Building a connected strategy

Simon Kemp

I recently presented a session for the IAB in Singapore on ‘How to Build a Connected Strategy‘, and I thought it would be useful to share it here too.

Regular readers will recognise some of the thinking from the Marketing in the Connected Age research that we conducted in partnership with the WFA, and our Social Brands ebook, but this new presentation brings together a few of their different ideas in one convenient deck (you can download the PDF here).

The presentation focuses on the 4Ps of ‘connected marketing’ – check out the SlideShare above for full details, or read on for a short summary:

1. People
At its core, social isn’t about content, reach, technology, or likes; social is about connecting with people. Conveniently, this is actually what all marketing should be about though: understanding what people want, need, and desire, and identifying ways to deliver that in order to achieve our mutual goals.

That was sometimes tricky in the broadcast-centric marketing model, because brands had limited opportunities to hear back from their audiences. However, social has turned that challenge upside down. Marketers today have almost too much information, and the challenge has evolved into being able to make sense of all the information we have at our disposal, rather than trying to find it.

The answer to that challenge? Use social listening to understand your audience’s lives, interests and motivations, not just to track what your audience is saying about your brand.

Tip: To become a truly social brand, listen twice as much as you talk.


2. Purpose
Most people don’t really care what brands make; rather, they care about what brands make happen for them. So, instead of using social media to tell your audiences how amazing your products and services are, use it to demonstrate how your brand can help those people to become amazing themselves.

Make it a story about them, not a story about you.

Aim to make a meaningful contribution to your audience’s world, not just to your brand’s bottom line. Help people achieve the things they care about. Offer them something compelling to believe in – something that they’ll actively want to talk about with others.

Tip: Don’t just give people something to buy; give them something to buy into.


3. Principles
People use social media to connect and interact with their friends and family, so brands that behave like corporate robots will seem conspicuously out of place in a social context. People are looking for something more emotional when they connect with brands in social, so emphasise the most engaging aspects of your brand’s personality – in particular, demonstrate generosity and empathy.

Tip: Use your brand’s values to build your brand’s value


4. Participation
Marketing’s job isn’t to increase likes, views, comments or shares; it’s to create brand value. If marketers are to succeed in achieving genuine engagement, we actually need to involve people, not simply chase hollow social metrics.


The easiest way to achieve this is to start thinking of our audiences as an active part of our brand, and not merely the end consumers of its products.

However, involving people isn’t just about asking them for suggestions on ways to improve our products, or to remix our latest ad. Involvement is about helping people to feel like they’re a meaningful part of the value creation process – especially when the value they’re creating is for themselves, achieved with your help. Brands like IKEA and Xiaomi have already proven the value of this approach, but its potential is not limited to their specific situations.

What’s more, with the increasing proliferation of crowd-funding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, it’s only a matter of time before your industry gets disrupted by new brands that have been created by the people, for the people.

Tip: Actively involve audiences in value creation in order to become a more ‘democratic’ brand.

Want more inspiration like this? Check out our Social Brands ebook for related tips and insights.