by Peter J. Bates

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Navigating Modern-Day Content & Consumer Engagement

The expression “the more things change, the more they stay the same” is one we might forget in our rapid-speed, tech-driven way of conducting business but I feel compelled to remind luxury marketers about the importance of circling back to a principle that should guide us – at the core, marketers must engage consumers. Regardless of the tools we use to achieve that goal, we need to move the needle forward to create brand loyalty and generate sales.

To help move that needle in today’s 24-hour, tech-savvy world, we need to treat SoMoLo (social, mobile and local) channels differently. They dominate the daily mindset and increasingly draw a larger share of the marketing budget, but it is a huge marketing misstep to lump these platforms into one category and treat its users the same. To secure the coveted customer, we must understand/engage/inspire them – but we should also give that same attention to the individual social networks. While remaining rich, inspiring and interesting, content should be amended to fit the audience and the channel they are using.

Keep in mind that social is akin to “digital word of mouth.” With social media, luxury marketers have the opportunity to tap into these crucial conversations, help change opinions, and embrace the power of brand advocates across large networks.

Twitter – The Power of 140 Characters
Twitter epitomizes the “less is more” approach. Has brevity ever been more powerful? Tweets are effectively today’s sound-bytes – must-have deals that spur clicks and sales, an endorsement, a statement on news, sharing of opinions, etc. Chuck Todd, NBC’s chief White House correspondent, even likens Twitter to a newswire for the digital age (Adweek article – October 29, 2012).

Today, we rely on the consumer to further our messaging more than ever before (consider the analogy of Twitter being like a coffee house where people come together to share ideas and drive conversation). Consumers become our brand advocates, and they emerge as valuable influencers among known, and in some cases unknown, social networks. When a luxury brand’s tweet is re-tweeted, we know we’ve done something right – the message was worthy, relevant and spot-on, and it inspired our followers to share it with their network of followers.