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March 31, 2009


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Regarding fragmentation: This is a natural and interim activity to new models. Models break and are re-assembled. This takes a shorter time now than it has in the past. The experimentation might be hard to see as multiple experiments because their is so much experimentation going on. As sources proliferate, people make more choices to find what's relevant for them. Slowly, eventually, marketers (and advertisers..these are different groups, you know) will realize how to re-centralize media consumption in forms that aren't clear to anyone yet. People are getting what they need and want more so ever than before, but because marketers have been overly focused on delivering messages and dialogue through channels they understand, they have been slow to adapt. This too is starting to change as everyone begins to understand the true opportunity of this fragmentation.

The final form of the next big iteration of centralization won't be one channel, medium, time or message, it will be the meeting of the consumer and the company, enabled by the marketer, in a method that addresses consumer needs in the most 'human' and complete fashion possible. The 'human' aspect is currently being addressed by blogs, for instance, because it seems to provide the most natural voice for a company to talk to and with its fans, detractors and consumers. The idea of complete revolves around on and offline channels, engagement length based on customer demand, and experiential activities that let consumers engage or re-engage with the brand, online and offline.

On the whole, I think we see a lot of this the same way, but my main point was that I don't see the fragmentation as indefinite. It's a way point. Once its reached, businesses and consumers will settle in for a while to explore efficiencies, much as businesses focused on non-marketing operational efficiencies for a long time.

Chris Treadaway

Great points, Todd.

In conversations with companies of all sizes, I'm seeing exactly the phenomenon you mention. Companies see that the game is changing and they are rushing to get there before their competition.

The world has changed a lot in the last year. I'm glad to be in the trenches while folks in the corporate world figure it out. :-)

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