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How do Brands Stand out From the Noise?

Traditional marketing practices just don’t cut it anymore. Participating in Twitter, Facebook, blogging, and a host of alternative mass communications platforms have become standard practice for businesses in today’s digital age. Certainly, marketers have had to evolve their strategies and messages to create compelling brands that last and resonate with customers, but with the advent of social media and more and more channels coming each day how do brands stand out from the noise? Is there a new “magic formula,” or can we still rely on branding fundamentals?

While no one can claim to have the perfect social media recipe; some brands clearly do a better job than others and perhaps everyone can learn a thing or two from them. Two brands in particular stand out as having astoundingly successful social media campaigns, Proctor and Gamble’s Old Spice and Domino’s Pizza. Each campaign can teach us an important lesson for engaging customers over the social media highway: Originality and Transparency

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Originality: You need creative that will stick

P&G’s “Your Man” campaign for Old Spice deodorant (featuring the now somewhat famous Isaiah Mustafa) exploded onto the social scene with its hilarious content. The commercials generated buzz because they were funny and something never before seen. But it’s how P&G capitalized on this hype that made the campaign truly successful. While YouTube views of the ads quickly climbed, an “Old Spice Man” Twitter feed was launched… brilliant. The feed allowed individuals to tweet to the “Old Spice Man” asking him questions to which he would reply with a short video clip.  With nearly 100 unique video responses, 1000’s of questions (ranging from celebrity requests to marriage proposals), and a significant boost in sales; it’s safe to say the campaign successfully engaged their social media following. The lesson here, strive to make something people want to interact with, something original.

Transparency: Don’t try to come off as something you’re not

Domino’s Pizza stood in the face of falling stocks as the pizza giant’s sales declined largely in part due to quality of product. So what did they do? They launched a social campaign engaging their customers for feedback, “How can we make our pizza better?” After improving their pizza, they took the campaign a step further, testing how they did by encouraging people to send in pictures of their pizza (good or bad) and their comments. The ads always feature an executive or head chef, appear candid, and speak directly to consumers. The result: a turnaround in both their product and their sales, simply by acknowledging their need for improvement and sincerely asking for people’s opinions.

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The #Shift to social

Perhaps the main point to take from these campaigns is to use social media as intended: engage people on a genuine level and relay a consistent message across communicative channels. There’s no perfect model for building relationships and generating interest. That’s why we started #Shift. The #Shift event is a forum for discussion centered on topics just like this, but social marketing is just one element shifting in the workplace. As we pull together progressive business leaders with their foot in the social door we hope to learn how and why these experts in the field have had so much social success.

What are your thoughts on corporate social marketing movements?

About Lea Green

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