The power of word of mouth
Word of mouth has always been the holly grail of marketing. People have, and always will talk about brands at dinner parties, in coffee shops, pubs, bus queues, and at the school gate.
All social media does is make this dialogue more visible, and often more polarised – yet the need for brands to engage with social media is often seen as a key target for marketing campaigns.
There is a real danger that as marketers strive to deliver social media metrics, the power of brands to engage with real people, in real ways becomes more diluted. As technology enables us to Teflon coat our relationships both personal and professional, brands themselves become more removed from their consumers – once technology becomes the lead platform for engagement.
Marketing both on and off line is about first principles – how can we use marketing to bring brands to life, in a way that is relevant, and builds long term relationships aka its about 360 comms. Its about emotions that can’t be defined by a flow diagram or quantified in a data set, a controversial statement in a world where creativity is coming second place to an intelligent algorithm.
Brands connect with me as a consumer when they make me smile, (Meerkat ads), when it makes sense and they add value, (the detol sponsorship of hand washing in nurseries), when they talk to me locally (Waitrose local charity appeals) and when they entertain me (my evil bin mobile app). Brands connect with me when they provide an easy ‘pick me up” in a difficult day and start to become integrated into my life experiences and that includes social media.