I personally think that in the future, WE will be the media. Instead of brands spending tens of millions of dollars to advertise about their new product, they are going to instead spend those dollars sending the product to people, certainly a lot of influential, klout-popular blogging-type people, but also a ton of real people, and simply ask them to tell their friends their thoughts.
Think about it. Spend $20 million to get your new product on TV and billboards with the hopes that a few people see the message 3 or 4 times in order to recall the product and possibly buy it at some point. Or, send out a million products to actual people (assuming the manufacturing cost of the product is around $17 and at most you’re spending $3 on shipping) and let those people spread the word. The average Facebook user has 130 friends or more…you do the math. And after you do the math, consider the difference between a billboard telling you great a product is vs. your friend.
I can also see a future where companies pay you to write a review, good or bad. You’re already seeing this with startups and companies like ExpoTV (great company btw). Imagine a movie comes out and they take the $20 million budget from above and give 10 million people $2 to write a review of the movie (video or text) and share that with their friends. Is that not a better way to spend that money?
When I talk like this to people, particularly people that have a lot of marketing and advertising experience, it kinda freaks them out and I get a ton of reasons why it won’t work, most of which are very valid. But I love the debate because it really challenges everything we believe about marketing and advertising today.