Facebook / Pet Rock Analysis

image of pet rock

Where will Facebook “be” in 10 Years?

Certain recent research and articles have me thinking about the long-term sustainability of Facebook as a viable Marketing/Advertising platform. I’m curious to learn the opinions of the learned followers of this forum.

Where will Facebook “be” and what will it look like in 10 years? (For our post-70’s born readers, a quick read on the Pet Rock fad: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pet_Rock)

You can’t argue the social and marketing significance of Facebook in today’s marketplace (Advertising Rule #1: Fish Where the Fish Are!), and we’re not discussing if your dealership should advertise on Facebook (it should). This is a discussion about the “patterns” and ebb-and-flow of societal phenomena in the context of today’s Dealers in a Social World.

I will summarize (poorly) the research I’ve recently encountered followed by my own takeaway:

Research Item #1: In the 90’s, Email became an accepted and even a preferred method of communication. In the Dealer World, the promise of Special Treatment & Incentives had consumers eagerly completing forms and offering their email addresses. However, email communication as a viable marketing channel is now and has been in decline for several years.

The promise of “Special Treatment & Incentives” never quite panned-out. Consumers still had to come to the dealership to buy a vehicle, and the incentives were basically the same as if you walked through the door.

Research Item #2: In the 2000’s, the use of Portals soared in popularity; i.e., Yahoo and eBay, etc. Consumers flocked to these portals as a result of the promise of Special Treatment & Incentives. While many of these portals are still viable consumer channels, the use of such is in decline.

At the Dealership, the promise of “Special Treatment & Incentives” never quite panned-out. Consumers still had to come to the dealership to buy a vehicle, and the incentives were basically the same as if you walked through the door.

Research Item #3: Facebook is ROCKIN! 15% of the people ON THIS PLANET use Facebook and usage is on the rise. It’s presence as a significant cultural game-changer cannot be denied. Dealers are encouraged to attract fans by offering Special Treatment & Incentives.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

OK — in addition to consideration of the above research comparisons, add some recent articles, such as this: Kids, Google + And The Increasing Speed Of Innovation | To Write Is To Think

Summary: the author was shocked to learn that his teen daughters and friends not only prefer Google+, but they view Facebook as intended for old people. My takeaway, quoted by the article:

“Teenagers eschewing their parents’ ways is as certain as the sun rising tomorrow.”

So, today, Facebook is the Shiny Pet Rock. What is history telling us it will be in 2022?

Actually, there’s probably little debate about the answer: it will either be Gone, or it will be Different.

It will be Texas Instruments, or it will be Apple. Remember when HBO only played movies? Or better yet… MTV played Music Videos (do you youngsters know that MTV, at one time, ONLY played music videos??)

So maybe that’s the better conversation: how will Facebook adapt to keep itself relevant? Because it has to, right?

And then back to the same ‘ol question: how do we, as dealers, keep-up with this constantly changing and expanding landscape?

Not gonna get any easier, is it?

John Quinn John Quinn is a 15-year automotive vet on a mission to find-out exactly how and when he went from whiz-kid to old man. If, by chance, you’d seen Mr. Quinn’s youth, please raise your hand. You can now follow John on Twitter @JohnGQuinn

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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5 thoughts on “Facebook / Pet Rock Analysis

  1. Haha love the pet rock analogy.

    I read the same article that you have posted here. I can certainly vouch for this. I use a fake name on Facebook so I don’t have to be friends with my extended family members. I still haven’t adapted to the “everybody and their mom uses Facebook” mentality, so I can understand why kids would want to use something else.

    The thing about Facebook is that they dictate how you are supposed to use their service. Every new change they implement adds additional features that trespass even further into our lives for the sake of obtaining marketing data regarding anyone and everyone. Does Google do this too? Of course, but I think they pull it off a bit more candidly.

  2. I am interested to see how the new timeline layout on Facebook impacts people going to Google+ and dropping Facebook. I know a lot of people absolutely hate the new layout and have hated how Facebook constantly changes the layout. I think it might prompt people to get on Google+.

    • @Adam R Good thought. So far, hard to say that any of the layout, security, newsfeed, etc., changes have adversely affected FB growth. Kinda like the IRS: you’re gonna bitch and moan when you get your tax bill, but in the end, you’re gonna pay it.

  3. @Adam R Yeah, I can recall people moaning about every single change ever made. Remember when the news feed came out? All hell broke loose.