Okay, let me see if I got this straight: Brands are supposed to act like media companies. Media companies are supposed to act like marketing agencies. Marketing agencies are supposed to act like publishing companies. And consumers are already acting like publishers and marketing agencies.
We’ve seen the exhortations — brands should build a richer affinity with their customers by providing “content,” whatever that is, rather than “traditional advertising,” whatever that is. This shift pits ad agencies, PR firms and marketing service companies against publishers as marketing shifts from promoting capabilities and products to something closer to story-telling. In a weird role reversal, agencies are building up the editorial skills of publishers so they can partner with their clients on content creation while publishers are morphing into marketing companies, building and buying integrated marketing agencies to complement their publishing operations.