You marketing stuff in 2011?

This small snippet below from Rick Webb (founder of the fairly awesome Barbarian Group) really hits the nail on the head for those thinking about the near future of advertising. I think it’s the critical, simplified challenge for us all.. right now.

Hey Marketers: it’s great you stay abreast of all the discussions: how to engage in social, best practices of conversational marketing and leveraging influentials (buzzword bingo!). The theory of paid/earned/owned media is well played out and it’s not difficult to buy into the rationale. But here’s another big part of your job description: you make decisions.

And this one.. I think.. is what it’s all about in 2011:

That’s it. In a nutshell. You can either wait until it’s perfectly predictable – or shift some expenditure and get in there, measure, analyse and respond.

But be honest: you can’t just “be in social media” – you need to invest in creativity and content creation in that area. It can be a frightening shift, but it’s one that every single major marketer has already made or is in the process of making.

There are heaps of different ways to implement ‘social’ – and creativity is fundamental in being successful in these new environments – it’s not about formats. You have the choice to shift more of the money you’re spending on “buying time and space” over into content/product/utility that warrants and draws attention and involvement. All the other stuff like things going viral, getting in touch with the ‘influencers’, CRM, measurement, authenticity, conversational marketing, engagement etc etc stems from that simple challenge… and that one decision.

UPDATE: Apologies, I’ve been told I should have started this post with “Where has the year gone?”