The word awareness means the ability to perceive, to feel, or to be conscious of events, objects or patterns, which does not necessarily imply understanding. Awareness comprises a human’s perception and cognitive reaction to people and things happening around them.
As more and more people become aware of social technology we are all becoming more aware of people’s preferences, profiles and affinities to things and other people. When people join Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter they are in fact making markets more aware of who they are and what their “personal brand” stands for. Most people are not cognitive to the fact that their engagement in social technology is in fact a digital footprint of their “personal brand” and now the world is aware of who you are and everything about you.
The same is true for institutional brands and the management behind them. Before the web became social consumer awareness of brands was dictated by how much brands spent on mass media. Mass media was pushed into our personal lives everywhere we turned. People were considered targets by the brands and every scheme possible was tried as a means of catching us in the net of traditional advertising and marketing schemes. Now that individuals have been empowered with their own media institutional brands are the ones being caught in the web of conversations created by we the people.
Awareness Has Just Become Personal
Whether an individual or an institutional brand awareness of who you are and what you do has just become the most important factor of choice by the masses. Choice is the most important factor of influence. If people choose to engage with your brand that choice is driven by numerous personal affinities. If your brand is able to create positive attention, attraction and affinity then your able to create an audience waiting to be served.
Serving an audience is a daunting task of never ending exchanges. Today these exchanges are in the form of conversations. The currency you create from these conversations are the indicators of your brands value, whether personal or institutional. Old advertising methods have not been efficient in creating conversational currency. Simply put these old methods are anti-social and the market of conversations is indeed rejecting these methods. Don’t believe it? Just 4% of users click on social-media ads, and 9% say they find the ads useful when deciding what to buy, according to a study by LinkShare. “Online users are information shoppers — they are looking for buyer reviews — so adverts need relay more information to cater for this need.”
Whether an institutional or personal brand your market is fully aware of your methods, your message and all your conversations. The web is a universal library that indexes everything you say and do. Nothing is hidden rather everything is transparent.
Because of all this transparency it is vitally important that institutional and personal brands insure that your methods, your messages and your proposition is considered “social”. You might ask “what would be considered “social”? The answers to this question are relative to ones ability to think in personal terms rather than institutional terms.
People are personally attracted to people and institutions that don’t waste people’s time, money and attention. If your digital footprint and your conversational currency isn’t producing value, reducing cost or saving people time then it isn’t considered to be social. This should cause you to think and rethink what awareness you are creating with your brand. The importance of awareness is relative to what people are aware of. Get it?
What say you?