Have to say I kind of agree with Thom's comment. Curt, you've captured the malaise, but don't really offer any insight into what's coming next. Of course I don't work sufficiently aggressively to get invited to speak at events like SXSWi, but here are some concrete insights into the future of marketing:
- The Death of Frequency means the end of repetition. A revolution that virtually only Apple and Lee Clow are taking action on today. We need to focus on reach and a wide variety of on-message, constantly adapting mixed-media messages.
- So called "Social Marketing" does not exist any more than "Water Cooler Talk Marketing" works (note to WOMA). People are social, marketing is not. What is being called "Social Marketing" is really PR, and while PR should get a bigger slice of the traditional marketing budget. especially today, "Social Marketing" spending is still PR spending, it doesn't equate to "Pull Marketing" spending, exactly. Switching from "Push" tactics and fundamentals to "Pull" is what the future of marketing is all about, and if you get that, then you should be shifting the largest portion of your spend to experiential, face-to-face marketing tactics that move the "Pull" meter needle most effectively.
- Free, Universal, Instant Online Translation and the Rise of ‘Global Niche Brands’ is happening as we debate what amount to nothing more than 'red herrings' -- and few firms (outside of some small 'sleeper' brands) are thinking about it. The WWW has no national boundaries and will soon have no language barriers, although culture will continue to have strong influence. Skype is free, and is now video, not merely voice, global overnight couriers make delivery virtually instantaneous. Think about the implications...
- ROI metrics, while growing in sophistication and depth, really aren't as important as all of those new Procurement Departments and CFO's would have us believe. Our industry just shifted billions in spending to "Social Marketing" with ZERO proven ROI. Point is, we can just 'get on with it' when it comes to new marketing tactics and blow past Procurement with strategically strong arguments, not allow them to preempt or slow innovation. (Although we're going to have some explaining to do soon when it becomes clear that all that spending on "Social Marketing", in terms of selling product, was just a largely failed experiment!)
Hope this inspires a few of you!