Health Is Social

Infusing Social Media into Healthcare

Here Comes Nobody

 

Here’s a question: What if the next several years of social media evolution are actually going to act as tsunamis against Marketing?

We’ve all heard about the power of Facebook, Blogging, Youtube, Twitter, mobile applications, etc. as new tools for marketers to reach their targets, engage them and reduce the cost of marketing.

There will be successes, no doubt. We’ve seen them already. But what if those are exceptions? What if, in the big scheme of things, social media is radically fractionalizing people’s attention to the point of making most marketing efforts less effective than under the times of traditional media?

WHOA! THE OCEAN WATER IS BEING SUCKED AWAY!

What if what we’re seeing today is the ocean water ebbing out and we’re all fascinated with the open sand and slipping water, not realizing what’s really going on way out beneath the waves.

What if the cleared beach we’re looking at – one that looks full with possibility and opportunity – is a set-up for a gigantic disappointment? That a tsunami is underway and that when the waves crash back onto land, a massive onslaught of destruction will tumult the curious to waste.

And there it is: a beach with nobody.

I’m not asserting that this is the case. I’m simply questioning it.

Think of it: as content grows and grows, and as more media evolve, and as people continually change where and how they use today’s technologies, how expensive might it be to reach targets?

Not only to reach and engage in the moment – but do so on a long-term basis. One-hit wonders won’t do.

And still, after all that hard work: what if nobody shows up?

We used to have a limited number of television, radio and print channels. Curators and gate-keepers were easier to identify and could determine the fate of a brand, given enough money and might.

I AM THE WEB: CREATOR AND DESTROYER OF WORLDS

But the Web is eroding that. It’s the Great Creator and Destroyer.

The Web is like an electronic Shiva. (Brand designers may want to click that link – you’ll need to fascinate: you do that with powerful and dynamic symbolism.)

For while the Web is giving anybody in the world the power to produce content and market their message, the power of organizations to control their messages dilutes precipitously as the number of channels swell.

Clay Shirky declares Here Comes Everybody.

But what if nobody comes?

What if you spend money and other resources and nobody comes? Or people come, but only at first or occasionally, or at the wrong time?

Are Healthcare communicators and marketers going to excel in today’s landscape?

Will Public Health messages and campaigns convey far enough and long enough? Or will they simply get retweeted, Liked, blogged, mobile-applicationified…and then forgotten?

Is the Web a good thing or a bad thing for Marketing?

I can’t answer that. Opinions don’t matter – only data and information and proper interpretation do.

I will claim, however, that the Web has made – and will continue to make – Marketing a much harder job than it’s every been.

Maybe what’s about to happen is a Great Marketing Destruction, to be followed – after years – by a Great Reconstruction Period.

Maybe the the next decade of Marketing belongs not so much to the Creatives. Perhaps it belongs more to the Destroyers – to those who can fearlessly ride the fire searing around Shiva’s dance.

Creation and Destruction are, after all, two sides of the same hand.

Be optimistic. As a reminder of the hard work before you, however, consider placing a sign nearby:

Here Comes Nobody.

So: what do you do? Here’s the secret:

Love is the wielding between creation and destruction.

You must love what you do.

Everybody loves to be loved. Love turns nobody into somebody.

@PhilBaumann@HealthIsSocial – Our Destructive Newletter

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  • I maintain that marketing is dead. It just hasn’t realized it yet.

    • Phil Baumann

      I rather see things in an evolutionary context, versus dead or alive.

      I think we’ll always see Marketing – quite effective marking in fact. It’s just going to have to be really good – hella good because the challenges may be so severe, there’s not much room for dreck and irrelevance.

      it may be a sort of Punctuated Equilibrium that’s transpiring right now.

  • This was a great post! Andrew…I wouldn’t say that anything is dead. It has just evolved. It’s up to us as individuals/marketers to break out of our norms and status quo and evolve with the times. As businesses, we need to be open minded and aware of how people are consuming information and meet their needs. Data is plentiful. If we would just use it! That’s what marketing has always been and will always be – communication. There are just so many more ways to do it today.

    • Phil Baumann

      I’d agree with you that marketing isn’t dead.

      But it will have to go through a sort of death – in the way species go through the sieve of natural selection.

      The trend of evolution is clear, but the products of evolution are almost impossible to envision.

      It may be a similar case with marketing.