Tried and true marketing fundamentals have collapsed due to familiar economic principles. There is a gross imbalance today in the supply and demand of consumer attention due to the proliferation of media and the quickening of consumer attention -- consumers now pay attention to media for less than five minutes, down from 12 minutes 10 years ago.
The entire customer journey has become more social. The average shopper in 2011 used an incredible 10.4 sources of information to make a decision. Simply, there is no epicenter to your marketing any more -- not the advertising, not the website, not the store, not the social channel.
Your shopper is busier than ever and accessing more contradictory information across more touch points. Word of mouth and its Trojan horse (social media) touch every aspect of marketing across paid, owned, earned, and shared media -- including the customer journey and the organization. Customers want marketing to be relevant when and where they want to engage.
This reassertion of word of mouth -- most often in the form of a link -- is challenging time-honored marketing fundamentals such as:
Brand means less
Brand equity is shared because the sharer of the content (your friend) is more meaningful and relevant than the source of the content (the brand).
Awareness is not as meaningful
Awareness is less meaningful because attention flows more ephemerally, and consideration -- the traditional antecedent of awareness -- is only a click away.
Everything is interactive
Social behavior is ubiquitous, whether a shopper is in-store or online. Soon, shoppers may purchase at the point of emotional engagement regardless of the environment.
Most marketing organizations are not structured to take advantage of these shifts in consumer behavior. Maddeningly, most marketing organizations are siloed by vertical function -- advertising, digital, public relations, and customer relationship management -- at a time when all of the functions are blurring together in the mind of the consumer.
So what do marketers do? They reconceive the entire organization. Social media is a behavior, not a technology. To succeed, you have to change the behavior by socializing the behavior of your marketing team.