In the original song, four calling birds represented the four gospels, four versions of the truth.
In 2012, we clearly have four versions of the truth.
- Old-School Marketing.
The online folks believe that old-school activities are "dead", while being appropriately skeptical of social/mobile as engines of growth.
The social/mobile folks believe that their approach "changes everything". They quickly identify endeavors where social/mobile "work" as proof of the viability of technology that "changes everything".
The reality is that there is truth in all of the above. Each channel is a testament to the relationship between customers and businesses.
In 2012, maybe we'll shift the focus from individual channels "changing everything" and "be multichannel or be dead" to "selling stuff". Maybe we'll focus on merchandise. Channels are simply the outcome of how we attempt to sell stuff.