As part of our Integrated Marketing Week speakers series, we have a great line up of experts in the digital and integrated marketing space. Our second interview features Jonathan Salem Baskin who also spoke at JUMP 2013 in New York.

Jonathan Salem Baskin founded Baskin Associates in 2003 to put decades of experience in digital marketing to good use for clients. We featured insights he contributed to AdAge (“a social campaign that does nothing but entertain is as artificially opaque as the worst output of the bad old days of mass media”) in this 2010 post.

Read on to find out Jonathan’s current thoughts around the state of search, “big data” and more.

What are you speaking on at IMW?

I’m on a panel entitled “Where Does Social Fit in Your Media Mix?” My opinion is that the nature of P2P and mobile experiences are such that we’re going to see the demise of shared entertainment or other branded content, and instead witness more on-demand access to utility content (pricing, quality, location, etc.). As such, it will emerge as the underpinning to mediated experiences, and not serve as a component of the media mix. HopStop’s case is very illustrative of my point (another panel participant), though quite by happenstance. 

When it comes to “big data” in marketing, where do you draw a line in the sand as far as a definition, or size of campaign?

Big Data is the latest marketer wet dream, because it allows us the pretense of believing that we can predict customer behavior. Of course this isn’t true, though we can certainly use data to better understand and target possibilities. I draw the line between using data as a input to marketing strategy and its outright definition. It’s a tool. I also think that the larger the data array, the risk/reward of the resulting insights increases. More data points mean more variables (inherent and correlative). 

Is the old model of search broken in today’s multi-channel and multi-device world?

Nope, it just has to continue to evolve. Paid or social searches have their uses but are ultimately less credible than truly objective, agnostic information, which is what consumers are looking for, ultimately. I think what’s broken is that most brands still hold out hope that they should propagate entertainment into the mediasphere, or attempt to directly control consumer interactions via web sites or apps. These are outdated ideas wrapped in the latest tech. 

What other areas beyond Facebook “Likes” will we begin to see tapped by marketers as far as an online “interest graph?”

I have no idea, other than that the better question to ask is “what areas will consumers use to take control of the conversation in a truly independent P2P fashion?” Marketers need to understand this shift and define how they’ll contribute to it.

How can retailers of the future offer in-store digital experiences that integrates with their web /mobile presence

In-store digital experiences is a misnomer; in-store is a geophysical reality experience to which digital content can contribute…or not. The future of mobile is making useful information available to consumers anywhere, anytime, so retailers need to figure out how to support and accommodate inputs like price comparisons, quality reviews, manufacturing reports, etc. 

Editor’s Note: In partnership with the DMA, Econsultancy is hosting Integrated Marketing Week in New York from June 10-13. Speakers include Seth Godin, Brian Solis, and representatives from Macy’s, American Airlines, Mastercard, Google and much more. Register today at