New Trend, Same Revolution

It’s funny how we as community feel compelled to recreate the same trend over and over again as a new revolution. Consider how the same audience centric principles become repackaged over and over again during the past eight years.

We have moved from Web 2.0 to social media to social business to content marketing to the trend of the immediate future, context marketing (user experience).

In all of these cases, while the technology evolves, the general revolution is the same: Customers have control of their media and experience. Brands need to listen and serve them conversations, er content, er, customized web pages, er, awesome experiences that are relevant to them.

With each year, evolving technology creates evolutions. Customers gain more content and media options and are even less likely to invest time in brands, and data has allowed marketers to become more targeted and personal in their communications.

Each technological innovation gives marketers a chance to develop relationships. But most marketers look at ways to interfere with the customer experience by inserting messages via content, social network updates, “native” advertising, highly segmented email lists, etc. And so most brands lose that magical opportunity to strengthen their brand with emerging media, and instead drive customers further into the niche.

This is the ebb and flow of the same revolution, the revolution of the people formerly known as the audience.

While we get more and more specific with our brand messaging, people do not need to listen to us. And they frequently don’t/

I feel like the marketing sector has to reposition these evolutions as the new marketing revolution because we are so bad about becoming customer-centric. In essence, brands are extremely self centric. That makes sense because they are made up of people. So when a new trend happens, marketers pretend to learn it, then abuse the media technology to spam people with messages. The trend loses its sheen because it’s not working, creating the need for a new trend/revolution.

The customer revolution is caused by people in control of their own media choices, and choosing unique niche experiences via the Internet. People have more media power than brands now.

Brands have more technological power, but because of their own inherent human nature, they are unable to capitalize on the new trend.

Relationships are hard. Especially when the power dynamic changes.

What do you think of the latest marketing trends?

This post ran originally on the Vocus blog. Featured image by Lawrence Whitmore. I am on vacation until September 30th and will not be responding to comments. The floor is yours!

Mean Tweets

Have you seen Jimmy Kimmel‘s Mean Tweets skit yet? I finally did when the NBA version came out a week ago (below).

The tongue-in-cheek celebrity response to Twitter’s raucous social media culture pierces through a lot of hubris. Mean Tweets says what many of us involved in online community management feel.

Life as an online community manager, blogger or personality today requires dealing with some idiotic nastiness that people spew on social media
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Multiple Screen Impact on Campaigns

Image by Christian

Setting up an online outreach effort used to be easy. You’d find a social tool or three, add your content, centralize on one page, and pollinate the idea with your friends.

Things have changed.

The current blurred multiscreen environment and converging media forces us to consider customers and stakeholders receive (or reject) our communications.

Blurred boundaries exist everywhere for brands . Consider the five screens that someone may use to access content: Smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop PC and finally Internet-empowered widescreen TVs.

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