Skip to main content

Is anybody listening?

Three years ago while speaking on an Ad:Tech panel, I coined the term wikibranding to convey an observation that brands are in fact wikis, entities that are increasingly defined by the crowd and less so by the manufacturer.

Given the disruptive forces in social media that have taken hold since then – YouTube and Facebook weren't yet the mass forces they are today, and Twitter hadn't yet tweeted – I believe this to be even more true today.

So the question is not whether customers are talking, it's whether marketers are listening.  What are marketers doing with the flood of peer-to-peer likes and dislikes that travel around the world at light speed?

I've grown tired of traditional dashboards.  They provide heat but little light.  They report but don't inspire ideas.  That's because most analytics are a dizzying blur of data that are disconnected from the building blocks of brand equity; disconnected from product innovation; disconnected from the CEO's line-of-sight on what's actually happening in the marketplace.

Infographics is a start.  Sure to get more senior management attention on what the data are saying.

The chatter about the emerging role of Chief Listening Officers is another step, but one that will add value only if the CLO is given a mandate to make things happen.  (Shouldn't the CMO be the CLO?)

Another way is to begin aligning analytics with the key principles of how brands build equity and value. (A project that's already underway at BD'M.)

Whatever the solution turns out to be, it's sure to require an equal balance of lateral thinking to find insights within disparate data points, as well as patience to make sure we don't react to every opinion that passes as fact on the Internet.


Popular posts from this blog

What makes a premium brand premium?

I was thinking the other day about the DNA of premium brands . One thing is certain -- it's a relative idea. For example, Hyatt is not a premium brand if you're used to staying at a W or a Ritz Carlton. But if your vacations to date have been holed up in a Holiday Inn, then by all means a stay in a Hyatt is a premium experience. Another thing is certain -- a brand is considered premium only when we believe it is worth the price. And that's where we can dig deeper. Why are we willing to pay more for a product when there are others that provide the same service or function at a lesser price? I have spent a good part of my marketing career developing strategies and ideas for a wide range of  premium brands, including American Express, Sony, Callaway Golf, Hilton, Jaguar, Land Rover – even the Toyota Prius.  Through these experiences I have come to believe that a premium brand is built upon specific tangible and intangible attributes that give it a sense wort

Super game. Dull ads

As a passionate Giants fan it is safe to say that I had a good time yesterday. But as an advertising professional I felt a bit underwhelmed by the caliber of the advertising . Many were entertaining. But few possessed that intangible Super Bowl-ness...big, pop-cultural, fun. Even fewer seemed to have anything relevant to say about the brand, such as the Planters "uni-brow" spot. I loved the Bridgestone "screaming animals" spot, but it would have been a much better spot for the Saab featured in the spot than the tires the car rode upon. As for Bud, good spots, but I've seen the dog and horse thing before. Tide's talking stain was funny, but did it have Super Bowl-ness? My fav? The Coke "balloon float" spot. It was classic Coke (for Coke Classic). Big. Entertaining. Unexpected twist. Utterly charming. And Charlie Brown finally won something. Coke is about smiles. And that spot was just that. The Audi spot that I wrote about last week liv

Marketing as a service.

What if we re-imagined marketing as a way to serve customers?  What if we designed it as a way to provide real-time value and utility to customers? Our SXSW panel at explored these issues and more.  Marketing as a service harnesses Big Data to provide more meaningful and helpful experiences for customers.  It is a principle born of the belief that the dynamics of customer loyalty have fundamentally changed.  Loyalty can no longer be solely defined by customers staying loyal to a brand.  Because the internet provides us with unlimited choice, the tables have turned – brands must now demonstrate their loyalty to customers by serving them.