A day after my last post on how traditional media is deteriorating, Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer speaking at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival, argued that traditional media will not bounce back, all content consumed will be digital, we can debate if that may be in one, two, five or ten years.

In some respects the context of Ballmer’s statement is indicative of the fact that advertising revenues continue to shift to where the interaction is taking place – online. There is definitely a shift in consumer behavior as the online experience, through social media, becomes more acceptable, accessible and affordable.

Keep in mind that social media in nature has a low barrier to entry with the lack of a gatekeeping process. This is a double-edged sword providing that content can be generated rapidly but the quality is dramatically reduced. The message of social media is totally radical, pervasive, and decentralized, while the content of social media focuses on the concept of crowdsourcing defined via Wikipedia as “the trend of leveraging the mass collaboration enabled by Web 2.0 technologies to achieve business goals.” That’s what’s carrying out the new social media revolution because it’s basically an extension of our sense of voice with instant speed for community-based design.

During Jeff Pulver’s 140 Characters Conference, Chris Weingarten of Rolling Stone made a great point: Crowdsourcing kills art because crowds have terrible taste! If you let people decide then nothing truly adventurous ever gets out.

I couldn’t put it better myself.

People stop asking why information gets delivered and the quality of them. Typically, authorities have a quality assurance process in sequence and in concatenation to produce high-quality, relevant content. What we must do on the receiving side is to continue to question the legitimacy and integrity of the source.

Social media allows us to connect horizontally across each other with relative ease, but just as Jeremiah Owyang recently pointed out that humans don’t scale, which questions the authenticity of top social media bloggers and news blogs. This is very true in a sense that because we don’t scale, we’re only able to consume limited amount of information and, combined with short attention span, it’s a race to absorb as much as possible in a short period of time.

This propelled publishers to publish rapidly; furthermore, the increasing competition has created pressure to compete for the same audience. Ultimately, the brand that can scale and remains relatively authentic perception-wise will be the ones to profit the most.

Hypercomptition To Hybrid Marketing

Hybrid Marketing

There is no sustained competitive advantage anymore according to Richard D’Aveni, professor of business strategy at the Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College. He argues that advantage is continually created, eroded, destroyed and recreated through strategic maneuvering.

I found this particularly interesting because that’s what’s going on with the traditional media landscape. Traditional media rules and orders can’t be applied perfectly under the new regime of communication (social media) and thus formations of authorities are under attack from these new forms of expression.

Simply put, it’s not a technological argument but the outcome of social and cultural conditions. Think how content is produced, reproduced, distributed and consumed – more people are adjusting to the “new way of doing things” abandoning the old ones which leads to the permanent shift in behavior.

However, marketer should not disregard traditional media altogether, but combine traditional media with social media to form an integrated strategy or the “hybrid marketing” model.

In the hybrid marketing model, it’s about drawing a business model that works within the ecosystem of your brand. The key is to have a fluid approach in creating a meaningful dialogue with your market. Instead of focusing on what marketing tactics to use, strategize on aligning your brand strategy with your business goals and view social media as one of the arsenal to choose from.

I believe this is a more practical approach and allows for integrated efforts for companies with branding 1.0 infrastructure to transition into branding 1.5 strategies, because there is no point in applying branding 2.0 strategies if the infrastructure is not ready for it.

The idea is that the marketing strategy will streamline with the resources creating the desire outcomes that are measurable. Brands must consider the costs associate with deployment, control, and management to sustain such strategy.

There is a place for the shrinking traditional media. It will continue to evolve based on how we act and react to technology. However, it won’t be technology that drives the outcome of the new media, but the cultural value of intellectual property and how it gets produced and consumed.

What’s your marketing strategy?

Perhaps you’re already utilizing hybrid marketing in your business model, share your thoughts here.

Related posts:

  1. 3 Ways to Capitalize on the Destruction of Traditional Media and Embrace Social Media
  2. 7 Keys to Creating Social Media Strategy for Your Brand
  3. From Social Networking to Profile Building: 5 Easy Steps