Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Will Users' Dislike of Brand Interruptions Make It Hard to Monetise Social Media?

Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: The Marketing Society Forum - Will Users' Dislike of Brand Interruptions Make It Hard to Monetise Social Media?

Article excerpt

Speaking at the Royal Television Society Cambridge Convention last week, Martin Sorrell expressed doubts about the fiscal brand benefits of interrupting social interaction with a commercial message.

YES - SALLY COWDRY, MARKETING AND CONSUMER DIRECTOR, O2

I don't think it's quite as clear cut as Martin Sorrell makes out. I agree that brands that attempt to interrupt social interactions with commercial messages will get into trouble. That's not to say that brands cannot have a role in social media or commercially benefit from it.

If you engage with customers on their terms, and appropriately to the medium, the benefits can be great, but you may experience them further down the line. For example, if you use compelling content to engage people on your brand's Facebook page, they will be more likely to recommend or buy your products via traditional channels.

What's required are formats that are less disruptive, more personalised and complementary, just as Google created in AdWords, which blended organic and paid content seamlessly, or as Facebook's sponsored stories allow advertisers to boost the visibility of people's advocacy of products and services. These types of formats can help monetise social media, but in a sensitive and complementary way.

YES - IAN ARMSTRONG, HEAD OF EUROPEAN MARKETING, HONDA MOTOR EUROPE

It's been a long day. You're in the pub, enjoying a drink with friends Suddenly a stranger appears, stands in between you without really introducing himself; or, worse, says: 'Remember me? I'm the stranger that interrupted you last week. How about spending some time with me?' What's your reaction? I know what mine would be - unprintable.

How often do we have to remind ourselves that brands are what they are because they have a loyal following of consumers who trust them for what they do, what they are and how they behave. Therefore, I'm often dismayed by a growing band of agency heads who think that their social-media agency is a panacea for a whole new revenue line.

Humans have been talking to each other for thousands of years, having conversations, debating topics and making decisions. Yet I suspect that if you barged into a two-way conversation at any point over that history, my reaction in the pub would be typical. Social media is not new and certainly not a guarantee of your first million. …

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