I finally got around to reading Avenue A Razorfish’s 164 page 2008 Digital OutlookReport, and I must say that it’s a great overview of pretty much everything that is happening where digital media and marketing is concerned. It was so good that it inspired me to craft some marketing concepts for Indaba Music that I think should contribute to shaping the future of our company.
A few themes were particularly relevant and got me significantly excited about their application to Indaba:
Value for marketers needs to be measured across multiple touchpoints – not just pageviews on a homepage. In the past, you could determine how valuable a website was to marketers based on how heavily consumers interacted with it online, but now, consumers interact with websites across an array of technologies from RSS and email to widgets and content syndication. The internet now blends seamlessly with an astounding array of offline activites. No where is this more true than on Indaba, where community members download audio files which they then work with over significant periods of time offline. I found this point particularly interesting because in Indaba’s case, it means that members engage with our company in significant ways even when they are not using the website. There is value that can be delivered to both marketers and users throughout the entire story of this engagement (from pageview, to file download, to digital production, to file upload, to content syndication), and everyone, especially marketers and websites (like Indaba) need to get better at measuring, explaining, and capturing that value.
Smart companies are ceding control to their most passionate users so that they are empowered to market for them. This one is pretty obvious to those of us in the tech community, but it’s particularly relevant to Indaba. Our most passionate, vocal, and active users are both our biggest fans and biggest critics – they love what we’re doing and they don’t like it when it doesn’t work the way they want it to. Indaba as a team and a company has forged meaningful relationships with these individuals, but we can also go further and empower them to help shape the Indaba community, the message it sends to the outside world, and the tone of its activity and collaboration. It’s obvious that core Indaba members are begging for this kind of empowerment, and so we’re thinking about what the best tools and techniques will be for giving it to them.