Wondering Out Loud

Social media levels the playing field

Traditional marketing uses campaigns to build brand awareness: Coke – “The Real Thing”, Pepsi – “The Choice of a New Generation”, BASF – “we don’t make the products you buy; we make the products we buy better”. Each is recognizable and each company invested millions of dollars to reach consumers.

I’m gonna take a stab in the dark, but I’m betting you, like me, are working with budgets that are substantially smaller than Coke, Pepsi or BASF. Guess what, it doesn’t matter because we all have access to the great leveler in the branding battle: the Internet.

OK, it’s not a perfect one-to-one exchange, but the power that lies within the worldwide web is boundless and with a little imagination and hard work you can leverage that power to create a brand for your product.

Until now, marketing and social media have been treated as separate and distinct and, truth be told, there’s argument that can be made for keeping them as such. But that doesn’t mean the latter can’t support the former.

Boiling it down to its simplest form, branding campaigns are designed to leave a mark, an impression on the mind. It is an impression you create and communicate, but the impression is only a perception, an opinion based on the message you provided.

As consumers, B2C and B2B became more sophisticated, their response to the bombardment of advertising became, “I’ll be the judge of that.” In other words, they wouldn’t accept what you have to say until they buy it, try it and make up their own mind. Your ads may get someone to buy once, but if reality doesn’t live up to the perception your advertising created they won’t buy again.

The power of the Internet makes it possible for all of us to turn perception into reality before they buy.

When you use social media tactics to promote the thought leadership in your company, when you expose the subject matter experts within to the market you are building credibility, you are building awareness. You are showing customers, potential and current, that there are people behind the brand. People who know the industry, people who know their customers and understand the business issues they face and are trying to solve daily.

In short, you are branding reality for your company, its products and services.

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August 27, 2009 - Posted by | Marketing, Social Media | , ,

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