These days you hear a lot of discussions about the explosion of new media types and formats like RSS feeds, blogs, podcasts, video, communities, micro-blogging, and other emerging forms of social media. And it is causing plenty of concern that this disruption of media is eroding the traditional command-and-control branding that has become so commonplace for marketers. Well, I say hallelujah and good riddance!
There is a very compelling argument that media don’t have to be fragmented, while at the same time the classic approach to brand messaging need not be command and control anymore. It is only a matter of knowing how to orchestrate it.
One of the first instances of this to hit the marketplace was Ogivly & Mather’s Dove “The Campaign for Real Beauty” (OK, yes it is B2C but sometimes we marketers can take inspiration from our B2C brethren) that won the 2006 Grand Effie Award -- and for good reason. They did a great job finding a powerful attribute of their brand and made a very inviting campaign around it that engaged their key audiences into a conversation.
Evidence this by the nearly 3,000 blog entries about it on Technorati, the 2 million viewers of their video on YouTube Inc. , and you will see that they got the blogosphere humming about an ad campaign. Now I am not professing you drop everything and just do some clever video with your ad campaign, but I do applaud the use of video to make their campaign more viral. What can we learn from this as technology marketers? Take a look at my next example.
The “Greg the Architect” campaign from Tibco Software Inc. (Nasdaq: TIBX) is a B2B example that took a very different approach to making their technology funny and engaging. What they have done is tell the Tibco story through a series of episodic vignettes and allow the viral component to kick in. Viewers are bound to have an opinion on these videos, and so is the blogosphere.
Also Tibco has given the audience something to react to, for better or worse, rather than simply say, “We do SOA better than the next guy.” And don’t forget about the reaction internally to these videos and how that helps give everyone in the organization a conversation starter for the next meeting.
So why is this good news for technology companies? Because for the first time ever, technology companies -- specifically in B2B -- can lead the way using Web 2.0 tools to get their message out to the masses for very little money. Just one tactic like using a video on YouTube can reach 325,000 viewers and engage them with your brand, but, more importantly, with a message that they have sought out.
The bottom line for technology firms is your customers and prospects are perhaps the most savvy and engaged of any buyers in any industry. You can’t expect to reach them with traditional media only. You need to deliver your message in a way that is targeted to their exact interests. Get out there where they are talking about your product or service, and give them a conversation starter along with the permission to start a dialogue with your brand.
— Paul Dunay, Director of Global Field and Interactive Marketing, BearingPoint Inc.