The Royal Mail’s research (Marketing Week 17th Jan) highlights the growing importance of Social Media as a key platform for brand recommendation. With a fifth of the UK population already active members of social networks and two thirds saying they are likely to buy a brand on the basis of recommendation from a friend, they identify that it is a channel that can’t be ignored by brand owners today.
Of course they are right. It is the transition of brands to the new world that is the challenge.
Seth Godin in his new book Meatball Sundae makes a very important point. “If your product and marketing are optimized for the old model of marketing, you will be defeated by the relentless tide of new marketing and the products and services designed for it”. In other words, if you see this as something you can simply add to your current marketing and communications planning – you have already got it wrong!
The new advocacy age is reinventing how consumers make decisions on your brand and you need a reinvention strategy also. Research by Weber Shandwick, conducted with Dr Paul Marsden, demonstrated that 70% of brand advocacy (recommendation) can be correlated directly to how much a brand surprises and delights it customers at every touch-point (product, price, promotions and place)!
It’s time for a root and branch review of your brand and how you spend your communications dollars. It’s time to put advocacy at the heart of everything you do.