Engaging with consumers
"The second generation of the Web is characterised by consumer created content and social networks – from Twitter and Facebook to YouTube and Myspace – that allow users to interact. Naturally, advertisers hope to insinuate their brands into the conversation, and while this can be difficult, there have been notable successes. Ford's spokesperson in social media, Scott Monty, is one of the company's best-known employees and a contributor to Ford's goal for its virtual presence – to be informative and engaging, without being intrusive – and has helped get the brand onto the consideration list of as many consumers as possible.'
"In the past couple of years, Adidas found that messages delivered through social media achieved a five times higher return than those delivered through television, attracting over two million fans to a Facebook page. Dell generated sales by using Twitter to alert consumers to promotions. Mountain Dew, whose soft drinks target younger demographics, spent most of its 2009 budget on its year-long 'DEWmocracy 2' campaign online. Using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media networks and tools, four thousand of the brand's most loyal consumers helped to cocreate three new beverages. In addition to selecting flavours, colours, names, and package design, the fans also collaborated in creating television ads, online media planning and buying, and leading grassroots campaigns in a nationwide contest to select the final winning addition to the product line. In a twelve-week period, the limited-time offering of flavour finalists yielded over seventeen million cases worth approximately one hundred million dollars at retail.'
"Some contend that such aspects of social media will revolutionise marketing. For several reasons, we are sceptical about how far-reaching any changes will be."
(pp. 114-5, 'All Business is Local: Why place matters more than ever in a global, virtual world' by John A. Quelch and Katherine E. Jocz - Landmark)