Internet user experience expert Joe Arcuri helps cut through the confusion when it comes to...
The Integrated Advantage
Gregory Galant, former associate producer at CNN.com and founder of digital consultancy Sawhorse Media, told Advertising Age in April 2009 that “Comcast has been able to measure how many customers they’ve helped out [on Twitter], and out of that you could easily calculate how many of them you’ve probably saved as customers. Dell [Computers] has claimed to have made over $1 million in revenue [on social media.] And they can measure that; it’s a real product you’re buying.”11
Blogs are also an important part of any strategic communications plan in a digital culture. Joe Jaffe, the highly influential blogger of Jaffe Juice and strategic consultant, notes “I can intentionally write something I know will make its way through corporate boardrooms and corridors that will get people to run around like chickens with their heads cut off.”
And there’s the rub. When a situation emerges, if marketers don’t respond at the speed of the Internet, they can find a PR disaster on their hands. In April 2009, a YouTube video of two Domino’s employees mishandling customers’ food attracted more than 1 million hits and a blizzard of bad publicity.12
Domino’s didn’t respond for 48 hours—when it started a Twitter account, created its own YouTube video and added customer relations content to its website—but by then it was too late. Consumer perception researcher YouGov found that Domino’s reputation for quality fell from positive to negative within days.
“It’s not just about putting stuff out there that has advertising in it,” counsels Dave Smith, CEOof San Francisco digital agency Mediasmith. “Sometimes it’s seeding content into the consumer stream where you get a dialogue going. Once you begin the dialogue, they expect you to keep talking to them.”
A Change in Approach
“Five years ago, you would see a pretty traditional [media] mix, largely television-driven,” Laura Klauberg, Unilever’s senior vice president of global media, told branding blogger Rick Mathieson in a 2007 podcast. “And we have always been a pretty significant spender in print. Today, we’ve dramatically diversified our communications mix. Print and TV are still important, but the whole digital space is growing so significantly, it probably more than doubles every year in terms of the total dollar we’re investing.”13