Conversations becoming commodity
Offering utility on the web has become the most thought after marketing solution for brands to become meaningful for people. Amazon offers readers evaluations for buying books online. Apple has recently integrated ping with their iTunes apps so users and manufacturers [bands] can exchange their hitlists and get in touch with one another. Car manufacturers offer car configurators to help sell their models. Facebook offers the ‘Like’ button to help spread the word of ongoing conversations. You know all that.
Sociable UtilityIt seems a given, that companies offering the most popular utility on the web, demonstrates the most marketing muscle. With the social media buzz and conversation taking over the role of advertising, manufacturers now must take on the role of being enablers to help people accomplish whatever they aim to do. It appears logical to help them with communication enablers to keep the conversations going.
- Brands help communities grow with communication enabling utility
- Brands use proven and tried communication enabling utilities to invade new communities, thereby expanding the brand reach reach
Reason to believe replace bold messages
In the pre digital era it was a sport amongst ad agencies to craft universally applicable messages to reach the largest number of people with whom the message should ring a bell, be meaningful and utterly relevant to. Today it has become a sport to invent or steal utility to become a commodity for the highest possible number of users. Conversations being the commodity.
- Number of followers being the currency for the brand.
- A portion of the number of followers will eventually become the currency for leads.
Utility to offer most marketing muscle
By default any utility becoming a commodity for the horizontal market outperforms a utility for any given vertical market by numbers alone. However, for any given marketer or manufacturer the opposite may well offer greater value, since the vertical market is made up of people with an inherent interest in the offerings of the enabler. Your choice. The other good news is that trial and error is not too bad an approach since the digital age on one hand demands immediate action with users demanding utilities which offer immediate results. On the other hand our digital age invites and tolerates development by trial and error as long as it becomes apparent and allows for participation in the process.
- Explore and expand your brand reach with the usefulness of the utility you invent and offer
- Continuously keep optimizing your utility or suite of utilites according to how people make use of it
- Enhance your utility to take on greater roles when it proves successful
- Can your utility be modified to take on the role of an aggregator?
Assuming success factors
Again a multitude of assumed success factors determine over success or failure. Old fashioned brand truths come to the aid. Know your name, know your brand pillars and ensure a close reflection of brand attributes to come through in the fabric with your choice of utility. They do with the afore mentioned examples. As long as the majority of people have their status determined by how they are being viewed in society, old world image related assumptions hold true and methods to manipulate these image assumptions keep serving brands. Bold messages are replaced with reasons to believe delivered more subtly by utility of immediate value to the population. Every little helps and what helps people helps the marketer create value for the brand. Just think of the lousy little ‘Like’ button and what it did for Facebook and how popular it became with the digital population.
- Calculate your brand’s historic market reach realistically
- Expand your brand reach by invading communities with an assumed need for your utility despite no affinity for your product or brand.
Conversations becoming commodity
Today brands are taking on the role of content providers on top of designing, administering and producing their product or lines of products.
They do this not by providing content themselves but by acting as technology providers for enabling conversations throughout the digital age.
- Craft your utility with care
- Does it help the user do what they aim to do?
- Does it reflect your brand ambition and truths?
- Does it adhere to the 10 social principles?
- Can your utility or suite of utilities eventually take on a greater role?