The New Mediocracy goes Digital

The current Atlantic (March 2013) contains two articles that point the way toward the future of market research. In A More Perfect Poll, Molly Ball quotes Darrell Bricker of Ipsos Public Affairs pointing out that 70 percent of corporate opinion studies are now Internet-based. Marketing has moved beyond one-way information roads such as television and billboards. New Mediocracy will take marketing studies even more interactive, as the concept of ethnographic study jumps from a clever few humans in companies such as ReD to interactive, mobile and mixed-media interactives that talk to us, study us, and record us.  In The Incredible Shrinking Ad, Derek Thompson talks about the irony that mobile advertising is less well-understood and effective, but far more popular than old-world Internet advertising. The telling bit comes from Marc Andreesen, whom Thompson quotes: “He described a smartphone that knows you, your money, your habits, your wants: ‘The targeting is going to be amazing [and] more valuable.’  New media will make every form of marketing, in the limit, purely personal. We will each be a member of a special market group that will be optimized for maximal sales: just me.

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