If you haven’t noticed lately the advertising and marketing industry is consumed with the challenge of figuring out how to use social media effectively. The holy grail is finding ways to engage, convert and propagate the positive attributes of any single brand so that the brand becomes the thread of online and off line conversations.
So What Is The Holy Grail?
Joe Marchese writes:A Tale Of Two Media It was the best for advertising, it was the worst for advertising, it was an age of advertising wisdom, it was an age of advertising foolishness…
Okay, I am definitely stretching looking to Dickens for ways to describe the current debate on social media’s viability as an advertising and marketing medium. But you have to admit, it’s almost impressive that with so many smart people looking at a singular issue — how to best adapt advertising and marketing to work in social media — that we still have such a wide range of opinions.
Some argue that social media is the best for advertising because, in effect, social media is a digital representation of word-of-mouth, advertising’s holy grail. Advertisers will be able to measure how much “conversation” their advertising efforts drive and, hopefully, become part of the conversation.
Some argue that social media is the worst for advertising because is social media is a conversation between people, and while brands can finally see what people are talking about, there is no room for them to deliver their carefully prepared marketing messages. In addition, there has yet to be a proven repeatable method of reaching people at scale using social media, at least in an appropriate manner.
Some argue that we are entering an age of advertising wisdom because in order for advertising to succeed in social media, we will see its evolution from a brass interruptive model of simple message delivery to a permission-based iterative model of advertising communications. Finally, necessity will force truly integrated advertising, PR, research and CRM.
Some argue that we are entering an age of advertising foolishness because advertisers are fooling themselves in thinking that people want their products to be the center of their personal conversations — that it is foolish to think that human emotions and reactions can truly be quantitatively measured. People will point to one failed “user-generated advertising” contest after another.
And The Holy Grail Is?
Just maybe the holy grail is something simple, something easy and last but no least something valuable and relational. Simple in that people choose brands based on an attraction and affinity to the value proposition and experience.
Simple is sometimes complex when the aim is a result rather than an attraction,affinity and experience. People are attracted to things that appeal to their sense of self (attraction) and their sense of being identified by certain things and people (affinity). Value is driven by price and utility. Increase the utility and lower the price and you increase the value proposition. Experience is what happens when consumption of a brand meets the end buyer. Experience influences attraction, affinity and value perceptions.
The holy grail is the “cost” of producing the attraction, affinity, value and experience has largely been influenced by advertising and marketing schemes aimed at “trapping people into a purchase”. Schemes that over promise and under deliver. Schemes that inflate the cost of good and services thus inflating the end purchase price. Schemes that spend money on coupons, discount and incentives that waste money.
Here is a “scheme” that can reduce cost, create an attraction, affinity, experience with increased value. Give the consumer your advertising and marketing expenditures under one condition. They simply tell a friend what you gave them so the friend can get it as well. The holy grail is money. Give it back and it will come back to you ten fold. The currency of a conversation is a much stronger pull than an ad. Get it? Simple?
What say you?