Does Influencing People Still Matter? More Than Ever.

In a world dominated by algorithms and data, and a diminishing of traditional media’s reach and impact on the general public, does influencing people still matter? I recently had the pleasure of tackling this subject on stage at Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal with The Economist’s Gady Epstein. My answer: Yes. More than ever.

Here’s the video, along with a few of the moments from our discussion that I believe resonated with our audience most.

We don’t seek out the media anymore.
The media used to be a destination; something we sought out. The new definition of news: Something important enough to find me.

Information sharing is the most important currency.
Does influence and friends matter? According to Nielsen’s advertising credibility research, the No. 1 most credible source is a friend’s recommendation.

The new currency is the human channel.
The sharing economy feeds mainstream media. There is a huge future for real journalism, but it’s going to be shared with you by a friend.

Find your inner math geek.
The science of the industry has changed. Careers in analytics are quickly becoming a destination for the hottest jobs in the industry, and, it’s no coincidence, the next group of industry rock stars are the data geeks.

It’s not storytelling; it’s storymaking.
The story your consumer tells about your brand is far more powerful than the story you tell about yourself. Content co-created with your audience is becoming increasingly ubiquitous and netting increasingly powerful results.

The perils of algorithm-based marketing.
While an indispensable tool for any modern marketer concerned with data-driven results, there is no denying that, from a content perspective, algorithms are fueling polarization and group-think and are an engine of fake news. I predicted during our discussion that, within two years, a National Information Transparency Act will be enacted by legislatures around the world.