In today’s hyper connected world, it’s a no-brainer that brands have found creative ways to leverage social platforms to engage consumers. The industry as a whole has come a long way in using social to create brand advocates and influencers. One session that really explored this new relationship was Crowdtap’s “People-Powered Marketing: A Crash Course in Putting Consumers at the Heart of Your Brand” with speakers: Lee Hurley (VP of Digital and Social, Weight Watchers), Matt Britton (CEO, MRY), Joseph Klicsu (Senior Manager of Digital Communications, Energizer) and Sean Foster (CEO, Crowdtap).
People-powered marketing is a shift by brands to put consumers at the heart of marketing efforts, and empower them to drive product ideation, validation, strategy, content creation and earned media. Sean Foster, CEO of Crowdtap, said “Stop calling them consumers. They’re people.” At the core of it, consumers are people. As a brand or marketer, you can’t make that conversion from person to purchaser without a human connection. Brands need to inspire consumers to become advocates and influencers, who talk about the products they love and share content about the brands they genuinely like.
Individuals do love brands – they just don’t always love the relationship they have with brands. Today’s consumers are eager to be part of an interactive conversation on social, with brands and without. By giving consumers this personal ‘in’ to your brand, organizations have the ability to inspire authentic conversations, which can help shape product messaging, marketing, ideation and consumer loyalty.
Matt Britton, CEO of MRY, reminded us of a particularly important rule of thumb for brands to keep in mind. “Social media was never about brands, and it never will be. We need to create content that adds value.” The intrinsic relationship between brands and consumers ultimately lies in the value brands can provide. By creating content that consumers resonate with in a genuine way, it creates a human connection, and brands can enter the hearts and minds of the people who love them most, which is certainly more than a simple Facebook ad.
The author of this article is Jodi Kovacs. She is a PR professional in New York and works at Kite Hill PR, a strategic communications and media relations consultancy. You can follow Jodi on Twitter @jodikovacs724.