I am going to post the link to the article where I found this quote. I think it’s one of the most helpful and insightful articles I have read in quite a while. The title is “Multiscreen Madman” and it’s from the New York Times (yes, one of my favorite sources of information). This article features an interview with Robert Rasmussen, executive creative director of the Nike account at R/GA, AKQA chief creative officer Lars Bastholm and Barbarian Group CEO Benjamin Palmer.
In this article, they discuss various forms of social media and relate how it can be successful for several companies. My biggest lesson from this (and an important reminder of something that I’ve mentioned in the “about us” section of our blog) is that everyone has a story. The job of all advertising and marketing is to tell that story and let the customer help piece it together. The most important thing, especially in this new economic time, is to review your story and decide whether it’s being told. Are you having a conversation with your consumers and or target market about whatever it is you want to tell them about your brand? Or are you just force-feeding them what they should believe, regardless of what they think?
I have copied here a few tidbits of the interview to wet your appetite, but I highly recommend that you click on the link and read the interview for yourself.
“Now you have to try to be more authentic—even if it’s just authentically acknowledging that what you’re doing is advertising.”
“It used to be that companies would commission a study at great expense to find out what people thought about their product. Now you just go online and find out. It’s really scary at first. You realize there’s a whole dialogue going on outside your brand, and you can’t control it.”
“The feedback you get, though, is so much richer and more immediate than what we used to get. In focus groups, there’s always one guy who sort of steals the room, so you wind up getting his opinion and no one else’s. On YouTube, you put your ad up, and right away you can read the comments. It’s such a democracy.”
“Are there brands that are resisting this kind of change? Palmer: Sure. Almost any household brand you would find under your sink or in your medicine cabinet. The macaroni-and-cheese products of our daily lives. They assume their business practices will carry on forever.”
“Rasmussen: It’s not just Clorox. Even brands that are doing very well are resistant to this change. They want to take advantage of all these new media channels, but they’re afraid.”
The last paragraph includes the quote that I used in the title of this post. As stated by Trevor Edwards:
“Nike’s main marketing guy, had a great quote. He said, “Nike’s not in the business of keeping media companies alive, we’re in the business of connecting with consumers.” That sums up digital pretty nicely.”
Rasmussen: Clients are not saying, “Make us ads” or “Make us Web sites,” they’re saying, “Create interaction between our brand and our customers.” That’s our job now.
So…what is your company waiting for?