Lyft and Uber disrupted the taxi business by allowing anyone with an iPhone to be a cab driver whenever they had a little extra time.
Airbnb disrupted the hotel industry by making spare bedrooms for rent.
FancyHands, desk, TaskRabbit, and other personal assistant services let you be a secretary, caterer, or errand runner in your spare time.
Could this work in more complex scenarios such as online marketing?
You bet. Apps handle the complexity of scheduling, billing, and operations. They do the marketing for you, so you don’t have to build a website or run ads. The worker needs only deliver the core service, whatever that is.
Strip away the ugly, tedious parts of running a business and you create a breed of entrepreneurs on both sides: those who create software that enables workers to do this, plus workers who use the software to engage in their specialty.
This won’t work in highly regulated industries, which is why there’s no Airbnb for restaurants, the military, or health care. But online marketing is far from regulated. So far, in fact, there aren’t even widely accepted degree programs.
Yes– anyone can be an online marketer. Try practicing as a cosmetic surgeon with no license and watch how quickly you get sued.
I believe that tools to empower ordinary, non-technical people to perform online marketing are imminent. You have the Marketos and HubSpots at the enterprise end. Then Infusionsoft doing the all-in-one package for small businesses. It’s a matter of time before we have access to the student over summer break or the stay-at-home dad.
And when this does happen, watch out!
- Mass usage of these tools creates a certification and rating system– points and levels like eBay. Then we have trusted practitioners in a measurable ecosystem.
- Bogus social-only metrics cede to business outcomes– leads and revenue matter more than fans and followers.
- Schools struggle to incorporate this into their curriculum– this is already the case. But it’s even harder to get practitioners as traditional educators. Expect vendors to increasingly take over this role.
Readers, are you ready?