Personal reflection on MC DC
Together with Tim Duhamel, CEO of InSites Consulting, I’m responsible for our MC DC (“Marketers & Consumers, Digital & Connected”) report. The report deals with 17 challenges that digital media marketers are currently facing. The study is carried out in 16 European countries in a partnership with IAB Europe and is representative for the respective Internet populations, aged 15 and older.
Based upon the MC DC research, I would like to share some key insights.
First of all, it is clear that the consumer today is different than the consumer a few years ago. The rise of social media changed the way consumers interact with each other, but also what they expect from brands. Consumers want the interactions with brands and not only in terms of forwarding advertising campaigns (the viral aspect), but also having the ability to voice their opinion on a discussion board / social media fan page (to a lower extent) where the brand and other customers are present. Besides that, they want to be involved in the creation of new products / ads (mainly to give feedback). So there are many opportunities for brands nowadays to strengthen their brand-customer relationship.
Next to this, we see that more and more people are connected 24/7. The usage intensity of the Internet has increased throughout the years and the Internet has become a mass media channel (soon to overtake TV – if it not already happened in some younger target groups). The rise of the mobile Internet will only speed up that trend and I truly believe one day we will all be connected (be it with a smartphone, be it with laptop, be it with another device). The boundaries between personal and professional lives will fade (as is already the case with ourselves and modern marketers in general).
Finally, the rise of social media has redefined ‘privacy’ to a certain extent. If you would have asked people a few years back to share their experiences online about their dinner yesterday, a movie they had seen… they would have said “No Way”. Today, a part of the e-mail inbox has gone public, but people are very much aware of the consequences in terms of privacy. Today’s surfers have a self-protecting behaviour (using antivirus software, firewalls, being careful to publish something online…) which I think is nothing more than common sense because the Internet still has its dark “websides”. That’s the reason why cloud services are still not that popular today: most people have privacy concerns, have their doubts about security in putting their data online… all of which need to be addressed via communication and by illustrating the reliability of these services (RAAS – reliability as a service).
For example, in January last year bookmarking service Ma.gnolia announced that they had lost all the data due to data corruption. In March last year VC-backed online backup and storage provider Carbonite has lost data of 7,500+ customers who relied on the company to keep their files safe and in September 2009 Gmail was out for a couple of hours (Sep 09).