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Marketing in the Participation Age: A Guide to Motivating People to Join, Share, Take Part, Connect, and Engage by Daina Middleton

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Chapter 4

Time for a Participation Revolution

The advent of the first marketing textbooks containing the methods we know and use today, along with the tools, processes, and language, came about as a result of the large media disruptors of radio and then television. Yet all of the advertising-supported content models that were generated when broadcast media emerged are evaporating with the growth of the Internet. Marketing graduates entering the workforce to join agencies and brands, as well as marketing educators, know that these older tools aren’t suitable; however, they struggle to find alternatives. A recent review of several widely used marketing texts produced a few mentions of the Internet and a paragraph or two on analytics and marketing measurement. It’s clear that although mass media may survive, the rules participants, brands, and agencies follow when conducting marketing have all changed. It’s time for a new participation and performance marketing model to take center stage.

Ironically, doing business in today’s participation culture more closely resembles marketing 200 years ago. From the beginning of time, individuals have participated in the exchange of goods and services. Marketing has always been about relationships and communication among individuals negotiating a value exchange. The process is also about competency and understanding, even competitiveness and empowerment. We are, of course, still very much human, and our transaction behavior still reflects this, ...

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