Fast Company has a post up on the topic of “post-modern marketing.” Their definition of that is marketing in a world where not only is the audience hip to the marketing communities moves but the marketing community knows that the audience is hip to it. It’s all very meta. The point is that marketers must continue to find new and innovative ways to not just hard sell people but get them to care about the marketing efforts.

That’s why, if you ask me (and I know you did), companies need to embrace consumer-generated-content, but in its authentic and pure form. Don’t just give people a couple of video clips and sound effects that they can play with and arrange. That’s a corporately sanitized version of CGC. No, they need to really get down and dirty and engage with the bloggers talking about their products, the video makers creating their own commercials and others like this.

To my mind “post-modern marketing” means doing something that’s extraordinarily scary to most companies: letting go of complete control. Companies can no longer hope to control the conversation that’s going on regarding their brands, products and corporate entities. They can participate in that conversation in meaningful ways, sure. But control? Forget it. Those corporately-endorsed CGC sites can be fun and be a valuable way to spur the conversation along, but that can’t be the extent of the entry into it. It just can’t be. If it is, or if the company decides to sit out the conversation entirely, they’re going to find themselves behind the eight-ball in a very real way.