The consumer leads the conversation with the brand
In their relationship with the consumer, brands have always had the proactive role: they informed, in a unidirectional communication, and if there was dialogue, they were also the ones who initiated it.
However, now it is the consumer who leads the conversation with the brand. Certainly, brands propose, according to their objectives and what they think may be of consumer interest, different topics, but he/she is really the one that comments and gives value to those contents through the comments made about them, retweeting, recommending and nurturing the community with opinions that this one hear and appraise.
The communication of brands has to seek the involvement of consumers so that they speak of them indirectly, through contents that interest them, building a long-term relationship. If the consumer perceives a relationship of transparency and authenticity with the brand, he will become his fan, because he will feel that they are sharing the same values and interests.
Synergy between traditional channels and new digital media
In this new situation, advertising has lost much of its power of prescription, which is now in the hands of Internet users. Other marketing and communication strategies such as Public Relations or Corporate Social Responsibility acquire greater potential because they can transmit in a more credible way the values that identify each group of consumers, according to their profiles. And now, as never before, the “word of mouth” is the best channel to spread digitally everything that certain users identify with and are willing to share.
This means that, though digital media have become so important in recent years, we can not forget other channels or media that, together with those, allow us to configure a global strategy where the word of mouth can expand. In short, any marketing strategy that seeks to be effective and successful must contemplate a combination of traditional and non-conventional channels, pondering on which to devote more efforts and resources.
We do not seek to meet needs, we look for fans of the brand
Companies study the market to know the needs their consumers may have and try to satisfy them with companies’ products/services. But this model is no longer valid enough, because fierce competition increasingly brings products and services closer together, and it is harsher to differentiate. Without a clear identity, without a personality of their own, brands have a very dark future.
Since brands are what the consumer perceives of them, listening to him/her is crucial; it is the only way to offer what he/she demands with a level of personalization and individualization that invites the consumer to become our ambassador, our fan. That’s why the human factor is fundamental: behind brands, companies, there are people.
The brand represents the product, and vice versa
Corporate communication and branding are strategies that focus on the identity of the company and the brand. Its effects happen in the long term and only by the constancy and perseverance in the actions this identity is forged.
In turn, this identity and positioning are reflected in the products and services that the company sells. That is why coherence is so important between what is communicated about the brand and the product itself, because for the consumer, the brand experience and the product experience are inseparable. In other words, we can invest a lot in the brand, but we can not neglect the product, which is the realization of expectations about the brand and represents the tangible part of it. Increasingly, products must incorporate marketing into themselves, through their own design, quality of materials, loyalty aspects, after-sales service, etc.
Greater integration with other areas of the company
Creativity, innovation, market knowledge… are the pillars of marketing. However, the need to know better and better the digital environment, demands from marketing experts to know well the technology, or be close to the systems area. And in the same way, given that the return on investment is increasingly a factor in measuring the efficiency of its actions, marketing must know well the financial analysis or be well connected with the financial area of the company.
We have often felt marketing as the glue that sticks together the various departments or functional areas of a company, because in the end it is a permeable function to all. Yet, now it is marketing that has to seek and achieve the complicity of the other areas to develop its full potential and get all employees feel the connection that turns the customer in an extension of the company and the brand.