If we are ever to have kids that will benefit from screens, instead of wasting their time on it, it is the adults who will have to do a better job of figuring out ways to turn these devices from a time killer into an idea generator. Technology has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. This isn't about how much time kids spend with screens, it's about what's on the screen. Screens are no longer the things we use to waste time and take our collective minds off of our day-to-day lives. These screens have come alive, and a child's ability to understand this, work with them and -- ultimately -- use them to create something is going to be a key indicator of their ability to be successful in life.
Contrary to popular marketing ideology, we do not live in a multiple-screen world. My world is about one screen: whatever screen is in front of me. Too many brands continue to build digital ghettos where the Web, mobile, social and even e-commerce occupy and have their own, unique, strategies. This leads to brands that are wildly different across their platforms. To put it simply? These strategies are stupid. Here's why.
While the philosophy of why we work continues to evolve and modernize, it still feels like we hold on to the dogma of what business is supposed to be. Perhaps with all of this moral awakening, sharing on social media, connecting to others and events like Occupy Wall Street or the Arab Spring, we should be paying closer attention to the human bottom line rather than the financial one?
Before you start lighting up those pitchforks and come after us marketers with a mix of mass hysteria and moral panic, take a look at your own online behavior and ask yourself, which scenario you prefer? Go to Amazon and start shopping (presuming you have been there before), and ask yourself, "what is the experience like?"
It's hard to argue that most content-based webpages aren't all that annoying, but there is a cost for access and there is a cost for this content that must be paid by the consumers. Whether this is a paid-subscription model to underwrite the profitability of the business or ad-supported as the model, consumers have to accept that advertising and pageviews are going nowhere.
If Yahoo can acquire sites like Tumblr and Hulu while pushing beyond their history of being a Web portal, spending a billion dollars on a platform like Tumblr and/or Hulu could well be the cheapest way for a company of that size and magnitude to not only save itself, but rebuild its brand reputation as a leader in the digital world.
As a marketing professional, there is nothing I hate more than receiving any form of communication (email, Web experience, social media, mobile, whatever) and not see an obvious place where I can either opt out of the communication or protect how much information is being captured. As a consumer, I probably hate it more.
It's the time of the year when brands are glued to their social media analytics to try and decipher if the millions of dollars spent for a 30-second spot was extended, enhanced and otherwise optimized by the traction that it may (or may not) have received in the social media space. But, here's the thing: what were the best two ads you remember from last year's Super Bowl? Any idea? Did it roll off the tip of your tongue? Are you currently a valuable customer of theirs?
The speed with which our world now lives could well put an end to the world of iconic brands. Before all of this connectivity, a great brand could stand the test of time. It now seems like insanity. The Beatles were iconic. Do you believe that any of the musicians today that we admire will be able to leave this kind of legacy? What about companies?
For almost as long as email has existed, people have complained about getting too many emails. We celebrate inbox zero as if we just gave birth to a new child. While some lauded the arrival of the first BlackBerry, many saw it as a digital manifestation of the ball and chain that would shackle them to their office.
When someone jumps from the edge of space back to earth and it's all supported by one brand, you know you are staring at a winner. Felix Baumgartner's supersonic freefall from 120,000 feet not only broke the speed of sound and a world record to go along with it, it practically broke YouTube as millions upon millions of people watched the drop from space online. And with that event, Red Bull also captured the hearts and minds of marketers all over the world.
It turns out that consumers want one thing: their issues resolved. And, they want it done fast. Faster than fast. The challenge is this: the majority of brands act fast... as fast as they can. Sadly, it's not even close to being fast enough for consumers. Now, brands and consumers are going to have move forward and figure out a way to define what the true speed limits are.
In short, everything that you thought the Internet wasn't about in a world of 140 character tweets, Facebook status updates and YouTube viral video sensations. These deep and rich treasure troves of content are also gaining mainstream attention, and it all seems to be drawing more and more energy towards podcasting: a medium that many have already written off.
Where do we go for the truth... the whole truth and nothing but the truth? In essence, new media is most amazing because people are beginning to doubt what they read, hear and see. There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, it's probably one of the best thing that has happened to the news since it was created.
There is a major shift in business focus that is under way. Digital media has forced businesses to change. Dramatically. This is nothing new. What's interesting is that we're seeing two, distinct, breeds of business being born: product-focused businesses, and customer-focused businesses. Which one do you work for?
If you take a serious look at the media world, there are only a handful of significant players. While it may be easy to define "significant" as a company doing interesting things, it's more practical to look at the media landscape. Last time I checked, no media company was behind the creation of Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or any other new media darling du jour. My guess is that they'll be investors as soon as they physically can be.
What does Facebook sell? You could say advertising. They sell advertising to the tune of several billions of dollars each and every year. If Facebook is a media company, we then have to ask ourselves: What kind of media channel does Facebook provide and how does it compare to those other media channels?
Recently, a very senior marketing professional who works at one of the world's largest corporations was recounting a story of how they saw a postal truck outside of their corporate head offices in Silicon Valley, and every single parcel that was being offloaded from this truck was from Amazon. He thought to himself: "This is the what retail looks like in 2012."
The use of robots to crawl the Internet to grab as much information for possible in a malicious way is nothing new. The ability for website owners to get smarter and ensure that they are protecting their consumers (from both the robots and third-party deals) is nothing new, either, but the numbers are getting out of control.