Marketers agree brands must relinquish control

Leading marketers have urged their peers to relinquish control of their brands, and recognise the impact that user generated content is having on brand reputations.

Will Harris
Will Harris

Speaking at the annual Marketing Forum held on board the Aurora, marketing directors emphasised that consumers are now in control of brands and the industry needs to wake up to this changing dynamic and act accordingly.

Will Harris (pictured), UK marketing director of Nokia, said: “Everything we used to believe in is all a blur now and the old skillsets of a marketer are, broadly speaking, irrelevant.”

Simon Carter, marketing director for Fujitsu UK’s government division added: “We must remember that brand owners no long have any control. We have to recognise this and it’s in our interest to guide our brands through this evolution. Online perceptions are built fast; you have to be one-step ahead as much as possible.”

The speakers also urged media owners and agencies to play a more active role in helping brands realise these changes, and help to convince boards of not just relying on the traditional methods of marketing.

“Savvy consumers are doing the job for us now and have an array of opportunities to do it. The old system of printing messages as a deference mechanism is dead. It’s all about reference and word of mouth now. We have encouraged consumers to demand more, and they are doing this. So it is our role, along with our partners to become as savvy as they are. Nokia uses a do, learn, do approach so we know what works and what doesn’t. I’d encourage others to look at using a similar ethos,” summed up Harris.

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