We had a recent debate internally about the role of Web2.0 (such as communities, social networks, blogs, etc) for clients. Who is doing it? Who is leading clients to do this? The media agency? The creative agency? The PR agency? The comms strategy agency? Each in itself is limited to effectively review, recommend, implement, and most importantly, maintain a Web2.0 strategy. A constant Beta evolving creature, it is often neglected because of it’s complexity. A well implemented Web2.0 strategy does not have an “end campaign life” and sometimes have slow initial build up (communities) which makes it tough to integrate into a standard campaign brief with traditional media.
A quick review of the 2007 Top 50 advertisers in Australia (a very rough snapshot and does not include all advertisers), we can see Interruption vs Web2.0 strategies at work. Adapting S&P’s Brand Presence Matrix, the Vertical is Traditional “Interruption” SOV and the Horizontal is Web2.0 “Conversational”.
About 90% of the Top 50 advertisers in Australia still play in creating large SOV through traditional interruption model. TVs, Radio, Outdoor, Banners, Press, etc. Jostling for the best spot approach. We called the top left quadrant Visible Brands. There also exist Invisible Brands such as Caltex and Toshiba who we are familiar with but are quiet in the advertising space. Perhaps the most desirable place to exist is in the Magnetic Brands space. Where big ad $$ are still being spent but they are also heavily active in the Conversational space. In Australia, we have seen limited use with more “novelty” approach of temporary communities that dissipate at the end of a campaign.
The most intriguing are Remarkable brands who spend little or no ad $$ but are active in communities. They command great brand advocates and hear of positive WOM from their users. Admittedly, I struggled to come up with local brands in Australia that play in this space… which is a pity and also demonstrates the market’s lack of ability to develop Web2.0 strategies. I believe the greatest reason is the lack of an acceptable model by agencies and marketers to adapt into existing ad “interruption” models. The increasing fragmentation, rising cost, and the trend of decreasing returns of traditional media will force a greater reliance on Web2.0 strategies.