lunes, 12 de febrero de 2007

We Media Miami conclusions (II): Participation, the end of anonymity, the demise of traditional advertising

Broadcasting and telecommunication managers initially envisioned Internet as another distribution conduit to channel more content and advertising to the rapidly growing PC user market.
It was aimed at the broadest possible audiences, those anonymous masses they already reached through their TV, Cable and Radio frequencies.
As such, Internet was initially thought as a download content distribution media and the same agencies that created advertising campaigns for corporations, cloned the simple and successful billboards into Web banners, convinced that the same business model would work.
It didn’t, as the Internet Ecommerce evolved to a Web 2.0 Me media, advertisers discovered that the same communication formula wasn’t working. The audience was different, it was not passive individual, but an active participant who actually expected companies to stop “selling” and start dialoging, who wanted companies to speak a common language, that of the participatory media. People were searching for relevant contents to be informed, to learn, but also wanted to construct a personal history, and participate. They were “uploading” and sharing personal information. And as the Millennials appeared, a new standpoint appeared regarding Web identities: the posted pictures, comments, preferences, recommendations and ranks. They tagged and linked and voted. And as the chat evolved to MSN and blogs, identities became relevant and as important as the participation itself.

Credit card numbers together with Ebay reputation and Amazon preferences evolved to information of who we are as people, our interests, in music, books, and media. Our passions, secrets and habits are increasingly shared with our MySpace friends, our new community. We entered a new era, that of We Media, an era of radical change for media companies and marketers.
As Chris Anderson states in his recently published book the Long tail & Long Tail Blog:
“Faith in advertising and the institutions that pay for it is waning, while faith in individuals is on the rise. Peers trust peers. Top-down messaging is losing traction, while bottom-up buzz is gaining power. A Company’s brand is no longer what the company says it is, but what Google says it is.”

Peer Word of Mouth is more important in the decision making process that a product advertising campaigns, as Zara the Spanish apparel company confirmed in a recent study: peer recommendations, accounted for 39% of the purchasing decision of their customers while conventional advertising only impacted in a 27%.

As Anderson points out, "remarkable democratizing forces are remarkably un-democratizing industries".

We Media is here.

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