In my note of the 28th of February, I drew your attention to how the consumer has taken over the controls, thanks to social networking sites. During the "Marketing 2.0" Conference that I mentioned in that note, we witnessed several brilliant presentations, among them that of Matthias Lüfkens, the World Economic Forum's Communications Director.
In 2006, when you googled "World Economic Forum", you ended up only finding photos of anti-Davos demonstrations. How could this really negative image of the WEF be reversed?
Answer: Set up a real "Social Media" strategy, consisting of 6 essential points:
- Rewrite WEF's profile on Wikipedia;
- Share 800 photos on Flickr … and accept that thenceforth you have no control over them;
- Create a WEF space on YouTube called "The Davos Debates" and include videos that will allow web surfers to watch what seemed, up to now, accessible only to an elite audience;
- Create live webcasts on Mogulus to allow web surfers to participate in live press conferences;
- Create a public group on Facebook, where all information on the WEF is broadcast in real time – as also private groups reserved only for journalists (a sort of virtual inline press-room through the Forum);
- Create a Twitter account – and broadcast "live" interviews.
This "global presence" strategy of the World Economic Forum on the Web 2.0 paid dividends: This year, when WEF is googled, you find images of the Davos encounters and debates. This result is impressive. It shows that coherence of action (and the refusal of opportunism and "scoops" that still far too often characterize the approach to the Web 2.0 by brands) is a strong lever for recognition. However, this supposes several prerequisites:
- Accepting to participate in a dialogue (a "conversation" with web surfers/clients) and discarding the traditional aristocratic / top down approach;
- Accepting to relinquish control of a certain amount of information and taking advantage of the positive AND negative experiences of web surfers / clients.
- Accepting to talk about "social networking" – terms that are much more significant than "marketing 2.0".
Are brands (and luxury brands in particular) ready to play the game?