Success on the social web? It all boils down to this.

Do you want to look like a genius at your company?  Walk into a meeting and say, “Future Internet Marketing success all boils down to one thing: Creativity.”

If they ask you why, tell them I told you to say this.  Then they will say “Who the hell is that?” and it will probably go downhill from there.

Nevertheless, if you do make this statement, you will be right because something incredible is about to happen. We’ve spent the past few years establishing a technological foundation and distributing smart mobile devices (I am including iPad in this category) and we have now reached critical mass.

At the same time, the cost of developing and distributing content has plummeted. The competitive focus is going to shift. It HAS to. The battlefield will move from selling phones and developing mindless apps for every brand to creating mind-boggling digital concepts that hold customers hostage.

Have you tried this stupid little game called Angry Birds? I got hooked on it a few weeks ago (damn that level 12) and this is the new standard for orgasmic creativity. The game is so stupid that you can’t let it go. You fling birds and blow up green pigs. Now why is it birds? Why not jars of peanut butter? Why isn’t it called Angry Corn Flakes? Why not fling Michelin tires or something?

By the way, this game cost $100,000 to develop and has brought in $10 million in revenue, one 99-cent download at a time.

Creativity has never gone out of fashion, but we are about to see something amazing stir as the perfect storm of consumer access, social simplicity, and technological ubiquity collide.

How do you capitalize on this? If you read one book on creativity, make it Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter Drucker. It occupies a permanent place on my office book shelf. I love this book so much because it provides a practical, hands-on guide to actually delivering the goods in a company, scientifically and systematically.

This book was written before the days you could have one idea, surround it with stories, and call it a book. This is a FRAMEWORK.  The thing that blows me away is that more companies haven’t followed this book word-for-word. It’s not easy, even with Professor Drucker behind you.

Officially, this is the first blog in history to feature Angry Birds and Peter Drucker in the same post.

If you think it’s difficult to get noticed on the social web, you ain’t seen nothing yet.  It is going to get much harder.  Exponentially harder. Here are four reasons:

1) China, etc. Are you worried about how your social media strategy is playing in China? India? Egypt? It’s kind of irrelevant right now isn’t it?  That is going to change.The world is joining us.

2) Speed. The rate of change is incredible so there has to be a premium on new ideas, a constant torrent of new concepts.

3) Volume. The volume of the social/mobile/content web is a 10 and it is about to go to an 11. Blogs are noise (Except this one. And yours, of course.) Twitter is a wall of chatter and getting noisier.  People go to Facebook to block out marketers, not embrace them.  How are you going to cut through?

4) Mash-ups. The convergence of content, technology and delivery systems is about to hit hyper-drive. The Internet will be the air. The web will be displayed through your glasses (and everybody will wear glasses – buy stock in Lens Crafter). The heat and rhythm of your body will power jewelry-sized computers and projection screens.

So while most social media strategies start with “listening” and “measuring,” at some point you need to create something … shake it up and do something bold.

What are you going to do stand out in this extreme and ubiquitous sonic wall of content?  Write a blog post?  Start a Twitter account?  Ummm, no.  Start thinking now.  Chief Creativity Officer. Creativity budgets. Extreme creativity. Galactic creativity.

Welcome to the Age of the Idea.  This is gonna be fun! Don’t you agree?

Illustration: Toothpaste for dinner

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