You are probably familiar with the terms search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO) as they are defined for the interactive medium. In conversations at Marketing 2.0, I started to document a series of projects built on a new generation of online platforms.
These kinds of Web properties are hybrid versions of portals, forum discussions, community destinations that are also part social networks. The reason why I define them as part of organic marketing is that their sustainability and value propositions are directly tied to participation. They are the new kind of interactive marketing, made interactive by both parties, businesses and customers.
To continue with the analogy, there is a new crop of marketers who are ahead of the pack in trying organic marketing. In my network, two stand out. I've had the pleasure of meeting both in person and had the opportunity to discuss the ideas that were the precursors to their current projects.
Pinny Gniwisch is a Rabbi 2.0. The founder and executive vice president of marketing for Ice.com, he is responsible for developing strategic alliances. Pinny just launched a new social media hub - ToBeeHive. In his words:
The concept of beehiving draws on bees innate ability to travel from flower to flower gathering pollen and nectar and bringing this back to the beehive to share. Today’s web savvy consumer uses trend feelers to find out about what’s happening in the world. Ultimately mobile, they travel from platform to platform - like social networking sites Facebook, MySpace and Twitter - quickly learning about current affairs, news, trends and information.
With the advent of search engines, consumers can build a personalized web experience using RSS, book-marking sites, and finding information in a nano-second about news and events. In short, they are not dependent on information feeds from marketers to know what they want and when they want it. With the collected information, the consumer brings news to their beehive (or network) easily spreading the word.
[...] consumers can and will find the information they need and that this could be in our
control if we are transparent in our marketing efforts and corporate culture. Put simply, businesses today need to be cognizant of beehiving consumers or, be warned, you will get stung.
Pinny and I met after I left a comment on Hugh's blog after one of their podcasts. In our conversations, we talked about the high touch economy, which benefits from the high tech boom - new tools are allowing us to get in touch again with the tried and true dynamics of human interaction. Think of your Web properties and the Internet as fertile ground. What are you going to grow?
You will be able to plant seeds and cultivate your brand impressions. That is the concept Mark Goren developed and launched recently. Mark honed his skill as copywriter, cultivating the power of words to move to insights and action. The idea for Planting Seeds developed over a conversation at Marketing Profs Daily Fix. In his words:
Maybe you have a website or a blog. Consider this to be your hub, the place you want people to come to connect with you or your brand. But you can’t just expect people to visit your site on your terms – you have to get out there and connect with them on their terms. And that means reaching out and interacting on different websites.
Essentially, that’s the difference between building a web site and a web presence. More and more businesses are starting to recognize the importance of doing just that, either by growing their own branded web presence or creating teams within their organization responsible for getting out there and talking to people on their turf and terms.
One of the cool things about Mark's new site is what he called Be My Guest, a space where you can go ahead and post your ideas. Ideas are but seeds that need nourishment to grow.
Since we're still well within the agricultural metaphorical space, I am reminded of an interview musician, composer and producer Daniel Lanois did with Brian Eno in Here is What is, his latest album. In it, Eno shares how people think that ideas are born perfect, ready for prime time. Instead, he says, many great ideas grow out of s**t when they have the proper care, at the right time.
Organic marketing is not just search and content, it is much greater than those two elements combined. It is the sum total of all the actions that surround a transaction. Do you have a green thumb?