David Armano created a visual conversation from our collective input describing 2006 in marketing terms. From his survey and the general sentiment in the marketplace, it is clear that consumers, especially in the USA, have gained more ground -- the prominence conquered by social media, GooTube and viral video, Second Life, and early implementations of Web 2.0 are some examples.
It is interesting to note the rise in power of the individual, especially in digital native mode, which is important to remember is still only a fraction of the consumer population. While at the same time media that capture the social needs to share stories, like we did in David's post, and values, capture a greater share of time and attention.
In a previous post that I could have easily titled Craving Control I highlighted some of the ways in which the tensions of modern life manifest themselves. There are many opposing forces at play and they are showing up:
- in the way we talk - I adopted English as my main language because it has greater plasticity, a characteristic that mirrors more closely the way our brain creates synapses and grows.
- in the way we think - our cultural references matter. One example that takes us back to the hero of my post: whilst the American hero views authority and 'bigness' with suspicion, the European hero always seeks opportunities to demonstrate greatness; he accepts power, wealth, and glory as a right.
- in the way we act - where we're having these conversations is as important as the types of topics we choose. It is the year of connection, we say. What does that look like in practice? Is the disconnect between the talk about experience and the actual experience being felt? We agree marketers should be listening and sharing power, what are some examples of that?
One final thought on transparency. This is a vital ingredient to achieve intimacy in our conversations and should not be taken lightly. Intimacy leads to trust. Trust is the willingness to accept vulnerability based upon positive expectations about another's behavior. It is the belief by one person that another's motivations towards them are benevolent and honest, and that the other's actions stem from a relevant level of competence.
What will be the evolution of this conversation in 2007?