The company I work for is on the “Web 2.0″ train. In fact, it’s quite stylish to say the phrase “Web 2.0″ in meetings and conversations. Ever since we had a Web 2.0 expert in to talk, people have been all hot and heavy over anything closely resembling RIAs or DHTML/AJAXy type stuff. Getting a Facebook application built has been a popular topic in the hallways these days, and the fine folks in marketing have decided to take on the task, as I have found out from an email requesting my assistance with some data feeds.
I began digging into the functionality of the application itself. What did the marketing team have in mind for this one? I found myself completely underwhelmed by their plans — a simple app showing product details. Wow. A suped-up banner ad disguised as a Facebook app. Brilliant. Not a social/ sharing/ collaborative element in the whole idea. You couldn’t pay me to add this kind of app to my Facebook account.This is another example of the absurdity of marketing for the web, and why I believe strongly that the best marketing and promotion plan is sometimes no plan at all (or at least very limited). I think that the best ideas and the best products market themselves. They don’t necessarily need an expensive campaign around them. Marketing campaigns seem to try too hard, and end up looking disingenuous.
Let’s take a step back on this one, oh marketeers, and think of something genuine and clever. An app that does something. That has value. If I wanted to search through the company’s inventory of latest widgets, I can go to the website. I don’t need to add a Facebook app for that. In fact, I won’t add a Facebook app for that, and I’m not alone.