With so much business, money and ego surging into social media, there's an inherent race to become the biggest -- and fast. Being fat has its place, but being fat is not the only way. Skinny is important, too. My friend Jeff Sass and I came to that conclusion a few weeks ago. While most people focus on scale, we participate in a micro-community that delivers transformative value -- value that simply can't be compared to any large social network.
I spent Tuesday at MediaPost's OutFront, an all-day conference about the current state of the television and video advertising market, held just in advance of the bulk of the TV upfront presentations. The event had a lot of great speakers, with some really diverse perspectives -- from sales legends like Discovery's Joe Abruzzese and Fox's Jon Nesvig to media buyers like MediaVest's Donna Speciale to politician turned TV network owner Al Gore. Most important, the sessions weren't just successions of Powerpoints, but had some real discussions with real tension and disagreements -- the kind of stuff that serial conference-goers like ...
Some people will have you believe that technology is what drives this business, but they'd be wrong. People drive this business, and let me explain why.
A debate has raged on whether or not digital is a branding medium. I for one think it's a ridiculous debate. All bias aside on what the proper way to do brand advertising on the Internet is, how can a medium so rich, engaging and massive not be a perfect branding channel? And yet a majority of digital marketing activities focus on the lowest portion of the purchase funnel (direct response) because it is the most measurable, where branding efforts are much harder to define. I think the point marketers are missing is that it doesn't have to be one ...
There's long been an understandable tension in the media world around the term "citizen journalism." As legacy news organizations unleashed new media vehicles, as we've worked hard to sort out our feelings about the blogosphere, as we've maligned the dinosaurs among us and all hailed digital -- a lot of baggage got stuffed into this term. Flash-forward: Today's citizen journalism is a specific, good thing -- rooted in the best practices of journalism and the promise of sophisticated media convergence. I'd like to share two examples of what citizen journalism looks like at its best.
While the earned side of social media is foundational, "paid media" is quickly entering the social-media stage, at scale. This is going to be a big, well-defined industry, with a lot more clarity, currency exchange and measurable precision than the earned side that social media has surfaced thus far. And this is where performance-based players in search marketing are advantaged, and others clearly are not.
I think it's very possible that we have this whole social media thing wrong. We, as an industry, spend oodles of time focusing on social media and trying to unearth the special ways to "crack the code" of motivating consumers. The fact is that social media is just media, plain and simple. The real issue lies not within the media, but within the creative -- so maybe we should be referring to the wave of interest as "social creative" rather than "social media."
If your customers use any form of social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, blogs, etc, then Facebook and Nielsen have just released a report you should read. Put another way, if you sell products or services to people or businesses, then you should read the report.
We are awash in streams of small choices. Because we are media professionals and consumers, these choices have to do with how we produce, consume, and converge our media. Sometimes we make decisions quickly and get on top of our game. Other times we delay out of habit. Does my media world look like yours? Yours is probably a bit more consolidated, as I still haven't taken the time to cull my habits. My media hoopla looks like this....
You know you're old when your three-year-old picks up an old cassette tape recorder you have lying around, and asks: "Daddy, what is this?"
But wait, it gets worse. I explained to my son Julian, "It works like an iPod." So he asked, "But how does it work?" I replied, "You have to put a tape in it."
So Julian went down to the kitchen, pulled out a roll of duct tape from our junk drawer, and asked, "Now show me how it works."