"Developing and managing brand associations represent the most important priority for companies in the 21st Century. This is The Relationship Age, a time when companies and individual managers must focus on customer service and satisfaction. Every force in our lives is reconnecting us to those people, products and services that we value. As we're learning to expect satisfying, fulfilling and rewarding relationships, we are opening our minds to new experiences and new relationships." These visionary words are from the 1998 book Reconnecting with Customers: Building Brands and Profits in The Relationship Age.

As we head into the second decade of the 21st Century, it's worth reviewing this book's recommendations for the media and advertising business. While technology has advanced quickly, the industry's ability to capitalize is just beginning to catch up. In this next decade, the industry changes that began in 1998 with the founding of Google will explode with hockey stick momentum. Social media marketing will increase from $1.2 billion in 2010 to more than $40 billion in 2020. Online originated video advertising will increase nearly 4,000% to almost $15 billion. The growth of mobile, GPS, Apps, search and interactive/addressable TV advertising will increase exponentially during this decade. Traditional media that fail to transform their business models to embrace digital opportunities will lose significant market share.

It's a mistake, though, to focus too much attention on the traditional role of media advertising, which has been to create and maintain awareness. While this certainly remains at the foundation of advertising, the role of media is shifting to a more marketing-centric model: to interactively connect brands with customers, build relationships and contribute toward sales. Advertising and media are shifting from "reach and frequency" as primary objectives to "building brands and profits." This is an isoquantic shift – "a change that results from a significant technological advancement that dramatically re-orients our concepts of how things are done." Every person – every executive – in our personal and business lives is dealing with isoquantic shifts in our relationships and how we manage them.

Success in The Relationship Age can be achieved:

  1. Through a commitment to reconnecting with your customers;
  2. By forming solid relationships that can withstand a constantly changing landscape;
  3. By understanding that tradition, experience and history are the least reliable predictors of the future;
  4. By focusing on your brand, its meaning, its promise, and your commitment to increasing its value to your customers;
  5. By identifying those qualities that are most valued by your customers and potential customers and associating your brand with those qualities through relevant media, people they know and trust, and interactive technology.

From Reconnecting with Customers: Building Brands and Profits in The Relationship Age™ by Jack Myers
The Relationship Age is a registered trademark of Jack Myers.

To comment, visit www.jackmyersthinktank.com. JackMyersThinkTank and MediaBizBloggers are free and underwritten as an industry service by corporate subscribers to Jack Myers Media Business Report. For subscription information, visit www.myersreport.com. Visit the archives of JackMyersThinkTank and MediaBizBloggers. Jack Myers can be contacted directly at jm@jackmyers.com.