“Hey, 2.0”: It’s STILL about reaching, connecting with and persuading people.

My musical tastes flash across the spectrum from heart-rendingly beautiful symphonic movie soundtracks to some of the most deliciously vicious hard rock ever recorded, but somewhere in the median is a sultry, radio-friendly-yet-cult-favorite tune by Steely Dan entitled Hey Nineteen. And that’s as good a starting point as any from which today’s ravings about some of the madness inside the “2.0” methodology may flow.

If you thought I came here to unite us all around a starry-eyed vision of the wonders of search engine optimization/marketing (SEO/SEM), Web2.0, PR2.0 and whichever 2.0 buzzwords we can dream up tomorrow…oh, wait, the categories in our editing pulldown menus here on the staging site now include “Web3.0″…you’re half right.

These entries will discuss all of that and more. I’m already a blogger at Billing & OSS World’s B/OSS Insider and TalentZoo’s SEO Shootout and am honored that they value my contributions on webcasts, podcasts, online workshops and the like at TechTarget. I’m a denizen of Digg, Del.icio.us, Facebook, LinkedIn, Network World TOP, Second Life, Spoke, ZoomInfo and many more–the online venues and worlds so many of us have come to know and love–and have benefited from excellent online/interactive/digital media and marketing tools that have emerged in recent years such as the PR2.0 manual and social media news release from SHIFT Communications.

I’m still diving headfirst, on behalf of our clients and frankly ourselves, into the hundreds upon hundreds of web venues that can help you elevate your own site from also-ran status to top-10 Google search results nirvana: Social bookmarks, free directories and classifieds, do-follow blogs and forums and free RSS directories. I was an early adopter of online/virtual tradeshow services-for those times when you want your client to have a presence at a show but they don’t want to pony up tens of thousands for the booth space. When it comes to web analytics, we can’t go wrong when we use top-flight tools such as ClickTracks, WebTrends and even Google Analytics. And we continue to evolve our site to meet the three core tenets of Web2.0: rich Internet apps (RIA), broadcast media and consumer-generated media (CGM).

But “now for something completely different”: Who remembers or has at least heard about when the U.S. went off the gold standard (a monetary system that backs its currency with a reserve of gold) in 1971? No less an authority than long-time U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has expressed concern about the longer-term impact of that move in the U.S. and global economies. And while my level of authority compared to that of Mr. Greenspan may be comparable to a drop of the water in the ocean, I feel compelled to say that unless we back the modern currency of 82.0 with the gold standard of best practices in web design and e-business development, marketing, communications and public relations we are collectively kidding ourselves.

I speak to people every week who are all over The Four R’s of online/interactive marketing:

Reveal
Reward
Respect
Retain

I wonder (but rarely ask, and should more often) how many of them are as well-versed in The Six P’s of marketing…

Product
Positioning
Promotion
Pricing
Place
Partners

…to which we added four more for the Internet age:

  • Penetration – creating focused-interest sites to reach targeted publics, not market “masses.”
  • Permission – avoiding spam (over any medium) through opt-in and better targeting of offers.
  • Personalization – following through on focused sites and opt-in by delivering a customized experience once we have our prospects’ attention or get through the virtual “door.”
  • Profitability – remembering that innovative online marketing strategies are no different than any other component of the business: They must help the organization achieve cost-effective return on investment (ROI) for external investors and internal stakeholders.

People approach me seeking candidates for online/interactive/ digital media and marketing positions, and too often they ask me to help them identify someone who’s been a webmaster or even an IT manager or programmer. I have nothing but respect for most webmasters and IT experts, but that approach is a lot like trying to have a house built not by an experienced, licensed and bonded construction company but by Stanley or Sears because they’re the ones who manufactured (or at least sold) the hammer.

“Let’s build something together”…using equal measures of both O/I/D techno-savvy and the research/marketing building blocks that still “AIDA” us in pursuit of today’s conversions and other worthwhile objectives. (Yes, that’s a play on “attention, interest, desire and action”…still relevant today.)

Thanks for playing along. We’ll talk again soon.

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