Online ads can build awareness and influence the decision-making process. However, the online ads dig into once privacy much more than anyone could have ever imagined.
When 124 most loyal customers of a Manhattan restaurant received a discount for a burger SMS offer, they must have loved the fact that they are recognised and appreciated by their favourite restaurant. Those 124 “loyalists” re-tweeted this offer to over 40,000 people in their social networks. The restaurant was that evening packed full. On the other hand, these 124 individuals were tracked, observed and specifically market targeted, without their knowledge or consent.
Customer Engagement and Alchemy of on-line Marketing
In an ideal world the marketing cyclle will start with the customers’ needs analysis, is constantly influenced by customers and will change as fast as the customers change their mind-set. However, during the last decade we have become masters of the “creating the need” game, abandoning this important first step.
Listening to customers is often replaced by a marketing effort to convince the consumers that they absolutely need the advertised product, service or offer. “My product or service is truly the best and truly unique” became a very difficult message to convey within the advertisement clutter we live in.
A key element that makes social mediatrustworthy is that it represents someone’s sincere opinion. The authenticity of word-of-mouth is clearer and louder than any form of advertisement.
Websites, blogs and twits that have many users, can nowadays sell their blog and tweet posts to the companies that realise the value of internet reaching a substantial audience. IZEA, in its social media sponsorship research published last August 2011, states that marketers worldwide nowadays put a monetary value on the different types of social media sponsorships.