We are the message & medium

Chris Brogan said something very interesting at the Ohio Growth Summit last week in Columbus, Ohio.  He was speaking about impact of the changes in mediums in marketing and said that, “We own the experiences.”

This was fairly profound because we now not only own the experience but we have access to the medium through which we communicate them to as many people as we like.  This is a profound change in marketing and the explosive growth of people taking advantage of these tools is altering the way companies market.

Let’s be realistic though, this is not changing any of the fundamental principles of business.  In fact, one could argue it is simply returning us to the very foundation of the business from which we have strayed…human relationships.  This is the nexus from which all business should flow and that is what we are returning to.  People now want to know who they are doing business with because it is now a realistic expectation!  I believe we just drank the Kool-Aid before and gave in to the behemoth that was big business and accepted the fact that we could not get a live person on the phone or that it was acceptable for “caveat emptor” to be the slogan of choice in the marketplace.

Things are changing now and we expect 2 things:

  • Authenticity
  • Transparency

These 2 little words are what is causing all the ruckus you are reading about.  These concepts are shaking the very ground that managers are desperately trying to hold onto.  The main reason for this is because in order to provide this, we must give up the fallacy of control.  We must chose to be a real person and allow those in the marketplace to see us for who we are (blemishes and all).  During the Q&A at the Summit, one person asked, “How much about my personal life should I include on my profile on things like linkedin, facebook, and twitter?”  The question itself is the indicator of the challenge for many.  There is still a large swath of the population that is trying to maintain more than once persona.  There is a “work” us and “personal” us and never the twain shall meet.  We should all embrace this wave of change and let the refreshing waters wash over us so we can step outside of this artificial construct and just be as we are (I am stealing a line from a Kenny Chesney song).

I think we would all do well to ponder the following quote by James Michener when contemplating our own efforts…

“The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both.”

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