This guest contribution is written by Dave McMullen, partner and lead strategist at redpepper integrated agency.
Say the word "advertising" at a cocktail party and most people will immediately engage in a conversation about their favorite television spots. To be a part of this conversation used to be the holy grail of advertising.
Then along came the search engine, and along with it came a new holy grail--the top spot in a list of search results.
While the whole world was clamoring for Google's coveted number one, unsponsored search result listing, Facebook and Twitter began not-so-quietly supplanting Google as the central nervous system of the world wide web. These two social media juggernauts gave rise to an engagement era during which the once lauded "impression" began to fall out of favor as a legitimate measure of a return on marketing investment. And, as a result, yet another era in marketing arose. And we're smack dab in the middle of it at this very moment in time.
Welcome to the sharing era--an era in which a company's brand awareness and advertising messages have fallen, quite literally, into the hands of the market.