Query: If marketers can get their own consumers to create marketing messages for them, and then get those same consumers to propagate those messages through online social networks — all for free — why should they give a dime to media and advertising companies to serve as intermediaries?
If your best counterargument is “We’re not there yet,” consider this from [MediaPost](Marketers Tap Into User-Generated Ads, Plan To Take Them Offline):
THE RAPID RISE IN USER-GENERATED content has created a new way for marketers to reach consumers, ironically via media created by consumers themselves. Now it is spawning a new way for advertisers to generate the kind of content they use to communicate with consumers: advertising. In an announcement scheduled to be made later today, a new player will unveil an ambitious plan to tap consumers to create ads for both online and traditional media outlets, displacing the role of traditional advertising agencies. While a grass roots movement toward consumer-generated ads has emerged over the past couple of years via individual consumers and marketers, the effort seeks to provide some structure for the process, giving marketers a place to interact with consumers, provide them with specs for creating their own ads, and sophisticated tools for reviewing, editing, approving and activating consumer-generated ad campaigns.
The company referenced in the article is ViTrue — one can image a not-too-distant future when a service like this — combined with mature online social networks — obviates the need for any intermediaries, i.e. marketing services and media channels (including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc.).
In fact, once marketers master the tools of Marketing 2.0, even a service like ViTrue will become an unnecessary intermediary.