E-commerce Link: So Hot, You're Cool
“Create ‘lunch and learn’ sessions with management to show them social networking tools, and show how people are talking about your products online already,” says Decker, who cut his social marketing teeth at Dell. “The low-hanging fruit is to bring user-generated content (UGC) into your site, right next to your brand. This could be reviews, community Q-and-A, stories, polls or other forms of UGC.”
By bringing “customer voice” into your site, you raise the visibility and impact of this strategy to cross-functional teams and senior management. Decker says that while others in your company surely know word-of-mouth is occurring on the Web, putting it on the site raises the cultural awareness of the “customer voice.”
It’s About People, Not Tech
Media-saturated, always-on customers are showing preference for new forms of non-interruptive marketing like “alternate reality” games, branded entertainment and permission-based lead generation. They want to know when an ad is an ad and show a strong willingness to play along … but only on their terms.
“It was never about the computers. It was never about the applications. It was never about the sales channels. The Internet was always about the people, which is why e-mail, IM, multiplayer gaming and similar developments have always been the ‘killer apps’ of the social Web,” says Brian Clark, founder and CEO of GMD Studios and brainchild of Audi’s award-winning “Art of the Heist” campaign.
Clark is a leader in creating what’s being called “alternate reality” games that immerse willing consumers in brand-sponsored experiences. These bold brands are literally using every form of digital and traditional media to create authentic, transparent experiences for customers who want to play along.
While it’s fair to question if forms of experiential marketing are fads, it’s dangerous to ignore the
Not Dead Yet!
While newspapers and broadcast media trail behind various forms of word-of-mouth in terms of the customer trust factor, traditional forms of interruptive media are not dead yet, says Rok Hrastnik, e-commerce manager for European direct television powerhouse Studio Moderna.