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Posts Tagged ‘brand engagement’

A reading from the book of Brian:

As we’ve learned over the last several years, markets are defined by conversations and those discussions reveal everything about perception and awareness. We must, at some level, continually listen to, and identify, and join relevant discussions, even at the risk of creating less original content on our host platforms. Yes, that’s right. Participation isn’t only defined by producing content. It’s also about supporting and responding to the thoughts and work of others.

Through participation, we earn relationships and hopefully build authority by contributing helpful advice, information and insight. We also learn more about the subjects in which we’re interested, creating a deeper understanding of the dynamics associated with not only the subject matter, but also the community view and reaction to it. In the process, we establish and cultivate our online brand, reputation, and associated expertise that is only fortified through every new piece of content we publish and every comment we share.

If you aren’t already familiar with Brian Solis and his Pr 2.0 blog, go check it out. Subscribe to the RSS and add it PR 2.0 to your blogroll. Fantastic insights in every post.

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That the always brilliant David Armano recently wrote yet another thought provoking post on his Logic + Emotion blog isn’t exactly front page news. He has a habit of doing so pretty much weekly… but what is particularly cool about this post is the fact that one of his graphic looks identical to a community engagement model I sketched out almost a year ago for some colleagues (who, back then, looked at me like I was speaking Chinese).

Check this out:

The first graphic shows a typical brand-as-a-broadcaster model, in which a company essentially fashions a messaging strategy and then uses various channels to broadcast it down to its buckets of potential customers and existing users (market segments or the more cynically named demos).

Note how the second graphic takes a much more organic, communal, non-directional approach to customer/user community engagement. In this model, the brand isn’t an external entity connect with individuals and communities through rigid vertical channels. In this model, the brand exists in conjunction with the communities. It’s hard to see where the brand ends and the communities begin. Marketing communications cease to exist as a product to be distributed, and become instead a living, breathing dialogue. This is exactly the model of community engagement that I sketched out, right down to the influencer/friends tags (though Dave’s version is much prettier than my improvised chicken-scratch). This is the community engagement model for brands whose products are important enough to scale in this way AND create users so passionate that they would give up valuable time to be active in these communities. Examples: World of Warcraft, Harley Davidson, the Microsoft Partner Community, Fiskateers, Comicon, Star Trek, BMW, WOMMA and the New York Yankees, for starters.

Note: Best in class companies typically manage to juggle both models simultaneously. Ideally, you should strive towards that balance as well.

Good to see Dave Armano come to the same conclusions I have. (I feel 100% validated right now, and I like it.)

Nb: Community engagement and brand building aside, it isn’t every day that I run into a graphic that is so precisely like mine that it makes my jaw drop. If we were talking about prehistoric cave paintings instead of marketing sketches, anthropologists would have a serious mystery on their hands. But this being the internet age, I’ll just chalk it up to Dave and I being in synch about a topic we both write (and sketch) about a lot. Still, I think it’s pretty cool that without having ever met, Dave and I have managed to tap into the exact same visual interpretation of two different concepts born of a single root idea.

Check out Dave’s otherwise not-weird-at-all post here.

Have a great, completely normal Tuesday!

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