Archive | June, 2010

Unlocking the elusive potential of social networks

To realize the marketing potential of virtual activities, you have to make them truly useful for consumers.

There is much hype about social networks and their potential impact on marketing, so many companies are diligently establishing presences on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms. Yet the true value of social networks remains unclear, and while common wisdom suggests that they should be tremendous enablers and amplifiers of word of mouth, few consumer companies have unlocked this potential. At Liberty Interactive, which comprises many specialty e-commerce companies, we wrestle daily with the question of how to realize the promise of social networks.

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The consumer decision journey

Consumers are moving outside the purchasing funnel—changing the way they research and buy your products. If your marketing hasn’t changed in response, it should.

If marketing has one goal, it’s to reach consumers at the moments that most influence their decisions. That’s why consumer electronics companies make sure not only that customers see their televisions in stores but also that those televisions display vivid high-definition pictures. It’s why Amazon.com, a decade ago, began offering targeted product recommendations to consumers already logged in and ready to buy. And it explains P&G’s decision, long ago, to produce radio and then TV programs to reach the audiences most likely to buy its products—hence, the term “soap opera.”

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