New ages require new rules. It should be obvious to even casual observers that there is a tectonic shift in marketing taking place and we all have to adapt to a rapidly changing context. What’s not so obvious is what that means. What do we actually have to do to bridge the divide?
Many say that adapting means that we have to abandon old rules and the substrates out of which they grew. In this view, we need to embrace Google, Twitter and Facebook and abandon the old ways of broadcast and print.
However, a more serious approach is to endeavor to understand the forces underlying the change. New paradigms arise when old frameworks prove inadequate to solve modern problems. Yet, for new paradigms to be successful, they need to apply to old ones as well.
What is a Paradigm?
Pre-Paradigm Phase: When something new comes along, nobody is quite sure what to make of it. There are a lot of ideas and opinions, but no clear consensus. It could be argued that many aspects of digital technology, digital media especially, are pre-paradigm.
Normal Phase: At some point, a new framework evolves, problems start getting solved and things start happening. A consensus builds about the “right way of doing things.” It’s not perfect, of course, there are some anomalies that don’t quite fit, but generally speaking, everyone is happy.
Revolutionary Science: Eventually, the anomalies add up or the context changes in a way that makes the earlier paradigm inadequate. A new generation of ideas comes along with novel approaches that make significant progress in solving the important problems of the day.
And on it goes…