The divide between tactics and strategy: Value
May 05, 2011
People want: support and promotions.
Brands want: communications, believers and buyers.
People don't care about most advertising. That's why marketers pay money to put it in front of them.
Most brands were built for advertising and believing. Few brands were built with conversation in mind. This is why most of brands struggle when faced with the challenge of delivering social brand value, activating on-brand experiences and conversations. There just isn't inherent brand social value.
In the absence of inherent brand social value, brands have tried to find ways to support people in a manner that earns/buys them the user's attention long enough to deliver a marketing message (often of lesser or minimal value to the community). They run promotions. They give to charity. They support local culture. While all of these are fantastic tactics, it is up to the brand earn the longer term attention and loyalty of their guest by delivering a brand social experience of value to the customer. I say "guest" as a "Like" doesn't create a fan, it creates a subscriber. Engagement creates community. Meaning creates fans. Engagement around a charity or promotion has a halo on the brand. If you brand is all about charity and promotions, you're set. For the rest of us, we have to go a bit farther.
Social brand value is the greatest challenge facing social marketers.
Brand value offerings and branding overall needs to be rethought for the social dynamic. Inherent and implicit (if not explicit) social value is the foundation of a successful social brand. Without a serious rethinking of the brand premise, promise and platform, social is going to remain a tactic. It's time to think bigger. It's time to think value.