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Friday, September 25, 2009

Marketers Can No Longer "Own" Their Brands
 For most of your career corporations have been able to build their brands from the top down.  A solid media plan, enough money to buy all the space and time desired, and great creative ultimately delivered the image and awareness that generated sales.  Add in a credible spokesperson, some media events, public relations activity, and perhaps some key product placements and success was almost assured. 

Change has come 
It’s worked that way for so long that some marketers are having difficulty adjusting their strategies to the world of social media and the public dialogue.  Today there are more cell phone than people in our country, and the majority of the devices not only allow consumers to talk to the world, but to also instantly text and share photos and videos.  Internet penetration in the US is 75%.  Facebook, Twitter, YouTube strongly compete with ABC, CBS, The New York Times, and People Magazine for our attention.  With a few key strokes on their computer or the pointing of their cell phone camera consumer become the creators, producers and developers of the Social Media - with little budget or training required. 

Five years ago conventional wisdom told us that a new movie had two weeks to make it or break it in the theaters.  Today it’s a matter of a few days, or maybe even a few hours. Consumers are sending texts messages and Tweets giving their opinions and recommendations to friends and “followers” before the credits role.  Car shoppers go online to check out the experiences of current owners and the features and prices before setting foot in a showroom.  Blog posts and complaint sites help us decide where to go on vacation, which flat screen TV to consider, and where to shop for diapers.  And while corporations must continue to present their best face across the Social Media, it is the consumers themselves who generate the majority of content, and “own” the medium.
10:30 am edt          Comments

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