For me, the most significant development is that brands have already discovered it, be they social networks, blogging or micro-blogging. That said, while social media may be deployed, I don’t believe it is anywhere near the point of being embraced as a core, every day marketing vehicle. While many brands are using these social media platforms, many are not. Most brands are still too afraid to try something new or risk being in an uncontrolled environment, and those that do usually treat it as “experimental” instead of mainstream.
We won’t achieve “embraced” status until brands allocate their media spend to the levels that their customers allocate their media consumption time: first, with the internet getting the allocation of overall ad dollars proportionate to time spent online; and second, with social media allocated the ad dollars within the online media budget that is proportionate to time spent social networking, reading blogs etc.