Are digital marketers the barbarians at the gate of traditional brand marketing, ready to lay siege through social media?
Fear not, brand marketers. Digital marketers just want to help. We can help with:
Brand positioning through UGC
Brand equity through SM measurement
Brand attitude through ethnography
Brand behavior through outlets for action
Brand impressions through pass-along
1. Brand positioning through user-generated content User-generated content (UGC) promotions usually start from the traditional premise of “translating” an offline brand online.
1. Brand positioning through user-generated content (cont.) But they shouldn’t stop there. Embracing UGC means allowing what your customers tell you about your brand to evolve your brand.
1. Brand positioning through user-generated content (cont.) UGC promotions can be a form of crowdsourcing, in which you put your audience to work on things you might have otherwise paid for. You get the dual benefits of brand engagement and, when it’s done right, usable brand assets.
2. Brand equity through social media measurement Brand equity the image, awareness, and associations your brand holds within your target audience i s a primary source of competitive advantage. It can be notoriously tough to measure offline.
2. Brand equity through social media measurement (cont.) The online space, on the other hand, offers plenty of places to look for your brand.
2. Brand equity through social media measurement (cont.) Not surprisingly, the social media space is awash with firms claiming to be able to mine it for brand equity (full disclosure: we’re one of those firms).
2. Brand equity through social media measurement (cont.) No doubt, there are many legit paths to measuring trends in brand equity; just make sure that yours accounts for qualitative differences. VS .
3. Brand attitude through ethnography Ethnography is an expensive-sounding term borrowed from anthropology. It involves field observation of the way a given community lives a brand. Again, tough to do offline. Easy-peasy online
Ethnography involves observing a community over a period of time. It can be time-consuming, and the results are almost never quantitative .
So why do it? It can uncover:
The full spectrum of attitudes about your brand not just the squeaky wheels
Richer data on how a product/service fits into consumers’ daily lives
Hidden negatives (because it’s not dependent on asking the right questions)
3. Brand attitude through ethnography (cont.) Nope, it doesn’t count to do ethnographic research on your own blogs or forums. The environment is artificial and heavily influenced by you. You’re going for this. Not this.
3. Brand attitude through ethnography (cont.) We express the results of ethnographic (as well as other) research in the marketing persona , which reflects the attitudes, needs, and behaviors of real consumer segments.
Have you spent any time observing online communities that are relevant to your brand?
4. Brand behavior through outlets for action Brand evangelists are often out there just waiting to be called into action. Social media makes it easier to find, connect with, and motivate them.
4. Brand behavior through outlets for action (cont.) Example: we found that Celestial Seasonings had a real groundswell of interest in bringing back their high-caffeine Fast Lane tea 1083 petition signatures!
4. Brand behavior through outlets for action (cont.) The obvious solution: Bring the tea back! But we did so by activating the base that had signed the petition and giving them an incentive to tell others. The result: within a month, Fast Lane was outselling the next–most-popular online tea by 10x.
4. Brand behavior through outlets for action (cont.) At the risk of stating the obvious: finding and activating existing brand affinity is much more efficient than generating it from scratch. This is the logic behind tools like mash-ups, which simply let people play in the brand sandboxes they enjoy anyway.
5. Brand impressions through pass-along In the old days, we had to pay for our brand impressions. We believed in word-of-mouth, but couldn’t measure it directly. Social media changed all that. Source: Fox Interactive Media , Never-Ending Friending, 2007
5. Brand impressions through pass-along (cont.) For many marketers, it feels easier just to pay for impressions. They’re still anxious over whether their brands will get passed along in social media venues. The answer: Maybe .
5. Brand impressions through pass-along (cont.) We’ve found that the trick is to focus on behaviors users were already engaged in, then facilitate those behaviors. As an example, Facebook’s new ad formats do exactly that.