The Interaction of Brands
I recently had the pleasure of attending an event hosted by IPA Scotland for a discussion on the interactivity of brands and how the modern day consumer can be transformed from an idle observer into an active participant.
The panel was made up of marketing experts, which included:
- Nigel Gwilliam, IPA Head of Digital and Emerging Technology
- Gavin Johnson, VP Sales, Millennial Media
- Lawrence Weber, Managing Partner Innovation, Karmarama
- Yara Paoli, Head of Social Media, Skyscanner
- Charlie Robertson, MD, Redspider
Taking inspiration from a quote from Justin Tindall of Leo Burnett; good advertising entertains, bad advertising interrupts. The panel members were loaded with examples of how marketing has evolved over recent years and how consumer expectations have shifted from being broadcasted at to being interacted with.
Charlie provided some great examples of how brands can make it or break it with interactivity, using the example of First Direct who consistently delivers exceptional customer service through an exclusively virtual service.
Yara went on to highlight how important it is for brands to localise content in an international market place. As the Head of Social Media of Skyscanner, they aim to provide entertaining and informative content to users and dedicate themselves to constantly listening to consumer opinions and feedback.
Lawrence Weber feels that there is still a place for TV advertising in the marketing mix, illustrating the recent successes of the John Lewis Christmas advert. The show Gogglebox provided a good example of how people reacted to this advertisement on television, emphasising that good creative and strong messaging can appeal to consumers’ emotions in a direct way.
With people checking their mobile phones over 150 times a day, Stephen Jenkins introduced the use of mobile for interacting with consumers to the discussion. Mobile allows brands to deliver relevant and targeted advertising to users, however, this led to a question around the topical issue of privacy and brands being blamed for exploiting user data. Stephen explained that brands should ensure that the data they collect is protected and used to improve consumer experience, rather than exploit it.
The main message from the evening was that brands need to humanise in order to interact with their consumer base. Age is no longer a limiter, with the over 50s market being heavy tablet and app users. What consumers want is to feel that they are dealing with a person, rather than a slick, corporate, polished brand.
With 2015 on our doorstep, it will be interesting to see how brand interaction evolves over the next 12 months.
What are your favourite examples of brands interacting with consumers? Let us know in the comments section below.