What is real?
Berens: Getting back to the "What is Real?" question: we are very taken here by things like podcasts, RSS feeds (it stands for Really Simple Syndication: it is a way of subscribing to a business, or a newsletter, and getting all of their stuff immediately put into your computer); social networking sites are a big topic too. These things, they are important to us. They are hugely profitable. They are very effective. But, when it comes to the rest of the marketing universe, do you feel that people know what they are?
Schultz: I think many do, although in some cases these things are uniquely U.S., and they are uniquely culturally driven. If you go to Japan, you get a whole different range of what they are doing. And, when you go to China you get a different range of what they are doing. The issues and the activities essentially are very much along the same lines, and the same general genre. And, I would say that we have not even seen the tip of the iceberg, yet, in terms of what that stuff is going to be. And, the real question is, how do you monetize it?
Berens: Of course.
Schultz: I mean, I can do all kinds of stuff, but how do I monetize it? That is the real issue today.
Berens: So then, the days of counting eyeballs, and impressions, and CPM are numbered?
Schultz: What difference does it make? Because now I have instant access, instant counts, and I have instant response. And, that is really what stands all the traditional systems on their heads.
We get all excited about having overnight Nielsen's from a very small sample of the population. Well, overnight Nielsen's are not a big deal compared to online, where instantaneously I know how many people clicked on something, how many people are there, and how many people are operating right now.
Berens: So, you think that moves all marketing towards the direct response kind of mental stance? Because you were talking about branding before.
Schultz: I think what it does is it radically changes the way marketers have to think about what they are doing. The biggest problem we have is that marketing is static, but the consumer is dynamic. We are still using stuff that was invented 50 years ago and thinking that if we tweak it a little bit, it will work. But, it is all fairly static. I go into organizations, and I say, "What kind of segmentation speed do you have?" "Oh, we did one about three years ago. We are thinking about doing another one, maybe next year." And, I say, "Hell, if you did one yesterday it is probably out of date."
Schultz: And, so it is the delays in the system, and the tradition of the systems that we have in place where supposedly the market was in control. With the consumer in control, we don't know how to deal with that.