These obvious changes are just the headlines. The real story can be found on Page 37, in small print: Thanks to a combination of changing demographics and technology, we see a dramatic shift in our cultures and economy. Practicing marketers feel that change every day: Declining CTR’s, brands have to work harder to connect with people, make one big mistake and you’ll be out of business.
What not to do: Look for new, promising ways to engage people: Second Life, Video, RSS, Web 2.0 – whatever you want to call it. And it works. For a while. Great PR for Second Life, astonishing engagement rates for video placements, 40,000 brand friends on MySpace. Just to return to the client with your tails between legs: Negative PR and nothingness on Second Life, declining engagement rates for video, nobody gives a hoot about friending brands on Second Life anymore.
What to do: Continue exploring the external changes we’re seeing and experiencing. At the same time, acknowledge and try to understand the underlying changes in our cultures and economy that are happening on as you read this. We need to manage our responses based on human capabilities and responses. The linear approach won’t solve our current and future problems.
You’ve set the bar too low, if you believe the future of marketing is in data-mining, behavioral targeting and CRM.