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Kicking Off SXSW 2013 with Don Tapscott and the Net Generation – #SXSWOgilvy

Don Tapscott presented global trends today at the BazaarVoice Summit in Austin. Titled “Marketing in the Age of Networked Intelligence.” He both stayed true to his Wikinomics roots while also being fresh and contemporary.

I appreciated being invited to the Summit two days before the chaos of SXSW. The rooms were full, the energy – very high.  There were probably close to a 1,000 people there from brands, tech partners, yet no agencies. That last point is a post onto itself.  The Bazaarvoice team hosted a quality experience. They showed love to their customers. I thought it was telling that they used the occasion to announce a partnership/integration with Oracle. They now can talk about the entire customer journey and not just the discovery and evaluation phase of that journey. They have reframed themselves at the heart of shopper marketing. Smart.

But back to Don Tapscott.

The Net Generation Changes Marketing

I used Wikinomics in my graduate class at Johns Hopkins 5-6 years ago. I remain a fan of Don Tapscott (@dtapscott). He focuses on how, in his words, the Net Generation behaves in radically different ways then the generations before them.  He then outlines how the rules have changed for marketers and business to successfully serve this new generation. That makes sense.

The Net Generation is bigger then the Boomers with over 80 Million just in the US. “These kids are different,” he says. They expect something different from the brands in their lives. And all that time they are spending online in one way or another? “Their time online is taking away from television.” That changes marketing. Period.

Five Principles of Marketing to the Net Generation

If you are familiar with Don Tapscott’s work, you will recognize these principles. They may be concepts that we have all become familiar with over the past few years, yet they are as relevant (and misused) today as ever.

  • Collaboration: our best talent may be outside our organizations
  • Openness: if you are going to be open, you had better be “buff.” Strong values can help “tone” the organization for this new transparency
  • Sharing: you don’t need to own all of your intellectual property, anymore
  • Interdependence: The State, The Private Sector, Civil Society and the Individual are the pillars of society and they need to operate under the principle of….
  • Integrity: which means, in my book, not in Don’s words, that we believe in a code of ethics and principles and behave accordingly

The 4P’s Are No Longer a Valid Model

Getting back to the thesis of his talk, he pointed out that these disruptions ought to change the core rubric of marketing: the 4 P’s.

  • Product evolves to Consumer Experiences: consumers want to have fun not just get the product. They want a full experience.
  • Place changes to Anyplace (market place to market space to market face – meaning “inreface”). Don referred to “Layars” the AR application that puts a new interface – literally layers of interfaces – over a scene.
  • Price moves to Discovery Mechanism for Price – This began with eBay, then Groupon, and now evolves into other price discovery and making services
  • Promotion is now about Engagement – Dell and Mr. Samsung are examples of when we invite customers into the organization
  • And now we add Brand which at the foundation of brand architecture is integrity or what we stand for and what our values are. This reminds me most of Jon Iwata’s thoughts on authenticity and character

A final great quote from Don Tapscott:

“The future is not something to be predicted. It is something to be achieved.” His view of these changes drives how BazaarVoice and others are re-thinking the commerce experience. This is not simply white tower thinking.

Oh, and did I mention that he has a new book out – Radical Openness 2013. You can read Forbes’ review here.

A great way to kickoff SXSW2013.

See you there. No seriously. I really will attend this year. If you are going to be there, tweet me at @JBell99.

For all things Ogilvy thought leadership, follow us on Twitter using hashtag #SXSWOgilvy.