A technology blog for The Economist Group IT team

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Is word of mouth the next big thing? 

Can people avoid mass marketing messages entirely? asked Steve Hayden of Ogilvy Worldwide.

Or if you irritate people enough will they remember your brand? Well with the internet version of the remote control (skip this ad) this is becoming less effective. Unsurprisingly word of mouth is the least untrusted form of marketing and Steve reckons that at least 50% of existing marketing teams ought to be looking at blogs and the web and feeding information back into the organisation. He termed this sense and response - staying in touch with your audience (unlike the Kryptonite bike lock case).

He also suggested tapping into teenagers habits to get insight into the future and how the web will be used.

Interstingly Steve reckoned that there is a shortage of good advertising slots online.

So, what are agencies doing?

- 360 degree branding
- bringing creative groups (online, offline, outdoor etc.) together
- bringing planning back in house
- BRIC - that is Brasil India China
- looking at new compensation modelsl
- getting serious about CRM
- emulating the small Miami agency Crispin Porter and Bogusky that created the Mini counterfeit spot

What can media organisations do?

- allow 360 degree branding
- create new inventory
- help prove that brand value can be built
- give a replacement for the 30 second a slot that reaches 20 million consumers

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