Thursday, September 25, 2008

Break Out Your Brand Bib

Open source. What an incredible idea. Collaboration and sharing of resources to reach a greater good. No more "proprietary" models and secret boy's clubs. But, in closing the gap between the information haves & have-not's, certain services are bound to become obsolete. Is advertising one of them? Gasp! Seeing as I have a new baby to support and mortgage to pay, I certainly hope not. But innovations like Federated Media are making it much too easy for companies to control their own campaigns. They let you set goals, browse relevant targeted sites, create your own web banners and track their performance. So, why do you need little ol' me? Should I pack up my Pantone chips and call it a day?

As if I'd give up that easily. Let's be honest. Anyone can post 140 characters. And setting up a blog is as easy as picking a template and clicking a mouse. But, that's not enough to build a brand. The value lies in the relationship. In not only understanding the tools at your disposal, but how your audience wants to recieve your message and why that message is important. It's about understanding what your community wants from you and including them in the conversation. In a way, it's so much easier. Your customer is telling you EXACTLY what they want. Not that merely listening is enough. The business opportunity is taking those insights and turning them into something better for them.

It's a whole new game. And it's harder to quantify or explain with pie charts and ROI. It's a whole lot messier. But, hey, I feed a toddler everyday. I am used to mess. Mess is part of the process. Grab a bib, folks. The fun is just starting.

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