Simulating Future Opportunities

Are the new opportunities of the social graph there only to extend todays’ influence based marketing? Or are they, as I hope, the start of a whole new set of tools? As marketers become facilitators, where emulation and participation is at the hart of our marketing and advertising strategies?

In this new landscape brands will focus more on differentiation through utilities and services, customers investing in brands through arenas and collaboration – rather than narratives (traditional advertising)
. The reason is simple… via Gareth Kay.

My hope is that “social” and “culture” will be at the hart of the idea simulations we do when exploring the opportunities given by the social graph

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. Because it has to be more than just setting up new algorithms for recommendation applets?

Shiv Singh and Jesse Pickard at Razorfish has published a presentation on opportunities with Facebook Connect and the Social Graph. It’s very nice set of thoughts and a recommended read, but I can’t see that they are peeking out of the little hole that is traditional advertising, the ideas presented are still just augments to the modest one-way-communication brand mindset.

View Portable Social Graphs Imagining their Potential, via Digital Design Blog

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: retail marketing)

Even though the presentation is very valuable on a lot of levels, it is still lacking in “new opportunities”
. Even though it claims to do, I can’t find anything more interesting from the given examples than what we are already seeing today from social networks not utilizing the social graph in any way

We need a shift, not merely an iterative process of alterations to existing tools. Brands need to start moving, or customers will become indifferent
. When John Gerzema says brands are a direction, not a position, it means that brands need to change their mindset regarding what they are supposed to be to customers, clients and participants. “Facilitation” becomes of extreme importance, and the social graph, hopefully, will become the best engine to drive this facilitation.

…And these, these are the ideas and opportunities we need to be looking for when simulating future opportunities for the Social Graph.

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