I gave a talk the other day for a global investment firm. Straight up, I told them that the hippie web has died and that it’s now time to prepare for the money web.

The investment firm had flown in the chief strategists from SOMO, Rapp, Quibit, Forward, and Whispr Group (me). What we all had in common, besides representing different types of digital agencies (mobile, digital advertising, conversion, search and social), we were all emphasising the extreme importance of datadriven marketing1.

Focusing on digital first (instead of traditional branding, marketing, and PR activities) will continue to be paramount. I went into these talks with the following unedited notes:

  • Low opportunity cost.
  • Data is a valuable asset.
  • User-based behaviours for better decisions.
  • Customer research buying decisions online.
  • Building a direct community.
  • Savings through automation.
  • Peer-to-peer messaging is cost-efficient.
  • Loyalty/CRM synergies.

Here are my unedited notes from our talks:

  • Center operations around today’s most impactful media — digital.
  • Leverage the psychology of online conversion through psychographic target personas.
  • The body of knowledge in e-commerce — get into it before it’s too late.
  • Automate cleaning of data sets to avoid the “trash in, trash out” effect.
  • Beware of statistical averages — get key online ambassador behaviours.
  • Marketing efforts should be focused primarily on the existing community.
  • The most powerful WOM effects starts after the actual purchase.
  • Digital isn’t about doing everything right, it’s about outperforming competitors.

From all of this, I can see two clear trends emerging — and they’re heading straight for each other.

Trend A: The late majority is spending more and more money via online transactions.

Trend B: The technology for online transactions is rapidly innovated and enhanced.

As these two trends collide, we’ll be sure to see some spectacular effects of this emerging money web.

The money web will also be a stark contrast to the hippie web. The IT bubble from twelve years ago paved the way for a more relationship-oriented internet where social networks became the dominating force in 2007-2008. Now, about five years later, I predict that we will see a clear shift in focus from attracting interest to more aggressive forms of monetisation.

It will be a land grab between emerging and traditional companies. I’ve argued before here on the blog about how well positioned Amazon is in this race. Companies like Facebook and Apple must also be considered well prepared for the money web.

On the subject, I think L2 is doing a great job with real and substantial insights into the digital macro statistics, data that will impact industry bottom lines as well as shareholder value. And the impact is here for us to see now.

The Digital IQ Index Specialty Retail report benchmarks the digital competence of 76 global retail brands, looking at over 675 data points across four dimensions: Site, Digital Marketing, Social Media, and Mobile.

Photo by Pepi Stojanovski on Unsplash.

---------------------

  1. Being the youngest chief strategist by ten years or so, listening to senior industry colleagues from around the world strengthened my belief that all marketing efforts should be digital first.