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The Big Deal About Listenomics

_This is a Guest Contribution by Mitch Joel._
Maybe I got a little over excited but I don’t think so. I think there comes a time in every person’s life when they read something that they knew, felt or saw coming but never put it into words.
It happened to me.
It happened when I read the article, “Inside The New World Of Listenomics by Bob Garfield”: _(registration required)_. Garfield is an ad critic for Ad Age Magazine and also the author of “And Now A Few Words From Me”: (a brilliant read on the advertising world) and his take on branding and how it is evolving really drove home some strong messages.

You see, we live in a world of wikipedias, blogs, narrowcasting, wireless, viral and many other new forms of “marketing.” We also live in a world where a school teacher spends the better part of a year creating his own iPod mini commercial just because he wants to (and his commercial is seen and spread to millions). This is the world of “open source” marketing, or as Garfield explains that his article is about “how the open source revolution impacts your brand.”
This whole notion of “Web 2.0”: and how the Internet is becoming much more about “verbs” than “nouns” is scary to us marketers. Online people are doing, sharing and creating much more. Do you really want consumers defining what you mean to them when they go off and create/share information on a “MySpace”: that is all about you?
Garfield argues that we all need to get in line. We need to understand it and we need to know how to speak to these people (in the manner in which they want to be spoken to).
We always hear about this “brave new world” or the “brand new world.” After reading Garfield’s article and then scoping out additional information on open source branding, it became abundantly clear to me that brand democratization is something I have been personally working on since before there was an Internet. Now, with all of this technology at my fingertips, the big question becomes how to better use technology to build brands rather than how to use technology as another method to cram my message down consumer’s throats.
It’s a big pill to swallow and Garfield’s article does not even offer it with a glass of water.
_A marketing and communications visionary, interactive expert, community leader, freelance journalist, blogger and believer in doing the impossible, Mitch Joel is a passionate entrepreneur and speaker who connects with people worldwide by sharing his communications insights, marketing strategies and commitment to building a better community._
_As a co-owner of “Twist Image – Multimarketing Studio”:, Mitch develops marketing communications realities for global brands._

One Comment

  1. Kate Trgovac
    Kate Trgovac October 19, 2005

    Mitch .. this was a key message that I heard at BlogOn. Marketers don’t own the brand – customers do. Marketers can facilitate a relationship with the brand, but they no longer have the control that they used to (or thought they used to).
    Social media has changed the game. Transparency is the ante.
    Technology will be used to enable better conversations and perhaps even brand extensions. It’s tricky though — one school teacher who is over-zealous about Apple is one thing; what happens when there are a million school-teachers who do the same thing. Marketing (like customer service) is going to have to build models and technical architectures to deal with that.
    And we need to get going because the world is changing faster than most marketers I know can handle.
    Thanks for a thought-provoking article!
    Cheers … Kate

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