lmost a decade ater Al and Laura Ries boldlyproclaimed the “all o advertising,” it’s becomepainully apparent that traditional advertisingno longer works quite so well as it used to.
In act, withsocial media and peer-to-peer infuence starting to aectthe ortunes o companies in obvious ways, commentatorsare now wondering whether marketing itsel is obsolete,even whether “customer service” or “listening” is the “newmarketing.”
This isn’t merely idle talk; marketers areincreasingly shiting their dollars away rom TV and othertraditional mass media and toward options like online. They are also dabbling with increasing sophistication insocial media vehicles like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter. The rise o social media has gone hand in hand with abroader shit toward increased sel-empowerment andsel-assertion on the part o consumers. What someobservers miss, though, is the extent to which such a shitcalls into question the basic parameters o the company-customer transaction. Consumers don’t merely want to belistened to or their own sake; they air their views—andexpect businesses to listen—so that companies can thenprovide them with better value or their dollar. Valuethinking is everywhere, and not merely because o therecession. As one recent study ound, 83% o Gen-Xersand 91% o Boomers reported that a brand’s ability toprovide more value was an important actor in theirdecision to switch brands, and large majorities also citedother value-oriented reasons like the new brand being“better than the one they had been using” and “lowerpriced.”
In another study, almost 60% reported that abrand’s ability to provide “better value or the money” was“extremely important when considering purchase” o anew ood, beverage, or personal/household care product.
A new model o marketing is emerging. No longer ismarketing just a ‘communications discipline’ oreven a ‘dialogue discipline’ that explains brand benetsto consumers.
We at the Council of Public Relations Firms believe thatmarketing activities themselves must deliver enhancedvalue – tangibly contributing to the consumer’spositive brand experience.
Today the marketplace isrejecting conventional mass-media advertising becauseconsumers don’t eel it adds value. To the contrary, manybelieve its constant, repetitive presence actually corruptsthe brand experience and erodes value.Winning companies are increasingly eschewing advertisingand instead deploying social and conventional media inways designed to enhance the perceived value they deliverto customers. In recognition o consumers’ newoundpower, enhancing value now involves embarking on a
project o creating goods and services that betterserve consumers’ needs at an equal or lower price. Thiswhite paper explores seven areas in which companies havebegun to squeeze out more value or consumers throughmarketing. In each o these areas, the public relationsindustry and dedicated PR agencies in particular areproving themselves uniquely equipped to spearheadcorporate value-enhancing eorts. Experts in the latestsocial media, public relations agencies help companies addconsiderable amounts o value or consumers in disciplinesas diverse as customer service, business ethics, promotions,and many others. And public relations agencies do it moreeciently than traditional ad agencies, providingextraordinary bang or your marketing buck.Public relations has a rich, proven history o enhancing abrand’s experiential and social value. As consumerstransorm today’s marketing environment – seekinggreater value or their hard-earned dollars – publicrelations is emerging as the marketing discipline that’sright or the times.
Creating Value: Public Relationsand the New Brand Strategy