We’ve heard a lot of people repeat the Web 2.0 cliché that “Content is King”. But the new thinking is that Content is not King, Context is. The internet has evolved in stages over the last 10 years from “Surf” to “Search” to “Find” and now the challenge is to “Filter”. We can get a massive amount of relevant information in a nanosecond…Great…now how do I winnow out of that only the information I need?

That’s why BAT is working so diligently on developing our Social Marketing capabilities. Our client brands’ consumers are seeking out and talking with others of like minds…in blogs, in newsgroups, through RSS feeds, community tagging tools such as Digg and deli.cio.us, social networking sites like Facebook and more. These are the places people are going (those people?..they’re us!) because we’re learning that we no longer need or are limited to looking to published authorities for guidance, but are finding more relevant and trustworthy information knowledgeable peers (think Wine Spectator being dethroned by Gary Vaynerchuk at Wine Library TV)

So here’s the message marketers in this brave new world need to get…Be Part of the Conversation…With or without you, the conversation is taking place. The choice then is to participate and help shape it, or ignore it and let it shape you.