21st century marketing is no longer ‘top down’, where you can spread your wares on a table and hope that customers will buy what you want to sell. Instead, it’s ‘bottom up’, where customers demand what they want and you have to adapt to meet their needs.
Control has moved off your own website where you can say more-or-less what you want, to other websites where anyone can comment and contribute. I would argue that blogs and social media are becoming even more important than static websites, these days.
Two-way communication on your blog is a good thing! A business coach I know wasn’t sure whether to ‘moderate’ the comment when someone disagreed with his point of view. Publishing it allowed him to enter into a public dialogue and justify his position.
Customer service in public is another good thing e.g. monitoring the buzz on Twitter so you can see what people are talking about and react accordingly. One contact tweeted about his new razor, and @KingofShaves responded to ask what was wrong and offer a trial of their new product.
Asking questions on LinkedIn gives you access to free and instant market research while answering them means you can raise your profile as an expert.
You can post articles online for viral use, where other sites can pick them up (with a credit to you).
When you release control, there is one slight risk.
I found on Google Alerts today that my ‘Minute to win it’ article has been picked up by an automated ‘blogging’ site and stuffed full of ridiculous keywords.
Top tip: Be so active online that all the content you do control quickly knocks any rubbish down the search engine rankings where no-one will ever find it.