Although Web 2.0 has been publicized as the “next big thing”, interestingly enough, it lacks a crisp definition. Web 2.0 refers more to the changes in the way the web is used as a platform by end users and software developers rather than an actual web technical specification update. In an increasingly mixed future, Web 2.0 represents just one phenomenon that is hard to define but is nonetheless here to stay.
With rapidly growing internet usage and an increasing number of web technologies being made available for and by businesses as well as individuals, the internet has become an important marketing platform. With the shift from limited bottlenecked distribution to infinite open distribution, Web2.0 is increasingly becoming a critical component of the infrastructure and strategy of every successful business establishment today.
Web 2.0 redefines the market and generates entirely new opportunities, making it important for marketers to have a better understanding of the way the web can be utilized and integrated with other marketing strategies.
Characteristics of Web 2.0
The principle characteristics of Web 2.0 include:
- Importance of open data – not just open source code but open source content
- Culmination of an array of different web trends – increasing Web 2.0 applications
- Enables a collection of uniquely tailored applications within communities
- More user significance
- Network effects are sought and created
- Enormous potential for innovative web applications
Importance of Web 2.0
Web 2.0 technologies open up many new possibilities to communication and interactions between users and more importantly between businesses and clients.
Enriched User Experience: Powerful internet application technologies offer users a vast array of web applications that greatly enhance their internet experience. Leveraging these web 2.0 technologies to provide a rich end user experience can transform otherwise detached customers directly into loyal customers, increase profits, decrease friction among suppliers and improve productivity and efficiency for employees.
Empowered Self Service Users: User friendly Web 2.0 enables users to exploit the full potential of the web and enhance their productivity without the need for external programmers or IT personnel.
Connected Target Audiences: Blogs and social networking sites level the playing field between smaller businesses and large corporate giants. Correctly executed, they give marketers the opportunity to establish an informal exchange of ideas with target customers and subtly develop their brand or market their products. They give start up businesses as well as established companies the opportunity to test new product ideas and assess emerging market trends.
Intelligent Press Releases: “Direct-to-consumer” press releases are no longer for the press only. Press releases offer a way to not only reach the press but also reach consumers directory through online news services. Just one more example of how Web 2.0 marketing is more about reaching new and varied markets.
As a clear definition for Web 2.0 takes shapes, the effects of its presence are undeniable. Both small and large businesses that are willing to grasp this fluid marketing concept stand the best chance of being successful.