Consumers know….. Companies don’t!

blogging1Two in every five Aussies on the net posted a commentt about a brand in the last year!

More than 86% of the same people read comments about brands!

More that  6.5Million Australians now belong to at least one online Social Network!

All of this comes from very recent Nielsen Online research into consumer generated media in Australia.

So if the consumer is into it why don’t the companies/brands get it …. yet?

After all this is word of mouth advertising and most people say that’s the best form and certainly most say its the form they trust most. So its cvertainly time for companies to be at least listened while they plan to become actively involved.

Its not that hard to make a video and post it on YouTube…. 57% of consumer said they watched online videos to help them make purchasing decisions.

Facebook usage up from 37% to 69% in the last year…. YouTube up to 75% from 64% a year ago…. so consumers are moving ….  

Whats more the research most consumers want companies to find new ways to interact with them.

So Social  Media is not only popular but trusted by consumers and for companies/brands its a communication medium that is easy to access and cheap to leverage.

So why dont they get it why are most ignoring it and some going so far as to ban their staff accessing in the office.

Is it just change … is that many of the decison makers see them as too old  to bother with this “fad”?

I was staggered this week when a senior lecturer in Marketing at a prominent University told me he gets lots of invites to join LinkedIn, Twitter etc …. but he doesnt have the tme!!!

What he cleary means is he doest know – why, what and probably how.  

When I suggested to a CEO of a prospective client he should be blogging he told me …”I only have time for insights and not communicating with people”

My answer is then you are a perfect blogger write your insights in blogs and let the world do the communicating for you.

2 thoughts on “Consumers know….. Companies don’t!

  1. I am a product of the eighties and I started my career as a programmer in days when madonna, boy george and george michael were top of the pops. I thought that I was plugged into the next wave of consumerism. Now nearly thirty years later how times have changed. The global economic turmoil happened at light speed and caught almost everybody by surprise. How many blogs written by disgruntled financial employees over two years ago forecasting the dismantling of our markets? I dont know.

    As a mid forty year old, what I do today is a light year away from the career I thought I’d have when I was going to uni. Web2.0 delivered in Social Networkings sites like YouTube, LinkedIn, etc has astounded me with the possibilities of virtual marketing parallelism on a global scale. We are now capable of knowing what is going on in the world around you without having to pay market researchers the significant cost of seeking respondents and gathering their views; real information is now being served up on a platter in millions of interactions every day by people like me from across the world.

    Leaders of companies need to lead from the front and adopt the messages from their consumers from these new media. If they dont they will be left behind, battered and bruised in the wake of the social networking tsunami that is travelling at light speed across the world.

    The only way that the leaders will start leading is by doing and participating in blogs like this.

    Good on you Rick for starting this conversation!

  2. I believe companies ‘don’t get it’ yet, as it requires them to make a giant leap in their mindset.

    Up until now they have been in control, telling the us, the consumer, what we should think and say about their product.

    With social media they loose all that control. They can no longer dictate their company and brand to their market, and that scares them. So, the answer so far has been to bury their head in the sand. Ignore it, it’s a fad and it just might go away.

    I have had conversations about social media, twitter, linked-in etc. with a quite a few senior marketing professionals in large companies, and their response to it so far, has been very negative. Their mindset is that I tell you about my product, and you will love my product, and we will be very careful on what we say and do. The thought of letting their brand ‘loose’ on social networks, freaks them out. I get comments “But people would write whatever they like! And it may not be true”, “How do I control what is said?”, “It’s a big free for all mess – no structure, you can’t work in that”.

    These people have been the doing the job the same way for many years and the thought of having to learn the job all over again is out of their comfort zone.

    Companies will eventually embrace social media, but it will take time. As ripples in a pond, the new marketeers, will take over and having grown up with social media, they will take their brand and company online – for the good of all.

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