Marketing Shifts from Impressions to Expressions

Excellent article from the Harvard Business Review...

A lot of us remember when the role of the CMO was much simpler. Information flowed in one direction: from companies to consumers. When we drew up our plans and budgets, the key metric was consumer impressions: how many people would see, hear or read our ad?

Today the only place that approach still works is on Mad Men. Now information flows in many directions, consumer touch points have multiplied, and the old, one-size-fits-all approach has given way to precision marketing and one-to-one communications. Perhaps the most consequential change is how consumers have become empowered to create their own content about our brands and share it throughout their networks and beyond. 

So what are the keys to winning in this new era of empowered, engaged and networked consumers? Here are some of the top "expression" lessons we've learned so far:

Accept that consumers can generate more messages than you ever could. 
Develop content that is "Liquid and Linked." 
Accept that you don't own your brands; your consumers do. 
Build a process that shares successes and failures quickly throughout your company.
Be a facilitator who manages communities, not a director who tries to control them. 
Speak up to set the record straight, but give your fans a chance to do so first.