Wednesday, May 17, 2006

It's all "me"

Modern Marketing (MM) has a very intriguing post in reference to a WSJ interview/article that discusses the future of the Internet. MM pointed out a comment from interviewee Esther Dyson who predicts that consumer power will shift increasingly toward individuals who will declare what it is they want and marketers will be tasked with listening to and addressing those needs. Dyson asserts, "There will be much less "advertising" and much more communication to interested customers. Advertisers will have to learn to listen, not just to track and segment customers." We see this trend taking shape already with the ability for people to personalize just about anything from ring tones to Web portals to m&m's, and in the immense power people have to selectively consume marketing messages. I can only begin to guess what this will mean for how we design and deliver our services, but it seems clear that we will have to be proactive in listening for and addressing needs, and that we'll have to work very closely with patrons to provide customized services at their times and places of need.

Categories: neat_trends


Nancy Dowd said...

I love your blog! Thanks for talking about this important trend. I noted a great article in the NY Times last week in my blog that addressed how corporate is capitalizing on the concept. It is interesting to look at libraries such as Cornell and Auburn that have already begun applying the "my library" campaign throughout their websites. If you'd like to read more:
The M Word

Jill said...

Hey, thanks, Nancy! I love your blog too!

As a regular reader, I did see your post last week and found it interesting too! I think the initiatives at the schools you point out are a step in the right direction, but I wonder if people want a customizable library site, or if they want the option to have library portlets they can stick in the portal of their choice (like My Yahoo!, for instance). That way, they can have more flexibility in how they manage their info.

I think what's somewhat concerning to me with this "it's all me trend" is that we'll have to be creative in giving people not just what they want, but what they need but don't know they want. That's why negotiating and working closely with patrons is so important. Part of our job is to not just fill expressed needs, but to satisfy unspoken needs. That's where our value as information professionals comes in and distinguishes us from other alternatives. What I really do like about this trend is the opportunity we have to let people mold the library to them and make using the library a more personally meaningful experience. Plus, it challenges us to define ourselves and our value in terms of what's important to patrons.

I'm sure we'll be writing more on this one, Nancy! :)