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Branding And The ‘Conversational Media’

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It wasn’t too long ago I was told marketers (especially for small- and medium-sized businesses) weren’t interested in online branding, as a concept. The online marketer relies a lot on search, and therefore, clicks that bring results. Branding? Who needs it?

In short, you do.

I could spend some time recapping my treatise from eight months ago about going beyond the click-through, but why repeat myself? Besides, John Battelle’s lingo is probably more on target. What I called "presence," Battelle calls "awareness and demand creation."
John Battelle

"[Marketers] are noticing that when they run brand advertising both online and off, searches for their brands increase. Second, they are noticing that when searches for their brands increase, sales (or at least valuable, measurable leads) follow."

He also says we’re in the midst of the third era of online advertising, which looks to fully incorporate search and branding concepts. The major challenge in this era will be managing what one can’t control – the "conversational media."

Before the Web, marketers had better control of messages about their products and services. They had no control over what the people or the press said, of course, but in this new era, mouths are bigger, more plentiful, and more easily accessible.

And the press? Well, the least you might say is that "the press" has fragmented into a million pieces, all collectible by search engines.

While that remains as a major challenge, you can rest assured the savvy marketers are actively pursuing ways to influence the conversational media in the right direction, so that their product’s or service’s presence is a welcome one. 

Branding And The ‘Conversational Media’
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