(This article was first published in Marketing Magazine’s blog on 13th June 2013)
There have been various waves of awareness and action (or not) when it comes to social media. One of the earliest waves to trickle ashore was back in 2007/08 when a few savvy individuals ardently began espousing social to anyone who’d listen. Brands and agencies generally didn’t know or understand the ‘social-thing’ and kind of hoped it might go away.
Two years later, with the wave of realisation that it wasn’t going away, we began to see a staggered start as bemused brands and agencies began clutching at the tools and wondering how best to use them.
Two years further on and we have the ugly child syndrome. It’s always awkward to tell someone their child is ugly but, damn, that time is here. Over 90% of brands have a very ugly social media approach. Some brands have tried cosmetic surgery, buying likes/followers, but this is only skin deep and requires constant injections (promotions/competitions) to keep people hanging around.
Here we are in June 2013 and we are beginning to see the very latest social wave. The shock wave of understanding that there is no quick fix. From The Guardian: “Regardless of the moniker du jour, content marketing represents a massive shift in thinking for brands who have historically placed great stock against the interruptive marketing of yore.”
The massive shift
The very definition of a brand is changing.
No longer is a brand about messaging and perception it’s about creating experiences and communities centred on a core purpose.
Marketing is no longer all about having a catchy slogan and an over produced commercial. It’s about creating a brand experience guided by purpose.
At the very heart of this is great content, best defined as ‘anything a brand produces that, were it unbranded, would still hold value and be of compelling interest.’
The shift can be summarised here:
This shift is about transitioning. It’s not about replacing one with the other and now is a great time to begin. Beware social media COI (cost of inaction).