AdAge’s Bob Garfield famously sketched out a “chaos scenario” in which the media/advertising infrastructure collapses, venerable media brands fold bad poker hands and feral cats carry off small children.
This week, Garfield says it is all actually happening because of fragmentation, a shift to consumer control and hard economics. “Media and advertising today amount to a failed state,” writes Garfield. “Not merely noisy, corrupt and dangerous like, say Pakistan. Think Somalia in the mid 90s…’Black Rock Down.’ ”
But is it hopeless? Digital can come to the rescue, says Upstream Group consultant Doug Weaver, in this week’s excellent edition of his newsletter, The Drift. For starters, Weaver advises one and all to get out of “the transportation business.” “The future is about connecting and engaging consumers where they are, not where we wish they were.”
Weaver also suggests we should look at “no more stars, only galaxies. We’ve got to get over our site-centric view of the world,” he says. “Even the best content and community creator should be fixed on distribution and network building. Pay attention to the ‘net’ part of Internet.”
As for “Church and State,” Weaver says “Welcome to Theocracy. “Everything is integrated. Everything.”
And finally, Weaver tells us to “ stop worshiping at the altar of advertising. We’ve created an ‘advertising class.’ that is now two generations removed from the business of really selling stuff and serving consumers.
“For too long, we have treated the manufacturer/marketer — the producer and seller of goods and services — as an ATM to finance our insular, sexy little business. We all need to resign from that business today,” says Weaver. While “the easy money has vanished, the long term creation of real value has just begun.”