When Richard Nixon prepared for the first televised debate in history with up and comer John F Kennedy, he went in having advantages in experience, debating skill, and popularity among voters. Unfortunately, none of that could help save the Nixon camp from losing the debate to the young Kennedy who prepared much differently than Nixon. Whereas Nixon prepared for the televised debate like it was a different kind of radio, Kennedy knew it was a different medium altogether, and would require different rules and a new strategy. That recognition earned Kennedy a victory that turned out to be a tipping point in the course of his campaign, ultimately victorious over the more seasoned and savvy Nixon.
I believe that we’re now witnessing a similar Darwinian cycle among large marketing organizations when it comes to using Web 2.0. Much like television in the early days, a certain number of companies will engage Marketing 2.0 as if it were simply a new place for old marketing. But it’s clearly not. It’s a completely new medium, with new rules and new expectations that more often than not aren’t going to be a fit for traditional marketing activities.
The next year will be an exciting time for learning about how to build more effective marketing campaigns using Marketing 2.0. The healthy investment of capital into Web 2.0 technology and the breakneck adoption rates of high profile political campaigns, both real and not so real are going to force adoption in ways that many of us in the relatively conservative corporate realm wouldn’t be able to observe if not for watching them try it. As with the transition from radio to television, and then later from television to the internet, not all new ideas are going to be destined for glory.
Most of this blog is about highlighting the ways in which companies are finding success using Marketing 2.0 tactics, but I think we can learn just as much from studying the transgressions of our peers. I'll explore that further in my next post...