What’s next? (I) | 互联网 2011 (I)

I was asked to put together some thoughts on what was next for some of the guys in my agency from a PR | social media perspective, the process of pulling together inspired this post. I broke things down into a number of sections which I’ll write a bit on this blog over the coming days. First up:

Just media – drop the social

What on earth does this mean? Simply for marketers social media is rapidly becoming the new normal. When I was at the recent JUMP conference, the open forum I attended had the marketers in attendance actively advocate dropping the ‘social’ from social media. They felt that it had become the new normal, something that should run through all marketing disciplines and programmes where appropriate just as email and mobile phones run through our everyday lives.

This approach is being advocated by many of the main thought leaders in marketing who talk about ‘trans-media’ storytelling. The funny thing is that ‘trans-media’ storytelling is a concept that is older than social media or online, back in the day media planners used to call it ‘media neutral’. This more holistic approach to online and offline marketing is an area that marketers will feel more comfortable about operating in. Companies like Oracle, Adobe and Salesforce are working towards providing these marketers with a more integrated dashboard to measure success and this will help with the search for value which will be redoubled given the double-dip recession on the way.

From an agency perspective this is a double-edged sword. Selling an integrated approach makes it harder for competitors to replicate the winning formula, if the company has the right mix. It also makes it harder to cost, because the value isn’t in the items themselves but the way that they are put together.

It also means that online specialists need to think about how they reposition themselves for a messier world. Ironically, some of the brands that ‘didn’t get it’ or struggled to get it have an advantage because doing integrated campaigns is in their DNA.

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