Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Web 2. Slowww - Low Adapatation by Corporations

The discussions around web 2.0. continue to peak my interest and a recent article from emarketer.com shows how little progress large corporations have made in this area.

I Plan to Increase my Lead Generation by 3 billion % in 30 days

Marketers make many promises and not all of them are based on facts (I know, you're saying "really??"). From the article Business Crawls onto Web 2.0, the path to large corporations adopting to Web 2.0. looks promising as it seems that over half of the companies surveyed either have a blog or plan to have one (internal or internal) and the same goes for RSS (Click here for the image). However, the key words here are "or plan to have". If you know marketers, they would like to do as much as possible (and will sometimes promise as much) but there is a little thing called resources and reality that pulls us all back to earth.

The other main issue has to do with the company policies that can can some of these ideas before they get off the ground. For example, podcasts require companies to buy into the idea of publishing regular interviews that can humanize a company. This may require dedicated or partially dedicated resources that seek out customers and industry experts for these podcasts. For many companies, this requires a fundamental shift in the way that marketing is seen as
typically B2B marketers are focused on advertising, events/trade shows, and direct marketing. Podcasts can be seen as a lot money for a lot of nothing. Marketers first need to convince management to trail this concept and then need to prove how podcasts (and other web 2.0. strategies) affect the bottom line.

Private Blogs Don't Count (Either Does Being on Facebook and Having 500 Friends That are Co-Workers)

Does your company have an internal blog? I've worked with companies that have started one and then they died along with other collaboration tools such as an internal wiki, forum and RSS feeds. Why did it fail? There wasn't global adaptation of these tools and we weren't forced to use them. In addition, management didn't review how they were used and paid little if any attention to what was being written. For example, I would write a post on the company blog directed to company executives and no one would respond - nothing, nada (you can tell that I wasn't to happy about this). It's for this reason that I don't even consider these real marketing "blogs" because if they fail it's no big deal considering that the public doesn't see them. These are internal communication devices that can assist a company on facilitating ideas as well as promoting a corporate community (especially for global companies). If you're on Facebook or Link-in along with some of your co-workers, you can't say that your company is web 2.0. savvy. Give me a break. Web 2.0. only really applies when the public is interacting with your company and the conversation is ongoing. Internal web 2.0. devices should be used to support the external ones. For example, an internal blog could be used by marketing to create public blog posts.

Web 2.0. the Reality - OK, my Reality

What I didn't really like about this emarketer.com study was how limiting it was in its definition of web 2.0. Is having a video on your site really web 2.0.? I don't think so. Putting that same video on YouTube and other PUBLIC video sharing platforms is. Allowing people to comment on your video and post their own videos is. I don't even consider a blog as being part of web 2.0. unless I can leave a comment. If I can't leave a comment that it's just a regular website that typically does well in the search engines. I'm not even going to touch areas such as allowing the public to "tag" or recommend content (for more of this, see my recent post on USA Today).

Part of the spirit of web 2.0. is the ability for people to interact with other people and not just have a site or feed where the conversation is flowing in one direction. It's the concept of a real two-way conversation that is causing large companies to shake in their boots. This is evident in the above chart that demonstrates how little the concept of public blogs have been adopted by the Fortune 500. While this is improving, it's evident that most companies only play lip service to the idea of really listening to their customers and prospects and providing the ability to join the conversation.

Yes, there are horror stories out there regarding user generated content but as I've said in the past, if you're already in the public, people are talking about you. It's best to help direct the conversation by providing the tools to do so. In this way, you can better monitor what is being said.

Do you agree with my definition of web 2.0.? How do you define it?

Chad H.

2 comments:

Biby Cletus said...

Nice post, its a really cool blog that you have here, keep up the good work, will be back.

Warm Regards

Biby Cletus - Blog

Chad H said...

Thanks for dropping by Bibby - I like your blog as well!

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