The future of online marketing. It’s a deep topic, and this is my opinion of what’s “going to happen” in a snapshot type of view.
First off, “making millions using the Internet” isn’t going to be the big, shiny object that it used to be.
From “old-school” marketers, you’ll typically hear “yeah, right, people are still people so there will always be a market for this kind of stuff.”
Well, got news for ya, that market will begin the process of evaporating over the course of the next 5 – 10 years.
Why? Because the next generations of people are being born into a different style of life, where the appeal of massive wealth is losing it’s luster. Instead, people are looking for access to the parts of the “massive wealth lifestyle” that they want to enjoy.
Retirements will not wait until 65, people will begin to take shorter “mini-retirements” along the way. Job security is a thing of the past, so people will begin to save up money to have these mini-retirements in between jobs.
And yes, this does have to do with online marketing.
Do you see the possibilities for marketing as a business owner using the Internet? Can you see your markets?
Now, we come to another important part of the future of online marketing…
There will be less interruption-style marketing, and more conversation-based marketing. Before I get the emails about “social media”, the tools commonly called social media have almost nothing to do with this prediction. People are getting tired of being pitched everywhere they go, even in free content areas on the Internet.
Thesis 17 of Cluetrain is a good reference for this.
“Companies that assume online markets are the same markets that used to watch their ads on television are kidding themselves.”
This Thesis is critical to understanding the future of the Internet and online marketing. Kids nowadays are born into a technologically advanced period of time where they can access what they want, where they want, in pretty much any format they want to. This is your market marketers.
So start talking to them. Not with billboards or advertisements, but in real, human conversation. It’s how business was conducted when there was no advertising, and people are discovering that the Internet gives them the power to get back to that type of environment.
Marketers, the Internet gives people the power to know more about your company than you do if you’re not careful.
So instead of marketing to markets, build communities to have conversations with…keeping in mind people have many choices, you don’t “own” the community, so don’t act like it. Instead, make the community something that people are attracted to, an environment that allows them to have the control they seek (the control they don’t get with one-way advertising).
These communities will reward you with business when they need it.
And that my friends, is something that many businesses still don’t understand, markets are conversations, not demographics on a presentation slide.
Remember that, and the future of online marketing will treat you well.
Here’s to a prosperous 2011.
(oh yeah, and we haven’t begun the discussion of the evolution of mass-collaboration, where the market tells you what you get to sell them by building it with you)
Oh yeah, I still hold the hope that people who haven’t already will wake up and realize that not everyone is suffering in this economy…and market their businesses accordingly to the people who are not suffering (i.e. quit dropping prices, whining, etc…).
Disclaimer: The statements given above are my opinion only, and are for entertainment
purposes only. They should not be used as the basis for any business decisions.