Often the least experienced marketers are the most effective at taking advantage of a new marketing medium. This is difficult for more experienced marketing veterans to swallow. But with experience comes preconceptions about what works and what doesn’t work.
It really wasn’t that long ago that I was the new marketing kid who got the web better than the old school marketers. In 1996 I began marketing on the web with very little prior marketing experience. I was able to rationally invent a system that was perfectly tailored to the web rather than trying to retrofit my previous methods. This system helped my company, Uproar, lead our category with a much smaller marketing budget than our competitors (Sony, Microsoft, Yahoo…). Their experienced marketers couldn’t keep up with the more nimble neophytes.
Now that I am more experienced, “getting” Web 2.0 is a little tougher than it was the first time around. This is despite having a Blog and being an avid Podcast listener. I’ve even bought advertising on Blogs, Podcasts, and Digg. Yet, I have been unable to get a good enough ROI to continue advertising on these mediums. I’m fairly confident that Web 2.0 marketing could be an important part of my marketing mix, but I just haven’t figured out how to tap it yet.
It’s probably not completely age/experience related. Seth Godin is a rare experienced marketer that picks up on new trends very quickly. He has written quite a bit about Web 2.0 marketing, despite being burdened by significantly more years of marketing experience than me. But, who knows if he has actually effectively applied these theories beyond launching his own Web 2.0 site called Squidoo? Another group that has tapped Web 2.0 properties for a good return is spammers – but for a real brand spamming does more damage than good in the long run.
If anyone knows a reputable company that has effectively tapped Web 2.0 properties to drive marketing results – please let me know. I’ll just reverse engineer the marketing approach that some newbie wiz kid probably thinks is totally logical.