Web 2.0 in 2007: Brands rule!

My Digital Markets 2007 predictions include: ‘Branded Conversations’ frame social media in 2007, as I presented January 4:  February 4 will not only kickoff Super Bowl XLI, it will mark the major league debut of what I call brand-focused “user-involved” social media content, or “branded conversations."Last October I put forth “MySpace, Facebook, NBC: Brands rule, not users”:"Users are in control” packs the same mythical punch as “every vote counts.

My Digital Markets 2007 predictions include:

 

‘Branded Conversations’ frame social media in 2007, as I presented January 4: 

February 4 will not only kickoff Super Bowl XLI, it will mark the major league debut of what I call brand-focused “user-involved” social media content, or “branded conversations."

Last October I put forth “MySpace, Facebook, NBC: Brands rule, not users”:

"Users are in control” packs the same mythical punch as “every vote counts.”

Our democratic system is worthy, but the underwritten by special interests, two-party, primary and insider convention driven presidential election process does not provide each of our citizens an equal “voice.” 

Web 2.0 social networking systems are equally bombastic: “Users are in control.”

All the way back in June I underscored "Monetizing you and your friends: The Social Web seeks social brand dollars”:

To reach the frothy financial goals, both MySpace and Facebook are commercializing “friendship” through social branding.

At MySpace, brands have member profiles and make friends with other MySpace members. At Facebook, members join Facebook brand groups, just like they join Facebook fraternity or hobby groups, and display brand logos on their personal profiles.

Social branding may prove to be the ultimate product placement strategy. 

Today, my social media “branded conversations” thesis was affirmed, at the SIIA Information Industry Summit in New York City during the “Advertising and PR for Everyone: Who is Winning the Race for Marketing Dollars?” panel. 

The leading role of "the brand” in Web 2.0 marketing messages took center stage.

I have predicted the mainstreaming of “branded conversations,” the panel today also underscored the preeminence of "the brand” in Web 2.0 communications: 

Brand journalism,

Branded content,

Branded hubs…  

David Meerman Scott, Freshspot Marketing, launched the discussion by asking the audience of publishing and technology executives, “Do you believe you have great products and services?” The conference attendees responded in the not surprising affirmative, but Scott shot back: “Get over it!” 

Why? On the Web, marketing is not about products and services, it is all about reaching your buyers with content they want to engage with, according to Scott. 

Scott asserted that in the “old days” there were only two ways to get brand messages out to audiences: 

1) Convince media to write about you,

2) Buy expensive advertising. 

NOW, brand marketers are publishing their own content on the Web to reach buyers directly with their own messaging. 

How do “‘Branded Conversations’ frame social media in 2007”?

 

Colleen DeCourcy, Chief Experience Officer, JWT, a WPP Group agency 

“Bold Moves, Documenting the Future of Ford” was designed as part of an integrated marketing communications strategy aimed at putting consumers “at center of all Ford-brand marketing.”

How is Ford leading a “Branded Conversation”?:

“Ford Bold Moves" is a video documentary series that takes you inside Ford Motor Company as it attempts one of the largest corporate turnarounds in history. With candid interviews from Ford executives, employees, industry experts and even Ford detractors, Bold Moves approaches each segment from every angle and keeps asking the question: Will Ford succeed?

Bold Moves also involves you in the actual corporate decision-making process—allowing you to engage, debate and discuss what you think is relevant.Site content is updated on a weekly (sometimes daily basis), so sign up to receive Bold Moves content by RSS Newsfeed and ensure you stay on top of every single moment of Ford’s transformation. You can also sign up to receive weekly emails that preview future episodes and related editorial content so you never miss a beat.Bold Moves is interactive, so it relies on you and an enthusiastic community of users to fuel the discussion and shape future episodes. Venture into the site and become a part of Bold Moves today. Ford’s future depends on it.

Ben Edwards, Director, IBM, New Media Communications

IBM seeks to instill an internal “soft publishing” culture that is “liberal and permissive.” IBM is 380,000 professionals strong “within the firewall” and each professional is provided internal access to blogging, podcasting and wiki tools.

How is IBM leading a “Branded Conversation” externally?

The role of IBM communications is to discover the talent and identify the voices within IBM that can carry the brand externally and “do good things” for the corporation. IBM external “voices” are marketed within micro-publishing communities to propagate the IBM brand.

IBM seeks authentic interactivity. IBM voices are encouraged to put forth “points of view, expressed clearly.” IBM communications strategy is a straight forward one. While all are invited to join in the conversation, IBM maintains the integrity of its messaging.

Anyone can “take it or leave it,” or participate, in the “Branded Conversations”



Photo by Donna Bogatin

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