I think there’s another way. Let’s return to how humans communicate. We communicate socially in a couple of very distinct ways. First, we share. We use content to communicate our beliefs and values, hopefully adding value to the stream by acting like a signal in the noise. Second, we report. Both of which seem interesting and relevant for brands looking at the prospect of generating new content every day from now on. Sharing a stream of relevance helps brands become signals rather than just adding to the noise.
I worked on a mobile network loyalty campaign, based on the evergreen insight that keeping customers is significantly cheaper than continually acquiring new ones. The campaign detailed all the wonderful things the network did for its customers and let everyone else ‘overhear’ it in broadcast media. It didn’t work. In tracking studies, we saw that the campaign increased metrics on ‘how well the network treated its customers’ for everyone except current customers. In fact, the brand measures for customers declined because of the loyalty advertising. Why? Because customers had direct experiences that contradicted the claims the ads were making.
…ates a semi-permeable membrane between the humans inside the body corporate and the humans outside. Brand impressions are supplemented by brand expressions, as people share their experiences of a company and their point of view. In his book Present Shock, Douglas Rushkoff, the media theorist, suggests this means we need to abandon comms completely: “As strange and naive as it may sound, this means abandoning communications as some separate task, and instead just doing all the right things that you want talked about.”