The Web–Internet Growth Debate

Who remembers Dan Aykrod stating with defiance, “Jane, you ignorant slut.” Those were the great days of point / counterpoint. This week, The New York Times and Wired Magazine played a more civil reenactment of point / counter-point.

The Internet is alive, the web is dead. So proclaimed Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wire Magazine. Chris provided pretty charts and commentary to summarize that after two decades since its start, the World Wide Web is in decline, giving way to new services/apps. Why? Because users are looking to receive info, services, games, shopping bargains, etc. and less interested in searching for it. Push versus pull. (Almost one year ago, I covered this issue in an article “Social Media – Should Make Companies Rethink SEO.”)

The New York Times responded with data that showed growth in traffic of every aspect of the Internet including the Web. Certainly, app growth is strong. But as The Times points out (using Facebook as a good example) apps and Web sites are intertwined. There is a mobile Facebook app and a Web version.

Now let’s look at this from the perspective of a brand, media company, or any other company looking to gain awareness, consumption, loyalty, and advocates. There is way too much emphasis on technology, delivery vehicle, and technology provider. At least in the start of a plan. There needs to be focus on requirements prior to partners or providers.

What companies need to care about is that they are:

1) generating awareness,
2) engaging with their target audience,
3) providing interest and/or value to their audience,
4) reinforcing their position,
5) increasing loyalty, and
6) producing advocates.

The way they achieve this is INTEGRATION. Complete integration. Start with integration of a digital strategy with traditional marketing. And within digital strategy, integration should include a mixed program that draws upon the web, mobile, applications, social media, and outreach to influencers.

Brian Solis talks about an extension of the 4 Ps of marketing (place, product, price, promotion) to include a fifth P – people in his exceptional 3 part piece “The Hybrid Theory Manifesto: The Future of Marketing, Advertising, and Communications.” @DuctTape highlights the 4 Ps turn into the 4 Cs for the social age: Content, Context, Connection and Community. Solis also points out that “Content is King” changes to “Context is King” in his Hybrid Theory.

THIS IS THE POINT.

As brands look for awareness, engagement, loyalty, and advocates as they deliver value to their audience reinforcing their brand, they need to look at the people they serve and their behavior, attitude and preferences. This observance and collection of empirical data help to define the content to be delivered, how to make connections, and the context for individuals served. When this is successfully done, the brands begin to build their community.

Back to the debate on the Internet and Web … we should not be looking to breakdown siloed strategies and data analysis on web, Internet, app, social networks, and mobile numbers. They can not be looked at in isolation. If brands are to successfully leverage these new and evolving platforms, they must deploy and look at usage based on their audiences’ preferences, and behaviors. The CONTEXT of what the audience gets and how they received it is best defined by the audience – not the provider. This is a fundamental shift so many are having a difficult time accepting it. Accept it or not – these are the new rules of the game.

So Wired Magazine – We need not be “wired” to get what we want today. Being “wired” is part of the package, but not all. Webs, apps, mobile, and social media – the sum of the integrated parts are growing. Integrate and succeed. Isolate and fail.

Make It Happen!
Social Steve

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4 Comments

Filed under behavior, brand communication, brand marketing, brands, marketing, marketing plan, Social Steve, SocialSteve, Uncategorized

4 responses to “The Web–Internet Growth Debate

  1. Excellent article. I loved the 4 p’s turning into the 4 c’s!! Nicely done.

  2. Hi, Steve. Love your blog. We just posted this one to our facebook fan page.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/OlympiaWa/Reach-them-online/116211728430248?ref=sgm

    To sum up what I’ve learned about Social Media networking and marketing so far: Relax, have fun, be yourself, then provide consistently good products and service, and people will come find you. Inbound marketing is the new paradigm, just as I think you point out in this blog.

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