What Google+ Means for Direct Marketers
The tools may have changed, but the song remains the same.
The Web is now personal. VERY personal. Everyone is a content producer, whether they realize it or not.
Google realizes this. Google's deal with Twitter has run out so it no longer has Twitter content in its search, and Facebook is giving content to Bing, so Google needs its own source of social from which to draw content and, most importantly, in which to embed its advertising platform (AdWords).
Google knows personal recommendation is important, and so do we. It knows business has to have its place in any new channel in order to generate advertising revenue. Google, still the search king, knows it needs to sell advertising, and that Facebook social ads lead in the social space. Google, just like those of us in one-to-one marketing, realizes it's all about people. Because of this, Google has built its own social network: Google+ (which is now open to everyone, no invite required).
Everyone is posting links, sharing content, making recommendations, telling their friends about the good and bad in their daily lives, about the great coffee they just had, about the lousy service at the hotel they just stayed in, and about their love of a million long-tail niche hobbies and interests (perfect for generating ad revenue by displaying relevant opportunities along with the public message). The basic principals are there across every tool and channel.
Strategy should not be based on tools like Google+. Strategy should be based on business objectives. Tools like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are, as appropriate, a means to achieving business goals through communication, but are not strategies in themselves.
Content is king, even today, and the not-so-secret sauce is in the message and what you do with it. That's not going to change for direct marketers anytime soon. Research, engagement, listening, measurement, creating good content, fostering relationships, these remain the same. What is changing is the opportunity, and how you can use it.