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I have no earthly clue when the term "2.0" entered my lexicon or found its tipping point in my buzzword-lined vocabulary.
All I know is I'm dropping the term so often -- and in so many ways -- that I'm ready to seek help from Buzzwords Anonymous. There's a growing roster of fellow marketers I'm eager to recruit for the first meeting.
It's hard to argue with the fundamentals of Web 2.0. Yes, the open-source, interconnected, world-is-flat, people-powered, social-media-oriented world is the real deal. Moreover, as someone who takes enormous pride in having coined and popularized the term "consumer-generated media" (CGM), I count myself among the most passionate proponents of these 2.0 building blocks.
But is it all brand-spanking new (pun intended), or are we just finally internalizing and accepting core fundamentals deeply rooted in our earliest -- dare I say, most intuitive -- read on the Web back in the so-called Web 1.0 era?
Indeed, after rummaging through an old box of articles, conference trinkets, and memos from my late 1990s stint as co-leader of Procter & Gamble's early interactive efforts, I'm convinced the core fundamentals were in place before we even heard the term "Web 2.0." I raise this question not to pooh-pooh the current Web 2.0 exuberance but to ground it in a more stable set of fundamentals. As marketers, and certainly at the CMO level, we have a deeply rooted penchant for preaching the new while funding the old.
So perhaps "what's past is prologue," as Shakespeare said. Let's review some of our earlier fundamentals in an effort to propel us forward with even greater momentum and intensity:
As with the dot-com crash, there most certainly will be a Web 2.0 correction. Some social media play like MySpace may implode, and CMOs across the land are bound to scatter like flies. If history's any indication, new media and technologies tend to have a long-term cumulative impact, not an overnight disruption.
Let's think boldly about the 2.0 future, but let's use the early 1.0 rearview mirror to embolden our case. Great marketing is a long-term strategy.
Meet Pete at Search Engine Strategies in San Jose, August 7-10, 2006, at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.
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Pete Blackshaw, whose professional background encompasses public policy, interactive marketing, and brand management, is executive vice president of strategic services for Nielsen Online, a combination of Nielsen BuzzMetrics, a firm Pete helped cofound, and Nielsen//NetRatings. One of Pete's key focuses is helping brands interpret, manage, and act on consumer-generated media (CGM). A former interactive marketing leader at P&G and founder of consumer feedback portal PlanetFeedback.com, Pete cofounded the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA). He authors several blogs, including ConsumerGeneratedMedia.com, and is the author of an upcoming book from Random House, "Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3000: Running a Business in Today's Consumer-Driven World."
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