After having read the ROI article, I have the following insights to share.
- Brand awareness
Traditionally, tracking studies and surveys are ways to track brand awareness. However, there are different ways to track brand awareness online.
In social media, a company gains increased exposure if placed in highly relevant contexts, every time a person uses an application designed by the company or about the company.
An example quoted is that of Starbucks when they ran an ad promoting a free coffee giveaway on the “Saturday Night Live” show as well as on YouTube just days before Election Day 2008. This caused a huge increase in brand exposure due to the vast number of Twitter mentions of Starbucks. If placed properly, increased exposures cause customers’ minds to enhance and strengthen associations of the brand.
- Brand engagement
- Word of mouth
what’s the need for this approach?
Employing this supposedly “radical” approach makes the task of creating integrated marketing campaigns less daunting and more closely tied to online consumer behavior. Starting with consumer motivations i.e. consumer investments helps dismiss the assumption that applications are disparate when in actuality they are quite similar if the underlying motivations for use are the same.
Hence, the objectives to be achieved and the tools with their associated metrics need to be correctly identified in order to achieve them.
- Raging Cow: In 2003, the company sparked outrage over its campaign in which the company bribed a group of teenagers and some youngsters to post favorable reviews and spread positive word-of-mouth news about its new flavored milk drink. They did not disclose that they had bribed these bloggers and their blogs seemingly appeared impartial and unaffiliated with the company or the drink, apart from a few obviously obligatory links to the Raging Cow site. This caused a group of suspicious bloggers to investigate further and thus uncovered that the company was indeed behind these veiled references due to the bribes of gift certificates, product samples, T-shirts, etc.
Thus, the marketing campaign found itself under fire and the product was subsequently boycotted ultimately resulting in the disappearance of the product from the market.
What is to be noted from the above case studies is that zero activity or response is not the worst course of action from social media campaigning. If not handled properly, they can negatively impact brand name for years to come as social media experiments that go embarrassingly wrong can still live on as the brand’s legacy and is just a “search” button away even if well covered up, in this age of technology.
What the above listed companies’ managers did not take into careful consideration was that “rules of engagement” and dynamics of interaction in the social media world are quite different from that of traditional marketing.