Q&A: Industry Vet Jeremiah Owyang on His Next Move

August 28, 2009

Industry vet and popular Web Strategy blogger Jeremiah Owyang announced his departure from Forrester Research last week – and he has now confirmed he’ll be joining fellow former Forrester alum Charlene Li at Altimeter Group, a firm that provides strategic advice on how companies can tap into emerging technologies to address pressing business issues.

In light of the news, we’ve asked Jeremiah a few questions about his next move.

[360i]: Why make this move now?

[Jeremiah Owyang]: Being an industry analyst provided a unique opportunity to assess the direction of the market. It’s clear to me where the direction the industry is headed – companies need an on-boarding process for any new technology that’s coming –not just social.

[360i]: How do you anticipate working with agencies?

[JO]: What makes Altimeter different is that we want to work with a variety of implementers – agency, technology and thought leaders – to assemble the right team for companies. Currently, Altimeter is already working with agencies; in fact two clients are agencies and benefit from market visibility, education and introducing her to the right folks in the space. One of the great opportunities for agencies to work with us is that we can introduce them to a wider array of folks they may not have already known.

[360i]: How will this affect your blogging?

[JO]: I love blogging, it’s a great way for me to share – and learn from commenters. I’m going to have more time to focus on blogging, and plan to explore how social evolves to the real world with location aware social networks and devices.


We at 360i are always appreciative of the insights Jeremiah brings to our industry. That’s why we asked him to contribute to our Social Marketing Playbook, which he graciously did. An excerpt of his guest column – “The Social Contract: Today vs. Tomorrow” – follows below:

With the advent of portable IDs has come a unique challenge and opportunity for brand marketers. Technology will shift the power from brands to people as they are able to control their own identity. As a result, the Social Contract between people and brands will evolve.

Registration pages will go extinct and people can choose to expose as much or as little information as they want. People – not brands – will be in control. In order to gain control back, marketers will need to reinvent the digital Social Contract as we know it.

Today, the Social Contract puts brands in control. Prospects who want more information about a product, access to a whitepaper, attend an event, or get product support will often have to register on a Web site. As a result, they give information, and thus grant power to brands.

Tomorrow, the Social Contract puts customers in charge. Customers will elect how much information they want to share. Prospects can share minimal amounts of information, giving the brand limited ability to contact them. As the prospect becomes more interested, they may choose to offer more information in exchange for additional value.

You can read the rest of Jeremiah’s column – and a ton of other great insights – in our Social Marketing Playbook (PDF).