Many people in the marketing industry talk about the next stage in the development of the Internet – the Metaverse – as the next marketing and consumption revolution. They may be right, but it’s going to be a long time before this total virtualization will be part of our life and become public domain.

During the next five years, we will witness and fully participate in a completely different kind of tectonic change— we will call it the “Gatekeeper Revolution. ”

This approach is based on the Gatekeeper theory in which the psychologist Kurt Lewin first engaged. The original approach, as well as my use of it, relates to controlling information, data and access, in the sense of deciding whether and how to pass the information (or the advertisement) to the audience.

Gatekeepers are data decision makers who control information flow to an entire social system

They control information and the path between the source and the “controlled” people – called: Gated

In the marketing, content and advertising Industry – the gatekeepers determine what will pass from one side to the other, when, how often and at what cost –this process called: Gatekeeping

Today there are two powerful and total Marketing & Content Gatekeepers –

Facebook Group and the Google Group. (If we look broader at the e-commerce industry as well, we should, of course, add Amazon to the trio of gatekeepers.)

Today, it is almost impossible to create an effective campaign that is not through one of these gated guards. It is almost impossible to grow a company or brand without the “approval” of the gatekeepers. It is impossible to establish a successful start-up without the support of the gatekeepers. Digital assets – sites and apps – of a brands or small business will disappear if they are not promoted by the gatekeepers.

The duopoly nature of the gatekeepers who determine in fact everything – chokes the marketing and content industry. And when the industry chokes up – prices go up and the performance is less efficient. Everyone feels it.

The Industry is starting to bubble up.

Advertisers don’t like gatekeepers because they control their campaigns

Publishers / websites – Cut and Shrunk (in terms of activity and advertising revenue) – because of the gatekeepers

Tech companies don’t like their dependence on these two gatekeepers

Local Regulators uneasy about the strengthening of the giant gatekeepers

Many countries are uncomfortable with the existence of such powerful elements that do not pay proper tax

And above all – consumers / the Gated – do not like these super creatures that hold so much personal data and clearly do not really protect the privacy of our information.

The persistent bubbling will create an explosion that will cause the tectonic change:

Instead of 2-3 gatekeepers will rise up hundreds or thousands of smaller gatekeepers – less powerful.

There will be three types of digital areas in which the new gatekeepers will rule:

  1. Segmental or professional communities – with clear management and an effective business model for the continued existence of each community
  2. Niche social networks. More intimate and focus on specific themes or interests.
  3. MarketPlaces – In which the strongest companies in each category will dominate. In these areas, there will be commercial activity alongside content and community activity that is open to the public.

The new gatekeepers will be the ones who quickly realize that they have the option and need to establish their own media place and areas of activity and not depend on the consent of one gatekeeper or another to establish relations with the Gated.

There are four types of organizations or companies that need and can lead this revolution :

Advertising agencies. As advertising on Facebook and Google became more dominant, the more traditional agencies lost relevancy. If they will not become gatekeepers – they will be vanished.

Big brands whose businesses are based on relationships with consumers. For example – credit card companies, telecommunications, companies in the fields of tourism, banking and more.

American Express Invested in this direction when it launched its Open Forum Initiative several years ago. This is a digital arena that supports small businesses through content, information and consultancy and by that created a small business community under the management of the company.

Publishers/ Content producers and websites whose businesses were based on advertising have shrunk and have been financially affected by the strengthening of the gatekeepers. Their only way to survive would be to become gatekeepers by building marketplaces and/or small social networks and/ or managed communities.

New start-ups that identify the beginning of such tectonic change and specialize in development of Marketing platforms for creating and managing segmental communities.

A very good example of this is the company called – Marketing Without Advertising

The company develops platforms for marketing and promotion for entities that do not have significant advertising budgets – in principle, for small businesses and freelancers.

The company mission is to give small businesses and freelancers equal chance for success.

Freelancers & small businesses are the most growing business segments but they act in a very competitive area with a limited budget. They need help in Marketing & Business Development (existing solutions are very crowded and expensive) . Adless realized that the marketing field is changing – It Is going to be based on Community Marketing / unique platforms because the traditional one-to-many advertising is less effective.

Among Adless platforms you can find a zone called TopIpro – that promotes freelancers based on their social presence quality and users’ recommendations (SPOQ – Social Proof Of Quality) Another platform, called Mesh is a business connections network – enables small businesses to find new partners and to connect with professional consultants.

Another interesting platform from Adless is called Pact – a unique community area that enables small businesses and freelancers to distribute their content.

The four types of companies that may become the new gatekeepers can do so more effectively if they will establish strategic partnerships and work together. We will see few interesting joint venture Initiatives and lots of Co-Marketing relations.