Thursday, May 19, 2005

More of the same?

" The more things change, the more they remain the same". Look how this phrase makes its impact felt in social and business domains.

The industries which have done well in recent times have been good old commodities. Steel is now sexy and oil is orgasmic. In the hunt for digital nirvanas like watching video on mobiles, the world underinvested in these sectors and now when infrastructure creation like demand has picked up in countries like China and India, the commodities for which wars were fought in the past are back in the reckoning.
Online networking sites like Ryze, Orkut, Linkedin etc are creating small communities grouped by tastes in music, books and movies (AB fans), professions(Programmers) , locality (South Mumbai), hobbies and even castes(Palakkad iyers). Wasnt globalization and connectivity about bringing the world together. Or is it bringing smaller communities grouped by seemingly parochial interests together? People always seem to want more of the same in a better effective manner. The Bengali would love Rabindra Sangeet and Tamils would insist on A.R. Rehman, whether they are in Chennai or California.

Viral marketing has become mainstream marketing. The amount of influence that the Amazon review by a fellow buyer has on the purchase of a book is well established. Similarly blogs are influencing brand and product reputations so much that companies have started investing in creating and combing blogs to listen to consumer feedback. Soon companies might pay a fee to be reviewed in a popular blog. Spread the buzz in the right places and they will come. Reminds one of the village katta where the heads of families used to meet, discusss and take decisions over a hookah and tea. Or the trading ports of yore which used to be a hotbed for commercial ideas. Does anyone need mass media anymore? Good question.Probably yes for low involvement, yes for initial blitzkreigs.... answers will emerge soon...


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