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Marketing via blogs and social networking sites

It’s a simple sales pitch, really: the straightforward idea was ambitious, to turn it into a truly global marketing message, one that would work in all 75 countries where Unilever (UN ) sells. The solution was to invent a new phrase that guys would hear as an international expression.

Because of smartphones, blogs, instant messaging, Flickr, MySpace, Skype, YouTube, digg, and de.lic.ious, young people scattered all over are instantly aware of what’s happening to others like them everywhere else.

This highly influential group, many of whom are also well-heeled, is sharing ideas and information across borders and driving demand for consumer electronics, entertainment, autos, food, and fashion.

Think of it as a virtual melting pot. As the population of the young and Web-savvy grows into the hundreds of millions, the pot is going to boil.

“This kind of globalization is happening. It’s still a young phenomenon, but it’s growing fast, and it’s going to take a lot of companies by surprise,” says Soumitra Dutta, a professor at graduate management school INSEAD in France.

We’re now at the busy crossroads where globalization meets Web 2.0. This presents both a challenge to the old ways of doing business and an opportunity to gain tremendous leverage via the right goods and services. To thrive in this era, companies will have to figure out how to engage young people from all over the world when they conceive of products and services. Businesses need their help in turning concepts into finished products and, especially, in marketing them. Another angle: Companies can follow the trail of blogs and social networking sites to find and recruit young employees all over the world.

Read more …

Business Week, 18 Jun 07. Children Of The Web—How the second-generation Internet is spawning a global youth culture

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