Jeremiah Owyang’s recent report “The Future of the Social Web: In Five Eras” is getting a lot of traction . It should – and marketers must take notice of his findings. Jeremiah is spot on in his interview with CRM Magazine regarding the power shift from the brand to the consumer:

“The community will take charge, and that’s going to happen whether or not marketers or brands participate.”

Jeremiah goes on to outline the 5 eras of the social web – overlapping across the past, present, and future. His insight is predicated on substantial qualitative research with 24 of the top technology brands, enablers, and publishers that are leading in the social space. The overlapping eras are as follows:

1. The era of social relationships

2. The era of social functionality

3. The era of social colonization

4. The era of social context

5. The era of social commerce

I can appreciate this statement specifically:

“…focus is on community and the advocates within each community. Doing so will be the only way a brand can scale.”

Those companies that understand the power these communities represent in terms of advocacy for their brand, will be light years ahead of those that don’t.