Can we meet you? The lead panelist echoed to me. I was shaken but managed to recite my name. My name is Femi Oni I responded with my voice still shaking. You’ve got a very cute name he retorted (a co-panelist gently rebuffed him not to make my head swell). Struggling to connect my thoughts together, it occurred to me that this interview was standing between me and the admission to study at Orange Academy. Prior to this encounter, I had been furnished with a brief which read something like “Orange Academy is tired of the current wave of media. In light of this, you are to come up with a new medium”. At this moment, I realized that I needed to allow my imagination run free. Today, I am effectively an inmate at Orange Academy learning to be a storyteller. This post is an updated response I presented to the panel.
Marshall McLuhan is credited with the profound wisdom that the medium is the message. He was ahead of his time in establishing context between the relationship between media and the message. “The medium is the message” conveys the meaning that the form of a medium embeds itself in the message, creating a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived. The point here is that the choice of medium is infinitely important in communication and in choosing what medium to communicate, one must bear in mind that some medium are best suited for specific messages. In such a sense then, it is apt to conclude that the medium is the message.
The gospel according to Seth.
While I agree with Marshall whose work has influenced and continue to inspire professionals in the advertising community that the medium is the message, I am curious to ask what the medium of the future will be. This question is precedent on the emergence of new technologies which has given birth to new medium like Social Media. Marketing has evolved in the last 100 years and according to the guru; Seth Godin, the interruption model of marketing is failing so fast so much so that a new model is proving to be more effective. This model called Permission marketing takes a lot of cue from dating which is a process. The wisdom here is that it is hardly feasible to meet a lady and instantaneously propose marriage. Chances are that even if the opportunity to propose arises, its unlikely that such an offer will go through.
The age of singularity
We are in the precipice of the robotic age heralded by a revolution in information. In this present era, the battle for the customer’s mind can no longer be won by aligning. Today, the attention span of the customer continue to reduce while his choices increase by the day. Like the mechanical bride (Marshall McLuhan), the customer is becoming increasingly sophisticated. In fact, his gadgets and machines will do everything for him. We are not there yet but it is inevitable. Social media has a lot of buzz and promises those who apply the right strategies a lot for their smart efforts but like everything that man has ever created, this too shall pass away. So if Social Media is not here to stay, what is the next big thing?
Man will become the medium.
Through the lens of augmented reality and other yet to be developed technologies and inventions, I posit here and now that in the nearest future that man will become the medium. This is a death sentence on traditional media. What I’m saying in earnest is that, instead of worrying about mining data on consumers, in the future, all marketers will have to worry about is getting a unique biometric identifier. In this future, emails, twitter IDs and even Facebook particulars will be largely inconsequential. Sim cards will take on a new form. Man will morph into the virtual sphere not as a mere avatar but as an effective entity in a new world. Our digital identities will go beyond what it is. Our phones will be useless because our palms will become it. I have since stopped asking the question “Will machines replace man?” because in the scheme of things, it is not a question of replacement but integration.