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Managing Your Brand in a Digital Environment (Part 2)


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Part 2 of KinConsult article on Kenya Institute of Management magazine to be published December 2009.

Published in: Business, Technology
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Managing Your Brand in a Digital Environment (Part 2)

  1. 1. Managing Your Brand in a Digital Environment (Part 2) Past Article In my previous article I tackled the following topics • Behavior change in new media • What is in a brand • Pull Vs Push Marketing • Battle of the 3 screens • Evolution of brand building To continue with the topic of managing your brand in a digital environment I shall tackle the characteristics of digital media and some of the best practices any company should be looking into in engaging with new digital media. The Era of User Generated Content (UCG) User generated content refers to various kinds of media content, publicly available, that are produced by end-users. 75% of online users are content creators. As people start to spend more time online it is evident that one thing is clear more people have an avenue of engaging in conversation and as a consequence everyone becomes an “expert” and gives their feedback on any topic that piques their interest. When people go online to review a web site they have an opportunity to review and comment on any brand or company. They can choose to communicate with the online entity by way of email and if the company has an array of products they can participate in reviewing and giving feedback on product ratings. If they are excited about what the saw online they will go to their online community messaging boards and spread the news about brands they are excited about. However if they had a negative experience about a brand e.g. broken links, lack of e-mail follow up. The same online forum can be used to damage the reputation of a brand because the executives of that organization have no clue in managing their online media. Characteristics of User Generated Content (UGC) • The way speed with which people discover, process and share information has changed dramatically • Understand that the digital environment is evolving your current vehicle for branding will change • You are not in control even when you think you are • Your brand does not need for you to be online others will put it • If you do not define your brand someone else will • Accept the loss of complete control and become part of the experience and conversation How to Gain Control: Watch your brand. Any company should watch their online brand and there are tools that you can use to monitor the conversation about your brand. Participate in new media. The era of new media is here if you have no clue what is going on turn to the younger generation who engage actively in digital media in their day to day lives. If you do not have in-house experts seek professional digital media agencies who can advise on how to manage your brand in an ever changing digital environment.
  2. 2. Empower the knowledge workers who understand the direction of new media i.e. online and mobile media. Give them the necessary support for new initiatives. No one has completely figured out digital media but it is growing and it will be an on-going experiment. Engage with end users. Have a culture of having a conversation with user generated content providers. This could be bloggers and those who use twitter to micro-blog. Brands and companies should take advantage of online media to conduct surveys to encourage participation and feedback. Finally don’t be the conversation be part of the conversation. You cannot wait for others to drive your brand “equity” in a digital environment. If you are slow to engage in digital media others will move quickly and exploit opportunities and your competitors will be eager to exploit this new media to discredit you and win acceptance in this new space. Tools for Your Digital Presence: Have a clever digital presence. Create a cool and exciting web site and make sure that you create content for your website that is fresh and it does not have rendering issues on mobile phones. You website is the first impression people have of your brand online. This is the opportunity to tell your story. Make your site look clean, enticing and memorable. Have clear calls to action don’t stack it up with a lot of useless content such as how many degrees your CEO has. Talk about your products and your messaging and the benefits of your product and services. Be visible on search engines such as Google or Yahoo. Having good results on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) increases visibility manages your reputation and generates sales leads. There are millions of websites and you must stand out and make sure that your site is searchable and can be found easily. It is critical that you brand is found on natural listings and where possible augment your natural listing through paid placement on the major search engine vendors. Conduct rich html e-mail campaigns. The intended message has to reach the target audience and reach it at the right time. To that end e-mail in this day and age has become critical for distribution of company messages. However as e-mail popularity has grown as a cost effective communication tool so too has the volume of unwanted e-mail or SPAM. E-mail despite the problems with spam can be a very effective tool if managed correctly. Use online display advertising. This consists of using ad space on websites to reach a desired target audience. Sites may include web portals, blogs, social networks, instant message applications, widgets, RSS feeds, and more. Online banners can also incorporate rich media functionalities which include interactive elements such as banner expansion and data submission. Other types of display advertising include things like site skins, fixed sponsorships, and video. Mobile is a rapidly growing sector providing brands, agencies and marketer the opportunity to connect with consumers beyond traditional and digital media and directly on their mobile phones. Over 3 billion people have mobile phones with that number expected to reach 4 billion by 2010. If you compare this to only 850 million PC users worldwide it is quite obvious that the mobile web demands attention. You cannot afford not to engage in mobile media. In conclusions consumers are participating in creating brand messages and expressing themselves using brands that resonate with them. They are personalizing the way they shop, interact, watch listen and communicate. Consumers are creating content and watching what others have made. They’re listening to online media and recording their own. They’re
  3. 3. creating social networks, subscribing to and delivering digital media and taking their media with them using their mobile devices. It is critical to note that information is delivered and developed outside of the company – Organizations no longer have the tight control they once did. No company in this day and age can afford not to have a digital media strategy. The writer can be reached by e-mail at or on twitter @KinConsult for any feedback or comments. To access the current and previous articles online please visit Profile & Contact Details: Kinoti is the Managing Director at KinConsult a new-age digital media company that enables corporations and institutions to connect, transform and extend their businesses using electronic media through the creation, development and delivery of leading-edge solutions by leveraging proven tools that help customers, suppliers and partners manage their needs more efficiently. Mr. Gituma has extensive experience in managing large e-Commerce projects for Fortune 500 Companies in the Silicon Valley. He has sold everything online from rugby jerseys on eBay to servers, computers and software on Google and Yahoo. Mr. Gituma has an MBA e-Commerce from California State University. E-mail: Twitter: @KinConsult Blog: URL: Phone: 1-408-840-3350 Linkedin Profile: