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"It's not the car but the people I meet along the journey that I remember," Thomas Frank, creative director at MaxMedia Design said to me a few nights ago. We were party chatting at's welcome-to-Atlanta bash. His words resonated with me. It was a flash of an idea that captured the essence of what ties social media to what marketers like to call the brand experience.

Developing a brand experience is much like creating a mosaic. It requires that each customer touch point is first designed to be its own unique experience. Then each element must be carefully integrated into the design that is then pieced together to form one cohesive image. There you have it ... a carefully developed world for your customers to enter into to take away the best of your brand.
Or that was how the brand experience use to work before the disruptive world of blogs and YouTube and Facebook and Twitter and social networks came into play. Our customers are tossing those carefully crafted mosaic pieces into the air and making their own brand experiences.
The now famous Coke Mentos fountain video was more than a fun science experiment. It was an explosion of how two brands' images could be impacted by this new easy-to-use and easy-to pass-along technology.
We can share our creations not only with our closest friends but with friends we don't even know. Our friends and friends we don;t know want to stop their busy lives to watch what their friends have developed. Why? Because they're our friends. So consumer generated messaging get our attention sometimes faster and with more impact than the million dollar campaign.
"It's not the car but the people I meet along the journey that I remember," said Thomas. In that very same disruptive world of blogs and podcasts and videos and social networks brands have the same opportunities to expand our journey and introduce us to their people. It's the people who are the heart of the brand ..not the logo or the jingle .. who make the brand experience the real thing.
Can you do that without including social spaces into your marketing mix? Of course you can. The customer service people, the sales people, the accounting department people... all impact the customer journey.
But in a world where your customers are playing fast and hard with your brand, why wouldn't you want to join that game, too?

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Toby Bloomberg
President of Atlanta-based Bloomberg Marketing

Toby is passionate about helping companies create strategies that harness the power of social media communications. She believes that social media marketing can go steps beyond traditional offline/online marketing to create corner grocery store relationships with customers and other stakeholders.

She works with organizations to develop traditional/new social media integrated marketing plans that result in reaching business and marketing goals/objectives. Toby also spends lot of her time on the road speaking to marketers at conferences and company sponsored workshops about the importance of businesses taking an active role in these new conversations.

She made blogs and blogging understandable. Her presentation was fun, informative rich and I'd recommend Toby to anyone interested in getting the scoop on blogging. Lorin R. Robinson, 3M

Toby’s main squeeze blog, Diva Marketing was required reading for several higher ed marketing courses: University of Delaware, Atlanta Art Institute, Bentley College and the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Find Toby Blogging at:
Diva Marketing
Blogger Stories
Business Blog Consultant
The Medical Blog Network
Corante Marketing Network

..and of course Marketing Profs!

She services on the boards of the Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association, American Marketing Association and is a teaching artist for the Alliance Theatre. Toby holds a degree from Emerson College and has performed post-baccalaureate studies at Emory University.

Although she now calls Atlanta home - with her Westie pup Max - Toby is a Yankee from Boston who still loves ice cones with chocolate jimmies.