Facebook, Amazon, Google – Missing the boat?
Leave it to Vanity Fair’s brilliant editor Graydon Carter to synthesize the sea change in marketing now underway. In VF May 2013 issue he writes:
What I find interesting about the current marketing revolution—and it really is one—is that the innovations are being devised by creative types like Zuckerberg rather than by people such as Microsoft C.E.O. Steve Ballmer, who come from a sales and marketing background. Perhaps for that reason, Zuckerberg’s new technologies—which involve collecting reams of personal information about users, then micro-targeting them and engaging them in discussions with marketers—are also more than a little terrifying. Should salespeople really know that much about you? It’s as if all of Facebook’s creative energy is being laser-focused on turning users into obedient consumers even when no one is particularly selling you something. It’s pretty much what my parents thought about television and their parents thought about radio.
What I find surprising is what is not mentioned. (Which is an even bigger surprise because the May 2013 VF article Facebook Leans In was written by from VF Kurt Eichenwald a great journalist and author of four outstanding books.)
The conjecture that more money will be made by providing “free” education from the great universities of the world, lead by the great world’s most learned professors and the students inside massive classrooms. Why? Because in those classrooms, eventually, each student will be treated as if she were alone with Socrates at the end of the log.
You talk about keen precise targeting! Aimed at high energy, upward bound folks who will be large consumers for a long, long time to come. Worldwide.
In my not humble opinion, there’s a lot more gold in all of that than there is selling toothpaste or Beemers, airplane tickets or books.
If so, the really big surprise? The biggest gains in value will come to the physical campus which upgrade from Model T to Space Shuttle. Much of it by the end of this decade. All of it by the end of the next.