As more and more brands understand the impact that social media has on their reputation, I believe many will follow Nike’s move in a bid to gain more control over this vital channel. However, this must be done with caution because social media, by its very nature, must remain ‘social’ and often the impact of tighter planning and analysis could in fact hinder the channel’s immediacy and impact.
A desire for more control may also bring another shift this year: brands moving away from un-owned channels – like Facebook and Twitter – in favour of developing their own social media real estate. This can be extremely powerful, allowing brands to drill down into user behaviour. The launch of Bennetts Social last year has already given us deeper insight into our target customers than we ever dreamed.
While brand-owned sites will never pose a true threat to Facebook, they mean that social media owners will have to up their game and provide brands with very real and meaningful insight about their followers. After all, I’m sure any company would much prefer to direct traffic to their own sites rather than to someone else’s.
Hannah Squirrell, director for marketing and ecommerce, Bennetts
Added value alternatives to price promos
Competing on price is not a healthy long-term strategy as it damages brand equity and the relationship that a brand has with its consumers.
A more sensible approach is to take part of the discount that would be offered and use it to finance an added value promotion that enables the brand to better engage with consumers. An attention-grabbing on-pack promotion, such as a free experience or a holiday prize, gives brands a real opportunity to differentiate themselves on the shelf.
With economic conditions remaining difficult, it is lifestyle promotions such as these that attract the interest of consumers
by enabling them to continue to enjoy things they may have been forced to cut back on.
Marketers have to take a strategic view rather than a tactical approach. If a brand is continually discounted at some point it will lose its value.
Simon White, business development director, Protravel