Charles is right. It's slightly odd that there is not more chatter amongst ad people about the current turmoil in the financial markets. The breadth and depth of the tumult this week is leading to some pretty fundamental questions being asked about the way things are done. This infographic from the New York Times kind of says it all: 29 companies losing over a trillion dollars in value over the past year.
I was asked to do a piece for New Media Age the other day and one of the questions was about adapting models in the face of a new economic climate. My answer focused around how I felt that in tough times digital has the potential to deliver unprecedented value. And I really believe that.
Companies that have the right approach recognise that digital facilitates greater experimentation and innovation (and what better time for innovation) through low cost of entry and the ubiquitous availability of free online tools and services. Network effects mean more opportunities to share, rapid and easy proliferation of new ideas. Social aspects enable interaction, engagement, customer insights (and what better time to stay close to your market). And if that's not enough, David Armano has captured more reasons why digital makes sense in a recession here.
But. Only companies with the right approach. And that's the thing. There is still a huge gulf, I believe, in those that I think will embrace the real opportunities presented by the web and those that won't. And it's a gulf in mindset.
In his seminal presentation to the music industry, Ian Rogers talked about how models built on scarcity were ultimately doomed. And that, to me, is just it. Most existing models are built on principles of scarcity. The organisations that will win will be the ones that recognise the opportunity presented by ubiquity. Really, the choice is yours.
Scarcity says 'I go in search of the things that I like'. Ubiquity says 'The stuff I like comes to me'. Creating a destination and expecting people to come to you, or distributing your content to make it easy for people to find and access it? You decide.
Spending time trying to find the good stuff in an ocean of content, or having 100 of your likeminded friends do it for you via delicious networks, twitter, comments, blog posts, twine? You decide.
Holding onto your ideas because they are, you know, yours. Or believing that the more you share the more value will come back to you? Your choice.
People don't stop talking in a recession. So making your marketing dependent on a scarce resource - your advertising budget. Or making it more dependent on an abundant resource - your customers? You decide.
Resources to create: scarce. Resources to co-create: ubiquitous.
Tough choice. Not.