by Bryan Wiener, CEO of 360
arketing used to be a lot easier – and I’m talking about the late1990s, not the 1950s. You worked with your agency to developa big idea that would translate into a wonderful uni-directionalcreative execution that would be pushed in front of your target audiencecourtesy of a mass media buy.Even in the age of proliferation of cable channels, media planning wasn’t that hard. But now, the rules have
completely changed. TV advertising, while still very powerful, is becoming less effective and efcient by the
minute. Advertising dollars are concentrated where consumers are spending less than 25% of their time.
Even within online budgets, consumer-generated media represents almost 20% of time spent
but less than3% of the dollars.
More signicantly, the Internet has altered the rules of customer engagement forever.
Social media is a prime example of this shift, sitting at the nexusof consumer-generated content, conversations and interactions.Before user-generated content became so pervasive, consumerslearned about brands and products from (a) one-to-one word of mouth (b) press reviews or (c) advertising. Social marketing haselements of all of these, making it a bit more complex, but alsocreating fantastic opportunities for establishing stronger ties with
consumers. Because of this complexity, social marketing dees
organizational boundaries and standard line items in a marketing
budget. It doesn’t t cleanly into existing agency relationships.
Social marketing eliminates the middlemen, providing brands with the unique opportunity to have a directrelationship with their customers and to both listen and talk. Marketers who embrace their customers insocial spaces will thrive. They will learn from their customers by listening, while concurrently using themedium as a platform to foster advocacy, earn stronger brand equity and inspire loyalty due to the directrelationship. The downside of ignoring this radical landscape change goes way beyond just a lost opportunity– ignoring the shift has the potential to erode decades of brand equity. To quote Sarah Hofstetter, head of 360i’s social marketing team, “Covering your ears is not a viable strategy.”
1. “A2/M2 Three Screen Report,” Nielsen/NetRatings. Q1 2009.2. ”Media Trends: Time Spent on the Internet Continues to Grow,” Forrester Research. May 2009.3. ”Interactive Advertising Forecast (U.S.), Forrester Research. April 2009.
Social marketingeliminates themiddlemen, providingbrands with the uniqueopportunity to have adirect relationship withtheir customers.