Last updated: Marketing in the age of conversation requires investment, agility

Marketing in the age of conversation requires investment, agility


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A recent story in The Economist reveals what Super Bowl Sunday looked like for one big brand and suggests that, in the age of digital tools, marketing is no longer “voodoo” but a strategic, measurable science.

Nestlé’s “digital acceleration team” (DAT) sequestered itself at its Lake Geneva headquarters to monitor the social-media conversation around other brands’ TV spots during the biggest advertising day of the calendar year.

Social media: Changing the marketing game

When the now-infamous power outage struck the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and interrupted the game, the Nestlé team was able to see exactly how brands responded and team leader Pete Blackshaw said it “completely changed the equation.”

In fact, it allowed the conversations to expand and offered new opportunities for brands to engage directly with customers in real-time as the event unfolded.

Agility and technology are both required for brands that want to capitalize on disruption, and context is everything.

Nestlé uses sophisticated tools  to get a metrics-rich snapshot of how their products resonate with customers using social media.

With that kind of measurement and engagement comes a shock to the traditional marketing system, including:

  1. Conversation takes place 24 hours a day on social media – and customers are in charge of that conversation
  2. The distinction between advertising and entertainment is increasingly blurred
  3. Advertising can no longer count on interruption. Now, the game is to be sought out and shared

To harness the power of conversation, marketers are spending on technology. According to Gartner, 70 percent of large American companies have hired a marketing-technology guru.

Old direct-to-consumer marketing playbooks don’t work today.
Tap into the future of CPG, DTC, engagement, and loyalty HERE

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