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The Best of 2010: Hybrid Theory and the Future of Marketing

Jeremiah Owyang, industry analyst at Altimeter Group, published a report that sent shock waves throughout the global creative industry. For large agencies, it represented a harbinger of change. For specialized groups, the report was a declaration of validation.

In his report, "How Social Media Boutiques are Winning Deals Over Traditional Digital Agencies," Owyang documents the disruption facing traditional agencies. For those businesses already advanced in social media strategies and needs, budgets are turning to boutique shops as much as 8x over traditional agencies.

This isn’t just about agencies and creative professionals. The future of business is tied directly to the C-suite, including CEOs, COOs, CMOs, CSOs, CFOs, and everybody who reports to them.

Social Media are often underestimated and a Facebook Brand Page, Twitter profile, and blog are simply extensions of deeper engagement strategies that require definition. Looking beyond the 3F’s of friends, fans, and followers, businesses must also build an inbound infrastructure that supports outbound activity. And what brand managers will usually find upon experimentation, is that the online consumers represent a myriad of distinct audiences, not just one receptive to creative marketing. The Last Mile of business requires the recognition and engagement of social consumers and a genuine, yet sophisticated approach.

Enter Hybrid Theory…

As we witnessed with the rise of digital agencies in Web 1.0, agencies of all shapes, sizes, and focus will need to expand services once consolidation escalates. There’s a lot to learn and the needs of even the most savvy businesses have not yet fully materialized.

The Hybrid Theory Manifesto represents nothing less than the future of marketing and the socialization of business. It’s designed to introduce continuum and collaboration into complementary strategies that steer inbound and outbound experience. And yes, customer service is marketing. As you’ll find, not only will the creative process change, but the systems, methodologies, and supporting resources require transformation and evolution as well. It’s digital Darwinism and those who attempt to stuff maturing needs of social consumers into outdated operations will risk extinction. Sometimes, necessity is the mother of reinvention.

Please take a moment to read…and share your thoughts.

The Hybrid Theory Manifesto: The Future of Marketing, Advertising, and Communications

Part One: Introducing the Fifth P of the Marketing Mix…People

Part Two: Looking Beyond Madison Ave…shifting from campaign to continuum

Part Three: Hybrid Theory Explained

Reprinted from

Brian Solis is the author of Engage and is one of most provocative thought leaders and published authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis's research and ideas have influenced the effects of emerging media on the convergence of marketing, communications, and publishing. Follow him on Twitter @BrianSolis, YouTube, or at