That first post was a Welcome and Introduction. I laid out my intention to some of the best thinking about the economy, media and marketing that I encountered as I travelled around the country doing the things that I do for my job.
Intent and outcome frequently diverge in life. The 335 posts between that first one and this one became an exploration. I was trying to gain my bearings in relation to two large questions.
First, What will the economy look like in a recovery? A clear point of view on this question provides a framework for thinking about core business and personal issues: How to create value, where to allocate resources, how to approach debt, how to set expectations. As the year went on, it was clear that the economy was bottoming out and that a recovery was going to be long and slow, with sustained high unemployment and stresses on the political, business and personal fronts. (As regular readers know, my thinking closely mirrors the thinking of John Mauldin, who has written at length about the statistical recovery.)
Second, What is the new relationship between community, information and markets? My bias regarding this question has been towards understanding how large cohorts are consuming media and what techniques or services marketers and media providers can adopt in order to establish relationships with those consumers that translate into business results.
That bias steers me away from focusing on cutting edge technologies and towards trying to identify things that are working now, but that require a slight shift in approach or thinking in order to achieve penetration on a wide scale.
What drives my bias? Cash. In thinking about these issues, Im anticipating the issues and needs of small to mid-sized businesses, both in terms of marketing budgets and media operations. For this group, things need to pay off in real terms. They dont have the time or the money to experiment too widely. But when they find something that works, they will shift quickly.
A good number of the last 335 posts have been spent trying to puzzle through how to evaluate the benefits of new opportunities for small- to mid-sized marketers and media companies, and then trying to describe how to re-tool basic business processes in order to integrate new tools with minimal if any additional cost.
I feel like Ive made a start, but theres still a lot of work to do to make these ideas simple and easy.
Thats my seque to the next 350 posts. A little less focus on the economy, I think. A little more focus on examples of using social media and mobile to strengthen media brands and to create stronger internet marketing programs for small- to mid-sized businesses. And a continuing exploration of consumer trends in media consumption. Because you want to fish where the fish are.