Why engage in the Web?

Herbert Simon, Nobel Prize Winner in Economics, said that we live in an age of attention scarcity. “What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it”. The world moves faster, customers are more demanding, more impatient, they have more choice than ever before and delivery is demanded yesterday.

Who to engage with?

Because of this attention deficit customers become increasingly impatient. As a consequence conventional means of connecting with your customer such as paid for advertising are placed under increasing strain. Costs rise through an increase in the available media leading to a diffusion of your target audience and uncertainty that they are paying attention to the message. Do they read, do they listen, do they make a connection with your Brand? Are they connecting by accident or by demand? Are they real customers or perceived ones? Do they stumble upon your message by accident or are they deliberately seeking you out? The former is neither an effective nor efficient use of time or money. The latter provides an efficient Return On Capital.

This raises the point of effectiveness, doing the right thing, and efficiency, doing the thing right. You think you know who your customers are but maybe they are not who you think they are. Are you engaging with the right analytics? Can you afford the analytics to find out? With Intelligent Positioning you can.

Targeting and understanding your customers.

Our Web based targeting is about understanding who and where people are connecting with a brand. From this analysis the brand’s communication with its target audience can be improved by deeper understanding of the targets’ mindsets, tastes and behaviour.

“Context is irrelevant. Remember that behavioural targeting is about reaching groups of people with similar interests, not pages containing specific content.”
Paul Goad, Managing Director, Tacoda

Engaging in the web more fully may be the answer to many of your pressing business problems. The Web is a tool of revelation, uncovering important evidence that can change your view of a market, a sector, and the people within it. It can expose cultural diversity and diverse mindsets. It can create speed of information, depth of insight, and create a dialogue so rich that it can move you to destroy business models and build new ones that would have seemed eccentric a short time ago.
From atoms to bits.

Look at the example of Amazon. They moved from storing physical products to virtual and distributed inventory. Amazon built a business that kept inventory not as atoms but as bits by creating a print-on–demand system. Books stay as digital files until they are ordered through Amazon’s website. They are then printed on laser printers that look just like high quality traditional printed books. This shift in business model means that the cost of holding inventory is zero. This opens up the potential to print any book that has ever been written without ever holding it in a warehouse. The economic effectiveness and efficiency of this is clear.

These technological improvements have not only allowed Amazon to lower the costs of connecting supply and demand but have also increased Amazon’s marketing power through greater choice, provision of satisfaction to niche interests, and fast delivery times, all at competitive prices.

A similar business model shift took place in the music industry through i-Tunes where a vast selection of music is stored in bits, sampled, bought, and delivered on demand through the i-Tunes website. Netflix has created a similar model with a vast inventory of DVD’s stored on a server and delivered on demand. As Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired magazine commented “ Increasingly, the mass market is turning into a mass of niches”.

The age of dialogue.

This is the magic of the web and of the long tail. To make it work you need an open mindset, an ear for listening, and the courage to engage in a constant flow of innovation and originality. You also need to know who you are talking to and why.
This truly is the age of dialogue between the individual and the group; enabling understanding and satisfying the mass and the niche at one and the same time.

The web has many virtues and key amongst them is its ability to provide an insightful way to anticipate need whilst satisfying it in a democratic and choice filled way. This is why you need to engage in it because the opportunities are endless, the rewards specific.

Garry Titterton, March 2011