Learning Fast About Online Marketing in 2009

Many readers here are interested in promoting their work online using new social media. Last month I put up a post on ReadWriteWeb titled Top Marketing Geeks Make Their Predictions for 2009. I thought I’d post it here as well for readers who may have missed it, along with some other resources.

Check out the 25 comments on the original post as well for some interesting discussion. Some readers were very critical and I’ve tried to offer some critical thoughts as well, but it’s clear that marking on the web is here to stay. Hopefully it will be based on a greater degree of authenticity, usefulness and innovation than marketing generally is known for.

For more personal thoughts on new media marketing, check out two of my old posts here Social Media for Marketing and Thoughts on Product Launch Promotion. Both are a touch out of date but should be a good source of some still-valuable resources and advice.

Speaking of resources, if you’re interested in new media marketing you may appreciate this OPML file of Chris Brogan’s favorite marketing bloggers to watch in 2009. It’s a special file of all their feeds filtered to deliver just their unusually popular posts (filtering performed by Postrank). You can download that file, then import it into your RSS reader and you’ll be kept super smart all year long. I’ll be keeping an eye on those feeds, myself.

If you’d like a short, concentrated injection of smarts along similar lines, check out my consulting services, just like these happy people have.

And now the blog post I promised…

marketinglogo.jpgWill 2009 be the big year for corporate transparency, for a global conversation – perhaps for bargain basement online marketing tactics instead of old-school huge commercial campaigns?

Peter Kim, a former Forrester analyst now working on stealth enterprise software company, recently polled 14 of the most high-profile thinkers about social media marketing and asked them what they expected to see 2009 bring. The end product was an attractive 23 page PDF that we’ve embedded below, but we thought we’d pull out some of the thoughts we found most interesting for all you skimmers out there.

Social shopping

“Now with connective technologies like Facebook Connect, Google FriendConnect, and OpenID, consumers will now be able to see reviews, experiences, and critiques from people they actually know and trust.” – Jeremiah Owyang, Forrester Research

Our take: Much as we are concerned about the proprietary nature of Facebook Connect in particular, the ease with which people are able to see feedback left by people they know, with confirmed identities, really could be a game changer.


scottmontypic.jpg“Twitter will continue to achieve legitimacy. But more than any push-channel, Twitter will give customers, advocates and critics unprecedented access to corporate personnel and vice versa.” – Scott Monty, Ford Motor Company (Photo, right, by Wendy Piersall)

Our take: This makes sense, and it’s pretty funny to think about. Even the biggest cynics often have a dramatic turn around about Twitter once they start using it, and the intimacy that develops is remarkable. We agree with Monty that this will become increasingly difficult to resist.

Measuring the success of social networks

RohitBhargava.jpg“Implement listening programs through social media to get real time authentic knowledge that is actionable… Measure with customer service metrics like retention/ satisfaction & social metrics like engagement.” – Rohit Bhargava, Ogilvy (Photo by Shashi Bellamkonda)

“Slowly but surely, we’re going to develop a set of better metrics to help guide, direct and validate ‘commitment’-based marketing and yes, Mr Kim….they will extend beyond the rather short term, blunt metric called ROI”. – Joseph Jaffe, Crayon

Our take: Good luck with that, we’re not optimistic. This is soft stuff and though clear success speaks for itself, all the gradations between success and failure are going to be very hard to quantify.

Quality vs Quantity in Social Media

“I believe we’ll have more focused velvet-rope social networks in 2009 where the tools and the goals match verticals of interest instead of the general commons of Facebook.” – Chris Brogan, New Marketing Labs

charleneli.jpg“Exclusivity trumps accessibility. Having thousands of friends becomes ‘so 2008’ and defriending becomes the hot new trend, driven by overwhelming rivers of newsfeeds.” – Charlene Li, Altimeter Group (Photo by deneyterrio on Flickr)

Our take: Maybe, for some people and in some circumstances this will be the case. We expect most people to find a middle ground between the whole sale slow-down that some seem to expect and an evolutionary adjustment to vastly increased data input.

Making the most of limited budgets

“Dwindling budgets suddenly make low-cost social media look like the pretty girl at the ball. ” – Ann Handley, Marketing Profs

“Companies will struggle with how to control who says what — but will increasingly realize that in an economic downturn, they need all the marketing muscle and leverage they can get and actively encourage.” – Charlene Li

Our take: This makes a lot of sense to us, but we expect that it will be tempered by the fear of totally blowing it. Getting into the social media space and doing it wrong is something that a lot of companies fear getting blown apart for. We expect that to change slowly and only for a limited number of companies.

Here’s the full document embedded below – what do you think of these predictions?

Social Media 2009