REBEL WITH A CAUSE

REBEL WITH A CAUSE

John Ozimek, associate director at Mi liberty

John Ozimek, associate director at Mi liberty

UP THE REVOLUTION!

It’s not exactly news that the mobile handset business, along with pretty much any other consumer-focused business on the planet, has seen a shift in marketing and advertising from print and TV to online and digital.

One of the questions most often asked, is what exactly is the best form of online marketing? It’s a painful question because there’s no right answer. Marketing ceased being black and white some time ago; now, a successful campaign spans different mediums, timescales and platforms. We’ve become a nation of multi-taskers, grabbing information and

entertainment from millions of different places online and offline. There’s no longer an easy way to grab all of those eyeballs and keep them focused on you and your product.

 

Che Guevara – Latin America

Marketing needs to keep up with the changing habits of consumers, so that brands know when, where and how to reach them; in other words, we can’t let the tail wag the dog. The academic and digital media commentator Clay Shirky, said that: “Revolutions don’t happen when we adopt new tools, but when we adopt new behaviours.” Well, we are in the middle of a total revolution in media consumption, created and fuelled by the communications industry, and things are never going to be the same again.

In the US, more than 30% of people surfing the web at home admit that they watch the TV at the same time – especially true of people aged 30 years or more. It’s tempting to perpetuate the myth that only teenagers can be found watching TV with their iPods on while posting videos on YouTube as they update their status on Facebook. But that’s lazy and counterproductive. We’ve all become used to a multi-tasked digital life – dipping in and out of content in different forms and on different platforms, communicating with people and creating content as we please. In marketing terms we’ve become moving targets: campaign planning is no longer about the destination; it’s about the journey.

 

Dali Lama – Tibet

The beginning of this change in behaviour was the emergence of blogging back in 2000. Today, there are more than 200 million blogs in existence. Since 2008, social networks have been in the spotlight. According to research firm Nielsen, in the UK, 69% of web users spend time on blogs, some form of social network, or a combination of the two. Worldwide, blogging and social networking accounts for one in every 11 minutes spent online.

In a nutshell, that means we now spend more time blogging, than we do writing and sending emails. And this extends to mobile usage, too. About a quarter of people in the UK who use the mobile internet also access their social networks via the mobile channel; that’s double the number in France, the next biggest market in Europe for mobile social networking.

Clever brands have recognised this. Of all the major UK brands advertising on the entertainment-focused social network MySpace, four of the five most active are mobile networks. That’s on top of the TV, print, web, experiential and any other campaign you can think of; these brands understand that they need to be where consumers go, wherever that may be.

 

Aung San Suu Kyi – Burma

Marketing campaigns are more mixed now than they have ever been, fuelled by the need to reach groups of consumers in ways that feel personal, relevant and engaging. That’s really exciting, as now campaigns can be multifaceted and organic, reacting to feedback and trends as they happen.

Of course, it’s not just marketing that needs to address the needs of a multi-tasking audience. Look at TV; there’s rarely a major new programme that doesn’t have some kind of website, social networking group, Twitter feed and so on. TV producers still aim for that ‘water cooler moment’, but they also understand that just because you didn’t watch the main programme doesn’t mean you can’t be part of the discussion. The concept of the perfect nuclear family sitting around the TV is no longer part of the 21st century media landscape.

 

Mahatma Gandhi – India

Darren Cox of Nissan Europe recently said that: “You don’t buy a brand you don’t believe in.” Creating and maintaining that belief is a challenge for companies to get to grips with the values that consumers expect from a particular brand or product; as so many experts have said, it’s about fostering trust. That means that as consumers multi-task, so we must multitask our marketing campaigns.

Wherever our customers spend time, we need to be, ready to offer information, entertainment and value. If that sounds like a daunting challenge, it really needn’t be. It’s a new landscape for everybody, so there are as many opportunities as there are pitfalls. And the great thing about the new media landscape that’s emerging is that as long as we are willing to listen, our customers are happy to tell us what they want. Just don’t expect a simple, black and white answer.

 
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