I think about getting to Austin for SxSW each year. I have many friends in that city – Bill Hopkins, Hank Jones, Charlie Wood – that I don’t see for years. And of course to rub shoulders with some of the most creative people in the world.
My issue is every few years – 7 by my count – these creative folks allow themselves to be surrounded by hypemeisters. In 1999, it was the eBiz craze. Doing my own startup I saw the high pressure sales. You are a dinosaur if you do not accept our proposal. This evening! The web companies will destroy brick and mortar. in 2006, it was the Enterprise 2.0 promise. Wikis and social collaboration will solve world hunger. And again, there was “you are a dinosaur” tone to anyone who dared ask for details. Especially, who has done it and how did they benefit?
The shame is in both 1999 and 2006 there was value in what was being offered as a point solution. Unfortunately, it got blown up to “boil the ocean” status and newly minted graduates were telling CEOs what they should be doing.
So, 7 years later, we are seeing something similar with “digital marketing” (and I am sure plenty more monikers to come in the next few months). This time, the promise is social, mobile, Big Data marketing will take over the world. It is pretty exciting stuff – on New Florence I have been cataloging many of the innovations. But in the new hype process, two new messages will come out in spades. Legacy channels are toast. And companies who use them are dinosaurs.
It does not matter that traditional media is not dead by a long shot. On New Florence I have been profiling how
have been innovating and in many ways becoming more price competitive in terms of audience reach.
It will not matter that Coke, one the best known brands in the world has been paving its own digital path for 5 years now, or that its CIO well aligned with its CMO. Not just Coke – all the advertisers you saw in the last couple of Super Bowls are “digital savvy” as they blend social media with TV messaging. But the fact that Coke’s $3+ billion global annual advertising budget is predominantly traditional - TV, billboard, print – content will qualify it in the eyes of the new hypesters as a dinosaur.
There’s plenty of value in presenting high-payback, point solutions. Unfortunately, I expect low-payback, mega promises and threats.