Is Brand Advertising Dead?

Is Brand Advertising Dead?

The most dramatic shift that is changing how we all do business is the rise of accessible information.

Only twenty years ago, our access to information was bounded by the books we owned, the TV shows we watched, and the newspapers we read. Today, because of the web, we’re seeing an exponential increase in the amount of information that we have access to.

Traditional advertising up until the early 1990’s tried to convert a customer at every touch point, taking them from brand awareness to customer in one fell swoop. Today, the age of brand persuasion at a single touch point is over, and instead most successful companies invest their advertising budgets in great content and in developing a relationship.

In an age of exploding social media, consumers rely more on the experiences of their friends and colleagues than they do on a TV ad or billboard. The influence of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, coupled with the instantaneous speed of smart phone text messaging in the last few years has changed the landscape forever.

The purpose of a piece of branded content is not only to grab the audience’s attention but to stimulate a positive conversation about the brand that becomes viral. In short, it is no longer enough for a brand to tell people it’s great, it has to encourage its customers to tell prospects it’s great.

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) represents in excess of 10,000 brands that annually collectively spend over $250 billion in marketing, communications, and advertising. At the 2011 ANA conference Jon C. Iwata, senior vice president, marketing and communications, IBM Corporation, discussed how IBM changed gears, focusing more on relevance rather than on brand recognition and brand visibility. He explains that although organizations may be able to buy visibility and/or recognition, it is the consumer who decides whether an organization is relevant or not. This is why corporate character is so important; it describes an organizations beliefs, values, and uniqueness.

Cheryl Callan, SVP of Marketing, Weight Watchers International, discusses how the brand is laser-focused on keeping their members engaged through meetings and online tools. And what they have found is that as people experience success with the program, they become advocates. Weight Watchers is providing the platform for those advocates to support each other and share their successes. Nick Brien, Chairman & CEO, of McCann World Group agrees that to create a platform for a truly engaging connection, it has to be authentic, meaningful, and, ultimately, created by the community.

Companies like IBM and Weight Watchers purposefully extend the customer acquisition cycle, believing that the more times a brand and a customer engage before and during purchase, the more likely the customer is to be loyal and to spread the word.

Marketing is no longer about making a sale, it’s about caring. It’s not about a single customer conversion, it’s about engagement. And crucially, it’s not about short-term profits, it’s about long-term revenues. Your satisfied customer has become your most important sales asset.

Explore posts in the same categories: CRM, Display Banner Ads, Media, Online Marketing, Retail, Social Media

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4 Comments on “Is Brand Advertising Dead?”

  1. nflfemale Says:

    Great article. Exactly the philosophy of our website, the #1 NFL site 4 women. Engage and build relationships.

  2. emorydigital Says:

    Branding for small businesses today is all about customer relationship management, networking and social media and much of this can be done inexpensively online. Small businesses don’t have the financial resources to spend on expensive media campaigns to promote their brands. Great post!

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