But core to the business of marketing and media, I've tried to inject discussion and analysis into subjects like consumer empowerment, advertising engagement, measurements, innovation and new rules of the marketing game. Reviewing my columns over the past year, I'd like to propose what I think are my six most critical analyses for marketers trying to navigate this disruptive but exciting era.
1. Are Advertisers Suffering From Addiction? Thanks to media fragmentation, media-device proliferation and an erosion of trust in institutional messages, the effectiveness of paid media and intrusive messaging is imploding. So what do many advertisers do? Despite steady or increasing prices for supply, it seems they keep buying more and more just to achieve prior levels of impact. In other words, they're hooked. What's the solution?
2. Media Specialists Must Grasp Consumer-Generated Media Too many advertising and media specialists are jumping in head first with little appreciation or respect for the new world of consumer-generated media (CGM). Unlike most other media, CGM is generally for, by and all about the consumer. Media departments, both traditional and interactive, should slow down and better understand the world of CGM before applying traditional conventions, which are often rooted in oversimplified constructs of controlled impressions, reach and frequency. What are some of the new dimensions that media specialists need to embrace?
3. Ten Trends Transforming Marketing Measurements There are 10 mega-trends collectively transforming media and marketing measurements as we know them. Importantly, this also means a transformation of the accountability frameworks which lay the foundation for everything we do in marketing. How are dimensions like digital proliferation, attention erosion, speed, democratization and observation shifting how we define and act on measurements?
4. You Must Market To Algorithms, Not Just People There is a growing and inextricable link among algorithms, their interactions with people, and influence on broader information flow among people. As more human behaviors emit trails of digital residue, the more opportunities reside for algorithms to harness those human-induced data and become information intermediaries, often delivering order, additional value or influence. Many so-called Web 2.0 services fall into this realm, but the essence of algorithms and their interactions with humans extends far beyond conventional notions of Web browser-based services. They are becoming embedded and central to a variety of smart products and services that impact our lives in both subtle and blatant ways, from phones to GPS mapping services to medical devices to RFID tagging systems.
5. People As Advertising: Risky Business With consumer-generated media and ensuing consumer empowerment among the most disruptive trends and opportunities in marketing and media today, it's time for pay-to-post services, as well as bloggers, advertisers and others, to step up to the plate and tackle this hazy territory of disclosure. It's confusing. It's messy. It's a liability. And, yes, there will always be scum and fraud on the Internet. In its current state, however, this quasi-legitimate space threatens the greater good and integrity of our online community. What can we do about it?
6. Dr. Joe Plummer On Consumer Engagement The chord to engagement is the notion of co-ownership of a brand, where the brand owner is in part the customer. You get there through co-creation. This occurs when messages and a brand idea triggers associations, metaphors and experiences that are already in the person and creates a richer, personal and relevant meaning. You achieve both a bonding relationship and differentiation from other brands -- both of which are in service to the customer.
OK, now you be the judge. How do I score?