Success Depends on More Than the Content Itself


In Chapter 3: The Management of the Creative Industries, Chris Bilton touches upon the transformation the creative industries are undergoing. He recounts historical trends in the area as well as suggests how the creative and managerial processes may be blend together in the future. The glut of content in the digital age has undervalued content. As a result, businesses and firms can no longer focus mainly on what the content is, but rather how it is presented and marketed to consumers.

An AdWeek article on September 10, 2012, highlighted a debate between “digital veterans” and “digital natives “about the definition and role of social media managers. [1]Can they be considered marketers? Regardless of which side you are on, the article does reinforce Bilton’s assertion of the importance of branding and enhancing the customer experience.

Bilton writes, “…technological, social and cultural changes have conspired to devalue cultural content and place a stronger emphasis on the services and systems that convert raw symbolic goods into meaningful and valuable experiences for consumers.” It can be argued that these social media managers can be considered “cultural intermediaries” that help a company “add value to cultural content.” In other words, they are seeking to connect consumers to their company’s product in a way that distinguishes them from the surfeit of other products available in today’s market. Social media provides them the opportunity to do so that is outside of traditional marketing/branding methods.

According to the AdWeek article, it takes somebody who can “be truly immersed in the community” and has a “personality that seeks to engage.” Having a “short attention span” can also be considered a plus.  The focus is on the consumer – similar to what Bilton notes as a shift from “cultural production to cultural consumption.” Lastly, the article discusses how social media managers, especially at smaller social departments, must be flexible and be ready to “wear several hats.” This is indicative of what Bilton suggests is necessary to work in today’s “value networks.” In these new “networks” rather than “value chains,” creative and media workers must know more than their own project or department. Instead, they must be familiar with a variety of other departments and functions.

– Tunga Lodato

[1]Social Anxiety The social media manager has a key role for many brands. But can he or she really be called a marketer?” by Christopher Heine from AdWeek (9/10/12).


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