Friday, June 24, 2011

Who is Consumer 2.0?

In a simple way, the consumer 2.0 is an evolved consumer. Think for a moment that 30 years ago, when the personal computers were barely known (¿do you remember the Epson QX-10?) our own attitude as consumers was different: we used the resources that were available at that moment, little more could we do.

As the technology started to invade our lives, then we began to buy on a way different. If you had a mobile phone, maybe you would call a friend just when you were at the store to ask him his opinion about a product that you were about to buy; when it became possible to buy articles over the Internet, a lot better, because it saved you the trip to the store and, not only that, but also the possibility to arrive at the store just to find that, exactly in that location, they did not have stock of the product you wanted to buy.  It was also about comfort!

On the same way, consumer 2.0 is simply taking advantage of all the tools (and are many) that are handy and available, and many of them for free, to make its purchasing decisions. Years ago the Web 1.0 only allowed us to act as receivers. With its evolution into Web 2.0 it now allows us all to do many other things, way too many.

Today forums exist, chats, discussion groups, price comparisons, scorings, ranking, social networks, professional communities, wikis, even business web pages are a lot more interactive and they offer a lot of additional information to buyers!

Do you see how different is?  A long way ago, on the years 1,400, Christopher Columbus and its friends thought that the Earth was flat because they could not see beyond the horizon. Today, and thanks to the technology, we know that the Earth is barely a small point in the infinite space.

Since Adam and Eva ate of the prohibited fruit , the man has had the need to know, to go beyond the status quo, to investigate, to ask himself the why things are the way they are, to investigate. His need of information, learning has always been there. The unique thing he did not have were the necessary tools.

The consumer 2.0 comes from there, hundreds of thousands of years later, with the same needs and with a lot more tools.  And surely, in a few years, maybe not that many, we would see a new update, much more advanced!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Where is my magic wand?

Together on the conference room the company's director along with the marketing consultant. The first talks about all his doubts, anxieties and needs in regards to his company's growth. "We want to grow but the economic environment is not favorable to it. We would like to make money, but we have had to trim down our budgets. We would need to look for a more conscious  customer who understands that you have to pay good money to own the best. If he wants to go cheap, there are our competitors to buy from."

The marketing consultant looks like totally gone in the skies, while he thinks: "Where is my magic wand?", and frustration, doubts start showing up on his face as he struggles to make the decision whether he should be straightforward and be honest, or simply give the client what he wants to listen to, to momentarily work things out and move on.

How should he bring to the conference room the fact that there is no easy road? That such magic formula does not exist? That there are only three things that can, and must be done right away: analyze, plan and execute?

Well, it is like that. Period. One must start by analizing what the real situation of the company is: its strenghs, weakness, real and potential risks, business opportunities, limitations, and all the elements that would allow one to know, as exactly as possible, where is the company positioned within the market.

Then we plan: Actions that would allow us to turn weak points into strong ones, limitations into capacities, risks into opportunities, uncertainty into possibilities.

And finally, it is time to work: execute! Let us put it all together and on its way. Let's start the engine, and once it is running, let us get back to analizing to make sure we are heading where we are supposed to. Always make it a point to analyze. Our plan must always be flexible enough to allow for a change of direction, or simply, to accelerate and go faster. Always flexible!

There is no magic wand, not overnight kind of  things, there is no growth without effort, it is all part of the same process. We have to get used to concentrating our energies not on the goal itself, but on the road that is going to take us there.

Have you ever been on this situation? ¿As the customer? ¿As the consultant? ¿What your response would be in either case?

I am online with my first blog!

The new consumer.

The advertising and marketing industry is generating fresh information every single day. We could even say it generates news every minute.

And with our capability to market our products, services and ideas over the Internet, together with the most recent appearance of Social Media tools and a new type of consumer, that information and news flow has exponentially increased.

With this blog I want to build a bridge, an union, a balance point between news and comments that sometimes go on opposite directions, maybe creating a bit of confussion - most of the times with no intent - among less experienced people, and even among those whom should benefit from it the most: young people who are studying careers related with these subjects and look on the Internet for sources of information to deppen the formation they are receiving in the classroom.

¿My goal? May this blog be of serve to me, you and everybody, as a learning, listening, opinion-comments-ideas-suggestiong-sharing tool and even to share those stories that might make it easier to illustrate those concepts sometimes so hard to swallow with only words and theory.

Your participation is most welcome and encouraged.