Gary Vaynerchuk’s book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, attempts a knockout. As for metaphorical imagery, jabs and right hooks effectively spin an instructive and interesting yarn. Vaynerchuk’s tutorial on how to conquer the digital marketplace is immediately relevant (at least in the United States). Even a few years ago, the book’s platforms didn’t even exist. The same may hold true in a few years hence. They may not even exist, or at least with the power and prevalence they enjoy today. I doubt that causes concern for the author as the evanescent popularity of marketing models and methods, along with their accoutrement platforms, promises untold sequels to Jab Jab’s current marketing missives.
Despite Vaynerchuck’s best intentions, I’m compelled to question a central premise. Will social media retain its power and pull, at least in America and Europe for the long haul? Sure, people will dabble in social media to a certain extent for years, even decades. But will today’s wonders become tomorrow’s yawns? With a flurry of jabs pummeling people from all ends, they likely will not need a right hook to score a knockout. They’ll fall flat on to the ground, victims of jab overload. It will not take a pummeling to lay them out, but simply the incessant prickling and needling as marketers pick their data like an irritating and somewhat painful scab. No doubt digital downloads are here to stay. However, nostalgia can trump novelty. The resurrection of vinyl proves that simplicity and nostalgia have a place (and a market) on the nearside of the digital divide.
When I wrote about Brazil’s ascending interest and import in social media for the Huffington Post and the Vail Daily over a year ago, I referred to reports in Forbes and the Wall Street Journal that social media usage was headed south, literally and figuratively. While Vaynerchuck examined American social media platforms, Hoot Suite CEO Ryan Holmes advises differently, as glaringly apparent in his column’s title, “The Future Of Social Media? Forget About The U.S., Look To Brazil.” It appears that a huge market is willing, even eager, for some jabbing (and jabbering) even as Americans withdraw. The Brazilian culture valued a vibrant collective social life long before mass media expanded beyond broadcast outlets to communication platforms. If marketers want to play the pugilist, Brazil is where the right hooks will score their intended knockouts with greater frequency. The subtext (and subtitle) of Vaynerchuck’s book, “How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social Media World” has it correct. The social media environment is both noisy and global. Noise can be deafening and the world extends beyond our borders and behaviors. If Americans become unable or unwilling to hear the message, Brazil wants in on the conversation. The key word is conversation; not reception. The author emphasizes that content is king, but context is God. Vaynerchuck’s compiled platforms are incomplete. It appears that anyone interested in marketing should seriously study the Brazilian landscape for both content and context.