They have found that "personal 'cool' is being redefined by technology, and as a result, digital cool is spilling over into the real world and digital footprints are important". Think myspace, youtube, Second Life, Bebo et al and it's not just your profile that's important, it's the number of 'friends' you have, or comments you get or how many video views which all contribute to a very visible popularity meter. It's happening in the business world too, although to a lesser degree, with linkedin profiles, activity on industry forums and contributions to blogs as a writer or commenter.
This raises many challenges for the 21st Century marketer as, according to the Cassandra Report, they'll need to :
- Address their brand's own cyber status as young people (and not so young) turn to the web for first impressions
- Create engaging and informative websites (nothing new there really)
- Monitor the web for your brand's presence (so you'll need to lurk and inhabit forums and social media spaces)
- Stay up to date with the latest technologies (you don't need to know the finer details, but you do need to know what they do from a customer perspective)
- Expect an influx of services and experts like social networking profile designers (we're already seeing that happen in myspace), avatar stylists (think corporate presence in Second Life from the likes of Reuters, PA Consulting, Adidas, Radio 1), blog ghostwriters (well, I know a few of those already - if you'd like an intro, let me know) and online gaming coaches to help consumers up their digital cool