The Increasingly Fragmented Marketplace

Guest Blog by Scott Monty

When social media began to truly take off in the mainstream some three to four years ago, it became clear that there were additional outposts where brands needed to spend their time and resources. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more became de rigueur in the marketer’s playbook.

So, teams were assembled and communities were created, while the importance of integrating paid, earned and owned media was recognized, and eventually editorial calendars were developed for teams huddled around newsroom-like setups for content marketing efforts.

The end result is that marketers and communicators have more channels and tactics than previously, without a huge increase in budgets to handle them. Paid social media has been one way to address this, using mass marketing and direct response techniques to scale effectively.

The challenge ahead is that there are always emerging platforms to investigate and that even the existing channels are now beginning to fragment. And with millennials moving away from sites like Facebook to apps like Snapchat, Instagram and WhatsApp, the challenge becomes even more daunting.

The latest trend is that a number of companies are separating some of their platforms’ functionality to create single-use apps. If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you’re already familiar with the term “single-use applications” from a biopharmaceutical perspective, and the social/digital definition isn’t too far off. Some examples of single-use apps in recent industry developments include:

  • Facebook requiring mobile users to download the Messenger app to engage in private messaging with other users;
  • Foursquare eliminating the check-in functionality of its main app and spinning off Swarm to do just that;
  • Instagram creating Hyperlapse for time-lapse video.

As these single-use apps continue to rise for the sake of a better user experience, the onus is on brands, marketers and communicators to discern exactly how this affects their approach and how they might best interact with consumers (if at all) in these new environments.

It may not be as simple any more in the digital and social field, but it certainly remains interesting.

About Scott Monty: Scott is the Executive Vice President of Strategy at SHIFT Communications and former Global Digital and Multimedia Communications Manager for the Ford Motor Company. Scott was ranked by The Economist as one of the top 5 of the 25 Social Business Leaders and by Forbes as one of the top 10 influencers in social media, he has been called “an unstoppable force of nature” and Alan Mulally, the CEO of Ford Motor Company, called him “a visionary.”

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