Past headlines:

I confess

13 Apr/15

A social media primer – in three parts

22 May/14

The state of content marketing, 2013

15 May/13

Same great taste, stylish new name

18 Jan/13

Mega Quarry Stopped.

29 Nov/12

Owning your own moment

09 Jul/12

Melancthon: our greatest success of 2011

11 Jan/12

Sometimes it’s easy

03 Aug/11

The fall of Rome

05 Jul/11

Not a %&* problem!

26 May/11

Information snack packs

13 Apr/11

Disaster optics

19 Mar/11

The wireless marionette

13 Mar/11

The Oracle Effect

30 Oct/10

The fall of Rome

The fall of Rome

Fast Company writes, “like a beetle preserved in amber, the practice of advertising has sat virtually unchanged for the last half-century.”

That was then. Now you have five-minute algorithm-based branding and 200 Old Spice videos whipped up in 48 hours. Digital has sent the traditional agency model spinning out the window, and the show belongs to specialists of all kinds.

A company with the time and smarts can increase sales through marketing at absolutely no cost, with homemade YouTube spots and diligence in working social media channels. That is provided, of course, that they can come up with compelling content. You have to have something to film, talk or tweet about, and it’s got to be kept fresh and new. Is creating content, not execution, the new purview of communications firms? Hardly. Any company can generate their own content, and many may have the talent to make it novel or noteworthy enough to attract attention.

Marketers used to deal themselves a fat slice of media pie. But the 10-15% commission is long gone, and the traditional media buying model is in an advanced state of decrepitation. The opportunity for marketers now is that instead of having to pay for their message to run somewhere, they can “earn” media for free, via consumers spreading YouTube clips, Groupons, and tweets. It’s viral magic, but it’s almost always sparked by solid creative and great content.

If you’re not paying for dissemination—radio and TV spots, print, digital print, Adwords, etc.—then content becomes more important. If it’s no good, you’ll get nowhere at all.