Face it: we marketers are button-downed control freaks. Once we do have that big, creative idea, we build a wall to protect it in its perfection....


After that, much of marketing has to do with painful details, timing and execution. Perhaps this is why it is so hard for us to accept that consumers freely wield a certain control over the brands we nurture.
While consumers have always vocalized opinions on brands, broadband access and the rise of user-generated platforms have facilitated the dialogue. From personal web sites to blogs to myspace, the web has become a temple to the brands we love and hate.
Some firms respond to such behavior by summoning the brand police. Others have embraced Generation 2.0's passion for brand with much success. In early February, Scott Witt, now of Denuo, cited MSN's The Wall graffiti project as a particularly brave experiment.
Consumer engagement in this new era can also surpass the life of a campaign, as was the case of P&G's incredible success of the SecretSparkle instant message bot. Well after the media effort ceased, teenagers everywhere were still actively confiding into the bot.
This willingness to entrust a brand was taken to a new level by Alex Bogusky, Executive Creative Director of Crispin Porter & Bogusky, at the Future of Marketing Summit. Bogusky spoke frankly about the trials of encouraging brand managers to loosen the grip on the King. Once accomplished, Subservient Chicken and The King not only formed part of popular culture, but induced an increase in sales that would make any brand manager proud.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

www.saraholoubek.com
Sara Holoubek is a free agent consultant, advising growth firms and investors in the interactive technology and advertising sector. Ms. Holoubek is also the contributing editor of the DM News' SearchBuzz newsletter, and a regular author of the DM News Optimized column.

In 2008 Ms. Holoubek was elected to the Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization (SEMPO) board of directors for a third term. During this time she also co-founded the SEMPO NY Working Group.

From 2003-2005, Ms. Holoubek served as iCrossing's Chief Strategy Officer, building the firm's New York office and repositioning the iCrossing brand as it raised an early VC round of $13 million. Prior to this experience, Ms. Holoubek held posts in client strategy with interactive agencies Organic and Blue Dingo. Her vertical expertise covers over 10 sectors and includes work with Levi Strauss & Co, Bloomingdales, LexisNexis, Texas Instruments, Colgate-Palmolive, Century 21 Real Estate, Martha Stewart Omnimedia, as well as firms within the WPP family and the Aegis Group family.

Ms. Holoubek has contributed to and/or been quoted in publications such as Adweek, DM News, Mediapost's Search Insider, WSJ.com, The Madison Avenue Journal, ClickZ and Internet Retailer. She also serves as a frequent guest lecturer at venues such as SMX, Search Engine Strategies, OMMA, the DMA, Harvard, NYU and Baruch College.

Ms. Holoubek also brings an international perspective to her work, having lived and worked in Latin America and Europe , and is fluent in Spanish and French and conversant in Portuguese. She holds a B.A. from the University of Iowa and an M.B.A. from HEC in France. She resides in New York City with her husband, baritone Claudio Mascarenhas.