologies can unleash, marketers should also
 consider that these technologies are free or very inexpensive. And so experimenting on the
 cheap with Web 2,0 technologies, learning and refining, is an excellent approach to gain
 experience and turn apprehension into new ideas. Given the recession we are facing, what can
 be better than reaching customers and being able to say to the boss, "it’s free"?


 Professor Read is Dean of Research, Development and Publishing at IMD. He is Co-Director of
 the Program for Executive Development and also teaches on the Advanced Strategic
 Management and Strategic Marketing in Action programs.




IMD - www.imd.ch              LEVERAGING WEB 2.0 FOR MARKETING ADVANTAGE             Page 4/5
  LEVERAGING WEB 2.0 FOR MARKETING ADVANTAGE | Discover the
  opportunities - now!



RELATED PROGRAMS




         ADVANCED STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT - http://www.imd.ch/asm
         Driving sustainable business results
         Program Director Thomas W. Malnight
         − Prepare to boost performance at individual, team and business-unit levels
         − Ensure that your organization is keeping ahead in a constantly changing business
            environment




         PROGRAM FOR EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT - http://www.imd.ch/ped
         Building global leaders
         Program Directors David Robertson and Carlos Cordon
         - Learn to drive performance in a fast-changing global environment
         - Discover how to build a better business: gain skills, create networks and inspire
            others
         - Reach your leadership objectives with personal coaching
         - Get ready for IMD's Executive MBA degree




 IMD - www.imd.ch              LEVERAGING WEB 2.0 FOR MARKETING ADVANTAGE                Page 5/5

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Stats:
views:4
posted:6/13/2011
language:English
pages:5
Description: Web 2.0 has turned the web upside down. Marketing professionals who fail to recognize this may, at best, find themselves left behind. At worst, they risk losing control of their message with potentially giving a marketing advantage to their competitors. But for marketers who leverage the technology in smart and flexible ways, there are excellent opportunities for communicating with clients, building awareness and driving innovation