Marketing in 2010 & Beyond— It’s Complicated

The more I learn about social media, the more I realize I have only scratched the surface. Sure I post to Facebook and LinkedIn on a regular basis. I tweet daily. I download podcasts. And I write a blog. Yet I can’t begin to keep up with the new and changing technology. I find I read fewer magazines, and seldom pick up a newspaper. I get headlines and stories that matter to me online through RSS feeds and Google alterts. I select my stations from hundreds of options on satellite radio. Television and the Internet are merging in format, delivery and content and I will be at the keyboard.

The bottom line is that I decide what I see, how I see it and when I see it. As a consumer, it’s empowering. As a marketing executive, it drove me nuts; until I embraced the shift in power. Today’s consumer calls the shots. They control the input, not me. No longer is the consumer a captive audience that we can reach when and if we please. As marketers we need their permission to even talk to them. That’s why social media is important. Smart marketing executives build relationships and community around their brands. They go where consumers are and attempt to participate in the market conversation in a way that relates to individual interests, but also advances the goals of the brand. It’s exhilarating and it’s maddening. But it’s the future. Accept it. Embrace it.

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