Everyone's coming to the party

New marketing “inspirational speaker” (did I say the right thing?) Deborah Schultz bridges us into a marketing world waking up to the fact that the consumer is indeed in control.  I find the confluence of user centrism really amazing – it lets us move up a level and see our identity work in light of related social trends:

msacrossedfingers.jpgSo while the blogosphere was speculating on the now confirmed Google/YouTube deal over the weekend, the annual ANA Masters of Marketing conference took place in Florida.  As reported in the NY Times today as well as on various marketing blogs, it seems that the big advertisers and marketers are waking up to the fact that the consumer is indeed in control. This probably has a lot to do with visions of dollar signs dancing in their heads.   

So, the big guys now know the buzzwords and are ‘talking the talk’.  My fingers are crossed that they can indeed ‘walk the walk’.

Page Views and Banner Ads alone will not cut it in the new marketing universe and there really are no shortcuts.  New metrics and a new cultural shift is needed. As per Pete Blackshaw's recent posts here, here and here (yes, I love Pete's stuff) and Steve Rubel's column in Adage discuss – engagement is more than ‘asking your customer's to create content for you.

Until the INTENT of the customer is addressed (i.e. engaging with me when and how I want and need you to) I fear we will just be creating ever more Dove real beauty ads and derivative Mastercard Priceless commercials.  Hey, I am happy the big guys are taking note, but true change will only happen when CRM changes to VRM (I remain and am always a Doc protege).  As Kim Cameron eloquently put it:

The way I read Doc’s ideas, he’s talking about a real inversion of what advertising is and means.  Instead of suppliers advertising what they want us to buy (by spamming our attention), we’ll advertise what WE want to buy, and suppliers will make us offers.  Sounds a lot more efficient to me.  What am I missing?  Why doesn’t everyone want to do this?

Maybe because a lot of what advertising is about is getting us to want things we don’t know we want.  But even that can be done in other better ways too.  Like by producing cool things and having them explode into discussion.  Doc said this too, didn’t he:  Markets are conversations.

Let's see if the big guys have the patience required to ‘get it’.  I remain hopeful yet skeptical. 

It sounds to me like the timing is right to get the geeks and the marketers together for an old fashioned “throwdown” on getting past jargon and discussing how to get this done to the benefit of BOTH sides..  Stay tuned!

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