(special thanks to Kaitlyn Wilkins aka Catchup Lady who thought of this term and described the Personal Message Shield)
Subject to as much as 5000 commercial messages a day, each of us has erected our own personal message shield. We block out messages flung at us from traditional media. Traditional media rarely has our attention anymore as we jump from activity to activity. Consumers shift their attention seamlessly to avoid downtime and follow their interests. That might be flipping channels. It might also be carrying on a Twitter “multilogue” while watching the game on TV (Twitter allows us all to broadcast our 140 character thoughts to hundreds of followers elevating this platform to a notch above simple dialogue to a multilogue).
“…the interruption-disruption model is dying out, thanks to shifting consumer trends…”
Geoff Ramsey eMarketer
We surround ourselves with our own social graph – our family, friends, Facebook groups, Blog and Twitter followers. They become our filter for relevance. Brands that provide engagement value and connect via our social graph earn our attention. It is not as simple as delivering advertising within social networks to reach us. In fact, marketers are quickly learning that pumping traditional online advertising into Facebook and My Space is a losing proposition.
“Online social network users were three times more likely to trust their peers’ opinions over advertising when making purchase decisions.” (“Social Networking Sites: Defining Advertising Opportunities in a Competitive Landscape,” JupiterResearch, March 2007)
Marketing must rethink how we develop engaging experiences for users in these environments to earn users attention. Recession marketing demands that we do this now to build relationships with customers today. We shouldn't be waiting for the economic 'cycle' to come around (2 years? 5 years?). We need effective marketing today.
Brands that use social media well and provide "engagement value" can connect at the inner ring. Brands that keep trying to Head-on assault won't make it through our shield.