The increasing participation in Facebook and other social networks by business people is part of an inevitable trend.  For marketing executives, it is essential.  Forrester's Brian Haven wrote in his new report Marketing's New Key Metric: Engagement (by purchase):

"B2B marketers slow adoption of social technologies will be accelerated when when community sites emerge discussing the merits (benefits and limitations) of their product and services.

A year ago I interviewed one of the former Facebook founders Chris Hughes.  Chris, no longer at Facebook, explains the history of Facebook and its use by some ten thousand businesses.  We wonder how big the corporate universe must be now.

Getting back to Brian Haven for a minute, he also writes in his report that market dollars will shift to data analysis.  Maybe more bad news for national brand advertisers, he writes:

"With the brand message partly in the hands of loyal customers, the marketing organizations will realize that fewer dollars need to be spent on mass communications.....Many of these marketing dollars will shift to expenditures on data acquisition and data mining."

This seems to mirror a report on business intelligence reported on ZDNet today by Larry Dignan.

The Word From Academia

The imperative of businesses to adopt "Web 2.0" and social networking
platforms is also coming from business schools.  Below is an interview
I did with Eric Johnson,
a professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.  Dr. Johnson
is an expert in digital strategy and supply chain management.  (Tuck is
a client of Plesser Holland).

-- Andy Plesser