People want relationships with people, not your brand (W+K Amsterdam)

I have just been blow away by a brilliant presentation by Martin Weigel of Widen & Kennedy Amsterdam, called How (Not) to Fail: click here to watch on Slideshow. Thanks to Malcom Hunter for pointing me to it.

Martin has brought to life many of the points I've been making here cutting through the hype and hysteria about social media, in one highly impactful presentation. He has also brought some more killer data to ram home the points.

Here are some highlights.

1. People have relationships with people, not your brand

Most people don't want a "relationship" with your brand, nor to have a conversation with it. I love the quote below Martin uses to make this point:

Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 13.47.01

Data from our research paper, "Can Social Media Show you the Money", shows that whilst marketers think people use social media for a "2-way conversation" with brands, consumers are really after info and deals. This is why 99% of people don't interact with a typical brand's facebook page.

Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 14.53.38

2. Brand loyalty and "fanship" are myths

Martin hammers home beautifully this point, that I touched on last month here. He uses an example of 2 shampoo brands below to illustrate that most people are light buyers of a brand, and that the key challenge is getting these people to choose your brand once or twice a year. "Your consumers are just somebody else's consumers who occasionally buy you," as he says so well.

Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 13.47.19
Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 13.47.32

As Martin shows in the visual below, the handful of people who could be called brand fans create some nice PR, but are not the key to growth. And what's more, as I have posted on, you are unlikely to have them at all if you are selling pasta sauce and petfood rather than Prada.

Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 13.48.01

3. "Old media" is still the key to reach

I posted here on the continuing impotance of conventional media like TV advertising to get the reach needed to drive penetration. And Martin brings a killer bit of data to back up this point, shown below, that the consumption of TV is still FIFTY times bigger than that of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn combined.

Screen Shot 2013-03-01 at 13.48.24

4. Viral videos are a lottery

It is funny how social media sellers love to talk about how much "clutter" there is in conventional media. Well, the situation is just as bad if not worse in social media. On facebook, people have on average 150 or so friends, of which only around 10 are brands. This means a typical persons' facebook newsfeed has a stream of much more interesting content that your brand's page is competing with.

And what about the thing that seems to be the ultimate prize for many marketing directors today: the viral youtube hit? I have been saying for a while that viral videos are a lottery, and your chance of success are slim. Martin now brings some data to back this up: the chances of a person viewing your content on YouTube are…. 1 in 1,000,000!

5. Consumers want to consume content, not create it

Back in 2009 I posted on how most consumers don't want to create content. Yet many brands still haven't got this. Recenlty I posted on how Volvic was asking consumers to create examples of what Volcanicity meant to them, for example. And boy I laughed my head off when I read the quote below from Martin's presentation!

Screen Shot 2013-03-05 at 15.55.51
In conclusion, I wholeheartedly agree with Martin when he says that the task of brands is not to "nurture enthusiasm and engagement", but rather to "overcome indifference". In our lives brands play a small role, and we buy lots of them, spending minimal time and effort in doing so. The challenge is to get noticed by as many people as possible to drive penetration. And this needs distinctive, impactful marketing about how your brand solve consumers' problems or makes like a bit better.

Or, as Martin says: "Overcoming indifference demands awesome".