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How Social Media has shared the way Brands Speak to Consumers. 


Tags:  personal brand  jom  "journal of marketing" 
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Published:  February 01, 2012

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Slide 1: BY BRENT SHAHI , MA NG DIRECTO AQUAO M NAGI R, NLINE ack in 2001 the thought of contacting a brand to query or complain about a service was a challenge for the average consumer. It required a lengthy wait on the phone, reminders that the call would be answered soon and that the caller is a valued client - rinse, wash, repeat. Fast forward just ten short years, and every man with a mobile phone or computer and Internet access is a wealth of opinion and comes with a built-in soap box. Enter Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and bloggers. It’s not just that consumers are voicing their opinions now that gets us marketers excited, it’s that consumers can now interact with brands on a one-to-one basis, in an informal, personal way that is on their terms. More importantly, brands can speak to their consumers, gain market research and insight and hear feedback on their products and services. Facebook and Twitter have revolutionised digital marketing in such a way that has not only changed consumers’ daily interactions, but they’ve transformed the way brands are advertised and marketed. No longer is a marketing campaign leveraged above, through or even below the line without keeping Facebook and Twitter in mind. It’s also exciting to see how the industry has (finally) embraced social media, and it’s even more exciting to see how consumers have welcomed brands online. The Old Spice campaign is testimony to this point. An age-old brand associated with our fathers and grandfathers alike used social media to completely overhaul any preconceptions we might have had, and instead portrayed the Old Spice brand to be young, HowSocial Mediahas Shared the way Brands Speak to Consumers B hip, and age-appropriate to a younger demographic. How’d they do this? Simply by launching a novel TV commercial which aired over the American Superbowl week. They then followed up with a Youtube channel, producing 186 personalised videos targeting existing social media fans, popular Twitter users, bloggers and celebrities in what they called their Response Campaign. The online response sparked a social media sensation with the fastestgrowing interactive campaign in Internet history with over 30 million views on YouTube. Talk show hosts such as Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey hosted the Old Spice teams on air, hundreds of spoofs and parodies cropped up within days, and many other brands hopped on the bandwagon by using this concept of advertising directly to their consumers on a first-name basis in the hopes of upping sales. And it worked. Within just three months Old Spice sales were up by 60%; 75% of the talk around the brand’s category was earned, owned and bought by Old Spice, and sentiment around the brand was at an all-time high. Research shows that 90% of consumers would trust a friend’s recommendation over that of a brand. Social media has given consumers the platform to broadcast their recommendations. Messages pushed by the brand no longer have the same impact that consumer-led dialogue about a brand has. It’s been proved now that we can no longer deny the value of social media: consumers want it, your marketing strategists should insist on it. Social media is relevant and recommended hand in hand with any marketing plan for any brand. 8 [ the Journal ] J JOM014 April-May 2011 RED.indd 8 4/5/11 3:33:44 PM

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