Linton raises some very important points about the limitations of some of the new capabilities enabled by the Internet in the context of the less flashy businesses that spend the majority of marketing dollars. As he puts it, “Maybe the paper towel Facebook community or lawn fertilizer Tweets might work for you, but I doubt it”. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
The higher level message here is not that the Internet isn’t an extremely important media vehicle. It unquestionably is. But we shouldn’t abandon everything we’ve learned as marketers over the years in our pursuit of the latest in a never-ending series of shiny objects. Some of today’s shiny objects will become valuable, scalable tools, but many more of them won’t.
Linton didn’t get to be CMO of eBay by being an internet skeptic. I think marketers would be wise to consider this perspective.