"Content Is King." Those are the sweetest words ever spoken if you are a producer of content, and that's where the challenge lies. In this world of new marketing, advertisers have been thrust into the content world and they don't know what to do about it.
In days of yore, marketers would simply shuffle that piece of the pie off to the creative department, who would - instinctly - slap it over to one of the writers in hope that the hack would stop bouncing the superballs off their cubicle while wasting the companies' calling card on phone sex (you know, just for kicks).
Times have changed.
In the Digital Marketing world, banners, emails and search marketing have become "traditional" marketing. They are strategized, bought and executed the same way as print, radio and TV - only the timeframe and reaction to test, learn and implement has gone from quarterly to hourly.
This traditional online marketing also offers live statistics and analytics to gauge real-life performance. Even though the online world does have critical mass, marketers will still question this new "traditional" media, because if the stats are true (and they are), what we've feared for the longest time is true as well: it may be more than fifty percent of our advertising budget that isn't working... and this time, we know why.
So, as CTR (click through rates) drop across banners, email and search, what's a marketer to do?
The answer has been there all along: create content.
Engage Consumers and make them a part of the conversation by creating content that they want, need and can't wait for. The endgame of all marketing is (and I hate this word) engagement. We can no longer engage with just the traditional channels. There's a reason Blogs, Podcasts, wikis, Second Life and this whole Social Media space is exploding. Consumers are interested in your brands. They just want more substance, and because you are not delivering it, they are creating, sharing and talking about it amongst themselves. Deliver it to them by acknowledging that we are all intrinsically connected (think Six Pixels Of Separation). Be comfortable that consumers have real power (remember Kryptonite). Become a part of communities that are relevant to them (think MySpace).
How can marketers win? Stop scurrying around the reality of this new world (because it's not going to go away... it's only going to grow, morph and develop more blurred lines) and start creating compelling content that increases interest in the topic... and not, necessarily, in your product.