About 10 years ago, my Uncle recommended a book to me called the Truth Machine
by James Halprin.
The book is science fiction and truthfully, I wasn’t so intrigued. The book was published in 1996. The cover reads: It Could be the Greatest Blessing or The Most Terrible Curse. The premise of the book is that in the not so distant future a “Truth Machine” is invented. Over the course of generations borders are secured, individuals become more intelligent because they can no longer cheat, and the reality of life is brought to light in a glaring manner. The “base line” of truth is brought to the forefront of society. Politicians must tell the truth – wow, what a world.
Last week I attended the Web 2.0 conference in San Fran, and it hit me….the Internet has become the Truth Machine!
Let me explain: for the past however many years, brands have been been doing well online selling goods, building brand awareness etc, but we all know that CPM is dead. Brands can no longer just broadcast online and hope to win new/loyal customers. Facebook, Youtube. MySpace, Twitter, Digg, Stubleupon, Yelp, are dominating the interactive landscape and brands need to rethink their strategy. Listening, engaging, and cultivating a relationship with their customer is the only manner in which brands can communicate now. If not, the ecosystem of Social Media will flesh out the “posers” cough *Skittles* cough…and make sure the brands that aren’t doing it properly are burnt at the stake in the center square.
What Social Media has effectively created (for Brands) is a Truth Machine.
So why are so many brands panicking, and why are guys like Gary Vaynerchuk flourishing? Yesterday I met with my good friend Alex Baydin CEO of Performline and we both agreed, that nomatter what business a guy like Gary Vaynerchuk is in, he will be successful. Why? Because he is genuine. I was lucky enough to meet Gary in person and after fawning over him for the first few minutes of our meeting I commented “I love what your about” to which Gary replied “It was good parenting”….WOW. When was the last time you heard that?
Brands need to get back to zero, start to listen to their consumer, and actually care. They need to understand that whatever they put out there will be read commented on, blogged about, Tweeted, and Re-tweeted, digested, and then either evangelized, or destroyed.
The Internet is the ULTIMATE Truth Machine