Mad Men’s leading man Don Draper’s maxim that “if you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation” really stands the test of time. Brands are now controlled and shaped by consumers, and being part of this conversation is critical for brand success.
The problem is that far too many brands have misunderstood the point of this conversation economy. Yes, they are creating relevant and interesting activity, but most are simply joining the conversation. Given that organic reach on Facebook has reached a lowly 1-2%, being engaging has never been more important – and that means “changing the conversation”.
Change is a deliberately big word. Brands need to create new or refreshingly different experiences, using their content and channels carefully, to guide them through the fragile gap between awareness and dismissal.
That’s why we have our own principles for how we work with our clients to change the conversation.
The best way to a lasting committed relationship is to connect with people the way a close friend would.
Show, don’t tell
It’s not enough to talk about what you do or how good you are; you need to demonstrate it, directly, with impact and meaning.
“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” Choose something relevant and focus on it.
Context is queen
Context is your best friend or worst enemy. Choose it wisely, study it well and be respectful.
Give, give, give, take
Take nothing for granted; in order to ask something of anyone you must earn their trust and respect first.
Don’t expect everyone to be the same; consider offering different levels of involvement.
As Oscar Wilde said: “The only one thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” It’s a sagacious observation that applies as much today as in Don Draper’s day.