The Participation Age Is Coming



This is not another blog about social media. No, that buzz-word darling was worn out by last year’s marketing books, business seminars and advertising pitches. However, all of our preoccupation with this new phenomenon has been warranted after all. In fact, social media networks are the firstborn of a whole new generation of media. It’s the infant phase of a much bigger movement that we’re calling the Participation Age.

Emerging “Participation Media” represents the greatest shift of cultural influence in human history. Pioneering brands are gaining direct access to their consumers. Beyond participation in social media networks, brands will have the opportunity to interact with their consumers through participation TV, participation radio, participation news and participation mobile apps.

During this transformation of all media as we know it, brands that want to succeed can’t simply push outdated messages into this new space. The once-powerful advertising monologue with the consumer now has become a dialog, and the Participation Generation that has grow up in this new dynamic is enjoying their power. The consumer has a voice, and there’s no going back.

The brands that will fail are those that don’t understand this transition and those who hesitate. They will re-launch last year’s media plan adding incremental digital ad placements and social media monitoring services, but their plans will be void of disruptive consumer network innovation.

Tomorrow’s successful brands will no longer rent their voice from the media. They will invest with a long-term plan for innovation and cultivate their own Customer Relationship Networks (CRNs). They will eventually own the media…and the voice of culture.

Welcome to my blog/book. I’m writing my book as blog installments because this movement is evolving so fast, it’s the best way to keep up with the changes day-by-day. By the time it’s published, the first half of the book will be common knowledge. Hopefully these introductory pages will be a good review.

Daniel Cobb,
CEO & Chief Innovation Officer at DBA Worldwide