Friday, September 15, 2006

The ants have megaphones

from The Long Tail (Pp.98-99)

We're entering an era of radical change for marketers. Faith in advertising and the institutions that pay for it is waning, while faith in individuals is on the rise. Peers trust peers. Top-down messaging is losing traction, while bottom-up buzz is gaining power. Dell spends hundreds of millions each year on promoting its quality and customer service, but if you Google "dell hell" you get 55,000 pages of results. Even the word "Dell" returns customer complaints by the second page of results. The same inversion of power is now changing the marketing game for everything from individual products to people. The collective now controls the message.

For a generation of customers used to doing their buying research via search engine, a company's brand is not what the company says it is, but what Google says it is. The new tastemakers are us. Word-of-mouth is now a public conversation, carried in blog comments and customer reviews, and exhaustively collated and measured. The ants have megaphones.

No comments: