“The way we communicate is creating a revolutionary culture across the world,” said Coca-Cola’s chief marketing officer Joseph Tripodi at this week’s Cannes Lions advertising festival. “A culture that is highly informed, empowered and instantly connected to sympathetic friends and allies everywhere and all the time. It creates a place where mob rules. It is a marketplace where consumers have the tools to topple governments.”
Tripodi is right. The power of collective groups of consumers is greater than ever before. But is this really creating a new culture? I disagree. Networks of like-minded individuals have always existed; it has simply never been so possible to make opinions known so globally and quickly.
Some materials were prized above all others, even thousands of years BC. Obsidian or certain types of clay vessels would find their way across the globe to waiting customers. In a blunt way, these groups of consumers were exercising their collective power even then to anoint certain items desirable.
The only difference these days is that consumer mob rule is so much quicker to take hold and visible on social networks all over the world. When LA Fitness attempted to hold a pregnant woman whose husband had lost his job to her contract, the club was named and shamed on Twitter. It quickly reversed the decision.
This behaviour is both a threat and an opportunity for brands. I find it very helpful to see instant reactions on Twitter to any new launches or announcements from Marketing Week. It gives me an instant dialogue with our audience in a way that wasn’t possible even five years ago. Even hearing criticism is helpful because we can adapt our strategy accordingly.
These days the consumer mob rule is so much quicker to take hold and visable all over the world
How to manage social media and consumer mob rule is just one of the topics on the agenda at next week’s Marketing Week Live, based at Olympia in London on 27 and 28 June. Coca-Cola’s own Zoe Howorth will be expanding on some of the themes that Tripodi touched on in Cannes on Centre Stage, explaining how her brand has driven its consumer engagement within ever-proliferating media channels. You can also see Marketing Week’s own Mark Ritson expound on lessons from luxury brands.
Over the two days of Marketing Week Live, which is free to attend – you simply need to register – there are more than 100 speakers and more than 475 suppliers exhibiting their wares. So whether you want to know about social media, PR, loyalty, live events, promotions, data, point-of-sale material or any other aspect of marketing, it’s right there.
The Marketing Week team will also be there, reporting on the many insights and news stories from the event. So do please come by our stand and say hello. If we aren’t there, we will be around, looking for the best ideas, trends and networking opportunities at the show, so leave your card for us.
Visit marketingweeklive.co.uk/register to ensure you get through the door quickly on the day. You can even download a special iGuide from the Marketing Week Live website to plan your visit and prioritise speaker sessions. See you there.