Brands Stumble Before They Walk

Alan Wolk was asked by Valeria Maltoni to look into the future and tell us what he sees.

I think we’re going to see a lot of brands behaving badly in social media.
They’ll behave badly- or foolishly- because they can’t fathom that the one-way conversation is over and that consumers aren’t fascinated by what they have to say.
And they’ll behave badly because they’ll be advised by bad social media strategists, the ones who focus on quantity over quality, and by ad agencies who still see the clever punch line and the name capture as their most important goals.
Some will get it though, either on their own or with a wise hand to guide them. They’ll realize that it’s a commitment to more than just responding to blog comments in a timely manner and keeping a Twitter account. That it’s about making the customer front and center of whatever you do and of giving them products and services that they’ll want to tell other people about.

In other words, social media isn’t about social media at all. Social media is merely the expression of a more deeply rooted customer-centric behavior in the company.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.