I had an interesting meeting last week that a friend of mine in town set up between myself and a new company called Sharetize. I didn't know what to expect and frankly I didn't do a ton of research into them before we met, but after a run down from my friend the week before I was really curious to meet the founders.
After my meeting I found them to have the right idea of the direction buyers behave and influence each other so asked their CSO & President, James Faulkner, to send me his thoughts on the direction of social media today, how it's changing our society and how his new platform addresses those needs.
Here are his comments in relation to my questions above:
"As we all know the iterations of the internet are never-ending. This constant evolution creates a a myriad of complexities to understanding how it ticks each and every new week. As a founder of a social network marketing platform, I can tell you that I have heard all the angles, from the top advertisers in the world to the mom and pop brands. What I have come to realize is that the majority are, bless their hearts, lemmings! I respect the responsibility each and every person has, but at the same time as a culture, we have to realize that we hold the power, not the network monoliths.
In my travels I have run into an interesting cast of characters at ad agencies. I find that some not all, (most have been so helpful, thanks) so desperately try to hold on to the purest social media of yesterday. Which I suppose is valiant but yet strangely cavalier in the same breath. We have seen a tectonic shift in the power of ad distribution where fast thinking and innovation are key. Print is has gone from mainstream to niche, primetime is anytime, and Facebook has turned from a relaxing day in Central Park to Fourth of july at Disneyland. This is no ones fault but our culture… we have done this to ourselves, because we wanted to. Inherently we are all searching for meaning by the experiences that shape us. For the masses these nuances are wrapped up in brand experiences. Even our family activities are attached to who we are as a family, and how we are perceived. This search for identity is were brands have us down. They know what we want before we do. I remember buying my first iPad just because I was an apple freak, thinking "what am I going to do with this thing", now both my 65 year old parents are face-timing me on a daily basis.
So if we are so dependent on brands and the purpose that serve for our own identity, how do we discover new ones. If primetime is now a commercial-fee Netflix experience and the radio has been replaced by Songza and Vevo, our exposure to the repetitive barrage of brand messaging has disappeared. This was the cornerstone of advertising. Things have clearly changed.
In the past the mega channel conglomerates of radio, TV, and print were in control. Today the every single person is a micro channel and the holds the conch. We are in an awkward place in the evolution of this paradigm, because… Advertisers don't think the mega channels have any power, the mega channels are freaking out with their new found lack of punch, and the average person does not yet get the fact that their conch is a moneymaker. But this is today… and midnight is approaching. The dawn of tomorrows advertising methods are evolving like a time-laps of the seasons.
My company is in the micro channel business. We provide each and every person with a voice the equal opportunity to curate their own broadcast with brands that they not only like, but who value their voice. This is a good thing… because the public will decide just what messaging it will tolerate. When the culture chooses the advertising its people sees, foul play will be much mush less prevalent. Sure there will always be the sell-out, but that is the case with anything. Sharetize is my company, and we have really thought about our culture in its making."
About Sharetize: The Sharetize system leverages personal relationships to distribute marketing campaigns via social network conversations and connections. By leveraging these personal relationships, Sharetize social network campaigns are far reaching, targeted and effective. The Sharetize system is built by advertisers for advertisers and is designed to engage audiences in an authentic fashion.
This social network marketing system provides advertisers the ability to create robust campaigns which are then effectively presented by real everyday people who share the brands they love with their friends and connections. Sharetize compensates these people for their recommendations and referrals.