My paper is now almost due and my investigation into how FMCG brands build relationships with consumers in a digital environment is almost complete.
As part of one of my earlier posts I started (and quickly dismissed) qualitative research as consumers appeared to be unable to successfully articulate what a brand / consumer relationship was or how they felt about attempts by brands to contact them (with permission) within their personal spaces online.
With some worries about the possible outcome I then ran an online quantitative survey that easily allowed users to give their opinion through multiple choice selections. The response has shown definite trends, clear learning’s and, in contrast to the qualitative study that consumers definitely understand a brand relationship.
This is quite an interesting point. Was my in depth interviewing technique really bad OR do consumers simply not consider relationships in the way we anticipate them to as marketers?
The survey I constructed can be found here
findings to follow once the paper is safely handed in!
I’m 2/3 of he way through Wikinomics… For those of you not familiar with the work of Tapscott and Williams, and to quote the title, it looks at “How mass collaboration changes everything”.
Perhaps the notion of everything is used a little bit loosely as a title but as a manner of thinking and, in particular pushing it into the context of relationship marketing it poses an interesting theory looking at prosumers and the collective as a group worth counting on.
The old, hardwired “plan and push” mentatility is rapidly giving way to a new, dynamic “engage and cocreate” economy
Its back to that old notion of web 2.0 (or is it now 3.0) and how as the digital space (and consumers) are evolving are marketing techniques to change with it. It remains pointless to use the same tactics with the old web as some might use with the new but how do you move a brand straight into v3.0 when they haven’t really come to terms with 1.0 yet…
I think that agencies and brands alike need to understand that evolution can’t happen at different rates. It’s not an iterative journey whereby a brand will get from A to B and, by chance, one day, they might catch up and be bang “on trend”. It instead needs to bypass the first 2 steps, be brave, and go straight to the point where it matters.
As the book goes on and talks about the idea of “prosumption” and even alluding to its future which, at the rate of the webs expansion could be very soon, the notion of collaboration and customers wanting a
genuine role in desiging the products of the future”
Is increasingly becoming something that needs to evole. The relationship, where as previously was brand to consumer, became a 2way conversation and we’re now moving a phase on to where the consumer powers that conversation with the brand. Can that really realisticly happen? Has the “prey” really become the “hunter…”
Its not an answer I’m there with yet but as I continue on my quest I’m hoping that I’ll start to build an insight into how (and if) that relationship can really stand.