Social Media Is a Bubble and SXSW Is a Fad
As the entrepreneur Prince sang, “So, tonite I’m gonna party like its nineteen ninety-nine.”
Social media is a means to end.
Social media is also increasingly horizontal in its application across the marketing funnel.
And it is a bubble.
As in 1999, this bubble is marked by four attributes:
Escalating valuations: Our panel will prove how Groupon cannot sustain growth, and the valuations of current social marketing stocks are not sustainable
Inflated salaries: How the scarcity of social marketing experts overinflated the salaries of the very people attending SXSW. This escalation came in part of a misguided panic in not understanding how to channel consumer behavior. This is why so many people are at SXSW with expense reports.
Dizzying competition: The world does not need more than 40 photo sharing services. We are at the end of the beginning, which will include a winnowing of services and consultants.
Tremendous hype: The number of publishers versus voyeurs is actually shrinking. This inversion of word-of-mouth to buzz is what bit Snakes on a Plane in 2006. Whenever there is a sustained inversion of buzz and word-of-mouth, the situation conflates.
SXSW is ground zero of this hype. The event elevates the channel over the objective, and the buzz over the results. It is a cultural event, but does not focus on analytics, results, and research, the cornerstones of social media. What happens at SXSW has little affect on the consumer unlike CES or E3.
Josh has been at the forefront of grassroots marketing in the United States for over a decade. He has developed and led culture-driven marketing campaigns for brands such as Mazda, Scion, Reebok, Xbox, T-Mobile, Dr Pepper, and numerous entertainment and music brands. His work has been highlighted in Forbes, Brand Week, Advertising Age, Wall Street Journal, GQ, and Motor Trend, among others, as well as the books Mind Your Xs and Ys: Satisfying the 10 Cravings of a New Generation of Consumers, The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing, and Coolhunting Digital.
His specialty is helping major brands break the status quo in a variety of marketing disciplines, from social media to street teams and events to integrations into art, music, fashion, and other niche lifestyle segments.
Josh is a member of MENG, and WOMMA, and serves on the marketing and strategic planning committees for the UCLA Alumni Association. In a previous life, Josh was a music journalist and founded a music management company. He started his career while writing about hip hop for UCLA’s Daily Bruin and has been published in such publications as the Source, Vibe, and XXL. Josh graduated from UCLA with a degree in Linguistics and Psychology, and earned a certificate in Business Management from USC’s Marshall School of Business. He lives with his wife, Christie, and baby boy Justin, in Los Angeles and enjoys yoga, biking, and wine, although never at the same time.