How can companies like BP recover from devastating PR disasters like the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico?  Just get the cleanup done, and keep the public informed, says Bob Lord, the global CEO of interactive agency Razorfish.

"No amount of marketing, no amount of ads they have in the New York Times or commercials that they put out there are really going to help them until their actions are speaking louder than their words and they stop the leak and then they do the cleanup and I think then they would be able to revive themselves," says Lord. "I believe when brands are challenged they can’t talk about things.  They need to act very quickly and their actions will allow them then to rise again and actually could put them in a better position than they were sometimes before.  You can sometimes turn lemons into lemonade in these situations."

In his Big Think interview, Lord also talks about how new tools and methodologies are involving the consumer in the marketing process more and more. "The marketing companies that are doing things well are the marketing companies that are bringing the consumer in early on to test and learn about how people will react to a particular message to understand what they would want in product development, so when the product actually launches the consumer has already been involved with the evolution of that product," says Lord. "There are automobile companies that are enlisting the help of the general public to help to design the car of the future.  What do they want the car of the future to look like?  What attributes do they see as important?  And those features are being fed into the product design element and the developers that are then being inputted into the cars, which ultimately you now have a virtual focus group to help you in your marketing message and your design process."