In a recent news item, it was reported that brands are dead and that all the money we have spent on marketing had been thrown down the drain. It was obviously a headline to shock everybody and capture their undivided attention as quickly as possible.
Digital publishing success is no longer just about old media adjusting to the digital future. Big media brands-whether they have a print legacy or a digital-only history-are learning that most readers are not coming through the “front door” anymore, and they must adapt to a social future where aggregators and curators are guarding the door or be left behind.
This is, actually, very different from saying that big brand marketing is dead. It simply means that our focus has to change from print and television marketing to online marketing, using social media as a strong starting point. After all, we all sit down for breakfast and check our mobiles for updates on Facebook and Twitter and continue to do so until we go to bed. All big brands really need to do is join into that in order to get their brand noticed again.
Twitter Better than Facebook
In another very interesting news report, it was noted that Twitter is actually a better place to advertise than Facebook. This seems odd, because Facebook allows for far greater direct interaction with customers, engaging them in conversations and allowing them to share pictures and stories. However, for whatever reason, the following of big brands is now bigger on Twitter than on Facebook.
Optimal says it looked at the data from 4,330 brands, representing a total of 3.49 billion Facebook Likes and 595 million Twitter followers. Last week, those brands added 18.5 million new Likes and 4.5 million new followers – so on a percentage basis, their following grew 55 percent more quickly on Twitter than it did on Facebook.
Some would say that this comparison is like comparing apples to oranges and is totally useless. They have a point, as we all know that we cannot focus on just a single form of social media and should instead use everything that is available to us. However, others are saying that Facebook is now a dying breed (who remembers MySpace) and that the proof is in the pudding: Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has more Twitter tweets than Facebook likes!
Focusing on What Is There
We know that we have to focus on what is actually out there if we plan to make a name for ourselves in terms of our brand and product. However, at the same time, we cannot deny that traditional media remains a powerful force.
Television spend has increased by 10% and both radio and out of home (OOH) media by 16%. We know that pushing consumers to engage with brands on new digital platforms is often dependent on how you use traditional channels to drive them there. It remains clear that traditional and new channels are still very much in their honeymoon phase and need each other.
There are a number of key trends that seem to really be important in terms of developing marketing in line with the technology that is available to us today. First of all, any marketing campaign should always be available on the television. Televisions are not dead and they are even seeing a revival with the advent of internet TVs and Smart TVs. Secondly, there has to be a very strong focus on mobile content and mobile advertising. We know that people use their mobiles for around half of their internet access if not more. Thirdly, social media interaction is huge and you must follow trends. Although nobody would suggest you don’t use Facebook to attract new customers, the developments show us that it would be even worse to not use Twitter. Since the two can be linked, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have both. Next, if you have a physical store, think about retail innovation, such as the Audi showroom that had no cars in it, only huge digital screens with information about the cars. And lastly, consider sponsorship. The movie and sports industry remains big and this is a great way to get your brand noticed.
Last but not least, you have to consider the way society is today. It has been adequately described as a society of addiction – capitalism, dopamine and the consumer junkie.
Flush faces are the tell-tale sign of a dopamine rush. We get high from buying commodities that enhance our status. In this light, we can look at corporate stores and see them as consumer crack houses. If it’s true that billions of people around the world are being addicted to our evolutionary Achille’s heel of salt, sugar, fat and status, then it’s time to ask the question. Are we capitalism junkies?
The answer is that yes we are. And as a marketer, we can use this to our advantage. It is said that there is no such thing as bad publicity, and this has never been truer now. Someone shares a negative report on Facebook or Twitter about a brand, and you will have thousands of people checking your page out to see what it is about. We are addicted to information as much as to products and capitalism. It is now that companies are suddenly able to jump into that addiction like never before, offering people a quick fix through the media that they use and are exposed to even if they don’t want to. A mobile phone, for instance, will even send you a notification when there is a new Tweet! This means that as a business, simply putting anything about yourself on Twitter will be seen by millions of people in one go, unless they have their notifications switched off. That is how powerful Twitter is and why it is such an important part of your social media campaign. Some say social media is dying, but it seems that they are wrong.