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Reality Marketing

The struggle is real, market-eers. It's half past woke and you're still dreaming if you think you can ignore what's happening in the world of marketing and digital media management.

We'll unpack this for you.

It doesn't matter if you're b2c, b2b, or b2f*, every customer you care about is a smartphone addict, each one a victim of extreme content shock and largely unaware that every time an alert notification pings, chirps, or rumbles in their pocket their brain receives another splash of dopamine. The mood-altering sensation produced by this biochemical reaction is a digital-age 'dragon' they're compelled to chase by uncontrollably checking their phone every fucking waking moment.

But seriously, don't take our word as gospel: open your eyes and have a look. Some scary shit going on out there. Amazombies one-click shopping while waiting for their mobile Starbucks orders. Facebookworms at the stoplight (and in the crosswalk!). Instagrammarians on the couch perfecting their thumbscroll during the recap sequence of last week's Bachelorette. Sound familiar?

Digital dependence isn't strictly a b2c phenomenon. Because, guess what? All those "sophisticated" business buyers out there are every bit as buried in their smart devices as everyone else. Streaming Spotify playlists and Apple podcasts to their airpods via Bluetooth. Compulsively awarding 'kudos' to obscure LinkedIn connections at the prodding of a notification. Reluctantly tolerating pre-roll bumper videos on Candy Crush in exchange for in-game boosters while commuting home. Business people, it turns out, at the end of the business day, are still people. Who knew?

People used to fast-forward through the commercials. Now they savor that very same break, flipping through their never-ending social feeds in search of something indescribably "engaging," defining their personal zeitgeists one double-tap at a time, and digesting an ever-expanding world of images, ideas, and sentiments. A good many of them commercial, by the way.

Have you noticed yet? Texting is the new email. YouTube is the new Google. Instagram is the new Facebook. At least today it is. Just wait a week. So, as a marketer, where exactly should you be, and what should you be doing there?

The ugly truth about marketing is that we're all under relentless assault. From every direction. Clout chasing celebs, ratings-driven 'news' organizations, data-gobbling tech giants, and lead-seeking marketers are all screaming at the top of their metaphorical lungs for just a few seconds of attention. Everyone wants you to give them a moment, at this very moment…and they will do almost anything to get it. Google 'Cambridge Analytica' for a ripped-from-the-headlines case study on it.

Yes, the amount of distracting content out there is both mindblowing and blowing up. Rabbit holes everywhere. Original programming. Native ads. Branded and co-branded content. User-generated content. Reddit-headed comedians endlessly contemplating 'the meme-ing of life.' Maybe you need to stop asking your agency how to stand out and start figuring out how to fit in. Not to BLEND in, that is. But to belong. To be relevant. That's the order of the day in a nutshell.

And you have to move faster than you ever thought possible if you hope to get any traction at all in this hot mess of a marketplace. Stick a fork in perfection, because it's all about the production timeline. Just get it done and get it out there. Perseverate on the details and you're done.

The good news is, if you're looking for some, is that it's not exactly 'rocket surgery.' It just requires thinking differently about how people are consuming content these days…starting with yourself. Marketing can actually be cheaper and more measurable in many ways given the tools at our disposal. And some tried-and-true media, like OOH and direct mail, are experiencing a renaissance of sorts as the pendulum swings back from soliciting eyeballs in the virtual world to fishing for them in the real one.

So stay positive. And pair up with partners who're equally optimistic. Because, honestly, there's never been a more exciting, more promising time to be a marketer.

*Business-To-Friend marketing, otherwise known as cozying up to customers via social media content designed to tickle their fancy.