I recently met with a business that was looking for a Director of Digital Opportunities and being a HUGE fan of vague/ethereal titles (no really), I was most interested in the”digital” part of the title. As I’ve mentioned on this blog in the past, there is enormous collision going on between the online world and the tangible world. (Reminds me of that car commercial where he drags and drops items from his desktop to his car. Nope. Couldn’t find it on YouTube.) There are now also more venues to market your business more than ever. Too many for some. Two years ago I wrote a post that talked about the concept of the Corporate Social Graph and this concept has now been expanded to what they’re calling the Splinternet. I wanted to list out some things I believe are essential to businesses embracing all that is digital.
Facebook – There are over 400 million users on Facebook and their traffic recently surpassed Google. This means that your business needs to be on Facebook more than ever. Of course if your business is B2B, you need to make sure that it makes sense for you customer base.
Twitter – Less people are getting on Twitter these days but more and more are talking. This will continue to be an amazing marketing channel.
iPhone app – These little things have reinvented the way people interact with technology and businesses. It’s important for business is represented. These got much more interesting yesterday with the release of the iPad. (Based on your target audience you should obviously consider Android and BlackBerry.)
Augmented reality – There are two types of AR that you can you use. If your business is a brick and mortar or if they rely on print, there is a flavor for you to provide additional information and or deepen the brand experience.
In-store displays – With the retail world evolving back into a marketplace (maybe literally), loaded with well informed customers, negotiating, kiosks and displays need to be full of digital opportunities to deepen brand engagement and provide more information.
Location – People need to be able to find you. No matter how virtual you are; they need to know you exist. Mashable has a great list of ways to get your business ready for geo-location.
Virtual goods – These little gems are driving a tremendous amount of revenue. Do you have a product or service that could be virtualized on Facebook? If so, you can diversify your revenue.
Partnering with Foursquare – Foursquare has partnered with many big name businesses and they’re creating a user generated platform for businesses to plug into. It’s good to get in early and help them figure out how you create revenue.
Mobile – Your site needs to be optimized for the mobile phones and I recommend using the design you come up with for the app. Same real estate limitations/user behaviors. Also, SMS loyalty programs are effective and piggy back on email marketing techniques. (Curious to see if email is used for location based services augments or replaces SMS/MMS.)
Email – Email is still very effective and I expect this medium to evolve and become more of a social object that can be shared more easily and filled with video, images, etc. Google obviously uses email as the connective tissue between people and I look for this continue.
YouTube & Flickr – These continue to hold their value and allow users to see what kind of business you are.
The splinternet is in full effect!