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Five New Rules for Marketing

April 16th, 2009

Summarized from Ad Age and their reporting from last week’s Digital Conference.  Unilever’s CMO, Simon Clift  had some interesting and bold things to say about Social Media and its role in the success or failure of Brand Building.  As Ad Age states, he ‘Throws Down the Social Media Gauntlet’ and warns those brands that don’t recognize and adapt to constantaly changing role of digital media are in danger of extinction through ‘accelerated natural selection‘.  He makes a great point.  Survival of the fittest (or most adaptable) –  Darwinism in marketing.

“Brands aren’t simply brands anymore. They are the center of a maelstrom of social and political dialogue made possible by digital media.”

He’s right.  He went on to discuss how brands are becoming ‘conversation factors‘ and the ‘conversation is no longer one way or 30 seconds.‘  In effect evangelizing an open dialogue model – truly cracking the brand disccusion wide open and letting the consumer share in the building, or eroding, of that brand through their social voice. 

As a postscript to the article, Ad Age outlines their “New Rules” to maintain pace in this ever changing digital world.  5 great points that I’ve summarized quickly, you can find the full list on their site.

  • Listening to consumers is more important than talking at them.
  • You can’t hide the corporation behind the brand anymore, or even fully separate the two.
  • PR is a primary concern for every CMO and brand manager.
  • Cause marketing isn’t about philanthropy, it’s about “enlightened self-interest”
  • Social media is not a strategy. You need to understand it, and you’ll need to deploy it as a tactic.

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