biglebowski

In the grand scheme of things, our opinions don't matter.

Sure, in a world where we have things like influencer marketing, online reviews, elections and such, our opinions do carry weight and can make an impact on the decisions other people make. In that regard, our opinion does matter.

In terms of how we feel towards a shift in business or culture - it really doesn't matter.

When I first started my marketing career, people were hesitant towards social media. They thought it was a waste of time. Twitter seemed dumb and pointless. Facebook was just for self-obsessed college kids. Several people and organizations ignored it because they didn't see personal value in it, despite the massive popularity and adoption of social.

Their bias didn't change the tide - it just held them back.

Fast forward to today. Media companies are hurting and looking at new ways to make money and continue exist as organizations. As part of that monetization strategy, a play-to-play scenario is coming to surface. If you are a brand with a few extra dollars to spend, you could get better placement (not necessarily better coverage) than someone with a simple organic push. Tumblr and Twitter have pioneered native ads. Buzzfeed has built a business on sponsored content and more "grown up" media companies like Forbes and Business Insider are finding new ways to partner with brands on editorial content.

For a lot of PR pros, this is cringeworthy. There are definitely gray areas in journalism ethics coming into play. It doesn't seem right. There's valor in that and those opinions against the state of sponsored content. There will be weird instances on what gets covered and what doesn't based on compensation models.

It doesn't really matter what we think. Media companies have to make money. Sponsored content models are coming whether we want them to or not.

Bias Rarely Impacts Inevitability 

This applies to a lot of major shifts and will continue to for years to come. Whether it's a social media platform, sponsored content or some other new trend or technology, letting opinions influence business or marketing strategy isn't always the best option. When there's a huge momentum shift, we have two options:

Option #1: Judge the book by its cover. Let personal bias guide us and not invest time into learning something new since we don't agree with it.

Option #2: Put personal bias aside and learn how to navigate the inevitable. Personally, I dislike Snapchat - but I'm still taking time to learn about it. It's a growing platform that I need to make sense of before I'm left out in the cold. The same with Google Plus. Very few of my friends are on it but I know it's something to keep top-of-mind and learn to leverage.

Adapt or Die

As marketers and especially as public relations professionals we have one main currency we're all fighting for: attention. Attention spans are shrinking and shifting to new markets and are being leveraged by brands and platforms in new ways. Some ways that we like, some ways that we don't.

But nobody asked for your opinion. Nobody asked for mine. We have to learn quickly or fade just as fast.