By Priya W. - March 2nd, 2015

Long gone are the days of traditional advertising. The days of where companies spend thousands of dollars to craft elaborate PR and mass media campaigns to push a brand message out to consumers and entice them to buy their products.

Today, consumers have formed a different relationship with brands. As usage and innovation expands across social media and digital technology, new platforms and channels give consumers more power and more of a voice to interact and engage with them. As stated in the 1999, “Cluetrain Manifesto”: “Markets are becoming better informed, smarter, and more demanding of qualities missing from most business organizations.” This also relates to the idea posited in the book Wikibrands, which discusses the progressive evolution of a company’s brand—from  product (“something you buy”) to lovemark (“something you participate in”): wikibrands So what’s different about this new marketplace?

  • Markets have shifted away from being solely based on transactions to a focus on conversations.
  • Markets are made up of regular people who expect these conversations to be carried out in a human voice. They want to understand who a company is as a person—not a corporate robot. A human voice is honest, trustworthy, humorous, and understanding.

So how does this apply to business today and how can you use this advice to make appropriate changes to your business? Step 1 comes with defining a clear vision for who your company is and what you do. What kind of voice does your company want to establish? How do you want to engage with consumers? Step 2 is gaining a better understanding of your target consumer. Now that you understand who you are and your platform, who would be interested in this information? More importantly, where do they hang out on the web or in the real world? Besides simply business-speak, what are their hobbies, interests goals, etc. What information could you provide them to not only help solve their problems but create content they would enjoy engaging with? Step 3 is selecting the appropriate platforms for your company to use to ensure you are engaging with your target consumer in the appropriate places. For a real-world example, check out the “Inside Maersk” article next week for more actionable tips on crafting a successful social media campaign and segmenting customers by social media platform. For more insight on better projecting your brand across social, check out the upcoming Incite Summit: West, May 18th and 19th in downtown San Francisco.  Picture source: and    

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