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Listening to the Marketing Shift

We as consumers have come to known brands as what the company communicates to us about what to believe about their products. However in today’s day in age, we have groundswell which has completely shifted the brands image to “what the consumers says about the brand.”

I have performed a little demonstration to what I mean by the effects of groundswell. I have used the brand BMW which is known as being a luxurious German car brand that is known for being sleek, sophisticated, trendy and overall impressive brand.

Here is a commercial to how BMW wants its consumers to view its brand
BMW commercial

After watching this you might think as a consumer that this would be a car you’d love to own, it’s all the terms that I listed above. However this is what the company wants the consumer to think, not what the consumer thinks of the brand. Groundswell has introduced us to an online community where we can discuss our opinions of the brand and how we view it as consumers.

There is an online community who views this brand as being one of the worst car brands in the world. They have created a website BMW sucks

So companies like BMW have to shift their marketing focus from their frame of mind to the consumers frame of mind. They need to work with groundswell to develop a more strategic way to communicate what brand image they are hoping the consumer feels about their brand. I suggest a few ways that companies like BMW could go about doing this.

One thing that BMW should look into is monitoring their negative feedback. If people don’t like something about your product, then modify it. This is called Brand monitoring it involves companies like BuzzMetrics that keeps records of what consumers are saying about your brand online.

Another idea for a listening strategy is to set up your own private community that can act like a focus group for your company. A good company to use is Communispace that sets up an natural interaction for you to focus in on.

Using this methods can create a better image for your brand and there is 6 reasons why you should care about what’s being said about your brand online.

1. Find out what your brand stands for – this looks into the miss communication of how the company views a brand and how the consumer is viewing the brand. Remember your brand is whatever people say it is. For example BMW used this advertising to get people talking about their brand, however in blogs it has been reported that has just tarnished the brand.

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2. Understand how buzz is shifting – understand buzz and how it can change. This cold lead to product improvements and consumer problems being solved.

3. Save research money; increase research responsiveness – Communispace can save you more money once it’s running because instead of doing customer surveys, you can just read what your customers are saying about you.

4. Find the sources of influence in your market – find who is most influential in talking about your product. For BMW they should research what the blogs are saying about them and use that negative feedback to influence the consumers in a more positive manor.

5. Manage PR crises – know how to respond to bad publicity. In the case of the BMW ad mentioned above, BMW should respond to the negative feedback in producing a more appropriate ad towards what they want their brand image to communicate. The ad they posted above communicates to its consumers a inappropriate tarnished brand.

6. Generate new product and marketing ideas. – in others be creative and innovative. BMW has launched a new ad that has definitely got some good public attention. It’s innovative and catches your attention, without being inappropriate.

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Purchase Funnel:

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When consumers purchase goods they are going to consider what they read on the Internet. Groundswell has made marketing products to consumers more complex in that what the company says is no longer more important then hearing what other consumers have to say. Consumers trust consumers more then they trust companies.

“No matter what I hear, read or find on TV, radio, or in a magazine or newspaper, I can verify it on the internet.”-consumer

Advertisements

Super Bowl Commercial

Super Bowl Ad This was my favorite commercial of the Super Bowl 2012 because I think it really would catch the audiences attention. The company knew that the majority of people watching the Super Bowl would be male and using a Victoria Secret model grasps their attention. Especially since the product that they are selling is flowers that the male audience would give to a significant other.

Social Technographics

What’s the best way to understanding your customers? The answer is looking at social technographic profiles. You may wonder how you define such a term, well when you break it down into two words you have the word meaning social referring to people to people activities in groundswell. The next term is technographics refers to the methodology used for researching consumers. The social technographic profiles can be broken done into 6 groups.

1. Creators: publish a blog or online article at least once a month.
2. Critics: react to online content by being responsive to online posts.
3. Collectors: save the information they like
4. Joiners: create and maintain profiles on social media sites
5. Spectators: consume what others produce online
6. Inactives: nonparticipating

It’s hard to imagine that online users can be categorized into just 6 groups. Although I would classify myself as a joiner, recently with this blog I could qualify myself under the creators group. However I feel like I am part of everyone of these groups in a small way. I am part of the creators now that I have created a blog, I react to people’s posts on current events which makes me a critic. I am partially a collector because I bookmark my favorite websites and a joiner because I have 7 different social media profiles. I am a spectator when I view what others publish and I guess I’m inactive when I sleep. Okay so maybe I don’t fall into the last group but I have met someone who does.

Personal Experience
My mother has no idea how to turn on a computer, she is 51 years old and has yet to use the internet. Why you ask? Simple she says

“I lived without it growing up, so why would I need it now?”

She definitely falls under the category of inactive user, but I have to wonder is this “inactive” group becoming extinct? Can someone really live without the internet in our generation? My opinion is no, people need the internet like they need food in today’s society. However I’m curious to hear your opinions on the topic.

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A Way of Life

This video outlines the truth about our current society and how social media has become the new norm of connecting with everyone around us.

Social media has infected society and the only way we can live with it is to work with it. Companies need to understand that the generations to come will change the way marketing will be done to consumers. Thanks to social media the consumer will tell the company what it wants from its products. Customization will be the trend of the feature and innovation will be the goal of every company.

Consumers will use sites like facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs to write about their Opinions on their products and the changes that they would make to improve products. In order for companies to be strategic they need to use social media as a tool of connecting with their target market.

Participation is key, companies need to work with social media site rather then ignore the growing trend. Using the right social media outlet will help to distinguish the most strategic decisions for your company and it’s products. Creating strong customer relationships is clearly defined by communication and social media has opened a new door in connecting companies to the modern day.

Personal Experience
Recently I attended a PGA event called the Waste Management Open. I have been to a few PGA events before but for the first time the use of cellphones was no longer prohibited at the events. http://www.azcentral.com/12news/news/articles/2012/01/30/20120130waste-management-phoenix-open-puts-phones-play.htmlIt’s interesting to see this change because at previous events they were completely against the use cellphones and you would have to leave your cellphone before you entered the event. However this time you were allowed to use your cellphone for one thing only, social media. They didn’t want you to have your cellphone to make calls or really to text, they wanted you to use your cellphone to connect to their live feeds on Twitter and facebook. The tournament built their own application to download to help you keep up to date with live RSS feeds of the players and events going on in the tournament. Considering for years the tournament has had a strict no cellphone policy, it was interesting to see them embracing the consumers desire for social media interaction.

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A picture of the back of the ticket commenting on allowed use of cellphones.

The New Beginning

Welcome to my first blog! My blog outlines the life of a typical consumer and the constant connections we are making with new and familiar brands. My goals of this blog is to make people aware of social media and advertising and how truly surrounded we are by it. Today’s generation can only avoid marketing and advertising by sleeping, all thanks to technology. So how can we make sense of it? I’ll be using my own life experiences to help share stories of the most innovative marketing ideas I come across. Thanks for being a part of my SMM experience.

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