I'm sensing a seismic shift in our business. It Isn't going to be about finding target audiences and telling clients how to speak to those audiences using traditional primary and secondary research. Instead, our job will be to act as curators of communities of like-minded (pun intended) people. They will become like our friends or like a class is to its teacher. Our role will be to guide them, introduce them to new foods, fun, activities, and thoughts that we think they'll like or need. Yes, I think the teacher or maybe pastor and flock analogy is best...but our jobs will change.
We'll become quite good at pulling together these social communities and then protecting them by controlling access by brands. We'll be like Little virtual doormen -- only not in as good of shape. But we'll care deeply about our flock... for without them, we're unemployed. So we'll take great pains to get to know their inner thoughts, ideas, aspirations and using that data we'll solicit brands that make sense and review those that solicit us. Kind of a cool gig if you think about it.
It would be a very different world. We'd spend our time acquiring consumers (homogeneous ones preferably) versus studying them like lab rats so we can find how to best inject them with our advertising. We'd truly deliver advertising as a service they'd welcome versus detest or avoid. Hell they might end up actually liking advertising!
I'm experimenting with just such a service here in New Orleans called NolaDeals. So far, mixed reviews but we're just getting started so who knows. But the service itself and the idea -- create a consumer union and leverage the combined buying power to extract better deals on behalf of our members -- is dead on I think. But it really need scale to work. Just think, if we could get 10,000 members who all spend $100 a month on gas (so easy these days) we'd be able to direct $12MM in gas purchases annually -- just here in New Orleans. And how about Grocery -- $500/mo spend becomes $60MM in spend/annually. "Now how much were those lovely grapes you say????"
I've been in this world in a focused way over the last 6 weeks... very different. Learning tons, but feel there is still so much to learn. If anyone is also dabbling please share and make us all smarter.