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Economies of Engagement

It isn’t news that social media have changed how we communicate, research products, and buy … and we’re still in the very early innings. Key aspects of social media, including consumer control, communities of like-minded people, and many-to-many communications that don’t pass through a gatekeeper have been readily accepted by consumers, but seem to have left marketers dazed and confused.

James McQuivey of Forrester Research offered this useful insight at a Forrester conference a couple of years ago:

When we adopt new technology, we do old things in new ways.

When we internalize new technology, we find new things to do.

We’re still in the process of internalizing social media. “New things to do” will be sprouting all over any day now.

What puzzles me is that the advertising industry, with its wealth of creative talent and immense resources, isn’t leading this parade … and I don’t mean “sponsored stories” on Facebook. For one thing, media continues to be sold based on scale, as if we still lived in a broadcast world of reach instead of the interactive world of engagement. For another, despite all the conversation about developing and analyzing engagement metrics, we’re taking baby steps there, at best.

Digital is more than a media channel – it’s becoming an integral part of our daily lives. That’s why the interruption advertising model is failing. You can’t interrupt people’s lives with untargeted broadcast ads and achieve a good outcome. One reason I’m fascinated with content marketing is that it shifts the focus from reaching mass markets and achieving advertising economies of scale to cultivating customers via relevant, shared stories and achieving “economies of engagement.” There is a growing body of evidence that this approach acquires customers more cost-effectively than shouting at them.

So here’s my current obsession: What interesting “new things to do” will marketers find to achieve their goals in a future dominated by economies of engagement, rather than economies of scale?

Evidence, Part 1

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Blog

Economies of Engagement

It isn’t news that social media have changed how we… ...Read More

Evidence, Part 1

Target Marketing magazine recently ran a virtual conference with a… ...Read More

Failing Fast and Slow

“If we knew what it was we were doing, it… ...Read More

Love: The Ultimate Strategy

Just in time for Valentine's Day, Seth Godin asks a great… ...Read More

The One Question You Need to Answer

The new year’s note sent to the Hearst Magazines organization… ...Read More

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