One evening last fall, a casual browse of advertising agencies and PR firms on Twitter sparked me to rethink how the marketing world is evolving in this age of instant communication and endless noise that we are presently facing. Reading through account descriptions, several common phrases kept reappearing. The two that stuck in my head were ‘search engine expert’ and ‘social media guru’. As an avid fan of game theory, I like to test how this economic principle applies to everyday issues such as this. So, I thought to myself, “If everyone says they’re an expert or a guru than who’s telling the truth?”
My first thought was one of doubt. From there, I started asking similar questions like, “How does one actually become a bona fide whiz in social media?” and, “What does it even really mean to be an SEO expert?” To answer the latter, is it simply a matter of researching the nuances of Google Analytics, reading industry blogs, knowing how meta tags work and being under 35 years old? Or, is there an earned and laborious process to this involving schooling and professional experience towards mastery? How does one distinguish between the true masters and those selling snake oil?
Our culture has seen a tremendous evolution over the past decade and the maturation of the Internet and related technologies are the primary influences. But it’s not all good. Our emails are continuously spammed by fraudsters. Photoshop editing software allows us to easily and surreptitiously alter images or beautify people and places beyond their true selves. Banner ads assault our browsers, all advocating unsurpassed products, services or destinations. The satiety of all this technology has made us exceedingly disbelieving of the message, so much so that it’s made skepticism towards electronics an unconscious defense mechanism. Although this isn’t anything groundbreaking, perhaps it can be mined for some new insights for the hospitality industry.
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