In 1906, a creative business owner might be able to come up with 5 ways through which he could reach his market.
- Word of mouth
I came up with four. As I said, a creative business owner could do a little, but not much, better.
In 1920, the first commercial radio broadcast took place and, during that decade, Madison Avenue became synonymous with Advertising. The age of Mass Communication had taken place. Slick guys and gals in Manhattan could help a business navigate the multitude of options that emerged alongside the growth industries of Television, Radio, Film, Recording, Mass Transit and, eventually, personalization technology (think transitor radio, walkmans, boom-boxes).
In the past 15 years, dozens of communication channels quickly grew into hundreds, thousands and ultimately millions of options for a growing business. Millions? Is that really how many options a business has to navigate? When you consider that the options can be combined into new generation campaigns, then you see the power of today's media.
Consider the Grasshopper.com viral marketing campaign which combined direct mail, video, social media, mass media and viral marketing techniques to get the word out about their new brand (formerly gotvmail). The campaign got them noticed - and broke them out of a holding pattern they had been in for some time.
This was not a radio campaign, or a direct mail campaign, or a social media campaign. It was a hybrid that the creative genius of the GoToVmail cum Grasshopper CEO and team devised.
Do you agree that exploding complexity is a critical roadblock for today's businesses? How are you working through that complexity?
What kinds of creative campaigns have you seen used in this age of "5 Million" channels?
Have you taken advantage of any new creative outlets like contests or online community building? We'd love to hear about them... did they work? what did you learn from them?