Today’s brands face an apparent choice between two evils: continue betting on their increasingly ineffective advertising or put blind faith in the supposedly mystical power of social media, where “likes” stand in for transactions and a mass audience is maddeningly elusive. But in today’s world, where people have become desensitized — even disillusioned — by ad campaigns and marketing slogans, that maxim needs an update: Money can’t even buy you “likes.” We’ve entered the “Relationship Era,” when the only path for businesses seeking long-term success is to create authentic customer relationships. Not through hip social media promotions, viral videos or blizzards of micro-targeted online ads. Those tactics, which simply disguise old ways of thinking with new technology, just don’t work in the long run.
Bob Garfield and Doug Levy