My first thought as brainstormed ideas for this week’s post was to write a counter-point to the guest post that Branko wrote over at Aaron’s blog. After all, I make no secret of the fact that I’m refusing to jump on the “Google is evil/a monopoly/ the Death Star in disguise” bandwagon. Google has certainly made their share of unethical or simply unpalatable transgressions of the years, but blaming them for one small business’ failure to innovate and compete in an increasingly competitive online marketplace is misguided in my opinion.
At the same time Branko and Aaron are two of my favorite online marketing people (I even went as far as to show off my tattoos to Branko in an alcohol-induced fit of bromance once) so while I disagree with them on this particular topic, I’ve decided that there’s no reason to delve any deeper at this point in time. People disagree on stuff like this, but life goes on either way.
Besides, this entire topic reminds me of one of my favorite realizations about this digital marketing thing of ours; that it’s truly in its infancy.
What do I mean? Perhaps a couple of crude analogies might help.
- Internet marketing is about as old now (e.g. roughly 20 years) as the automobile industry was when the Model T became popular.
- Internet marketing is about half as old now as the commercial air flight industry was when this happened
Basically, what I’m asserting is that rapidly-changing landscaping of the industry that we know and
hate love (no seriously, I love this field) is going to continue to rapidly change, rendering the current landscape virtually unrecognizable in the coming years and decades.
For example, consider what will happen when the television industry finally succumbs and reluctantly allows TV to shift from a “dumb” offline media format to a “smart” online media format that allows for robust advertising and marketing analytics and targeting. Or consider what will happen when we finally bridge the current technological chasm that prevents us from properly tracking and attributing consumer behavior and conversion not just across marketing channels but across platforms (e.g. mobile vs desktop vs TV). Heck, imagine what will happen when marketing and advertising can read thoughts psuedo-telepathically?
Ok, maybe that last one is a bit much, but please forgive me. I have a penchant for futuristic daydreaming and it’s been a long day.
The point is that it pays to have a little bit of perspective in terms of where we are as an industry and where we’re likely going. As the events depicted in the aforementioned Branko guest post highlight, those that fail to plan for the future are setting themselves up for a big fall in this brave new digital world of ours.