I have received an excellent white paper from Montreal-based Diesel Marketing called “Building Strong Brands by Leveraging Conversational Capital.” It is a worthwhile read. Download ConversationalCapital.pdf
Some of the insights in the paper echo the new marketing paradigm shift that experiential marketers are heralding:
“We believe that conversational capital is an extremely powerful tool to promote strong
branded products/services experiences…as well as to destroy them. The idea that conversational capital has an economic value and can be engineered is still in its infancy. However, we believe that in today’s experience economy, this concept can become a primary driver of brand development.”
The paper takes pains to point out that without authenticity on the part of marketers, conversational capital for a brand or product is impossible.
“Consumers are very good at spotting marketing ploys that are either not genuine or over-
engineered. Creative, authentic and sincere efforts to create orchestrated storytelling
elements of a consumer experience are a lot more likely to make a positive contribution
to storytelling capital.”
So its funny to read this entry from Adpulp, which appeared today:
“Match.com is accused in a federal lawsuit of goading members into renewing their subscriptions through bogus romantic e-mails sent out by company employees.
The Match lawsuit was filed earlier this month in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by plaintiff Matthew Evans, who contends he went out with a woman he met through the site who turned out to be nothing more than “date bait” working for the company.
The lawsuit also claims the company violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, a law best known for being used in prosecuting organized crime.”
When are marketers going to learn that consumers are inter-connnected, that they are much smarter than we are, and that they talk…a lot…about products and brands that delight them, and more often than not, those that disappoint them?
Does it drive anyone else crazy when they see deceptive or inauthenetic marketing? And why do marketers think that buzz is a marketing tactic? It’s not! It’s just a by-product.
And as the Match.com story suggests, all those hystrionics about the illegality of buzz marketing isn’t just fluff. We’re talking real deception! And all of it contributes to a squandering of conversational capital. Let us beware.