Brand to community by using hubs in social networks
The days marketers could target audiences through planning, developing products and executing advertising campaigns and smart media strategies are coming to an end. More and more this marketer must share his market control with global production networks, powerful retailers and the Crossmedia industry. And above all, he must share his market control with the empowered consumer who influences his peer group and social network, the so called hub. Hubs provide social networks content, advice, news, opinion and entertainment through social media like Twitter, Myspace, YouTube, Second Life and many others. According to Forrester Research, these social media double their impact and reach every six months. Innovative brands like Dove, Adidas and Tampax have been offering, and will continue increasingly, engaged and influential consumers tailored propositions and images online.Brands increasingly mix user generated content with professional content thus creating integrated platforms where brands and consumers meet. The question for marketers raises how to do this right. Perhaps the solution is publish control. This is the marketer’s control over what is published. This way, the brand becomes a facilitator, not a dictator. Support hubs and reward them through social network tailored reward systems.Also support the development of so called Rapid Response Methods for the value web of the brand, retailers, manufacturers, Crossmedia organisations and other actors in what was formerly known as the value chain. Have these actors participate actively and interactively with all, including of course the consumers.Also develop customer care programs (these are more than CRM) and crossmedial interaction models based on trust and transparency by means of personalized experience possibilities. Traditional marketing tools like reach and frequency and traditional target audience segmentation models (social and wealth classes, gender, geo market profiles, etc.) are becoming less relevant. Consumers are tormented by the overkill of information and will not be dictated any more. Along side, consumers claim more and more power in the process of question and demand. The innovative marketer will have to come up with new measuring tools like share of voice measurements and rankings in social networks (how many times is your brand mentioned and with what sentiment?), NetPromotor and Buzz tracking to measure the effect of marketing investments in social networks. These monitoring systems provide possibilities for all actors to hook into the communication of all actors in order to actualize and keep the relationship alive. One main issue of attention in this is the mentality of the consumers; what their attitude (philosophy) towards life is in general and the brand specifically. It is in fact the kernel of the marketer’s investment in such value webs. This raises some questions that need further research.
- What is the change in consumer behavior and mentality regarding brands, content and interaction?
- How have innovative brands tapped in social networks and their dynamics?
- What are the dynamics and communication patterns in social networks and how do we tap in?
- Under which conditions are consumers prepared to have a social media facilitated relationship with a brand?
- What are examples of the mix of UGC and brand content and what is their impact on the behavior of the actors?
- How do we develop innovative target audience segmentation models to successfully tap in with social networks?
- What are the innovative Crossmedia interaction models and formats (that need to be developed)?
- How can we identify hubs in social networks?
- What are the requirements in developing interactive Crossmedia platforms?
I’d apreciate input on these issue.