Get Over Yourself. Let’s Talk More About Me. And the Marketers Who Get That Consumer Mindset - The Past 10 Years of Direct Marketing Part 4
These new "anti-marketing" marketing messages seem to work on the premise that marketing isn't only a mass or push campaign anymore; it's become a friend and joined the conversation.
With this type of marketing done right, customers are subtly and even unconsciously inserting brands into regular conversations with their friends. In the case of Nike, for instance, runners who use anything from the app to the "Nike+ FuelBand" to track their progress often share that information with their Facebook friends through messages like, "I just started a run with Nike+ Running. Cheer me on with comments or likes and I'll hear it along the way."
Ford chose to use social networks like Facebook to have conversations with customers, sure, but it also chose to answer consumer questions there. Armed with knowledge about new vehicle models, those consumers often bought the new Ford vehicles and came back to Facebook to tell Ford so.
More overtly, Coca-Cola decided in 2011 to leverage this new marketing reality to double the size of its business by 2020. Changing its marketing "from creative excellence to content excellence," Target Marketing magazine blogger Yory Wurmser notes, "Coke has shifted its emphasis from a controlled message to seeding and contributing to a more free-flowing conversation." With nearly 70 million "likes" on its Facebook page alone, it appears at least part of Coca-Cola's initiative may be working. "Ten [percent] to 20 percent of the content and conversation on our brands comes from us," says Wendy Clark, Coca-Cola's senior vice president of integrated marketing. "The other 80 percent-plus comes from others." (On July 15, the Facebook page tallied 875,499 people talking about Coca-Cola. Conversations included how to use Coke bottles to house lightning bugs and that the chance to win $100,000 for your favorite park just ended.)