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The Future of Marketing

Newt Barrett

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Where Is the Future of Social Media Marketing? [Research] | ClickZ

In today’s online world, mass can be reached in months, not years. For proof, all you have to do is look at Pinterest’s explosion over the last six months, becoming the fastest standalone site to surpass the 10 million unique monthly visitors mark.

So why haven’t location-based social networks had this kind of explosive growth? After all, services like Foursquare and Gowalla have both been highly regarded and used by digital early adopters. Facebook even tried to launch its Places functionality as a standalone piece before folding it into the status update feature. Interestingly, Facebook places so much importance on this functionality that even after it shut down Places, it purchased Gowalla for its developer expertise.

All social networks would love to have the size and engagement rates that Facebook receives, with a user base of 850 million and an average spent time in January 2012 of 405 minutes. However, location-based services are dependent on smartphone penetration. Yes, people can use tablets for these services, but I think we can all agree that the majority of activity will be on smartphones. If we look at smartphone penetration according to the International Telecommunication Union (November 2011), there were an estimated 1.186 billion global active broadband subscribers in 2011, and 796 million smartphones have been sold in just the last two years according to IDC (Feb 2012).

Foursquare, which is the largest of the location-based services, hovers around 1 percent global penetration. So why do these services not have mass appeal? From what I’ve seen, these services face several uphill battles.

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Newt is a leading thinker on the new discipline of content marketing. He urges marketers to think like publishers by delivering essential, relevant, and timely information that makes customers smarter and wiser–and much more likely to become buyers. Newt is a successful publishing executive with more than 25 years of experience as both a manager and business owner. He has launched profitable publications in the high tech arena for both CMP and Ziff-Davis. He was an early player on the web in 1996 as Publishing Director of an early Yahoo competitor, NetGuideLive. As an entrepreneur, he launched Southwest Florida Business and BusinessNewsNow.com in the late nineties, later selling them to Gulfshore Media. His publication still thrives under its new name, Gulfshore Business. In addition to his sales and marketing skills, Newt is a published writer for Business Currents and Gulfshore Business magazines. He writes on topics as diverse as healthcare, education, public policy, growth, business best practices, and technology. He knows how to build great brands that serve client marketing needs. He is comfortable driving dramatic market-driven changes. Newt is recognized as a leader with the ability to move teams in new, unexplored directions. He is effective in high level sales and marketing conversations with senior executives in client organizations of all sizes. He delivers successful consulting engagements to improve products, people, and processes.