Gone are the days when leaders—be they CEOs, politicians, or rock stars—had exclusive control on public opinion. Today, the hierarchy of ideas is no longer imposed by a few but rather embraced, or forgotten, by the many.
Such was the theme of the remarks given by MSLGROUP CEO Olivier Fleurot at the Marketing and Communication Awards in Luxembourg. “The major media companies used to set the agenda but ideas today compete with each other, without a hierarchy,” said Olivier, who provided the keynote address to a group of 600 communication professionals. “Just think about the effect that Wikileaks is having on information sharing.”
Institutions, companies and influential individuals may once have presided over their communities, but today they need to be of service or they risk alienating their customers, Olivier said.
He noted several examples such as Move Your Money, a website that helps people change banks.
“All forms of authority are suffering in a world where people value their friends’ opinions on social networks over traditional marketing messages,” Olivier said. “At MSLGROUP, we call this the Trust Shift.”
In the “conversation economy,” where social networks often determine what people do with their wallets, “It is no longer about buying advertising time for coporate messages but knowing how to attract attention by contributing in a useful and interesting way to conversations.”