This article in the new Newsweek tells anyone in the marketing/media industry where the future of marketing lies. The iPad truly just launched "Web 3.0", the death of "free" Web 2.0 and the birth of a new media business model, or at least back to a model where conglomerates once again control the information channel from back to front, like Ma Bell of old.
So-called "social marketing" is a vain attempt by marketers to 'go where people are' and thrust advertising into their conversations. Once the newness wears off, no one will accept these efforts any more than they accept telemarketing. In fact, today's "social marketing" attempts take the intrusion a step beyond ringing you during dinner, they are trying the equivalent of interrupting you in the middle of a phone call to your best friend.
Allow me to elaborate with an addendum in 2013: what was called "Web 2.0" was the evolution of sharing/social technologies on the Internet. It was marked initially by an idealistic notion that everything should be free and was led by a bunch of smart programmers, many of them in their teens, working out of their parents' basements and garages, who were naive enough to work for nothing (mom and dad were covering their expenses) and pass out their "shareware" software tools for free. Then a few of them (Skype developers) became billionaires and suddenly 'free' went out the window. Every geeky kid wanted to be a billionaire. "Free" sort of became a bad word.
What was taking place in the background was that the huge global corporations, having missed the profit boat for awhile as the revenue for TV advertising, newspaper publishing and the phonecall pipelines began to shift to 'digital' where they had less of a stranglehold, began to re-strategize to regain control of the data pipelines. Meanwhile Apple and Google (with Yahoo and Microsoft trailing behind) began to realize that the REAL money was in controlling the data pipeline through their interfaces.
That is where Steve Jobs TRUE brilliance as a business man shone through, although few people realize it to this day. Behind the 'Wizard of OZ facade' of 'we're all about design,' what he was REALLY doing was creating an impregnable iTunes profit funnel, locking millions of Apple users into it by creating proprietary devices they loved and taking control of the 'data pipeline' (or at least the back end of it). Google, without a similarly single-minded visionary at the helm, scrambled to catch up and is doing well with Android and their ubiquitous search engine.
What the global corporate giants like Ma Bell and AT&T are now doing behind the scenes (http://openmedia.ca/ is doing their non-profit best to thwart their goals) is to get in on the game by using the clout the have 'on the ground' in countries around the world by pressuring governments to give them a leg-up over Apple and Google with laws and regulations to ensure they can profit from the data pipeline infrastructure they own. If these big players can use their lobbying weight against the upstarts, they can TRY to ensure that Apple and Google cannot push them around as they are doing at the moment (Apple insists on a new 'standard' 30% mark-up for anything it sells on iTunes, for example).
Many governments 'round the globe are more than willing to sit down with the corporate giants to discuss and agree upon control of the Internet (throttling the data pipeline) because of "The Arab Spring" and their desire to censor and control their citizens to maintain their 1%'s flow of revenue. Ironically, the underlying fear that the dictators, juntas, oligarchies and politburos have of global corporations PALES in comparison to their fear of an always-on, cloud-based superpower like Google that really isn't based anywhere solid on terra firma, or a brand who's superpower lies in the minds of buyers who adore their products like Apple and can be purchased online and shipped by overnight global courier companies.
The 'powers that be' have an extreme 'vested interest' in regaining ultimate, infrastructure-based measures of control of this new, gradually evolving, multi-headed hydra monster that is the Internet. If the 1% around the world have always maintained profit and power through absolute control, then this wireless Internet thing is very, very worrisome! Their version of 'Web 3.0' is all about shutting down the uncontrolled freedom/sharing that existed with 'Web 2.0' and insidiously regaining control in the background, as China's ruling junta has been largely able to do.
While Tim Berners-Lee (the 'inventor' of the Internet, which launched in 1989) envisioned as 'Web 3.0' was 'the semantic web' -- moving beyond 'open sharing' between average people without national boundaries, into an Internet experience that has a large degree of AI (artificial intelligence) wherein we can type (or use a microphone to ask) a question in any language, using any grammar at all, and the Internet feeds us back just the answer we were looking for, perhaps even BETTER answers than we expected. What he was hoping for (and Google and everyone else is gradually getting us there), although this is my phrase, is the "holy grail" of the marketing industry: "FULLY addressable advertising. (link to post)" NOT location-based coupons via smartphones, but the delivery of one time only advertorials about exactly what you are interested in, only when you are interested. Delivering this experience will require giving up the paranoia about 'privacy' that the Cold War generations have, but the Millennials already have grown up in an era of always-on, negligible privacy and so are fully prepared to welcome this.
What most of the world's Internet surfers aren't cognizant of is that the ability to do this already exists. It resides on the servers of every Internet Service Provider (ISP) on the planet. Inside their closed databases, forced by Homeland Security laws to be opened with a subpoena to be shared with government security agencies are the records of everywhere you've surfed with your computer, and everywhere you've been with your phone, as America's George W. Bush administration made it law that every new cellphone had to be manufactured with a GPS chip in it to allow 'always-on' wireless tracking of it.
While that is a bit scary, it also means that "fully addressable advertising" is only as far away as giving permission to the ISP to open those databases and allow algorithms to search them and offer up stuff that is very relevant to us. That day is coming, but it should only arrive with fair, open checks and balances imposed (NOT clandestine, principally-beneficial-to-the-1% controls), and that is the kind of thing that OpenMedia.Ca is fighting for on our behalf.