Editor’s Notes: Fractured Channels
The Internet is broken ... again.
Oh, the infrastructure is still intact (assuming someone sorts out the IPv4 address mess). Visitors can still get to your website. But in terms of reliable communication, social media has thrown down the virtual Tower of Babel. Reaching out through any one digital communication method is only ideal for a segment of your audience.
For a long time, email was the Web channel marketers could count on to get a message to their target customers. Everyone used it as the primary means of personal Internet communication, even when it was flooded with spam.
Now many Web users have moved their sharing and infotainment out of the inbox and onto various social networks. They still have and use email, but they use it differently. For some, email has become the channel that collects bills and spam while they actually talk and listen on social networks. How does that impact your marketing strategy?
Mobile is broken, too. Not by network, but by competing operating systems (OS)—iPhone, Android, Windows, etc.—that have different standards. In the interviews for this month's cover story, Andrew Martin, vice president of the North American division of Metia, described it like this: "There used to be the browser wars, and now it is very much about the mobile OS wars. This makes it difficult for brands, as it can increase the cost to cover all of them well."
Target Marketing is here to help. First, throughout this issue you'll find advice about how to handle the increasingly important, yet fractured mobile channel. Take the test in our cover story and crib your answers from five of the industry's best mobile minds. Also, check out "4 Ways to Gain Mobile Opt-In From Consumers" in Nuts & Bolts and an E-Commerce Link column from Regina Brady dedicated to helping you translate those precious email offers for the mobile audience.
Then head over to TargetMarketingMag.com to see one way we're tackling social media: a new site toolset that makes it easier than ever for our readers to interact with the site through the social networks of their choice. We're basically letting readers use the site on their own terms, comment through the social media personas they use, share through whatever networks they want. It's opt-in and user-driven, which is how today's Web communication has to be.