Marketing in a web 2.0 world is fundamentally different than traditional marketing — where the emphasis is a 1 way message (I talk, you listen). Marketers have tradionally focused on “controlling” their brand, so “Control is sooo 20th century” is what Derek Gordan, VP of Marketing at Technorati, said last night at the MIT Enterprise forum panel discussion at the Hyatt in Bellevue that I attended. The panel discussion, titled “Marketing successfully in the web 2.0 world,” was a particularly interesting topic to me since I’m fascinated with social media marketing & web 2.0.

The panel was moderated by Jonathan Rosoff, VP Strategy and Consumer insights at Aveneue A | Razorfish (part of the recent aQuantive deal) and featured:

  • Mike Murphy – VP Media Sales at Facebook
  • Derek Gordan – VP Marketing at Technorati
  • Ben Elowitz – CEO of Wetpaint
  • Norman Guadagno – CMO of Zaaz

Some other interesting insights from the discussion —

  • Web 2.0 is so important to everyone now (meaning everyone wants to “get into web 2.0”) because it has marketed itself through word of mouth
  • Half the battle of web 2.0 marketing is to just show up
  • Mike at Facebook mentioned that the most valuable source of information is now your peers. He also stated that if search results were based on what your close & most trusted friends deemed useful, that would be extremely valuable to you — this is interesting, I hadn’t thought of this before, but it certainly makes sense to me. Facebook is in a fantastic position to take advantage of showcasing “peer search results” sometime in the future, though I’m guessing it won’t be too soon (they need to find some way to let users reccomend search results).
  • Regarding successfully monetizing web 2.0 audiences, sites should aim to make their advertisements extremely relevant (target well) and turn them into part of the “experience”
  • Mike Murphy said there are three things Facebook focuses on to help their advertisers succeed:
    • Listen & learn
    • Be part of the experience
    • Give a reason to share
  • “I’m Google’s BLANK” – Derek at Technorati after realizing YouTube (most popular content), DoubleClick (largest income stream), and their largest referrer (Google) are all controlled by Google. Kinda scary
  • It’s about giving up control
  • The largest danger to web 2.0 innovation is government and regulation; one thing that is surprisingly NOT a danger is human nature
  • Focus on empowering your strongest supporters
  • Facebook has 23 million users & 50 BILLION human connections on their site

Overall, it was an excellent panel — I’ll be thinking even harder than normal about social media marketing over the next couple days.