The knowledge class is visible and addressable for the first time -- but only online. Understanding this could impact the fortunes of our clients and agencies. Part two of a three part series.
The Internet is critical to the future of marketing because it provides a looking glass into the knowledge class of postindustrial societies. In my last column, we discussed who the knowledge class is and two of the Internet's three organizing principles -- egalitarianism and elitism. Today, we'll tackle efficiency.
The Efficiencies of Information Exchange
Not long ago, only professionals had to keep up with ever-developing disciplines. Today, autodidactism is vital at work. It appears in forms as diverse as continuing education, collaborative intranets, and the continual up-skilling of jobs that are always evolving. Knowing how to learn and apply the learning are keys to career success in jobs all across the information economy.
Even being a consumer requires information skills. Sorting and evaluating a daily barrage of bundled promoted and discounted offers; researching complex goods and services, from healthcare providers to vacation destinations; shouldering tasks companies once handled, from allocating pension fund investments to programming your TV viewing. All this means simply that today consumers must be smart to buy smart.
The egalitarianism of the official surface masks an aggressive elitism beneath. Both are devoted to a third value in which the knowledge society believes: efficiency. The slogan "Information wants to be free" is more accurately phrased, "Information wants to be exchanged." Information wants to be exchanged with other information to create new and better information. The only thing everyone seems to agree on is exchanging information helps parts run faster and more smoothly.
In equities markets, for example, information exchange yields a price that brings buyer and seller together. In insurance, it lines up the terms of the policy to the risks of the insured. In manufacturing, information exchanges such as just-in-time inventory and build-to-order manufacturing reduce transaction, inventory, and storage costs and accelerate speed to value.
The near future promises more of the same. Businesses are expected to focus future Web spending on improving the connections inside businesses; between one business and another along their upstream supply or downstream distribution chains; and between businesses and their customers, all in search of some flavor of efficiency.
Officially egalitarian but elitist in practice and focused on the efficiencies of information exchange. The Internet is, more simply put, where the already smart get even smarter and use their smarts to their own best advantage. This isn't pie-in-the-sky Digital Age hucksterism. It's realism. The knowledge society and its Internet handmaiden are coming into sharp focus. It's now becoming clear what kinds of communications will be effective here.
I'll discuss that in my next column.
Adapted from Len's keynote at the Jupiter/IAB 2002 Advertising Forum.
Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!
IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.
An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.
September 23, 2014
September 30, 2014
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT
October 23, 2014
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT