This blog began almost one year ago as a repository for thoughts and opinions related to the rapidly-changing world of marketing. “Collective-Thinking” referred to the cloud nature of modern intelligence; how the thoughts and opinions surrounding our industry exist in an ever-growing, ever changing aggregation online.
The process of keeping pace with our changing industry in order to write about it forced a lot of growth and new thinking. Perhaps the most fundamentally game-changing realization is how the time-honored notion of ‘brand truth’ no longer holds. “Brand Truths” are vestiges of a time when advertising dollars could buy a one-way sales channel to consumers. Because the messages flowed solely from the marketer, the advertising agency could determine and dictate what constituted ‘truth.’
Today, that model simply doesn’t exist. Opinion enjoys a mass channel, personal recommendation drives the vast majority of sales, and the dawn of broadband and the widespread access to Web 2.0 has eradicated the old one-way channel. Today, there are more outlets for feedback, more forums for discussion, more places for consumers to provide their perspectives on brands.
Today, Brands must find ways to thrive in a world of opinion no longer dominated by advertisers. Brands must begin adopting a two-phase process of advertising and word of mouth, of building awareness and empowering advocates, of getting recognized and the getting recommended. Agencies must work to develop and spread ‘sharable stories’ to influence the dialogue out in the world of opinion.
That will be the way forward for marketers. At least, that’s my opinion.
By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79