Wired Magazine's September issue eulogizes the Web while proclaiming the continuing value of the Internet. This assessment has far reaching implications for inbound marketers and for B2B and B2C marketing.
Wired makes a distinction between the Internet - essentially the infrastructure and protocols that allow information and content to flow - and the Web - which is the way users and consumers interact with the information and content the Internet makes available.
Certainly, we no longer just browse the Web. We download songs from iTunes or update our Facebook status from a Droid app, or use Hootsuite for Twitter updates. The way we plug into the Internet is much more specialized.
This shift offers marketers some important concepts to consider:
- The Internet as Electricity - Think of the myriad items you plug into electrical outlets today. Laptops, blenders, lamps, TVs, even Glade PlugIns. They all function differently but are all powered the same way - through electricity. Much like electricity, the Internet will continue to underlie and power a user's online interaction with a brand. But as more consumers shift from Web browsing to other ways of interacting with the Internet, how will you change the way you plug your brand into the Internet? Through an app, a widget, a feed of some sort? How will you continue to generate leads and sales as more and more people become aware of your brand via their smartphone rather than their computer?
- Where are Your Plugs? - Where is your market? Do you need a specialized plug for China? Or for Silver Surfers? In much the same way that traveling overseas requires you to pack a gaggle of plug adapters, how do you alter your brand plug for the different markets you serve and the way your market plugs into the Internet?
- Designing Your Plugs - Maintaining a consistent brand presence across the plugs you design is critical. Whether your brand's plug is a Facebook game, a YouTube video, or a downloadable podcast (or all three), core elements of your brand must be present.
Feeling a bit unplugged in the new world of the dead Web? Let us plug you back in.
photo: Robert Whyte