In the first digital generation, marketing employed a system which favoured interruption and direct sale. Brands would force their stories onto unsuspecting spectators, purchasing online real estate in mass and appearing, without warning,….and it worked!
However, it can’t be ignored that a revolution in the way we live, learn, love, communicate, and do business has occurred. No other generation has been able to connect, upload, download, contribute, collaborate, broadcast, “like”, share and tweet data and content with such ease and efficiency. The continued integration of technology platforms and the increasing ubiquity of web access are leading to an unavoidably multi-channel existence. Consumers are now able to access the content they want, where they want it, whenever they want it.
This new paradigm requires a fundamental shift in brand communications planning. Focus needs to shift from interrupting and influencing individuals to collaborating, interacting, inspiring and igniting herds.
As long as we view digital as another media channel, we will fail to understand it as a personal space. The online arena is not a destination; it’s a connection, conversation and collaboration medium. In order to bring brand, culture and consumer together, human connections must sit at the heart of everything, grounded in a deep understanding of the human desire for social interaction and the media usage patterns of your target consumer. Rather than planning for interruption, brands must start planning for a sustainable growth in interaction.
Create and share communications which encourage and enable your audience to immerse themselves in your brand at whatever level and frequency they desire. If you can get this right, the consumer becomes as much a producer, editor and ambassador as they do part of the audience.