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Jolina Pettice

ad:tech Chicago – Failure is the New Success, Chris Anderson

By Jolina Pettice     adtech, Online Marketing

Note from Editor: This week, TopRank Account Manager, Jolina Pettice is attending the ad:tech conference in Chicago. Along with her formidable knowledge gathering and networking duties, Jolina is also providing blog coverage of several sessions. Enjoy!

Ad:Tech Chicago kicked off this morning with a key note speech from Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired Magazine and author of The Long Tail.

A great session, Chris highlighted the shift in the marketplace away from the “One Size Fits All” mentality of decades past. According to Chris, the age of the blockbuster album, movie or product just might be over.

For example, NSnyc’s album ‘No Strings Attached’ released in 2000 is the all-time bestselling album and according to Chris, a record that will never be broken because no longer do consumers necessarily flock to what they are told is the best, most popular mind-blowing thing. Consumers are deciding for themselves what they want more than ever. Some statistics to back this up include the fact that records that reach record status have fallen by over 60%, but more music is made and consumed than ever before. Why?

This change is caused by the redistribution of individuals’ tastes. We are no longer listening to and/or watching what mass media and marketers deem popular. Thanks to sites like iTunes, Amazon and Ebay, consumers can find what they what, not what marketers tell them they want.

Consumers have control and are demanding products and services that cater to them and their needs. The “1 Size Fits 1″ marketplace is upon us, noted by the attention marketers are paying to the ‘long tail’.

For the uninitiated, the notion of the long tail – shown below in yellow – is the idea that in aggregate there are just as many long tail consumers outside the ‘head of distribution’ – show in green. As most experienced search marketers know, mastering the ability for visibility within the long tail can provide a significant competitive advantage.

Long Tail Image

Because of the long tail, marketers are considering that failure might be the new success. For example, Zappos.com has over 750,000 kinds of shoes. Because of limitless shelf space, the site only has to sell 2 of each shoe a year for the shoe to be successful. On the other hand, Wal-Mart products have to sell 2 per week to be successful.

As our audiences become more segmented, we as marketers may need to redefine what we consider a successful campaign.
I’m curious, what Online Marketing Blog readers are doing with long tail marketing for search marketing? For social media? For public relations?

You can find even more coverage of the Chicago 2007 ad:tech conference on the ad:tech blog.


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