About Me

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Len focuses on helping small and new businesses succeed through developing appropriate marketing and sales strategies. Len enjoys mentoring, relishes in getting both arms and feet wet in addressing technology, marketing and sales issues. He understands the drivers impacting business results for today and tomorrow including time-to-market, time-to-revenue, marketing, sales channels and social media.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

If Governments are Going Web 2.0 Then Why Aren't You?

Yesterday I attended a webinar on how government, banks and health care are moving to Web 2.0 applications to deliver services, retain customers and reach out to new audiences.

U.S. Government Adopts Web 2.0 Tools

The presenters talked about how the Obama White House has from almost the day after the President was elected pushed an agenda to make the U.S. government more open and accessible. Government departments were tasked with looking at how they could publish information that could be retrieved, downloaded, indexed, and searched using common web search applications. In the last week the U.S. government announced its Open Government Initiative, a further expression of the goal of the Obama administration to change the relationship of government and its citizenry.

Similar action is being taken by Australia where the federal government and many state governments have taken on the task of introducing Web 2.0 capability to make government information more accessible and usable. The Australian government has stated as one of its many goals to make public-sector information free, accessible using open standards, easily discoverable, machine-readable and freely reusable. Although the government of Australia intends to maintain copyright of all materials, it intends to license its content freely for reuse with no fees and no need to ask for permission on the part of the users.

In the UK the government has made similar moves implmenting openness through the sharinig of government data freely.

The federal government in Canada back in 2008 made many announcements about open initiatives and the adoption of Web 2.0 applications to make information more accessible. Unfortunately little has been done to turn those announcements into reality. At the provincial level there is a greater degree of accessibility but very little in the way of interactivity with the use of social media. This country lags behind.

For governments who adopt Web 2.0 as a standard it represents a new paradigm, creating a dialog among government and its citizens.

What are the implications for you in your business? If you deal with government you should have greater accessibility. But that is really not the point of this blog. Government communicates with citizens. You communicate with customers and prospects. If you are reading this blog you probably have an email address, likely a website, and maybe are already on Facebook or LinkedIn. So my question to you is are you using Web 2.0 to change the nature of your online communications? Is your current website interactive? Do you create incentives for customers and prospects to interact with your business in new and meaningful ways?

Whether you create events, contests, blogs, invite comments, or devise other virtual and physical activities you owe it to your business to rethink your Web strategy to take advantage of what Web 2.0 has to offer.


paysonjewelry said...

Excellent suggestions Len, and totally agree that there is another paradigm shift in the web and web interactions. The new call to action is not 'buy now' it is 'comment and share'. Thanks for a thought provoking post.

Anonymous said...

What I like about small business owners is that they are not afraid to take huge risks and lay it all on the line. But, I agree they do need a lot of help with their marketing. I think having them go the social media and email route is not only the least expensive but its also the most effective. Thanks for the stats!
With Facebook and Twitter being among the leaders of the Social networks, marketing as a small business is being transformed..
Respondents according to the Vertical Response survey appear to need some differentiation with the use of SE marketing and Social media Marketing


Anonymous said...

Often we forget the little guy, the SMB, in our discussions of the comings and goings of the Internet marketing industry. Sure there are times like this when a report surfaces talking about their issues and concerns but, for the most part, we like to talk about big brands and how they do the Internet marketing thing well or not so well.