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Tried in vain to breathe the fire we were born in July 16, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in branding, digital strategy, marketing, web 2.0.
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I can’t seem to breathe this week for all the meetings I’ve been in, every day lunch somewhere else followed by lock-ups at gun point and hour after hour of discussions and planning and talking into the early evening, and sometimes not-so-early evening

I was in one such meeting a few days ago dealing with the Head of Interactive for a company I do some work with. He was proposing an idea whereby a community site get setup and funded by a company and then quietly monitor it making sure nothing bad get said. In that one instance, the good will I had rushed out of the room, it was tanatmount to him standing up and saying “I do not understand my chosen medium so I am going to employ some old school rules to get me by.”

Now, this scares me, but more than that, it makes me angry. The people on the digital side of the fence are supposed to get this stuff, and get it intrinsically. As it turns out the barbarians are not only at the gate, they are walking among us. How many companies out there are sinking millions into advice that is patently and historically flawed?

People, help me out here:

  1. Nobody, but nobody can control the market.
  2. The market is conversation.
  3. The conversation doesn’t care if you join it or if you remain silent, it exists without you (and always has).
  4. The conversation will sometimes be about things you do not like, that do not paint your brand, product or service in a favourable light.
  5. If you try to stop that conversation, it will move to a place where you cannot touch it, and you will not be invited to join.

Just in case any bright spark out there thinks they know better and can game the system, take a look at this list of brands that tried and failed big time. If you think you are smarter and better funded than Johnson & Johnson, Marvel, Target and Louis Vuitton, by all means, be my guest.

What’s that Umair? Oh yes, I forgot.

The epic, epic lulz.

Image courtesy of Photograham, with thanks to compfight.