Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Getting a Handle on Online Branding

In an address at the Association of National Advertisers, Mike Mendenhall, chief marketing officer at Hewlett-Packard, said the web has upended relationships between brands and consumers. In this digital age, where 1.3 billion of 6.6 billion consumers have internet access, brands must insert themselves into the global digital conversation while still adequately managing their reputations.

'The digital conversation never stops. We have to update our organizations and their operations accordingly,' said Hewlett-Packard CMO Mike Mendenhall.

If you’re putting your brand, your company or yourself out into that digital arena you might need some pretty thick skin because you have no idea what the result will be. YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, Ning, blogs and Twitter are creating news and creating brand conversations that a company has NO control over.

Who are the beat reporters of today? Who are the journalists of our age? The age of the Deadline is dead. Enter 24/7 news reporting. Go to sleep and wake up to find your brands image in shambles.

Brands are no longer defined and captured by the 30-second TV spot. The conversation is not about when digital is going to replace TV. Instead, companies need to be looking at how the digital world can play into a cohesive marketing plan where it takes center stage with the rest of your marking working and weaving in and around it.

An example that Mr. Mendenhall offered is that of social communities that exist around HP, but are not an official part of the company. Those groups sometimes solve customer-service issues better than the company's internal service group, he said. "I do believe it's a digital strategy that should exist across the operations of the company and not just in marketing communications."

Larson note: People are going talk about you (at least you should hope so) and will do it behind your back. Or turn around and they will do it to your face. Gossip. Backbiting, dare I even say Company Position? Be prepared to join in the frey or be doing damage control in a loseing battle.

Be there or be square.

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Telesales & Target Marketing Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

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