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12 Days of Digital – Day 7: Marketing

It’s interesting, because I am a fan of collaborative technologies people assume I work in marketing. It seems the social way has become synonymous with the M word. Although if you’re following this series I think you’ll realise I don’t think it’s an exclusive relationship, for now let’s pretend it is. As with the use of all new technology, with a little imagination, the potential is infinite. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • The old ones are the best! The web is full of community builders ready to share their tips. Enthuse brand advocates and they will enthuse about your brand. It’s no secret but still an ideal that seems out of reach of many when it comes to ways of the web. The difficult bit is letting go and trusting others to shout about what you do. Old hands RedBull have built their business around ambassadors; why not energise your networks to do the same for you?

  • Be discriminative as to which channels you choose to adopt depending on your business. Fashion designers (and Playboy) have been amongst the first brands to adopt Instagram – the photo sharing application that took iPhones by storm at the end of 2010.

  • ‘Gamification’ is a bold word that can also deliver a lot. We used it as part of media140’s marketing strategy for a recent conference in Perth, Australia. Keen to stretch our potential audience’s experience and knowledge we created a cross platform treasure hunt with prizes in the ‘real’ world. Delivered through familiar platforms, Facebook and Twitter, we also partnered with local radio station Nova 93.7. The game created buzz about the event and helped new users understand different tools available. We were not the first in on- offline social gaming; it is a great practice for success. One of my favourite case studies is the Jimmy Choo Trainer Hunt.

  • Have a reason for your consumers to be engaged by providing value. Geo-location marketing is a wannabe trend but ‘check-in’ services are struggling to get a foothold. Unsurprisingly it seems that users are reluctant to let complete strangers know their whereabouts. Now consider Nike +, an application that positively boasts about a user’s location, personal running speed and more importantly Nike’s brand name across social platforms.

It’s fundamental to realise the use of social media doesn’t supersede the bottom line. I touched on this in my first post in this series. Pepsi recently made the big decision to forgo advertising at the Superbowl, instead investing the equivalent budget online. Campaign later the response was impressive: 60,000 followers on Twitter, 4 million “likes” on Facebook. But are follower numbers what’s most important to succeed?

For all the big social media numbers and even bigger talk of communication revolutions and social movements – Pepsi’s sales started to slide. And Coke’s didn’t. Last month the Wall Street Journal reported that both Pepsi and Diet Pepsi had each lost about 5% of their market share over the past 12 months in the US – that’s about half a billion dollars worth of sales. And market share was not the only thing Pepsi had lost, for the first time in living memory it also lost its number two spot. Diet Coke is now the second biggest cola brand in the US. Read more on

Avoiding the pitfalls and correctly using new tools can make the bottom line easier to achieve. So maybe according to this definition of marketing it is what I do:

“Marketing is the management process that identifies, anticipates and satisfies customer requirements profitably.” The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

But isn’t that the point of business?

Former BBC producer Kate Pickering has worked in broadcast, innovation and digital media for 14 years. She is Director ofmedia140 delivering events and workshops in the UK, mainland Europe and Australia on the transformation of business using social technologies. A collaborative innovation enthusiast and a firm believer the web is for good as well as play Kate is focused on what’s new and what’s next to better business. She has recently become Innovation Programme Leader at Co-operatives UK. Connect with Kate here.

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