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Z.E.R.O.: Zero Paid Media as the New Marketing Model by Maarten Albarda, Joseph Jaffe

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CHAPTER6

The Consumer Case

It's all well and good to fish where the fish are, but what happens when they're not biting anymore? What happens when they've figured out a way to outsmart us or beat us at our own game?

Stranger things have happened, including—but not limited to—Sharknado!

In essence, there has been a reversal of roles so to speak, where the targeted have become the targeters. Going back to the strategic argument again, shouldn't we have smelled something fishy when we didn't have a problem calling our customers “targets?” And certainly, terms such as shotgun approach or spray-and-pray should have gently prodded us in the direction of gun control. Even in the digital realm, we felt at home with phrases such as hits (ouch) or references to diseases (viral marketing) to affirm our self-worth and proxies of success. Even the tech world refers to its customers as “users,” to which I say, the only profession that refers to its customers as users is the drug profession and trust me, you're not that addictive! The times are a-changin', and the tides are turning and the prognosis is not all too good for the ivory tower-dwelling advertising community.

The numbers game itself is cranking toward a deafening crescendo. The economics don't support it. The media math doesn't prove it. The strategic blueprint doesn't accommodate it. The business priorities don't allow for it. The market cannot justify it. However, the tipping point may manifest itself in the only variable that matters ...

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