There’s no question that Social Media has complicated things in the marketing world. The problem with complexity is that it too often leads to analysis paralysis. Sometimes you need to see concepts broken down to their simplest terms to come to grips with them.
The most fascinating aspect of Sean’s analysis is the evolving definition of the role of Paid Media. Sean posits that Advertising is shifting from being the “foundation” of a corporate marketing strategy to a “catalyst that feeds owned media and creates earned media.”
In other words, in the new era, ADVERTISING COMES LAST.
Advertising comes AFTER the corporation has created an ecosystem for its owned media channels (e.g., a blog, a Twitter handle, a Facebook Fan Page).
Advertising comes AFTER the corporation has an established rapport with its fan base, bloggers, and traditional media contacts.
Advertising comes AFTER relationships.
Tellingly, the “Challenges” that Corcoran points out re: Paid Media — “clutter, declining response rates and poor credibility” are all ameliorated if the brand takes the Awareness Scale approach in which Social Media feeds both PR and Advertising, both of which then serve to catalyze fresh brand conversations, amongst people who are predisposed to do so.
With consumer and media relationships in place, the advertisements are not rebuffed but are embraced and carried forward by online enthusiasts. Sayonara, “clutter.” So long, “declining response rates.” Bon voyage, “poor credibility.”
I’ll admit — if I were running an Advertising Agency, I’d be nonplussed by the breezy way in which a Forrester Research analyst essentially downgraded my industry from “foundational” to, let’s face it, a secondary role. But we all have our challenges to face, eh? This one’s not insurmountable!
I’ll have more to say about Corcoran’s conclusions in the days ahead. Meanwhile, it’s our first piece of evidence that 2010 will not lack for interesting ideas and debate!
Posted on: January 4, 2010 at 10:22 am By Todd Defren