I opened Shortlist magazine today.
It turns out the footballer Dele Alli has been crowned one of the magazine’s Guys That Matter. Apparently, Alli is a “bright prospect for England’s future.”
Exciting news, isn’t it?
Steven Gerrard was once a bright prospect for England’s future. As was Frank Lampard. And even some guy called Michael Owen at one point.
But all of those bright prospects are now retired.
And if I’m not mistaken, England flopped out of all competitions each of the above played in, more often than not after being dominated by lesser opponents.
It’s analogous to something that happens pretty often in advertising.
People talk about the future.
Then when they future arrives, they continue talking about the future – usually because the initial future is now the present and their predictions were actually really quite off.
A few years ago lots of people were talking about social communities and brand conversations.
Earlier this year, a Harvard Business Review scrutinised 16 studies and found no evidence that following a brand on social media changes purchasing behaviour. Today even Facebook themselves admit fans are largely irrelevant.
So today, those who made the predictions – and made money out of them – are still talking about the future.
In the here and now, though, advertising, PR and direct marketing – whether applied to social media or not – continue to build brands and make sales. Is that not a little bit more important?
If you reckon so, then get in touch. I generally don’t plan on helping you out ten years from now.
But I’d be more than happy to help you in the present.