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June 18, 2013


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Joseph Ratliff

I don't know David...

I'd challenge that generally, people are starting to trust "mainstream media" less and less, therefor will make the distinction between that and other forms of media.


Outside of that, I agree with you. :)

James Vineburgh

I would argue that the first point of exposure to a brand (blog post, press release, etc.) is critical in terms of informing that person's perceptions and decisions. For example, a blog post that is "conversational" to the extent that it does not incorporate "enough marketing" (links to landing pages, explicit offers, etc.) might leave the potential buyer without enough motivation or information to take the next step into the funnel. The fine line between engagement and heavy-handed marketing is one that many brands do not walk well, especially when various channels are in use.


@David & Joseph --

Count me as one who is skeptical of all of it. In these days of paid blogs and paid content in mainstream sources, I take a lot of what I encounter on the Web with a bit of salt - often the size of a salt lick for cattle! What I rely on more is trusted sources that cover a multiple of topics.

David Meerman Scott

Thanks for these great comments.

I think the reasons you cite - Joseph that MsM is less trusted, James that companies are creating much better content, and Qka that there is a breakdown of the Chinese Wall between paid and editorial all point to readers looking for whatever serves the them the best. And that could be my content or yours or a magazines -- there is a blurring of the lines.


To take it a step further, I think it really may come down to who is viewing the information. If it's business-to-business than I think the channel of the information may have a little more weight because we're more in the know. But overall I'm going to side with David on this one since the majority of our businesses are business-to-consumer. And from the average less-informed consumer's perspective I would have agree that it's not so much about the channel or method of which they received the information, but rather the source it came from, and that the source is a trustworthy one. Now, that's not to say that one particular channel may not outperform the others. For example, let's say Facebook is generating more customers per day for me than natural organic search. Well, if one of those Facebook customers found my website via Google search instead, I think I would still have the same customer. Because they're primarily concerned with the credibility of my business rather than just how they found it. And if I'm correct in assuming this, then that means PR, marketing and social media all accomplish the same thing through the eyes of the average consumer.

David Meerman Scott

Thanks for jumping in Christopher. I think you're right especially if you consider the way people discover information -- 1) via search 2) via social and 3) when asking a friend or colleague for advice.


Interesting thoughts, and I agree. Users first concerns will be relevance and timely content. Users don't care what channel of your budget it comes from, they just need the content to make decisions. We need to adapt and move beyond thinking about campaign buckets (IE, social campaigns, Q1 campaign, etc.)

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