Since the beginning, advertising and marketing have always been a one-way conversation, in which information about products and services would get pushed into the minds of the audience, persuading them to believe a certain way.
But with the general growth of businesses and brand selections, the option of choice gives audiences the upper hand. And they now have more power in making decisions—based on the information they have access to every day through their smart phones, the Internet and each other.
They no longer have to trust advertisers and marketers on what to buy. They can make those choices themselves.
The growth of two-sided conversation
This trend that has been growing exponentially in the past decade is causing the need for more two-sided conversations between brands and their audiences, creating a shift away from traditional one-sided communication, otherwise called a push strategy.
Audiences want to be a part of the brands they buy into. They want to be able to communicate with them, not just listen passively to what they have to say. And if a brand can deliver this, there’s more trust and more of a chance for brand loyalty.
We’ve entered into a new wave of audience interaction. And this doesn’t just mean, “Like us on Facebook” and stay up to date on what’s going on with our brand. No, they expect more than that. They want more involvement, more communication.
Brands that are engaging with their audiences
And this is why big brands like Coca-Cola are starting to join the movement. Recently unveiled its first user-generated commercials, in which it had asked teens and young adults to submit videos on what sipping a soda feels like. And the commercial was created from 40 video clips out of hundreds of submissions from all over the world.
Intel and Toshiba also launched a global social film series called “The Beauty Inside” in 2013 with actors that were selected from auditions through Facebook. The campaign earned 70 million views and 95,000 Facebook likes.
It’s time for more brands to recognize this shift and start to involve their audience more, if not in the actual branding then at least in a two-way conversation. It can only amount to a happier and more loyal consumer following.
The Decline of Passive, One-way Marketing