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Marketing and Sex

And not like you’re thinking of it- so erase that visual of Paris Hilton eating a Carl’s Jr. burger for a moment. I’m talking about something else.

I’m sitting in the keynote session featuring Antonio Lucio, from Visa, and he’s just defined the world we’re about to be living in, in a sentence. He said, after noting that he stole this from an article in Fast Company, “Marketing will soon be like sex. Only the losers will pay for it.” It’s funny, and mildly provocative, but more than that, it’s true.

Social media is so ubiquitous and even overwhelming that I believe it’s almost time to stop calling it, and treating it, like it’s something separate from what we do as marketers. The truth is- you can’t separate social media efforts from any other advertising efforts- if you are doing it right. You can’t successfully have one group “doing social media” and the other doing advertising. It’s silly. Lucio, Visa, and AKQA clearly get this and have begun building relationships and platforms that bring to life their fundamental belief that:

Sharing is the New Giving
Participation is the New Engagement, and
Recommendation is the New Advertising

And by stating this, and believing it, work has to change. Work has to be inherently social. It has to adhere to another three step process we work against at GSD&M:

1) Listen to what the consumers need or want
2) Give the consumers something that both answers those needs and also moves the needle for your business
3) Provide a platform for your new loyalist to share this experience

It’s not formalized. It’s not fancy. But it works, and if you think about it, the more relevant work out today adheres to something similar. Think about how you think about work. Think about how your group organizes work, and if it seems segmented, question it and suggest a new way to approach it.

Antonio Lucio said another thing that I would like to write on a banner and wave in the air:
“If you just know digital, you don’t know much. You need to know how digital works with everything else to move the needle for your business.” And to come full circle, if you don’t work to figure out how all these things work together, you will be the marketer stuck paying for sex, I mean advertising, while everyone else is getting the goods for free.

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