Monday, January 1, 2007

Power To The People - "You" Are TIME's Person Of The Year

Recognizing The Marketing Implications Of The "You-niverse"

TIME magazine recognized what marketers have known for some time. Consumers are a force to be reckoned with in today's marketplace. Equipped with "weapons of mass connection" -namely the personal computer, the Blackberry, and the cell phone - they have the power to instantly communicate with millions of other consumers on their own terms - in chat rooms, on MySpace and Facebook, on the blogosphere. They have employed new technology to "self program" their media consumption with the likes of TiVo, video-on-demand, and video on the Web. They are creating their own user-generated content and deploying it on sites like YouTube. They have also "techno-barricaded" themselves from invasive marketing messages through the use of TiVo, Pop Up blockers, and spam filters.

In this "You-niverse", marketers must make a choice, as the adage goes, to lead, follow, or get out of the way. Marketers who are slow to embrace the new marketplace will see agile insurgents fill the void with better "mousetraps". And it will happen at warp speed as was the case with YouTube, an enterprise, only a few years old, with a market value of almost $2 billion and with an audience major media networks would now lust for.

Here are the major marketing suggestions for the "You-niverse":
  1. Zero-base your marketing perspective based on your target audience. Understand what media they are consuming, how they are consuming it, and when they are consuming it.

  2. Build your marketing strategy from the ground up and allocate resources accordingly without the bias of the status quo. New options exist today (and will tomorrow) that weren't even on the radar screen yesterday.

  3. Throw more money at success (the things that work) and pull the plug on what doesn't. The phrase "we need to give it more time" does not work in the You-niverse.

  4. Get advice from people who understand the new media landscape. These are the "innovators" and "early adopters" required to evangelize change to the "early majority" both in the marketplace and within the organization.

  5. Create an agile and athletic marketing organization, one that can "turn on a dime" without missing a step in the quest to achieve measurable results.

In summary, the You-niverse is a world of constant change, unlimited channels, and instant communications. Is your brand prepared to exceed in this new landscape?

You determine the outcome.