Social Networking Users Demand for a Single Place for their Digital Identity

Good Material to support our Marketing Plans. This Universal McCann research is conducted every year and this is the 4th Wave. Social Media is taking the web planet by storm but now is the time where it seems active internet users – those accessing at least every other day – are looking for the “one place” for their digital identity rather than spreading around various specialized social sites.

Just a few numbers to give you a clue:

  1. 62.5% of active internet users (16-54 years old) have created a social profile in 2009,
  2. 71,1% have visited a friend’s home page.
  3. 81.5% of Social Networking Users did message friends,
  4. 76.3% uploaded photos,
  5. 74.3% found old friends
  6. 56.4% found new friends
  7. 47.9% joined a group

We should provide these influencing people ways to populate their unique digital profile with ways to engage and maintain dialog with our brands in different form factors. Video is still the #1 form factor, but “instant UGM news” is ramping up as twitter‘s success attests and Facebook acquiring FriendFeed – that I started to use recently – reinforces as well.

Mobile Web 2.0 revenues to reach $22.4B in 2013

Fellow Marketers, I know I’ve been busy like crazy since a while but let’s believe that I’ll be back here with more regularity.
I’ve been tracking Internet users growth since Scott McNealy, in one of his colorful keynote, reminded all of us that the Internet was still growing fast. Most of us in the western world do believe that Internet is a given but it’s growing still fast – 5M new users per week – and growing mobile especially in Asia.

For us, marketers and software vendors, it must remain on our radar chart when we plan our campaigns and product roadmaps, especially when social networking is front stage. Why? Because more users on the net means more value for the network thus for the Internet, this is Bob Metcalfe law. It means more reach for any community every day.

If this is accurate, then Web 2.0 is going to bring a lot of revenue on the table, not only VC’s, and Mobile Web 2.0 should as well. Juniper Research issued in May 2008 an interesting white paper stating that “Mobile Web 2.0 revenues to reach $22.4bn by 2013 driven by User Generated Content and Social Networking.” Point taken and much appreciated.

Get ready for it. Web 2.0 burst year one i.e. 2007 was all about user generated content. Year 2 i.e. 2008 will be all about social networking and your multiple social networking identities management. More on this later, but you can double check Web 2.0 2008 conference keynotes that I did attend in San Francisco last April.

Social Networking: the facebook mashup effect

I’m a recent facebook user. I knew about facebook for quite a while but I thought, as probably most of you, that it was a youngster phenomena. I’m no longer a youngster if anyone in doubt out there 😉 . This comes as no surprise as Facebook was created in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, Harvard graduate, and restricted at first to Harvard College students, then to other Boston area schools. More details on Facebook history here. On May 24, 2007, Facebook launched an API that allows the development of applications to be used on the site, known as Facebook Platform. A defining moment that illustrated one more time this web 2.0 postulate that the web is now an application platform.

When inviting some of my friends to facebook, I sometime needs to explain to the most reluctant among them why this social network site is THE one. I think this ability to mashup tens if not hundreds of cool applications to leverage your friends network is sticky. It gives your facebook a constantly evolving face, a user interface typically webtop where users do refine it as they use it — see We’re moving from Desktop to Webtop. The real-time informations about your friends (mood, networks, events, …) gives it another reason for it to be addictive. Some of them even joined a group called “I facebook too much” demonstrating the addiction.

As you can see in the Alexa graph, Facebook is on its way in 2007 to surpass the MySpace phenomena. More than the success of social networking as one of the Web 2.0 killing applications, I see it as a clear indication that mashups and webtop will prevail in the future. Fellow software vendors, take it as a home run. Enterprise 2.0 software should take this into account as well, as it will not remain a consumer phenomena. Large corporations do need social networking. In the coming months, we should see tremendous repositioning around this and some of the software vendors could just enter obsolescence allowing for a new software leaders generation. Beware!

Blogging future: leverage the long tail opportunity

I’ve been spending an interesting afternoon at Apple Expo in Paris yesterday with my dear friend Christophe Ginisty. Beside being Apple’s PR, he’s also renowned for his blogging activity. He organized a debate about blogging future. Asking candid, or was it, questions about whether blogging is just a fading trend or a ramping up attitude.

I tried to make a point there that I wanted to share with you. Blogging is to press media what video sharing (YouTube, DailyMotion) is to TV, and Music sharing (MySpace) is to Records. Blogs success in my opinion lies in the ability for anyone to publish articles without a financial equation supporting it and with very low barriers to entry. Blogging is free and easy (no web design skills required), to be compared with the press where audience must be as large as possible for advertising revenue to enable it, and where printing or broadcasting requires technical and financial muscle. The same is true for video and music production and distribution compared to the new free or close to free e-capabilities.

Blogging, publishing music and video on the net doesn’t require a large audience either to be possible. It is enough to have a few hundred interested people and you can keep going. But adding up these very diverse communities of interest leads to a massive audience. This is the long tail opportunity that the net offers. To be compared to Business 2.0 magazine not publishing anymore, despite facebook community trying to rescue, by economic failure.

So to me, all these individual contributions to the blogosphere, videosphere, photosphere and musicsphere are here to stay, widen and provide a huge creativity and freedom expression area without a capitalistic equation attached.

2007 major Marketing 2.0 trends

We’re entering our last quarter of the year and we should be stepping back, before the final rush for ’07 revenue, to analyze this amazing year and its trends. Marketing, Business and the Web — Web 2.0 flavored of course — have never been more inter-weaved. This is why I called this Marketing 2.0 trends.
Let me give you my list, you’ll be able to hammer me in a few month when reading back all of this:

1. Eco-responsible: we’ve been talking about it for months if not years, but I guess ’07 is the milestone year for eco-responsible attitude in business as much as in our day-to-day life

2. Rise of e-commerce: we’ve discussed the numbers earlier this year here on Marketing 2.0, and there’s no doubt e-commerce is no longer a fantasy but accounts for a significant part of the business either B2B or B2C. You cannot ignore it or consider it secondary.

3. Transparency: consumers demand relationships with brands mirroring the relationships they have in the real world and above all they demand transparency. Whether they’ll get this transparency from the brand directly or relying on user generated content to elaborate it, they’ll get it. If it’s the latter, your brand is in trouble. Remember: you don’t want to get Dell’d.

4. Community consumption: no longer do consumers rely on the press and vendors to choose. They increasingly rely on community advices for guidance. It is your job to influence communities, transparently please, as well as build your own communities.

5. Intangible real value: on top of it, we do buy virtual products and services for real money. Did you notice how many e-economy firms got the highest market caps? This goes generally with a positive buzz vortex on the web. You can no longer ignore your brand e-attributes and pay attention to e-competition.

6. Meconomy: as the Time magazine cover once highlighted in designating the man of the year as “YOU”, consumers are focused on ‘me, myself and I’. Personalization, customization, customer centric are a must to succeed. And they’ll be asking this question: “what makes me happy?”. Yes, happiness has become a valued because increasingly out of sight.

7. Open for global business: there are no boundaries to memory anymore. You act local? We take it global. No one can anymore think its business strategy in isolation. The fast growing emerging economies (China, India, Brazil to name a few) unleashing new buying patterns and new global brands (Lenovo, Mittal, …) are already changing your plans. You’ll be selling there or be sold.

My fellow marketers, what a thrilling world! Feel free to comment and contribute, we’ll be looking at this for the next few months.

User-generated content spans interest across generations

User-generated content and other web 2.0 trends, one would think, are mostly driven by teenagers and young adults. On the contrary. Here is an interesting research lead by Harrison Group (an independent research services firm) conducted from February through March 2007, showing that both the old and young generations enjoy reading magazines and are receptive to print ads. Additionally 51% of U.S. consumers are interested in watching and reading user-generated contents.
Harrison Group categorizes them as young Millennials (ages 13 to 24), Generation X (25 to 41), Baby Boomers (42 to 60) and older Matures (61 to 75). Here are some of the findings (read more on Deloitte site and Are you ready for the future of media? ):

High Demand for User-Generated Content

  • 40 percent of all survey respondents are making their own entertainment (editing movies, music and photos)
    • 25 percent of Matures
    • 56 percent of all Millennials; leading Millennials (18-24) participate more
  • More than one in 10 Millennials are actively uploading their own videos on the Internet
  • 51 percent of all survey respondents are watching/reading content created by others
  • 71 percent of Millennials, 56 percent of Xers; Boomers/Mature participation is less, but noteworthy
  • 53 percent of Millennials would download more videos if connection speeds were faster
  • One-third of online content viewing is done on user-generated sites
    • Almost ¼ for Matures, ½ for Millennials

This reinforces our belief that user-generated content is expanding its impact on several industries as media, software, music, videos, TV, … Stay tuned for more.

By the way, let’s celebrate our first Marketing 2.0 birthday. It’s been already a year since I started my English-French blog about Marketing in the web 2.0 era. Thanks to you this blog is spanning its influence in many countries and I enjoy many more subscribers every day. Keep it growing. Thanks to you all.

Online surpasses radio ads, user-generated content sites make more than $1.6 billion

It’s been a while since we didn’t bend back on numbers. Here are some good news on the online ad spend for 2007, coming from, that I wanted to share with you. If you don’t want to read it all, here is a quick summary:

  • eMarketer is raising its 2007 forecast from $19.5 billion to $21.7 billion i.e. from 18.9% to 28.6% growth closer to the 30% growth seen for the last 3 years
  • they even see 2008 stronger with 30% growth to a total $28.8 billion, thanks to the US presidential elections
  • 2009 will slow down a bit to 18.1%,

but hey they’ve been pessimistic for 2007 so let’s wait and see. Here is the quote I like most:
Online advertising as a share of the total media budget will surpass radio this year, eMarketer said, and top 10% next year.” — Advertising Age, June 2007

Come on, one last to hit the road: WW user-generated content sites will earn $1.6 billion in ad revenue for 2007 moving to $8.2 billion in 2011, predicts eMarketer. Marketing 2.0 finally makes money, isn’t it?

State of the Blogosphere

The blogosphere is just expanding like crazy. But you might wonder: what are the numbers? Thanks to Technorati, delivering numbers on a quarterly basis, here are the latest trends released and commented by Dave Sifry in his post The State of the Live Web last week:

  • 70 million blogs are currently tracked
  • About 120,000 new blogs are created each day, or…1.4 new blogs every second
  • 3000-7000 new splogs (fake, or spam blogs) created every day
  • Peak of 11,000 splogs per day last December
  • 1.5 million posts per day, or…17 posts per second
  • Growing from 35 to 75 million blogs took 320 days
  • Japanese the #1 blogging language at 37%, English second at 33%, Chinese third at 8%, Italian fourth at 3%, Farsi a newcomer in the top 10 at 1%
  • English the most even in postings around-the-clock

One quote gives you a feel for whether blogs are a fad or here to stay:

Since our last State of the Blogosphere report in October 2006, we’ve seen a slowing in the doubling of the size of the blogosphere. This shouldn’t be surprising, as we’re dealing with the law of large numbers – it takes a lot more growth to double from 35 million blogs to 70 million (which took about 320 days) than when it doubled from 5 million to 10 million blogs (which took about 180 days).” — Dave Sifry

Interesting as well is the popularity of blogs compared with traditional or media websites. During Q3 2006 there were only 12 blogs in the Top 100 most popular sites, in Q4 this is rising to 22. Even more, the audience tends to distinguish less and less blogs from official media sites as NYTimes and considers blogs as news providers. Is this the rise of Press 2.0?

Enjoy and spread the numbers out there. Blogs should be part of your Marketing 2.0 dashboard.

2006 trend: capitalizing on customer insights

It is the right time of the year to take a look back at what we thought were going to be the trends for this ending year. McKinsey is doing it in a number of areas — read Ten trends to watch in 2006 for all of it — but one of them caught my attention as we discussed it many times in Marketing 2.0 — check User Generated Content label and on Marketing 2.0.

Capitalizing on customer insights is probably the one dimension that gave Marketing in the web 2.0 era, a.k.a. Marketing 2.0, a clear paradigm shift. Read McKinsey Capitalizing on customer insights article about it. As McKinsey points out, we need to embed customer insights in the organization’s key decisions from sales planning to marketing investment. It cannot remain anymore an isolated research belonging to a specific division within our marketing department.

When considering on-line marketing and customer engagement, it even becomes a real-time discipline. Yes, Marketing 2.0 is to be managed real-time, leading to a real-time business adaptation. No need here to even remind you about these newly created companies betting their full business model on this user generated content (Flickr, YouTube, …).

Capitalizing on customer insights is no longer “nice to have” but clearly moved in the “must have” category for all of our businesses.

Web 2.0 is not just a new user interface

Following the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco last week, lots have been said, lots have been written and lots have been exchanged. We can now grasp that this energy and enthusiasm level surge is not some temporary fad but probably the matured revival of what used to be called the bubble, not even preceding it with “Internet” anymore as it is so obvious the bubble can only refer to the Internet one.

The list of speaker is impressive and the sponsors just encompasses more than the total list of companies we’re after when organizing such events. Something is in the air, can’t you feel it? I know a lot of those who are reading this blog are not from the U.S., far from it, so I can already tell you this: if you’re not based out of the Silicon Valley, there’s already a good way to do money out of the Web 2.0, and that is simply to organize a conference about it. Invite me, I’ll be happy to give a pitch there 😉

I’ll probably write more than once about this conference, but I wanted to get a kick start with this Tim O’Reilly’s quote about the Web 2.0:

“Web 2.0 is much more than just pasting a new user interface onto an old application.It’s a way of thinking, a new perspective on the entire business of software—from concept through delivery, from marketing through support. Web 2.0 thrives on network effects: databases that get richer the more people interact with them, applications that are smarter the more people use them, marketing that is driven by user stories and experiences, and applications that interact with each other to form a broader computing platform.” – John Musser with Tim O’Reilly in Web 2.0 principles and best practices excerpt

Yes, Web 2.0 is not just a new user interface as we pointed out already here in Marketing 2.0, it brings a whole new perspective on how marketing must take into account our new world and the way individuals have evolved their relationship with brands out there.

Have feel for it and quickly scan this “News & Coverage” section of the Web 2.0 summit. Advertising Age is focusing in How to win Web 2.0 on monetizing video and traditional press struggling with considering user generated content as competition or co-journalists. Vast conversation. Check out some photos of the event on flickr as well.