Social Media and Mobile Déjà vu

There is something very familiar feeling about the social media and mobile space(s). Consumer and business use of both are growing rapidly. Even the more modest predictions say that they are still in their infancy and they will change the way we interact, the way we buy and the very nature of our lives.

The studies and surveys seem to be coming out daily.  Today’s headline said that use of social media was up 83% year over year.

  • The number of uses of these media…
  • The potential revenue streams…
  • The ways to measure them…
  • The way they integrate with more mature forms of media and technology…
  • The highfalutin but strangely justifiable company valuations…
  • The rock star treatment for the top thinkers…
  • Holly s—t, it’s the Internet boom all over again!

Just like in the 1990’s, a lot of people that are a lot smarter than me are jockeying for position… trying to get the right tools and technologies and marketing campaigns in front of us at the right time. Consumer domination seems to be at stake – or at least control of the next 15-30 years.

Even the ecosystem is the same. The foundation is the talent: the analysts, developers, strategists… all in fervid demand. Then you have the start-ups – at varying degrees of size, scale and hype (backed by VC’s and private equity money)… and at the top you have the mature players with the big bucks – Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Apple, the old media companies, the cell phone companies, etc. all developing into new areas and chasing the hot start up’s as acquisition targets.

If the economy wasn’t so weak in the rest of the universe, this would have the potential to really bubble up nicely.

As a recruiter you are kind of in the middle of these things in a strange way. We talk to people at all levels of this ecosystem all day, every day. We hear hundreds of opinions about where things are going and why.

I find it all very exciting. There is a certain type of anxiety that is palpable when so much is at stake. It is also great for business. That anxiety will generally turn into a lot of seat swapping and new seat generation.

The old companies are getting pressured and prodded into getting their act together… develop a mobile and social media strategy, figure out how to measure and monetize these things.

Agencies and consulting companies are building practices to fill the expertise gaps and pick up the ball when the big old companies fumble.

The talent is reading and talking about the fast moving, fast growing, game changing companies and technologies. There is a growing sense that you have to be part of that or else you will have an antiquated skill set in 5 or 10 years… plus it looks fun and interesting.

For our part, we are going to set up shop right in the middle of the storm – measurement. We are betting that analytics will lead the way.

One of the big themes of the past couple of years has been integrating your web analytics data with your other data sources… POS, direct marketing, call center, etc. If you can do this and layer in your location-based mobile and social media data you are really looking at a 3D image of your customer. When the dust settles and the hype fades it’s all about the customer.

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