Web 2Point0 Interview
We're here on Web 2.0 TV with Giovanni Gallucci of Dexterity Media. Giovanni, how would you define Web 2.0 as it pertains to your industry and how it's changed the marketplace for you and your company in the last year or 18 months?
Defining it, Web 2.0, I think the biggest change between Web 1.0 and 2.0, if you're gonna call it that is the fact that now the users are heavily invested in participating in creating content. When it comes to how it affects the industry I'm in, 16, 18 months ago, we were just simply doing paid search and natural search engine optimization at Dexterity Media. And a lot of the practices that we had in place for natural SEO were very tedious, we were out begging people for links, we were making changes to content, and a lot of this stuff was very expensive and very, very little reward on the work. You would spend an entire month and send out a 1000 requests for links and maybe get back three or four successful links back.
The biggest thing the social media does for us within that realm is it allows us to get out and populate the web with content for clients much easier because we're now in control of the content and as it is today, at least, the search engines are giving companies credit for the links that we're generating the content, we're generating in different places on the web. So as an example if I'm dealing with the client and it's a brand reputation issue, say maybe a client's got some stuff on Google that they don't like, they need to push down, it's really easy for us to go and to create profiles in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter accounts, meetup.com. And because Google looks at those domains as being so much more valuable, it's real easy for us to push the bad stuff down for the clients today. Don't know how long it's gonna last, but as it is today, we can be much more effective for those specific types of things for clients than we ever could have dreamed of being, even 12 months ago.
Okay. What is your company currently doing with Web 2.0 technologies to facilitate greater customer interaction and online offerings?
With the customer interaction standpoint, we hand built communities for folks. We encourage our clients to go out and this is almost passe in the world of social media, but we do encourage clients to go out and create communities or create blogs so that clients can come, their own clients can come and communicate directly with them, and it's one thing to get out and create a website, create a community, create a blog. The biggest hurdle we have is getting the client to actually participate. You've got a blog on a regular basis. People out in the wild could care less, if Joanne in marketing had a birthday this week. You've gotta talk about what's important to the customer, and it takes a lot of effort, so we spend a lot of time in coaching, consulting with clients to make sure that they're out there participating like they should be and actually engaging with their own customers.
Okay. How does a company leverage social media products? Is it applicable to products?
It depends on the product and all the services that are being offered. One example is, there's a company we're working with that they're launching a new online training website, so people will go buy subscriptions and they'll participate in classes online. Because it makes sense, we're using viral video to help them get the word out. So we'll take not only bits and pieces of the classes they have, which is essentially their product but we create specific pieces called 60-second Gurus that are only used for the viral marketing aspect of the campaign. And then you go out there, you create this 60-second Guru or take something out of the class, [03:49] ____ seated out into 25 or 35 different video sharing sites and the video is entertaining, it's got to be very short. People aren't gonna sit there and watch an advertisement too long, but then you give people a reason to come back to the website, so there will be a discount at the end.
Just like if you're couponing, you gave them a reason to sit through the entire video which in most cases it's a 60-second Guru, it's a minute. We have some other viral stuff we put out that can be a couple of minutes long, but in every case, the very end of the video is go to the website, plug this in and get 15% off. So it gives people reward for sitting through the advertisement and that allows us to actually measure the results of the campaign for the client.
It's been said that MySpace has done to the online marketplace, what Walmart did to the retail industry. What do you think of this statement and how has this new dynamic affected your business?
I would say social media has done that. I'm not gonna be too quick to give MySpace all the credit. And I think it's true in the sense that just like the web democratized journalism and content for humanity, social media, and it's not only social media, the stuff that we do today in social network and social media, has always been around, it's just never been sexy. So we've got this new package that we've put on these technologies, but we have had bulletin boards in forums forever and now marketers are looking at these things saying, "Hey, I've got a forum that's based upon people who love Scions."
Well, good gravy, my client's Toyota, they might wanna get a part of that clientele, so forget about going and throwing out the widest net you can and advertising to millions of people. I wanna advertise to these 10,000 people and every single one of those people are the exact person we're trying to get to, so it makes marketing much more efficient, much more targeted in an almost every case we've been involved in, the consumer wants to hear the content 'cause they've already expressed the fact that they're an evangelist for the brand. So you don't have to do a hard sell on. So it further democratizes the web from a marketing standpoint, but it also allows us to know that we are giving content to people that want to hear the content and wanna hear about the product.
So, overall, it ends up being much more effective and it's a lot lower cost too.
Right, right. As Web 2.0 movement continues to empower users to voice their demands in the marketplace, how do you plan to most effectively listen to and meet those changing demands over the next year?
Over the next year, we don't plan to do that now. We look over and react to what happens. The marketplace happened so fast and things, we are in a mode with being out so far on the edge that we're essentially responding and watching what the market's doing, and then we're doing what the market asked us to do. So, I guess, if you wanna say what do you do over the next year, we're gonna listen. And we're gonna behave properly based upon each community and what their own rules are, so you've gotta be careful about going into a Meetup group and behaving a certain way, and then going over and going into, say, a Facebook group or going into a MySpace group, and behaving differently because each one of those groups have different unspoken rules about what's acceptable there, so over the next 12 months, over the next two years, we listen and we're respectful and we engage in the community and we add value.
Okay, great. Well, thanks a lot, Giovanni, for joining us today on Web 2.0 TV. This is Giovanni Gallucci from Dexteri... [chuckle]
It's a tongue twister. I'm gonna go and change the name now.
They'll edit this out.
Dexterity Media. And thanks a lot for stopping by today.