Archive for February, 2007

Breadth versus Depth

In the days before even telephones, I would imagine that relationships were more about depth rather than breadth. Due to the less developed nature of transportation and communications, any one person’s social circle, I would assume, would have been smaller than it is today.

Then came the age of basic transportation and telephony. Two things would have happened. One was the ease of accessing a larger social circle and second, would have been the ability to communicate without physical contact (only auditory).

Today and in the future, due to the digital media, we are able to cultivate a massive breadth of social acquaintances with much less depth.

Is this good? I’d personally vote for depth over breadth.


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Attention Span

Two characteristics of the future (or some would argue the present) is even more information overload and shorter attention spans.

And I mean really short attention spans. A 30second TVC ain’t going to cut it for two reasons; one is that no one is going to wait around for a TVC to appear; channel surfing effectively rules out the TV as a medium and the other reason is video sharing. In the past if I really liked a TVC, I would actually hang around a commercial break waiting for the spot to appear.

Now, I Youtube it ad nauseum until I get sick of it.

Another result of the combination of info overload and short attention spans is multi-tasking not as a virtue but a way of life. A guy focused on one thing will be known as a geek. It’s a different way of processing information. In fact, in the future a different type of knowledge may be preferred; width of information over depth. Or width to create depth.

We are now straddling generations. The generation who will read every word of a brochure or a newsletter and a generation which skims a variety of sources to form an opinion.

As a marketer, I need to straddle both types but I believe the days of a 4 page hard copy brochure, newsletters and such are out.

Instead of newsletters, a good option will be moderated wikis. This gives the depth of information while at the same time maintaining a certain neutrality. And an electronic format favours skipping, jumping and multiple-windowing so as to satisfy the  ever shortening attention span.

This suits me fine… I’m known to have attention span problems.

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Internet World Statistics

According to the above chart Asia leads the way in total number of internet users. However, this should not be confused for penetration as Asia boasts 56.5% of the worlds population. You can see the actual penetration figures below.

Internet Penetration

Still when considering marketing, it’s not only penetration that matters but absolute numbers.

In the past, penetration would be equally important due to the nature of traditional media, it would be more effective from a CPM POV to go after a highly penetrated market. However, while this remains true to a certain extent, the impact of penetration is lower due to the wide spread and reach of the digital media.

The only thing that really holds back efficiency in mass communications through the digital media really is language. An English viral marketing piece through Youtube for example will have limited impact in a market like China.

However, looking at the macro view, the prevalance of the digital media may even lead to a more rapid diffision of a common global language. And at the moment, it’s looking like it’s going the way of the English language (or at least its variation in its perpetually evolving form)… no room for English language purists in the digital space, I’m afraid… or should I say, IMHO

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I’ve got a personal blog here. But I decided to start this blog mainly as a record for my thoughts on my work, marketing and developments in the digital world. These developments will not be technical in nature but rather what the changing nature of the digital space is doing for society generally and marketing specifically.

I will also use this space to jot down my thoughts on marketing and branding generally but also, as it is a personal blog, I will take the license to have a category with “off topic” postings.

However, this blog will be significantly different from my other blog, Lemniscates are Forever.

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