Online marketers are a lot like parasites, feeding off of the innovations of others. Innovations that are largely funded by the largess of venture capitalists which are, ironically enough, also seen as parasites, much of the time.
So, if we’re to take a look at where online communications is moving, and I’m *slightly* interested in this, we need to look at the technical innovations that will be possible and in order to see that, we need to follow the money – what companies are VCs funding now that will be mature enough for marketers to take advantage of in the future?
CNET has a piece entitled “Venture capital investing: What’s next?” which should provide a glimmer of insight into what platforms and services we’ll be using down the road.
I strongly advise you to check out the whole piece, rather than just my take on what I saw as the key findings:
1. Data and data flow – analysing relationships between Web sites and how people use them will be big business. My colleague Neil Johnson is talking a lot about developing a fledgling measurement model for organizations to fully measure the ROI of all their online marketing activities from a holistic point of view.
2. Follow the money – the amount of data available to companies and consumers will mean e-commerce should improve. Think Amazon on steroids with various aggregator sites tracking your expenditure and seeking out ways to save you money.
3. Hyper-advertising/marketing – again, the data will drive incredibly personalized advertising and marketing offers. We need to continuously up our own game of how and when to reach our clients’ consumers and what we say to them when we do. We are moving towards a market segmentation of one.
4. Mobile – this is a U.S. article, where wireless data rates are exponentially cheaper than here in Canada but Canadian marketers should still watch this space to see what happens in the new iPhone-era. I thought mobile was going to be the next big thing in Canada when I came here three years ago so forgive me if I don’t hold my breath
5. Inter-connectivity – open APIs are hot right now (think Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) but what happens when Web sites are able to speak coherently to each other about their users? Right now there’s a space for the management of APIs, but the big may well be some sort of open standard that leads to one *true* view of the customer – see point #1.
The BMBY Take
The big thing that I’m taking away from these is that the ability to take the myriad data from all available sources, to remix it and manipulate it into easily digested packets and then to draw meaning from this data will be invaluable in the very near future.
Decisions will be made based on the data available; not by the gut feeling of the person in charge.
The next few years should be fun!