Web Analytics and the Digital Native

September 28th, 2009

Welcome back to the third installment of my Blog. This week we are going to discuss web analytics and how, with the advent of the Digital Native, marketers need to develop more sophisticated ways to gather their information. If your new to the idea of web analytics then a good resource to brush up on it is a blog by Robert Pothier in which he gives a good overview of web analytics and what it means to marketers. But, after our talk in class I began to think about some of my own activities on the web and some of the security measures that I take to prevent things like identity theft and such. Now, because web analytics, like Google Analytics, is essentially based off of being able to trace your ip address through the websites you visit and build a user profile from that. And the desire for anonymity on the net by the Digital Native, there have sprung into existence programs to help mask all traces of a person on the internet. Now the fact that applications like Hot Spot Shield, and Hide IP have developed in response to needs outside the scope of blocking web analytics there is still time for marketers to take advantage of the information and also to change how the information is gathered. However, as those of the Net generation become more and more technologically savvy and better versed on the tactics of marketers, which realistically is only a few google searches away. Marketers need to understand that with the rising knowledge of the digital native web analytics are going to become more, and more difficult to rely upon unless we as marketers find new avenues of information gathering that can be considered more reliable. Or find new ways to interpret the data so that numbers don’t become skewed one way or another and lead marketers of the future down the garden path so to speak. Now take some time and visit the biggest of the web analytics power-houses on the net, Google Analytics and see for yourself first hand the type of info that we, as marketers, are collecting.

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The Digital Native and the Digital Divide.

September 19th, 2009

So in class this week we where discussing privacy on the net. Stuff like giving your email out and Facebook’s recent headlines as far as their privacy policy is concerned. And we happened to stumble across the concept of the Digital Native. What is a digital native? Well as Mitch Joel points out in his “Six Pixels of Separation” Blog Wikipedia puts it very well:

“A digital native is a person for whom digital technologies already existed when they were born, and hence has grown up with digital technology such as computers, the Internet, mobile phones and MP3s.”

So what does this mean for today’s breed of marketers? It means that we are going to need to adapt our way of thinking to match theirs. Marc Prensky points out in his article titled “Digital Native” that the digital native now thinks in random access and in parallel with other thoughts rather than in a more logical sequential order. For marketers this means that we will have to market along those same guidelines. two or even three “twitch speed” ad campaigns that run parallel with each other rather than a series of ads that run in a sequential order (i.e. the Kokane ranger commercials that ran as sort of a story board). What the digital natives need as far as a marketing direction is high volume exposure in short fast paced bursts. The old scream and shout methodology that marketers used to use needs to be translated into the digital era, trimmed down from 30 seconds to about 4 , and then delivered through multiple forms of media. E-mail, pod cast, you-tube videos, etc. This means the trick for marketers is going to be how to pack 30 seconds worth of marketing materials inside of 4 or 5 seconds.

This kind of thing for a marketer is going to be a radical shift from the “normal” way of thinking but is going to be necessary if marketers want to be able to capture the attention of the emerging consumer market and not just have it bypass all marketing efforts because they know how to use the current wave and emerging waves of technology better than the marketer. This kind of radical shift in thinking is the same as the radical shifts that helped first create the computer, which in turn lead to the very age in which we now live. I am going o leave you with this video which is George Dyson giving us a brief history on the birth of the computer which , through the work that Dyson speaks of helped to usher  in the Digital divide and give birth to the Digital Native. Enjoy!!

Marketing 2.0

Header Image Source: http://encefalus.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/technology_evolution.jpg

September 13th, 2009

Welcome one and all to the very first post on my own blog. Now, the whole reason of being for this blog is that of a weekly assignment for a marketing course. The idea is to drill down into the nitty-gritty on a specific point of class discussion and explore these areas to a much fuller extent than that of the class discussions. So what did we touch on in our second class of the year, well many broad things really. How the internet has helped and hindered certain industries, the challenges of distributing physical items over the internet. For example if I buy a car from out of Japan off of eBay. How do I get it over to North America? But when the topic of digital rights distribution came up we touched onto the subject of software piracy and  the question was raised. Why would someone pay $24.99 for a CD when they can just download the whole album that has been ripped to someones hard drive for free. Well the answers where tabled: Guilt, and ease of acquirement. One other point that was touched on  was the role of the marketer. Marketers, as Seth Godin puts it, used to yell and shout at strangers. Basically what he means is, back in the old days the idea was to expose your message to the highest number of people the highest number of times.

Now in todays Web 2.0 era that is not the case. More and more people make online purchases every day and more and more people pirate and distribute software and music either for profit or for free. So what does this mean from a marketing point of view? It means, as was mentioned in class, that we need to direct our attentions towards the markets of one. To show the individual the benefits of genuine software. Software without the malicious code hiding underneath the user interface, and without key loggers taking your information. Microsoft happens to be a leader in this regard. The windows genuine advantage, which allows for proper updating of security risks as it verifies that your serial key is authentic every time you connect to the update site. Also means that your software is properly licensed (which means paid for) as well. Now unfortunately for Microsoft their software happens to be some of the most pirated software on the face of the planet, why? cause it works with just about everything. Now believe it or not this piracy occurs more frequently in developing countries like China and Pakistan. However this does not mean that it only happens in developing countries, for instance there was a case in London where authorities tracked down many architects using under-licensed copies of Adobe Photoshop and Autodesk AutoCAD. This was published in the The Architects Journal a prominent British architectural e-zine.

Now companies like Adobe while quite large don’t generate the kind of capital to track down a prosecute small time software pirates. However Microsoft on the other hand has done just that in Pakistan. Kamal Ahmed, County General Manager for Microsoft Pakistan, has directed a significant amount of Microsoft Pakistan’s resources to fighting software piracy that costs the Pakistan economy a reported $159 million US dollars this year alone. This is according to Umair Moshin a science and technology reporter for Dawn.com, a Pakistani media group. A part of Microsoft Pakistan’s marketing decision, aside from sharing their user databases with authorities, in this regard is the publication of Windows Starter Pack a simplified version of Windows XP. This allows the benefits of genuine software a cheaper prices to compete with that of pirated software. But where does this leave marketers in the future of software development. torn between trying to maximize profits and trying to compete with those that pirate and distribute software for rock bottom prices.