Posts filed under ‘Operating Principles’

The Four Questions of Pull Marketing

Widgets, Social Networks and Blogs, oh my. The changing web habits of today’s consumer begs the question, can a company build an online presence without the need for an exclusive .com address?

It’s a simple question with profound implications. Since the season of Lent and Passover is soon upon us, I thought I’d break it down into what I’ll call The Four Questions of Passover Pull Marketing:

  1. Have web services evolved to the point in which we’ve serviced ourselves out? The answer is increasingly becoming yes. We are starting to see the RSSification of our lives. Some call it lifestreaming, others news feeds, but one thing is for sure, it’s changing the consumer consumption chain from a push to pull medium. From recommendations, to recent games played, to up-to-the-minute declarations, whatever you’re doing is being broadcast in one way or another, either internally via the ad network, or externally via social feeds. This new Pull environment is actually the biggest transformation to take place in media since the invention of the printing press, and quite possibly even more dramatic.
    social networking services
  2. Has the rise in user-generated content (also known as social media) and its many entry and exit points challenged the traditional way of thinking? Absolutely. Just ask the Obama Girl, Lonely Girl, and the Dancing Around the World Guy if they would have been household names without YouTube. Brands are next to exploit the power of social media.

  3. Why on this day is the new social graph allowing for radically different online business models? Facebook turned a new page by allowing developers to tap into their members’ social graph to give viral marketing some wings and a way to fly. Others quickly, and not so quickly, followed suit. There is a furious pace of innovation taking place right now within the widget/embedded applications space because web services no longer have to stand alone, like an island in a big dot-com sea. While the cost of driving potential customers to a web site became astronomical, by taking your app to the customer, via Facebook, or MySpace, or Bebo, or iGoogle, the entire economics of customer acquisition is turned upside down thanks to the power of the social graph. Now, developers can worry about building a good niche app and those within the niche will find it. Water eventually finds its own level, and so do web apps. The good ones float to the top, the bad ones sink to the bottom.

  4. In what ways do marketers need to adjust their brainwaves to thrive in this unchartered pull universe? Navigating the decentralized web requires an entirely new mindset, new forms of advertising/pr/promotion and incentives. And to help marketers track, analyze, test and enhance campaign effectiveness in this pull environment, it also requires entirely different analytics to measure “engagement,” “viral pass-along rates,” and “frequency.” Creative marketers will discover the winning combination of delivering the right message to the right consumer via the most effective channel, whether it be social media, social networking, widget marketing, or the combination of all three.
social media marketing

    So, maybe it’s not so clear whether a business needs a web site of their own or not. As my friend at Sprint recently informed me, “web sites are so old school.” If that’s so, we need to move beyond the antiquated view that the web is round to understand that in a decentralized web, there are many intersecting circles and your business needs to be at the nexus of your customer’s networks, wherever they may be.

    March 20, 2008 at 2:45 am 1 comment


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