On May 26, I was invited to attend Convergence 2010 Digital Marketing Trends and Tips–-an annual conference put on by Cossette Communications, as part of Vancouver International Digital Week.
I was most affected by Marc Gobe’s keynote address, and wanted to share some of his points with you. Marc is the authour of Emotional Branding: The New Paradigm for Connecting Brands with People, and works with some of the world’s largest corporations to create engaging brands. His business is Emotional Branding.
Marc started by saying that many brands want to force themselves into people’s lives, and we are finding it oppressive. People want authenticitiy: to talk to people inside the company, behind the brand–they want to have a deep emotional connection. In order to build a solid brand, you need to stop pushing and start engaging.
The distance between brands and people is collapsing. In the past, some executive in the upper floors of a huge skyscraper would make decisions about the brand: what it would look like, how it would be advertised. Now, the shoe is on the other foot. Consumers are driving brands. Because of social media, and because of this new era of transparency and connection, we are able to tell companies what it is that we want from their products. It’s very powerful.
People are talking to each other about what products and services they like and don’t like. If you are the purveyor of one of them, you’d better get in on the action, or you are going to get left behind. And it doesn’t have to be that challenging: the social media economy is horizontal, which means that we, as small businesses or artists, even, have the same marketing opportunities as large corporations. In fact, Marc argues, it can be more difficult for larger corporations to adapt quickly, giving smaller businesses the advantage.
How do we engage our audiences emotionally?
- Keep in mind that we are dealing with an audience of empowered consumers.
- These consumers are looking for innovation in how we market to them.
- The new media ecosystem: STOP PUSHING–START ENGAGING.
- We need to redefine our leadership. In the past, it was a “talk down” approach: forceful, and telling people “you need this, this is good for you.” Now, we need to figure out how to inspire our consumers. Again, as artists, creativity and inspiration are our stock in trade.
I’m still processing and thinking about all the things that Marc talked about, and I’d like to read his book, as well, so there may be more posts on this topic forthcoming. In the meantime, for more details, you can visit Raul’s Liveblog of the keynote.