Fourteen Trends

The trends are

"...- direct communication and commerce between producers and consumers

- amplification of the voice of the consumer and independent authorities

- the need for an authentic story as the number of sources increases

- extremely short attention span due to clutter

- the long tail

- outsourcing

- Google and the dicing of everything

- infinite channels of communication

- direct communication and commerce between consumers and consumers

- shift in scarcity and abundance

- triumph of ideas

- shift from "how many" to "who"

- the wealthy are like us

- new gatekeepers, no gatekeepers..."

Seth Godin, 2007

i) direct communication and commerce between producers and consumers

This means eliminating the middleman and going direct; "one click" shopping means that consumers can deal immediately and directly with the person who can make things happen; "permission-based" e-mailing campaigns are much more successful and cheaper (no stamps) than direct mail campaigns, eg success rate is 20 to 30 times that of direct mail; there are thousands of people who want to interact with you, and/but the challenge is to make it profitable; permission marketing is an integral part of this.

ii) amplification of the voice of the consumer and independent authorities

In a market where everyone is a critic, the need to create products/services (plus after-sale service) that appeal to, and satisfy, critics is paramount; mass marketers can no longer ignore individual disgruntled customers, because with the Internet a few malcontents have the potential to destroy a brand's reputation; Youtube has turned people into directors; it is no longer "us and them" - it is "us and us"; the Web remembers forever; blogs have converted readers and viewers into writers, it is a personal publishing platform that is connected, tracked, indexed and spread around, ie

"...the easiest way to understand blogs (text, audio or video) is to understand that they (finally) connect three real desires: to hear our own invoices, to be heard by others, and to hear what the crowd thinks..."

Seth Godin, 2007

The 1% rule,

eg 1 percent of the community are givers,

- Wikipedia (1 percent of the users create and edit articles)

- Microsoft's Channel 9 web site (1 percent of visitors contribute comments)

- blogs (1 percent of blog readers are blog writers)

- talk back radio (1 percent of listeners are callers), etc

Unfortunately we do not know who they are.

iii) the need for an authentic story as the number of sources increases

Need to "walk the talk" as consumers are able to differentiate between fake and real; when making decisions, consumers are more likely to rely on the information they receive from the community rather than the organisation.

iv) extremely short attention span due to clutter

As the demise of mass marketing is partly due to increased choices and the deluge of interruptions, complex messages are not effective; things are moving faster, getting smaller and easier to do, eg to sell something, to publish a book, to market something, etc; you can buy tiny slices of attention for a fraction of what it cost just a decade ago; every interaction with a consumer is a "make or break" proposition.

v) the long tail

The concepts of leading brands is disappearing; consumers prefer providers that offer the most choice, eg Starbucks offers 19,000 varieties of beverages; in the long-term, variety always leads to more sales; the number of markets and micro-markets are skyrocketing; give people of choice, the tail always gets longer; some trends include

"...- online shopping gives the retailer the ability to carry a 100 times the inventory of a typical retail store.

- Google means that a user can find something, if it is out there

- permission marketing gives sellers the freedom to find products for the consumers, instead of the other way around

- digital products are easy to store and easy to customise

- digital technology makes it easier to customise non-digital goods..."

Seth Godin, 2007

As marketshare can be very temporary, it is not the key to surviving and thriving.

Furthermore,

"... many consumers...... know they ought to be able to instantly search an entire inventory, to find relevant items in proximity to the ones they are already looking at, and to have every single item available to purchase at the same time in the same place. They also want to buy it all with one click..."

Seth Godin, 2007

This highlights 3 challenges

"...1. Find a market that has not been found yet

2. Create something so remarkable that people in a market are compelled to find you

3. String together enough of these markets so that you can make them into a business..."

Seth Godin, 2007

Linked with a long tail is the concept of critical mass. This refers to a situation where a series of events results in an uncontrollable chain reaction. Volume or quantity is important in this concept - once a certain number is produced, the extra ones are produced at a minimal cost. Furthermore, this feeds on itself as it becomes more popular, ie it becomes the thing to do. With e-marketing, the critical mass is a lot smaller than it used to be, ie it's easier to attract an interested community on the Internet. As the Internet makes it easier and faster to connect, it lowers the level at which critical mass is reached. The critical mass checklist

"...1. do more users benefit the other users by bringing down prices for increasing the power of communication?

2. Are we falsely relying on the masses to solve problems that are obvious when we have small numbers of customers?

3. How can we lower the number of users we'll need before the benefits of critical mass kick in?

4. How does style matter? Are we betting that people will become customers because "everyone else is doing it?" If so, how do we realistically cross the chasm?..."

Seth Godin, 2007

In summary,

"...it's not what you think the market wants, or what you want the market to want. It's about creating and assembling a collection of goods and services that catches the attention (and commerce) of the people who truly care..."

Seth Godin, 2007

vi) outsourcing

The means of production of physical goods and intellectual property is no longer based on geography but is based on talent and efficiency; the competitive advantage of low-wage, high skill location will outperform a vertically-integrated organisation; a marketer without a factory is more innovative, faster-moving and more fad/trend/customer, etc-focused than a traditional production-focused organisation; the ease of outsourcing puts pressure on traditional suppliers to be more competitive; outsourcing can save money and time; outsource and/or mechanize every repetitive, by-the-book task; organisations need to concentrate on activities that cannot be outsourced

vii) Google and the dicing of everything

By atomizing the world, goodwill has changed the end-to-end solution offered by most organisations, replacing it with a pick-and-choose component-based solution; need to offer more than a commodity, otherwise someone will sell it cheaper; bundling and middlemen services are less important.

viii) infinite channels of communication

There is increasing media chaos with new forms of publishing, communications and interaction; some organisations will thrive in this increased chaos, some will be unprepared, and some will merely fight it and lose. For consumer decision-making, the consumer will need to know about the opportunity and whether it is worth the time or money or risk to take action; instead of racing around trying to generate attention, the suppliers merely stand by and wait for attention to find them, eg AdWords where Google charges by clicks - advertisers determine what it's worth to get a visit from an interested, qualified, motivated, potential customer; me-media which is targeted messaging that's about the consumers and what they want right now.

ix) direct communication and commerce between consumers and consumers

Examples include increased consumer-to-consumer interaction in the marketplace, such as eBay; increasing importance of social networks in which consumers share information and experiences, and band together in common interest to pressure firms to provide what they want

x) shift in scarcity and abundance

Changes in what is scarce and what is abundant have occurred; owing to changes in technology, the power of scarcity of access, of shelf space, of media availability, of resources, etc is less important; need to leverage the new scarcity of spare time, attention, ability to pollute, trust, skilled workers, natural resources, such as open space and clean water.

xi) triumph of the ideas

Traditionally little ideas resulted in small improvements in productivity, efficiency, production, products, etc while now big ideas are needed to grab people's attention, such as focusing on service.

xii) shift from "how many" to "who"

The focus on the mass has evolved to a focus on the individual; with the Internet we know who is visiting a web site; "who" are the people who have already demonstrated right now they are focused on your product/services, such as by clicking on Google Adwords; helps to search for cheap ways to interrupt the disinterested and make them interested; it helps activate the interested and turn them into campaigners for you.

xiii) the wealthy are like us

There are more wealthy people than ever before and they come from a diverse range of backgrounds and interests, ie the democratisation of wealth; if you want something to be ordinary, then it better be cheap; on the other hand, people will pay for exclusivity, note-worthiness and indulgence

xiv) new gatekeepers, no gatekeepers..."

Traditionally big organisations dealt with other big organisations; the Internet has provided the ability to send messages with no filters, no time constraints and no money, eg "ideavirus" that spreads around the world attracting attention; the Web has allowed people to bypass the traditional channels, ie they can now go "individual-to-individual" and by-pass traditional hierarchical structures; it is different as there are many things to write about, most bloggers (who have a laptop connected to the Internet) do it for free and they are passionate about the topic; the Web means that everyone is approachable; the consumer/interested community is in charge; it is easier and cheaper to connect with an interested community as your mouthpiece than to develop a physical chain of reseller stores

For example, Google has decimated the power of the traditional media gatekeepers like newspapers, radio, TV, etc. Information and access is available to all when desired.

In summary, the success of e-marketing is having

"... low overheads, cheap......location, the high margins because of the long tail inventory, and the unlimited online listings......relentless public feedback..."

Seth Godin, 2007

 

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