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Marketers need to bridge silos in order to fully integrate digital and traditional brand-building strategies
While marketing professionals today acknowledge that online marketing and social media have fundamentally changed how consumers engage with brands, few realize the importance of not just including, but integrating them into their long-term marketing communications plan. Instead, the danger is often to think of each as as a separate entity from other marketing initiatives. As a result, consumers are often left confused about the brand’s value proposition, marketing efforts are duplicated and resources are wasted on messages that serve no impact on consumers.
As Jon Hoel, Practice Lead Community Marketing at digital agency Possible Worldwide explains, “Although the concept of integrated marketing communications has been around for decades, and most of our marketing is integrated in one way or another, many companies still fail to realize a single view of the customer and communicate as a unified business.”
Because consumers see companies as one entity and one brand, their interaction with a brand through various consumer touchpoints determines their ultimate value of the brand. Merely having a blog, YouTube channel and/or social media presence is not enough to deliver true value and relevance; rather it is how brands do their online marketing and how it contributes to the overall marketing strategy that counts. Jon adds, “Businesses today need to adopt a new mindset and approach, planning for social media and internal collaboration tools from a whole-of-business perspective across multiple touch points, and empowering employees to communicate with customers in a more authentic way.”