It is crucial to listen to your customers and respond in a relevant manner. But besides recommending against social media, Lou Cooper’s feature glossed over how brands can actually build a long-standing relationship with consumers (The secret to a good customer relationship, MW 21 October).
It is no longer enough to focus on product offerings and competitive benefits, brands need to investigate how they can communicate with their client base to build advocacy and loyalty. Social media can open up a channel of communication between brand and consumer, but it must not be used in silo. Brands need to provide consumers with content; content which entertains and provides real value.
Whether it is magazines, videos, ezines, podcasts, mobile apps or websites, brands need to identify the right fit for their audience. As experts, branded content providers can carve communication platforms that not only encapsulate a brand and its messaging but at the same time engage with customers on their terms.
The six values highlighted in the article all underpin what branded content providers do – provide timely content that can be accessed by consumers wherever they are and at whatever time. By providing true value to customers, branded content providers are at the heart of driving conversations between brand and consumer without the use of Tweets and Facebook pages.
Julia HutchisonChief operating officer APA (Association of Publishing Agencies)