Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Paradigm Shift: Side to Centre

There has been a significant paradigm shift with the emergence of web. 2.0 and the immense growth of Social Network spaces. These two forces have collectively given consumers controlling influence in how brands are perceived and managed in the digital space. However, despite overwhelming empirical evidence showing that traditional methods of advertising has limited effectiveness in the digital space, there has been little change with regard to marketing strategies and advertising methods in this area.

In this blog we will systematically discuss the categories of change that have resulted from consumer control of brand messages in the digital space.

In a previous blog I discussed the shift from Advertising to Interesting. In this entry we will touch on Side to Centre.

Side to Centre:

This is a very simple concept to grasp. Literally it means exactly what it says. Imagine a traditional web page. You will see on the top and around the sides all of the banner advertising that is used to pay for the interesting content in the middle of the page. The use of banner advertising is an "old school" method of advertising. posters, billboards, magazine and newspaper and TVC's use this to put themselves in front of their consumers by positioning themselves next to what is interesting. Why!? In the digital age businesses can transform themselves into content that is worthy of the centre of the page. Focus less on the brand and more on the message. Not only is this space the true "sweet spot" of the page, it is also more highly trusted by consumers than the peripheral advertising for brand messages.

How does a business move to the centre:

1. Learn to tell a story. To become content and not advertising you must have something to talk about other than yourself.

2. Stay true to your brand. The content you develop should reflect your brand values and be consistent with who your consumers are and what they would want to see.

3. Be honest, do not try and pretend you are something other than what you are. Falsely representing yourself can result in a severe backlash.

4. Be consistent. A steady stream of evolving and engaging content will build a loyal following.

5. Keep it real -- Grass roots is better than overproduced. Consumers are more likely to get engaged with and share content that looks more like what they could have created than over the top Hollywood productions.

Join the conversation -- drop us a line!

No comments: