3cluesEarly this year, Doc Searls and David Weinberger, two authors of the Cluetrain Manifesto of 1999, surprised with new theories on the future of the Internet. Asian eMarketing covered the New Clues partly in the May issue, but would like to dig a bit deeper. Already in the first edition 16 years ago, the authors had taken a critical look at the advertising industry and took a swipe at advertisers that in their opinion still do not understand to respond to customers equitably and without pressure.

In the New Clues, this specific point is even more directly criticized, besides the exploitation of content as a marketing strategy, the under-served privacy protection and intrusive marketing strategies. They forecast that the advertising industry is undermining its credibility and that way puts its own raison d'être at risk, making a good point. The advertising industry and online media agencies as an interface between clients, creatives and technology in particular, will definitely have to enhance in the coming years. Simply due to the fact that the wide variety of people who make up the Internet want to be addressed more and more in a diverse and individual way. This brings us back again to our topic of the month “Real (Right) Time Marketing”. Searls and Weinberger will be right after all with their thesis that the new communication possibilities change the principle of opinion making. Increasingly, advertising messages are only credible if they are lived by the communicating company itself.

The issue of data protection will shape the reputation of the advertising industry sustainably

Whether an advertising message reaches its destination in the future depends largely on whether your sender is perceived as a friend or not. Trust is becoming the currency with the most stable value.

Although online marketing as an industry is still young, there are already many critical voices. Subliminal fears could accumulate, if the industry does not take on responsibility, e.g. data protection. Online marketers should consider themselves in their very own environment as discreet professionals, as a kind of natural safety officers for the consumer. Fact is that if the consumer perceives online advertising as a potential threat, marketers will start to show less interest in bringing branding campaigns online.

In the future, a consumer will be looking at a company only as trustworthy, if communication at eye level on all channels is provided. Whoever wants to be perceived as a friend, has to allow the opponent to opt for "no" at any time - and this applies of course to cookies or any other tracking option, too. The authors of the New Clues also describe the listening skill as the key to future success, and are in my opinion again right: Advertisers that define in the beginning of the year a topic and do not concentrate on the current talks and consumer conversations, will fall behind. It is important to create relevance and participation in living environments, besides dealing with the overall being of consumers. Certainly, listening and understanding are complex, time-consuming and therefore expensive tasks that go far beyond KPI. However, budget for short-term analysis is never spent well, as mainly long-term analyzes can put statistical clusters into consideration and bring real insight.

It is the job of the consultant in the media agencies to filter out from the thicket of available KPIs all those that are relevant for the campaign. It will no longer be sufficient to measure success of campaigns simply by ranges and shares only. Instead, qualitative analyzes of the relevance and effectiveness of communication offerings are required.

In any case, as much as the authors Searls and Weinberger are digging around in the subject, their theses on communication as a dialogue do not always and exclusively apply. Sometimes marketing can be nothing else than just advertising, as long as a good story is told. Good spots or picture stories simply justify their right to exist. Real-time technologies and targeting just find out that the right customer is in the right mood for such advertising campaigns.

By Daniela La Marca