Things We're Talking About... February 2017

02/03/2017 01:08 pm ET Updated Feb 04, 2018

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Paul M. Rand, President and CEO, Zocalo Group

Brands and Politics, The White House Goes Live, and The Dysfunctional State of Online Advertising

DO BRANDS AND POLITICS NOW MIX?

Speaking out about your brand’s political view used to be unheard of, but today, brands like Starbucks, Dove, Google and Facebook are jumping into the political conversation. As brands gain more awareness of their social media audiences, they can discern what consumers expect—and are taking a firm stance to ensure they’re aligned. 70% of Millennials say they’ll spend more with brands that support causes they care about, and smart brands are willing to take the boycott bullet from their consumers’ opposition. Even saying nothing can say a lot (just ask Uber). Brands need to know where their audience stands and be willing to put up with a little bit of negative backlash.

AUGMENT THIS: SNAPCHAT AND FACEBOOK TAKE ON REALITY

News of Snapchat’s potential new augmented reality tools and Facebook’s reported animated selfie-masks tells us one thing: AR is coming fast. AR’s growth has been steady over the last year, but the next six months seem poised to deliver a wide range of awesome new toys—and brands have an opportunity to be the first to use these tools effectively. Interactive media content is always a high driver of engagement, and these new tools will be so popular that engagement is almost guaranteed. If you’re not thinking about how to integrate AR into your marketing campaigns, you’re not living in the reality of Augmented Reality.  

P&G SAYS ONLINE ADVERTISING IS BROKEN AND INEFFECTIVE

Recently, the Chief Brand Officer at P&G, Marc Pritchard, called out what he feels is a dysfunctional relationship in the world of online advertising. He wants sweeping changes, and he’s not the only one. P&G will no longer pay for any digital ads, technology or agency services that don’t measure up. Pritchard’s five-point plan is getting tons of attention—and for a good reason: the company spends more than $7 billion a year on marketing. Like others, we’ll be keeping a close eye on P&G. The changes Pritchard is requesting will impact and reshape the industry.

DO YOU NOW NEED A MARKETING BUDGET FOR YOUR MARKETING BUDGET?

In today’s social media obsessed world, it’s not enough to run one big ad during a big event, like the Super Bowl. To truly stand out among the fray, marketers must supplement their main ad with additional content on social and then promote that content so people see it. Campaigns need to be 360˚, inclusive of multi-screen viewing and engaging on all fronts. As soon as you commit to doing all that, you’ve spent two marketing budgets instead of one. Given that social content is less expensive and more versatile, we can’t blame the brands that are stepping away from advertising during the big game this year.

WANT ANY MORE PROOF THAT FACEBOOK IS A NOW A MEDIA CHANNEL?

Due to his issues with the media, President Trump recently turned to a surprising platform to announce his Supreme count nominee: Facebook Live. Whether or not you agree with his ‘media is the opposition party’ slogan, your brand can learn something from this approach: brands no longer have to rely on traditional media channels. Live social media content has given everyone a direct, unfiltered connection to the masses—and we expect this trend to continue to grow.

About the Author

Paul M. Rand is the president and CEO of Zócalo Group, a division of Critical Mass and Omnicom Group.  His book, “Harnessing the Power of Word of Mouth and Social Media to Build Your Brand and Business" was published by McGraw Hill.