The one thing that is certain is that social media is a huge potential game changer. Many still dont see that as they struggle for ROI with metrics conceived by agencies which have always struggled with ROI with advertising. (Determine the ROI of putting on pants)
Companies are sort of making bets in the Apple/ Microsoft type of way- add social media to our existing mix of "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" marketing and sales models or more unlikely, seize the juncture as a way to rethink the business before a start up does. Companies which view brand reputation management as strategic over customer service delivery will continue to lose ground.
Our abilities to connect with customers, create engagement touchpoints and align our efforts with "customer side buying" is our saving grace moving into the future. Apple figured this out eventually and also made significant bets (Apple Stores) to ensure that the touch points all displayed that integrated brand experience.
The "not invented here" dilemma will torture many companies with hard line decisions about moving IT and some other engineering and manufacturing options outside their walls as cloud computing and rapid development solutions change the game. Your iPhone is a good example of a device which shares development, engineering and manufacturing via acquisitions, partnerships and offshore contracts.
So social media strategies should be behind all longer term bets in many forms. From collaboration to service opportunities, there are myriads of new permutations to explore. You have to invest the time and energy to be able to apply these concepts into your world. You can question everything and everyone with the same thoughts, in record time and then develop new, organic actions which may defy your current logical patterns.
2011 has been a growth and commitment year in our project developments. The "AeroBuzz" project under AirGate Solutions has been gaining commitments with partners, developers and those who gracefully acknowledged that they "buy the guys". For that I thank my partner Robert Cook, or "Steeley Bob" as I call him as he can manage a 5 year project in many complex chunks without skipping a beat.
I have another project which we hope to have in Beta for March, which (as most start ups would attest was anything but an overnight success) is the passionate culmination of a project which had originally started in 2003. The quickly moving landscape and our ability to read ahead has put us in a good position to change an important game!
Personally, 2011 was a difficult year as I lost a life long friend, Rolf Faihst. (that's his pic on the chopper) His parents both passed of natural causes a month apart earlier in the year, and then he passed before his time this November. We had big plans that we made back in the day. It was the journey that counted pal. And what a journey it was. No regrets.
My journey will continue. If you lost someone in your world, I know you will too.
As you may be sipping on champagne at midnight tonight, I will have a shot of NyQuil and do some celebrating horizontally as I get over this bug.
Happy New Year!