We’ve all seen the diagrams that show how marketing works. Or used to. There’s your brand, smack in the middle, projecting outward to the consumer via packaging, CRM, messages, media. In the old days you controlled the content and the media delivered the audience at a designated time and place. Clean, simple, predictable. Next came the Internet. The diagram worked in reverse. Your brand remained in its rightful place –in the middle of the big circle thanks to the website you built — but the consumer now decided when and if to visit. You still controlled the content, just not when people came to check it out. Well, as we know, those days are gone, too. The circle remains. But it no longer depends on your presence. Whether you’re there or not, people are talking about your products, creating content, expressing opinions and influencing purchases. The fact is, they don’t even need you to show up. But it might be a good idea to make sure you join the party. You may never again be the center of attention. (It’s not about you anymore.) But at least you can be part of the conversation, listen, learn, contribute. Maybe even inspire and mobilize. But only if you’re there. Is your brand in the new circle? Is it playing a big role or a small one? Have you figured out how to market in the new age of conversation and community?
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