Gone are the days when brands needed to rely on high profile stories to establish credibility –today, brand marketers become content curators by mingling content from trusted sources with their own material. Long gone is the need to purchase ad space in a relevant trade publication—instead, they just create their own site on the topic. At time when the line is increasingly blurred between the role of marketer and publisher, it is a brave new world out there for brands.
As part of a lively debate on what role brands should play in this brave new world, experts from the publishing, marketing, and internet worlds will come together to address some of the most heated concerns about this changing landscape –including matters of transparency and trust, concern over copyright and fair sharing, and where to draw the line between reporting and selling.
by Justin Cox
Companies often stress the importance of consistency—a consistent image, voice, strategy, etc. Countless models and presentations have been created to help brands maintain continuity. But, does consistency really equal success? It certainly can for things like product quality or customer service. When it comes to the world of marketing, however, consistency is overrated and overused. This issue is most apparent in the digital space, where print and TV campaigns are routinely repurposed as banner ads and pre-roll videos. Compounding the problem, marketers often duplicate digital ads across sites that have little in common with one another, ignoring the fact that consumers behave differently as they move around online. New disciplines and technologies have emerged, giving the industry unprecedented ways to reach consumers. Digital advertising should reflect these changes and inspire brands to be flexible, schizophrenic even. An argument could be made that no two ads should ever be the same. To achieve this, the industry must embrace a new order of advertising—one that champions inconsistency. One where publishers and agencies work together to create custom marketing content. Where ads for Heineken can’t be replicated as ads for BudLite. Where consumers experience advertising that is inextricable from the place where they are experiencing it. And where the goal is not to keep a brand on track, but to create unique experiences that compel consumers to engage on a deeper level.
11th–15th March 2011