Be Transparent

There was an interesting juxtaposition of stories today involving the emergence of social networks as advertising platforms. For example, this morning I read this article at MarketingVOX about the increasing immunity of MySpace users to online ads and this piece (subscription required) in the New York Times that describes the accelerating popularity of social networks to marketers. The take-away for me is that marketers are going to have to work a whole lot harder and be much more creative than ever to reach members of this audience. This is also an indication of the fact that transparency is an increasingly important attribute of most brand identities online. Information is everywhere and its discoverable so trying to pretend otherwise by holding back or, gulp, deceiving an audience is a recipe for disaster. In the online world, brands and the companies that back them must be much more transparent, more accountable, and more eager to engage with customers. Sounds a lot like being a human being in the real world in fact...

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