Recently I met someone who described their specialism as Twitter strategy. Now while I wish the individual in question the best of luck with their offering I also thought it was a small example of the silo-mentality that is hardwired into the marketing business. One that, in my humble opinion, is taking the industry in the opposite direction to a world that is becoming increasingly intertwined. Everything that has occurred in the world of technology and marketing over the last five years will play out over the next twenty. In short, all media will become networked in the same way that all PCs were brought onto a single network by the Internet and then the web. On the supply-side change is being driven by powerful forces such as Moore’s Law and rapidly improving connectivity, the two mega-trends that between them are building the much-discussed cloud, into which all media will eventually be drawn. On the demand-side the growth of smartphones, tablets, connected TVs and other groovyware is providing the complementary lifestyle changes in people’s behaviour. The result is an increasingly sophisticated media ecosystem of which brands will remain a key aspect, providing people with signposts and trusted offerings – just as they always have. The overarching characteristic of this ecosystem is...
...that it sits on a single technological platform – the desktop and mobile web. Which means that the world of brands, marketing and media is becoming one vast ocean, not a series of loosely connected rivers.
However, the players within the marketing industry still sit in their individual bunkers, launching bombs at one another and decrying each others’ effectiveness. Meanwhile the world’s giant technology companies are building vast platforms that are changing the way consumers (aka people) lead their lives, make purchasing decisions and find brands and services they can trust.
Megabrands remain concerned with the issues they’ve always prioritised. Namely, the consumer and their ability to reach them in effective ways. That means swimming in the new networked media waters that their customers increasingly occupy. Doing so requires a clear vision of what this new ocean looks like and effective radar to charter the new waters.
However, the marketing industry remains trapped in its siloes, like soldiers hiding in the jungle, unaware that the war has ended and the world has moved on.