The customer is the marketer; that's what social media is for. The customer is the advertiser; that's what Google is for.

In a world where people have lots of time and there is very little education and very little information, traditional marketing and advertising thrives. We are not living in that sort of world.

The Celtic Tiger has gone missing. Good riddance many would say. I have a totally opposite opinion. The Celtic Tiger period drove a renaissance for Ireland. Out went the old, the narrow, the bigoted, the reactionary, the corrupt, and in came a new, confident, skeptical, optimistic, entrepreneurial, educated Ireland. Despite the current difficulties, Ireland is a vastly better country than the one I grew up in.

The old Ireland was an advertiser's dream: Poorly educated, willing to be led, the Irish were very brand loyal. Which meant that brands charged significantly more than they did in the UK. The Irish, you see, didn't feel confident enough to compare. We just bought what the TV told us to buy, just like we voted for the political party our father voted for. It was a marketer's dream.

That was then. This is now. Ireland has caught up with the rest of the modern world and is now much less brand loyal. The tools of the organization have become the tools of the customer. The methods of the organization have become the methods of the customer.

Organizations do research on their customers. Now customers do research on organizations. Organizations market and brand themselves. Now customers market and brand themselves through social media. Organizations record and publish; Now customers record, publish, tweet, blog. Organizations advertise. Now customers advertise.

When I go to Google and place "Dublin Rio flight" into the search box, I am placing an ad; A very specific, directed ad. I am saying to the airlines that I want the best price and the best flight option between Dublin and Rio. It's an ad.

What I want back is a response to my ad. I want to see your prices, your options. I want to know if there are direct flights. Pay attention! Because if you don't pay attention to my specific need right now, I'm gone. Bye.

Now, what do you think are the chances of me seeing an ad for the Nikon 5100 camera while I am in the process of finding the best flight from Dublin to Rio?

It's hard to use the Web without knowing what you want to do, where you want to go. The Web is not a Sunday walk. When was the last time you went to Google and said: "I just don't know what to search for. My doctor said I should search at least once a day; that it's good for my health. Somebody please give me a word?"

When you are a marketer or a communicator and the customer is communicating at you, how does that change your world? When you are an advertiser and it is you who are being advertised at, how does that change your world?

The customer is trying to get your attention. Are you watching? Are you listening? Are you paying attention? Are you ready to respond? The customer is the advertiser now.