Online reputation and brand awareness is critical for success in today’s virtual market. Two things have be in place for a brand to have success online: current touchpoints and hitting the ‘sweet spot’ with the consumer.
Touchpoints are the vehicles brands use to communicate their message to its target audience. Traditionally these vehicles have been direct mail, signage, brochures, news releases, etc. In recent years, websites, blogs and online communities have come to replace the traditional outlets. Many advertisers are struggling to figure out how to successfully capture their audience through virtual advertising – the new world of advertising. ‘A discipline in which the professional is ostensibly replaced by the amateur; where the established media buyer is replaced with the consumer; and where provocation, like shock, surprise, and hilarity, are essential ingredients for capturing the attention of consumers who have an insouciant disinterest in the amount of money spent on an ad, but an active predilection for sensation.’
Touchpoints are the vehicles for creating brand awareness, but its a moot point if the brand doesn’t hit the ‘sweet spot’ with the consumer. The sweet spot is the emotional connection the consumer makes with the brand. Its the story that leaves a lasting impression so it occupies a space in the mind of the consumer.
Participating in online communities, such as MySpace, YouTube, LinkedIn to name a few, and using viral, word-of-mouth tactics to engage the end users is something all marketers should consider implementing into their marketing mix. Creating authentic, meaningful content using current advertising vehicles is the only way to stay in the game.