August 25, 2006
Friends Talking with Martha Rogers

Joel Greenberg, a senior planner for our corporate partner GSD&M, the Austin-based advertising agency, has a fascinating podcast series for those who have not been following it, focusing specifically on what it calls "the intersection of business, culture, and society."

The Friends Talking podcast features in-depth sit-down interviews with a variety of folks whose ideas have been vital for the understanding of today's convergence culture, including an interview last October with Chris Anderson, the Wired editor who conceived the Long Tail theory.

The latest interview is with Dr. Martha Rogers, who co-created the concept of 1to1 marketing. In the preview, Greenberg discusses how personalized marketing has not been able to make as much headway as it should becuase it doesn't figure well into traditional ideas of return on Investment. However, Rogers' notions toss ROI's to the side in favor of Return on Consumer, with the idea that long-term and more deep investments with consumers result in more than initial ROI.

The question is the same that programmers are facing, when we discuss whether overall impressions have been given too much weight over the years, compared to depth of interaction. There are plenty of studies and ways of demonstrating that more dedicated viewers/listeners/readers are much more valuable than a horde of casuals. A lot of companies are finding that dedicated fans who will follow a media property across multiple platforms are more valuable than just catching more people flipping through channels.

But how can these new types of marketing be justified in changing business strategies? This is what the conversation with Rogers focuses on, as she discusses how 1 to 1 marketing will alter business strategies and make advertising efforts more focused on consumers. In particular, she discusses the ways in which MySpace provides a valuable case study for marketers.

The conversation also focuses on Rogers' new book, Return on Consumer: Creating Maximum Value from Your Scarcest Resource.

For those interested in such questions, be sure to check out the conversation, which is just under 30 minutes.