Web 2.0 and the associated social networking phenomena are clearly gaining a critical mass – and not just amongst the younger demographic. Recent research has confirmed that the majority of Twitter users worldwide are age 35 or older, and young adults ages 18-24 make up only 10.6% of the Twitter population in the US (source: ComScore).
I think web 2.0 is probably where the internet was around 10 to 12 years ago – it’s seen as a bit geeky and a significant minority simply just don’t get it. But that’s what they were saying about the web a decade ago.
So at MMS we’re working hard to understand web 2.0 and, more importantly, ways in which it can be used to give our clients a commercial benefit. The concept isn’t rocket science, but the trick is finding the ways to weave it into a cohesive marketing strategy and convincing the client that this is indeed the future.
Our target market sector – the house building industry – is traditionally conservative in its approach to marketing. There are a few house builders who have taken the first tentative steps; not surprisingly Miller Homes has a presence on facebook and twitter. CALA also twitters, but apart from these two, I’m struggling to find much evidence of web 2.0 activity in the sector.
I’ve already experienced the incredulity from clients when we suggest a strategy that includes entering into a public dialogue with their potential and existing customers. Their overriding concerns centre around potential negative feedback from disgruntled purchasers; perhaps a sad indictment of the builder’s faith in its product. And this stance is blinding them from the potential upsides to be had from developing a two-way online relationship.
Rather like with the web, which is now an accepted part of mainstream marketing, house builders will eventually embrace web 2.0. However getting them there will be a challenge that the team at MMS will enjoy rising to.