What If Everything We Knew About Marketing And Advertising Until Now Was An Anomaly?

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Just a blip in the history of the world. Didn’t really mean much of anything, and was only the first generation of Marketing, Advertising and Communications.

Think about that.

Marketing, Advertising and Communications had really not changed all that much up until Social Media and Web 2.0 came around. The individual’s newly-found ability to be a media channel, and have the same reach and volume as traditional mass media companies is still quite nascent. Prior to technology being an enabler of this new found voice and volume, all Marketing, Advertising and Communications came from big companies with big money… and how long has that been happening? Let’s be kind and say, about, one hundred years.

Have you ever seen that scene in the movie, An Inconvenient Truth, where Al Gore (didn’t he invent the Internet?) shows how the world’s temperature has been heating up over time? If you look at how long one hundred years is on his slide, you’ll note that – in the history of civilization – one hundred years is not all that long. Maybe Web 2.0 and Social Media is ushering in not only a new way for Marketers to think about how Consumers engage with Advertising, but it is the beginning of the "real" way in which businesses will connect with their Consumers. Maybe the way we’ve been doing it up until now was simply an anomaly… just a blip in what will be a long history of how Advertising and Communications developed over the centuries. Relate that back to when the automobile first became available commercially, and all people were really looking for was a "faster horse". We look back on that type of transportation and think it must have been barbaric. What makes any of us think that Marketing – as we’ve known it up until now – won’t give us that exact same feeling in the future when we look back.

In looking at the many new channels we are using to connect. In seeing how mass media has been disintermediated. In watching Consumers leverage real power to share their insights, voice and passions, I can’t help but feel like this is just beginning and we’re entering into – what will become – how Marketing, Advertising and Communications was truly meant to connect.

Think about it – what if everything we knew about Marketing and Advertising until now really was just an anomaly, and the new ways that are spurting up as we Blog is the way things were meant to be? What would that mean to your job today, and how you think about it going forward as a Marketer?

Human beings are often great at being able to adapt as situations unfold, but I think there is an opportunity now to be magnificent. To really embrace a new way in which Consumers and Producers blur all the lines and write new rules together. And who knows, maybe what we’re really seeing with Social Media and Web 2.0 is how Marketing, Advertising and Communications was really meant to work… even as traditional agencies continue to clamp on to business as usual.


  1. Thanks a lot, Mitch… And I mean that both sincerely and sarcastically.
    Sincerely: this is a fantastic and original point-of-view on a topic that I’ve been thinking about lately, namely what social media means in the broader context of marketing. Thank you for not only putting it forward, but writing it well (as usual).
    Sarcastically: I have an exam in two days, and now thinking about the course material is going to be even harder.

  2. Great Stuff Mitch, social media does seem like a natural fit, but here’s thought. Is it not breeding a culture of amateurs who think they are video producers and writers? If what you are suggesting becomes a reality what happens to the ad agency? Are they all dinosaurs facing extinction?

  3. love this post mitch, consider me a fan.
    @Phil – i have to agree with you, but it’s not nec a bad thing. What we’re looking at is a shake out of a bloated industry. There will be pain, especially among ad agencies because we’re moving towards disintermediation between content and distribution, but there will always be a slot for the top level of talent and an opportunity for business. I’m writing about this at http://www.jakezim.com, btw.

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