It’s all a scam…

Hey everyone.  Sorry I have neglected this blog for the past few weeks.  Had a crazy busy schedule that saw me traveling all over the place.  

But I just wanted to quickly post this.  This is a picture of an IM exchange that made its way to the front of Digg.  It’s typical of all stories on DIgg – funny, interesting tidbits from our modern online life.

Although this particular story struck me as metaphorical for the marketing and advertising world – a scam loses its potency when there is no one left to scam.

Which begged a question (at least to me), that the widely held notion that it’s technology, the Web and new media destroying advertising and traditional marketing might be wrong?  That in fact, it’s all a big coincidence.  That in the first decade of the 21st century, there is just no one left to scam!

Of course ‘scam’ is an overly harsh word.  It’s more to do with our collective understanding and consciousness of the tools and tactics companies use to persuade us.  When we understand how that mechanism works, it becomes less effective.  Or we let it affect us, but on our terms.

This changes what it means to be a brand.  It radically changes how you communicate to customers.  And it is a wholesale change from the past.

And it has nothing to do with technology.  Technology probably got us to this point faster, but it didn’t cause the shift.  

I’d argue that most of the flailing going on in the marketing world – brands turning there entire websites into social media mirrors, the huge interest in ‘viral’ and ‘authentic’ experiences, the slow death of the 30 second spot, etc. etc. etc. – are reactions to this change.  An adolescent tendency to simply shout louder when things aren’t going our way, and when we don’t understand what’s happening and why.

I’d suggest all the Nigerian General’s Widows out there look for another profession.

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