Within milliseconds of the explosions, #BostonMarathon and #PrayForBoston were trending topics on Twitter. This is today's reality when it comes to tragedy. We live in a day and age where news finds us, we don't need to even look for it. Online, in the midst of tragedy, it's easy to spot those who care... those who don't... and those who would and do dare to make some sort of joke or cast blame before all of the facts have been sorted. While this online always-connected life exposes us to tragedy faster and with more detail and impact than ever before... it also allows us to feel connected, to reach out and support one another like never before.
As a marketing professional, there is nothing I hate more than receiving any form of communication (email, Web experience, social media, mobile, whatever) and not see an obvious place where I can either opt out of the communication or protect how much information is being captured. As a consumer, I probably hate it more.
Facebook can't fail. There are one billion users. Switching costs are just too high -- people can't go elsewhere when all of their friends are on Facebook. That's what the folks at Friendster and MySpace thought -- just before users abandoned them in droves. Facebook could be next -- especially if they keep interrupting their users.
Is it any surprise that flashy headlines and fake celebrity death memes on Twitter get so much attention? In this era of digital narcissism, where our gateway to content is through the lens of the people we like and admire most, traditional and digital publishers must now grasp for attention in an even flashier way.
We have so much amazing technology available to us in our digital lifestyle but there are still some parts of our lives that deserve to be brought "offline." I still believe that photography is best appreciated and enjoyed only once it is printed, and it's a lost art that we are moving away from. We need to bring it back.
With support from Electronics Arts, the Directions Youth Services media room helps street youth find the voice many never realized was inside them. Co-ordinator Colin Ford and the staff teach music, art, audio recording, film-making, computer literacy, digital media skills and teamwork. They provide an opportunity for social inclusion and creative expression where it might not have existed before.
The next half century could well be about advertising taking on a smaller position in the expanding marketing sphere as brands create loyalty not through impressions but by creating tools, applications, physical devices, true utility, and more robust loyalty extensions that makes them more valuable in a consumer's life. It will be interesting to see which brands embrace media beyond the screen.
Such dismal click-through rates would seem to indicate that display ads don't work, but, in fact, a display ad can be very effective even when no one clicks on it. Frequently, a consumer will see an online display ad and then visit the advertiser's site hours or days later, often unconscious of having seen the ad.
Retail has been turned on its head. Consumers are actively using mobile devices in larger stores to access hundreds of e-commerce, forums and social sites that hold product information, reviews and competitive pricing. What to do to counter this? Well, we need to arm salespeople with mobile devices that give them that extra advantage and ignore the hard sell and just be really personable and informative using external and internal resources.
There is a major shift in business focus that is under way. Digital media has forced businesses to change. Dramatically. This is nothing new. What's interesting is that we're seeing two, distinct, breeds of business being born: product-focused businesses, and customer-focused businesses. Which one do you work for?
Facebook's profits are tied to a morally questionable business model; one that is addictive, and insidious for users. For all the good that Zuckerberg's company has done for reconnecting people, and letting them communicate with one another, Facebook exists to extract from those relationships the secrets of what makes us tick consumers.