Inbound, digital, content, social media
Probably, some day in the future this month could be called as a social media turnaround and a starting point in repositioning online businesses, when social platforms began to sharpen their marketing focuses.
In particular, Google said that it will close Google Reader in July. Some online marketers and bloggers met this news so emotionally, that put the giant under the fire. For example, Pam Moore asked: “Do you know who you are?” Isn’t this question truly reasonable for those online businesses which do everything for everyone, so they finally lost their identity?
When such early online leaders as Yahoo! (1994) and Google (1998) implemented growth product line strategies, it looked naturally for them and for marketplace. In the rapidly growing social Web any business wants to gain the bigger market share and higher revenues using the growth phase. Anyone will try to occupy the next emerging niche, because the higher the share the more cash will be generated.
If products or SBUs become cash-consuming “dogs”, they have to be sold-off or closed.
However, according to strategic marketing rules, any business sooner or later becomes mature. And strategic business units (SBUs) with product lines fall under scrutinized portfolio analysis according to, for example, BCG Matrix. If products become cash-consuming “dogs”, they should be sold-off or closed. The portfolio analysis – this is probably the most important thing which Marissa Mayer, new Yahoo!’s CEO did all the winter. (The social Web buzzed a lot on telecommuting with Mayer’s edict to recall work-at-home employees back to the office, but pay less attention to her business development decisions).
Here is what Yahoo! officially said about closure of 7 tools “Ultimately, we’re making these changes in an effort to sharpen our focus. By continuing to hone in on our core products and experiences, we’ll be able to make our existing products the very best they can be”.
Maturity of the social Web in major markets like the North America and Europe with predictable slowdown of global penetration obviously led Google and Yahoo! to the point when they had to choose between extra expenses or exiting not important markets. And, the sooner they make such a restructuring and repositioning, the better.
Sure, several shutdowns of social media tools and platforms happened before. For example, in 2012 one of social pioneers Multiply closed its social networking and content sharing services to shift its focus to online shopping. In 2009 other social networking pioneer Friendster discontinued its services as it lost ground to Facebook. The website instead focused on allowing users to play games. When recently I stumbled upon a 2011 year article on Social Media Examiner about useful social tools, I realized that at least two of them have been disappeared since the article was published: FormuLists (closed in 2012) and Oneforty. But, those tools were start-ups. (More about it in the list of defunct social networking websites).
From all above mentioned announcements the good news is that small web developers now can find themselves less pressured by competition with giants which are exiting niches. The good news for web users is that from now there is more hope that quality, stability, reliability, and functionality of niche web apps and tools will be improved.