E-commerce Link: Convergence Culture
Brand manager? Direct marketer? PR professional? Which of these are you? If you're in marketing today, you're all of these people and more. The new marketing ecosystem is forcing marketers of all trades to look beyond their specific marketing disciplines and embrace a world of marketing without borders among disciplines. Online search is just one of the countless new phenomena that are forcing the convergence of all marketing disciplines, changing how they interact with each other and, consequently, changing how we as marketers need to interact with each other.
In reality, there are no marketing revolutions, only a slow evolution wherein advances in technology simply amplify human behavior that's already there. Technology has not really changed fundamental consumer behavior lately. Rather, it's making interactions with the world easier and more fluid. Yet marketers do need to change and adapt.
Search as a Mash-Up
So what really has changed? Is it that consumers are now interacting via personal online spaces like blogs, social networks and everything else that Web 2.0 gurus want to put claim to? Not really, unless you've forgotten letters to the editor or conversations in the local pub.
The Internet didn't create consumer interaction; it simply amplified it and brought it closer to everyone that's interested in it. But even that's not the big change.
In the old days, communications from consumers didn't go far and didn't stay around for long. Today, many of these communications are archived somewhere online. And while it's new, there's nothing earth-shattering about this either.
The fundamentally profound change is in online search. The Internet allows anyone to say just about anything about anyone. Search brings all of that together under a single roof. It provides consumers with access to just about everything everyone has to say about your brand-good and bad. Search is the glue of the Internet and personal interaction.
Managing the Collision Course of Good, Bad and Ugly
What happens when you advertise online? Run a general advertising campaign on TV or anything else that distributes your message? It generates search activity! After your message somehow touches Jane, she searches for more information.
Yet what Jane gets is not just your message; rather she receives direct access to what other consumers are saying about you, what the competition is doing and just about everything else related to your brand: