Every so often it's nice to have a summary of things. A smart recap of what's happened and where things stand. Summaries are particularly helpful when we sense an overall pause in the air after a lot of frantic activity.
Patricia McDonald has written an important, and helpful, post on her blog. She talks about how the development of things--from smartphones to the social web and all that's come with them--has slowed from what it was.
Or, at least it feels that way.
But as a planning community there's been "a new consensus" that's formed over the last few years. Which is true and she's brilliantly recapped where we are and what we've learned.
So below is a summary of what she wrote, which you should read. Personally, I'd kind of like to print it and frame it for a little while.
We have come to understand some new thinking:
• That brands are now built as much by what they do as by what they say.
• That we live in the age of a vocal, connected consumer where peer to peer is now powerful at scale.
• That ideas are used, shared and propagated in networks, not solely in agencies.
• That consumers are telling us, in real time, more about what they need and want than ever before and that we can and must respond to this in real time.
We have seen that there are some flawed assumptions out there:
• That a mass of consumers want to actively participate with brands--they don’t.
• That the campaign is dead--it isn’t.
• That it would be easy to mine and integrate social, location and brand data--it's extraordinarily difficult.
We continue to embrace some old truths that should not be forgotten:
• That brands grow through scale not depth.
• That most consumers, most of the time, don’t care very much about brands.
• That they care, enormously, about the things they have always cared about: connecting with their loved ones, building social capital, connecting around their passions, improving themselves and their communities.