You can learn some subtle (but important) things by attending national marketing conventions. The stories behind the scenes provide clues about trends, direction, and evolving values. These become apparent because conventions (and associations) combine rituals, traditions, and (much smaller) evolving changes.
The most recent Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) convention taught me that social media and “content marketing” have gone mainstream. Of course, early adaptors were reporting on social media’s importance two or even three years ago. This year, I noticed how social media/content marketing concepts were embedded in presentations, conversations and even the convention’s own structures (with a convention”app” for tablets and phones.)
The closest parallel I have to the process I’ve observed here relates to LEED and environmentally responsible construction. About five or six years ago, suddenly several contractors started bragging about their LEED-certification status; they had discovered the trend (at last). Of course, a few were ahead of the curve, and while some of these leaders/early adaptors have fallen by the wayside, others have become the go-to source for sustainable construction initiatives. They don’t need to blow their own horns to win lucrative commissions, contracts and opportunities.
So, now that the tipping point has arrived, what should you do? Most likely, you have already started some early processes but you can certainly do more. If you aren’t blogging, and if you don’t have some systems to track, monitor and manage social media services, you will fall behind the median. You won’t take too much risk in developing basic social media capacities, nor do you need to be at the bleeding edge.
Of course, please don’t expect miraculous results by implementing social media and blogging capacities. You won’t be leading the pack. The advantages will be more subtle. Lower risk equals lower reward.