Redmarketer

July 16, 2008

Fragmentation

Filed under: Information Supernova, Media Origination — Robert John Ed @ 3:30 pm

The internet is still in a pretty early phase.  And what I’m realizing is that it’s becoming ever more fragmented; for marketers, that term is synonymous with “difficult.”

Two sides to this (and every) coin.

On the web there is a place for everyone to go.  There are different areas for different tastes and different sites for different levels of involvement.  Web centric people probably use email, tweets, blogs, instant messaging, Skype, favorite forums, etc.  Others may only use email and their social network of choice.  But the point is that there are options out there for everyone.  And as people become more digitally astute, they’ll come to be more picky about which services they utilize.  That means that, in the long term, the best applications and websites win out.  The sites with the most value, not necessarily the free sites.  Monetization of sites and weighing value is something I’ll have to address another time.

Additionally, more and more people will come to enjoy an experience where they are clearly in control of their interaction (hence the term interactive marketing).  So attrition from television, magazines and other media will happen; not completely but bit by bit the tubes will be sucking our attention away.  And it’s a good thing actually.  The web allows for us to seek out our own information and become more discerning of what is truth and falsehood.  The web will allow for smarter consumers.  Better consumers.  Potentially more active consumers.  That means better businesses due to increased competition.  Competition is good for innovation in business.  Look at the slew of new smart phones and additional functionality due to one (to be named later) phone.

That’s bad for marketers.  Well, it’s bad for bad marketers.  Bad marketers rely on misinformation, repetition of advertising and smaller selectable choice to do their jobs.  They think in multiples.  In order to meet quotas, they simply have to advertise more or do that many more direct mailings.  Good marketers think in exponentials, in tipping points.  In critical masses.  They rely on their products and whispers rather than a catchphrase and a megaphone.  Or completely rethink what their doing in order to reach their intended audience with real value.  That’s not to say it’s easy for anyone to do.  It’s not.  And it’s only getting tougher with all the fragmentation.  But it’s not impossible.  It’s just hard work and ingenuity.

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